Malachy O'Rourke and Conor Glass celebrate at the final whistle. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Conor Glass the hero as Glen win first All-Ireland club football title

Malachy O’Rourke’s side avenge last year’s heartbreaking defeat.

Watty Graham’s Glen (Derry) 2-10

St Brigid’s (Roscommon) 1-12

COMETH THE HOUR, cometh the man.

Who else?

Conor Glass all but dragged Glen over the line for their first-ever All-Ireland senior championship title.

The Derry captain and former AFL star was the late goalscoring hero as Malachy O’Rourke’s side overcame St Brigid’s and avenged last year’s heartbreaking defeat to Kilmacud Crokes.

Glass’s was one of the many bodies sprawled across the Croke Park turf as the final whistle sounded, overcome with emotion after a dramatic finale.

A whirlwind afternoon ended with Connor Carville lifting the Andy Merrigan Cup. The Watty Graham’s weathered the storm, both on and off the field, to produce an eleventh hour fightback and reach the promised land.

Glass’s outstanding 58th-minute goal levelled matters at 2-8 to 1-11, but there was plenty more drama to unfold down the home straight.

Glen — back to their full complement after Cathal Mulholland’s black card — tagged on two more points, Shane Cunnane pulled one back for St Brigid’s and the midfield free-taker had a chance to draw the game at the death.

But his last-gasp free from the ’45 tailed wide and the Roscommon side’s bid for a first All-Ireland since 2013 fell just short.

Brigid’s will be gutted, having been the better team for much of the game.

Glen’s experience, told, however, and their resilience shone through.

They were four points down late on in both halves, and led just once until before the hour-mark.

As the clock ticked towards 29 minutes, the overwhelming favourites were well off. St Brigid’s had dominated the opening exchanges, and led 0-8 to 0-4.

In the blink of an eye, the the side from outside Maghera were level though. Jody McDermott fired home, raising the green flag they so desperately needed. A late starter ahead of the injured Jack Doherty, McDermott finished the move he started in style. Ethan Doherty followed up with a point and it was all square at the break.

St Brigid’s could have been further ahead. In the 14th minute, Ben O’Carroll fluffed a glorious goal chance. Connlan Bradley comfortably stopped his tame effort after a two-on-one break off the back of a Glen error.

ruaidhri-fallon-and-michael-warnock St Brigid's Ruaidhrí Fallon and Michael Warnock of Glen. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

The Roscommon inter-county star did go some way in making amends with two frees and a mark, causing problems for Michael Warnock inside. Ryan Dougan later shackled him, though.

Jerome Stack’s side fired on all cylinders, with Brian Stack, Bobby Nugent, Ciarán Sugrue, Eddie Nolan and Ruairí Fallon all on the scoresheet in the opening period.

Glen, on the other hand, hit five wides — not helped by a swirling wind — and made uncharacteristic mistakes, with midfielders Emmett Bradley and Glass doing most of their scoring.

Their build-up was slow and laboured, while Brigid’s drove forward at every opportunity.

That was best seen when the Kiltoom outfit shook off that late first-half flurry with a quick-fire 1-1 of their own. Supporters were still making their way back to their seats when Brian Darwin palmed home after good work from Robbie Dolan and O’Carroll.

The goalscorer backed his major up with a spectacular outside-of-the-boot effort, and Glen were reeling once more. They kicked several early wides — Ciarán McFaul was the main culprit — with a Glass ’45 keeping them afloat at 1-9 to 1-6.

For all of the Watty’s wastefulness, Brigid’s were mostly clinical before the posts.

Mulholland’s black card for an off-the-ball incident with Nugent was another blow for Glen in the 48th minute, but the scoring stakes remained even despite the numerical difference.

The momentum swung in their favour, they sniffed blood and continued to press high.

Warnock kicked an inspirational score to make it a three-point game, 1-8 to 1-11, before Glass stole the show and Glen eventually came through that electrifying ending with Emmet Bradley and Conleth McGuckian efforts key down the home straight.

connor-carville-lifts-the-trophy Connor Carville lifting the silverware. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

They’re now the fourth Derry team to win the All-Ireland, following in the footsteps of Ballinderry, Lavey and Bellaghy.

It’s also a clean sweep for Ulster football after St Patrick’s Cullyhanna (Armagh) and Arva (Cavan) reigned supreme at intermediate and junior level respectively.

Scorers for Glen: Conor Glass 1-2 (1 ’45), Emmett Bradley 0-4 (3f), Jody McDermott 1-0, Ethan Doherty, Ciarán McFaul, Michael Warnock and Conleth McGuckian 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Brigid’s: Brian Darwin 1-1, Ben O’Carroll 0-3 (2f, 1m), Eddie Nolan and Ruairí Fallon 0-2 each, Brian Stack, Ciarán Sugrue, Bobby Nugent, Shane Cunnane (1f) 0-1 each.


1. Connlan Bradley

2. Michael Warnock, 3. Ryan Dougan, 4. Connor Carville (captain)

5. Eunan Mulholland, 6. Ciarán McFaul, 7. Cathal Mulholland

8. Conor Glass, 9. Emmett Bradley

10. Ethan Doherty, 20. Jody McDermott, 25. Tiarnan Flanagan 

13. Alex Doherty, 14. Danny Tallon, 15. Conleth McGuckian


  • 12. Conor Convery for Eunan Mulholland (26)
  • 19. Stevie O’Hara for Connor Carville (44)
  • 23. Cahir McCabe for Alex Doherty (55)

St Brigid’s

1. Cormac Sheehy

21. Alan Daly, 3. Brian Stack, 4. Pearse Frost

5. Ruaidhrí Fallon, 6. Ronan Stack, 7. Paul McGrath (joint captain)

8. Eddie Nolan, 9. Shane Cunnane

10. Conor Hand, 11. Ciarán Sugrue, 12. Robbie Dolam

13. Ben O’Carroll, 14. Brian Derwin, 15. Bobby Nugent


  • 18. John Cunningham for Brian Derwin (45)
  • 24. Conor Gleeson for Bobby Nugent (56)

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).

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