Seniors v Crossmolina–Senior Championship Relegation Play-Off – Match Report
Davitts 0-17 Crossmolina 1-13
Davitts ensured their Senior Championship status for next season with a hard earned one point victory over Crossmolina in Charlestown on Saturday. Crossmolina were the better team in the first half and led by five points at the break and looked the likely winners but Davitts produced a blistering second half performance to win an epic battle.
Fionan Duffy, deadly accurate throughout, opened the scoring with a pointed free in the first minute for Crossmolina. A long range Ronan McNamara free levelled the game in the 3rd minute and Evan Ronane shot Davitts to the lead a minute later. Fionan Duffy with another free tied the game in the 10th minuite and Crossmolina scored the game’s only goal in the 12th minute when a long Conor Loftus delivery was was won by Fionan Duffy who offloaded to Stephen Duffy and he gave Davitts keeper Cian Naughton no chance with a clever finish. Cathal Carolan added a point a minute later as Crossmolina threatened to wrap the game up.
Evan Ronane for Davitts and Fionan Duffy for Crossmolina traded points before a huge Ronan McNamara free kick and a superb Shane Treacy point narrowed the gap to two points but points from Cathal Cathal Carolan and Fionan Duffy put Crossmolina four up. Josh Ronayne narrowed the gap with a 23rd minute point but the Deel Rovers finished the half well with two more points from Fionan Duffy, the second a huge point from play, to leave his side ahead by 1-8 to 0-6 at halftime.
As in the first half, Fionan Duffy pointed a free in the first minute of the second half but then Davitts took over, driven on by a powerful performance by Colm Boyle, now operating at midfield. They shot over unanswered points from Cathal Hennelly with two monstrous strikes, a Josh Ronayne free, three from Evan Ronane and one from the inspirational Colm Boyle, to take the lead with fifteen minutes remaining. Crossmolina’s sharpshooter Fionan Duffy shot over two frees but these were cancelled out by Michael Conroy and Ronan McNamara, McNamara’s point another huge kick from the left touchline.
A 26th minute Cathal Carolan point narrowed the gap to a single point and an injury time free from Fionan Duffy levelled the game. Davitts had the final say however and from Cian Naughton’s long kickout, Ronan McNamara got possession. He offloaded to Colm Boyle who made the hard yards with a trademark burst forward before the ball ended up with supersub Michael Conroy via Evan Ronane. Conroy coolly punched over the winning score to the delight of the Davitts supporters.
Davitts were deserving winners and in Colm Boyle they had the best player on view. Cian Naughton, Dimitry Trench, Cathal Higgins, Ronan McNamara, Cathal Hennelly and Evan Ronane also shone. Davitts substitutions were timely and very effective with Aidan McTigue, Michael Conroy, Thomas Waldron and Paul Carey playing major roles in this victory.
Crossmolina put up a brave show and had big performances from Derek Hegarty, Stephen Duffy, Kevin Mulhern, Conor Loftus, Cathal Carolan, Tommy Walsh, Peadar Gardiner and Fionan Duffy.
Davitts: Cian Naughton, Patrick Keadin, Padraig Mangan, Brian Clarke, Cathal Higgins, Colm Boyle (0-1), Dimitry Trench, Ronan McNamara (0-3), Josh Ronayne (0-2), Shane Treacy (0-1), Andrew Peters, Daniel Huane, Cathal Hennelly (0-2), Liam Kearns, Evan Ronane (0-6). Subs: Aidan McTigue, Thomas Waldron, Michael Conroy (0-2), Paul Carey, Lawrence Daly.
Crossmolina: Patrick Loftus, Chris Moyles, Tom Cafferkey, Kenneth McHugh, Derek Hegarty, Stephen Duffy (1-0), Martin McAndrew, Conor Loftus, David Howley, Cathal Carolan (0-3), Mikie Loftus, Tommy Walsh, Fionan Duffy (0-10), Peadar Gardiner.
Referee: John Glavey (Aghamore).
Man of the match: Colm Boyle.