Niall Carty and Ronan Daly lift the cup after Padraig Pearses triumphed. Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

History makers! After 7 final defeats Padraig Pearses celebrate county senior glory at last

A three-point success for Padraig Pearses delivered their first title.

Padraig Pearses 2-10
Roscommon Gaels 1-10

Kevin Egan reports from Dr Hyde Park

FOUNDED IN 1962 as an amalgamation of junior clubs Moore and Taughmaconnell, the first 56 years in the life of Pádraig Pearses GAA club saw them accumulate plenty of silverware at all levels, football and hurling – with one notable exception.

Eight times before today they attempted to win the big senior football prize, the Fahey Cup, but those eight attempts only yielded one draw and seven defeats. Now that monkey is off their backs as a powerful first-half performance gave them enough cushion to see them through a nervy finish against Roscommon Gaels this afternoon.

Four goals against St. Brigid’s in the quarter-final and three against Boyle last time out were followed up with green flags from Conor Payne and Hubert Darcy in the first half of this contest, and those scores proved absolutely crucial to their victory.

After the game, manager Pat Flanagan said that he felt his team should have been out of sight at that stage, as they had played some wonderful football in the opening half, and in the ten minutes after half time. Conor Daly lorded matters at midfield, kicking two majestic points and getting his hands on a world of ball.

The full-back line of Shane Carty, Mark Richardson and David Murray were in superb form as they each dominated their individual battles against good scoring forwards in the shape of Cian Connolly, Peter Gillooly and ex-Mayo U21 footballer Ronan Carolan.

Historically it has been in attack that Pearses have fallen short, but this time around they had a host of players on form, including Emmet Kelly who kicked some superb scores, county U20 Paul Carey and of course Conor Daly. The inside line duo of Conor Payne and Hubert Darcy didn’t have things all their own way, but they did get in for a goal each that helped Pearses move 2-7 to 0-6 ahead at half time. Darcy and Carey helped set up Payne for the first goal, then a great breaking ball in from Emmet Kelly initiated the attack that led to Darcy showing power and tenacity to fire in the second with 22 minutes on the clock.

It all looked like plain sailing for the men in red as they started the second half in the same vein as the finished the first, with Conor Daly and Emmet Kelly again the two players that got them going with some inspirational scores from distance. Yet it has never been plain sailing for Pearses before, and it wasn’t today either, even after Bryan O’Gara and Cian Connolly were given straight red cards late in the game.

At that point, white line fever kicked in and it was an uncertain final third that saw them fall rather than stride over the line. Richard Hughes showed incredible composure to play a slide rule ball along the ground and into the corner of the net to cut the lead to a goal, and even with two extra men, Pearses seemed unable to get the ball out of their own half through eight minutes of injury time.

Crucially however, they protected Paul Whelan’s goal, and that was all they needed to do. After so many stories of heartbreak, that was more than enough.

Scorers for Pádraig Pearses: Hubert Darcy (0-1f), Conor Payne 1-1 each, Emmet Kelly 0-3 (0-1f), Conor Daly, Paul Carey 0-2 each, Lorcan Daly 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon Gaels: Cian Connolly 0-5 (0-4f), Richard Hughes 1-0, Ronan Carolan 0-2 (0- 1f), Tim Lambe, Peter Gillooly, John McManus 0-1 each.

Pádraig Pearses

Paul Whelan

Shane Carty
Mark Richardson
David Murray

Anthony Butler
Ronan Daly
Gavin Downey

Niall Daly
Conor Daly

Lorcan Daly
Niall Carty
Paul Carey

Emmet Kelly
Hubert Darcy
Conor Payne


Tom Butler for Kelly (47)
Alan Duffy for Carey (49)
Sean Ryan for Payne (60+3)
Sean Fahy for Downey (60+6)
Niall Finneran for L Daly (60+7)

Roscommon Gaels

James Fetherstone

Tim Lambe
John McManus
Mike McNeill

Kevin O’Gara
Richard Hughes
Paul Gleeson

Mark Healy
Kieran Kilcline

Scott Oates
David O’Gara
Brian Kelly

Ronan Carolan
Cian Connolly
Peter Gillooly


Mark Nally for Gillooly (39)
Bryan O’Gara for Healy (42)
Ronan Gleeson for McNeill (44)
Cathal Dineen for Kelly (49)
James O’Gara for K O’Gara (60+2)
Richard Walsh for Kilcline (60+6)

Referee: Marty Parker

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