GAELIC FOOTBALL: Gaels runners-up in Warwickshire Championship

Rugby Gaels walking out onto the pitch for the final earlier this month
Rugby Gaels walking out onto the pitch for the final earlier this month

Rugby side edged out in county final replay

Rugby Gaels came up short in their quest for their first ever Warwickshire Championship title on Sunday, writes Andy Moore.

On a blustery autumn day in Pairc na hÉireann, Birmingham, the Gaels fought hard in this Warwickshire Intermediate Division 3 Championship Final replay against St Finbarrs GAA Coventry.

But they never recovered from a slow start, going down 2-04 (10 points) to 2-09 (15 points), with goalkeeper Neil Merrigan being deceived by a high ball in the wind.

Rugby scored an excellent goal through Ruairí O’Brien from 15 yards out, following neat work by Mark Madine.

A free by Connor Shaw reduced the arrears to two shortly afterwards. However, the Coventry side responded with three unanswered points to finish the half strongly.

At half-time St Finbarrs led by five points one goal six points (9 points) to a goal and a point (4 points).

The Warwickshire side pushed forward after the break and had a couple of good chances, but were unable to take them.

When Finbarrs broke forward to score their second goal, the lead was out to nine points. As has been the case all season, the Gaels kept plugging away.

Ryan Ward collected a breaking ball and found the back of the net for a neat finish. When Pat O’Brien and Mike Cremin added points shortly after, the lead was down to four with ten minutes to go.

Chances came and went but it was St Finbarrs who added the final score to break Rugby Gaels’ hearts and bring the trophy back to Holbrook Lane.

Rugby Gaels scorers: Ruairí O’Brien 1-0, Ryan Ward 1-0, Conor Shaw 0-1, Mike Cremin 0-1, Pat O’Brien 0-1, Robbie O’Hanlon 0-1.