GAELIC FOOTBALL: Outstanding performance by Rugby Gaels to reach cup final
Semi-final victory over Sons of Erin
Warwickshire Intermediate League
Mulligan Cup Semi-Final
Rugby Gaels 7-11 (32 points)
Sons of Erin (Northampton) 0-07 (7 points)
The Rugby Gaels put in an outstanding performance last Thursday in Newbold to beat nearest rivals Sons of Erin by 25 points in the Mulligan Cup semi-final, writes Andy Moore.
The Gaels were led by captain Lewis Fairgrieves who scored a fine hat-trick. Rugby started with purpose and registered two well worked scores from Robbie O’Hanlon and Mark Madine.
It could have been more if Ryan Ward’s effort from a sweeping move hadn’t flashed wide.
Sons of Erin gradually got themselves into the game with a couple of frees. The Gaels extended their lead with Lewis Fairgrieves first goal.
The Northampton side had a period of pressure but hard work from Mike Cremin, Steve Clarke and Oisín McKenna reduced them to scoring points from distance.
The Gaels ability to counterattack with numbers resulted in Robbie O’Hanlon finishing a crisp move following a nice pass from Ryan Reynolds.
Connor Shaw was on target shortly after when a short Northampton kick out was stolen by Fenton Collins.
When Sons of Erin did break through goalkeeper Andy Moore was on hand to deny them a goal tipping over a rasping shot. At half time The Gaels lead by nine points 3 goals and 5 points to 5 points.
At half time Gaels manager Paul McGrath urged Rugby to keep up the work rate and not let the Sons of Erin back into the game.
The team responded by registering the first scores of the half, with Mike Cremin and Oisín McKenna the scorers. The pressure began to tell with Lewis Fairgrieves scoring his second goal.
The Gaels were winning the Sons of Erin kick outs and this pressure lead to Connor Shaw being fouled for a penalty, which he scored himself.
More scores from Mark Madine and Ryan Ward pushed the lead out to twenty points.
Captain Lewis Fairgrieves grabbed his hat-trick when he drove through Sons of Erin defence to finish emphatically.
When the Northampton side did get forward they were forced to go for goals and they found the Full Back Line of Cathal Stakelum, Stephan Nolan and Michael O’Meara in uncompromising form.
Pat O’Brien rounded off an excellent team performance with Rugby’s seventh goal with a fine run and shot to complete the rout.
The Mulligan Cup Final will take place on Sunday against St Finbarrs in Holbrooks Lane, Coventry CV6 4DG
Rugby Gaels scorers:
Lewis Fairgrieves 3-0 (9 points), Connor Shaw 2-2 (1 45m Free), Robbie O’Hanlon 1-2, Pat O’Brien 1-0, Mark Madine 0-3, Oisín McKenna 0-1, Mike Cremin 0-1, Fenton Collins 0-1, Ryan Ward 0-1.