THERE was Leinster final heartbreak all round on Saturday last as both Shamrocks and St Brigid’s fell at the final hurdle. Shamrocks were competing in the Leinster club Intermediate football final as they took on Kildare’s Twomilehouse in O’Connor Park while St Brigid’s made the trip to Drogheda to take on Dundalk Young Irelands in the Leinster club Junior football decider.
Both sides had shown good form on route to their respective finals and both came agonisingly close to getting over the line.
Shamrocks were defeated 1-8 to 0-10 in Tullamore in a game where the weather played a big role. The Offaly senior ‘B’ champions played against the wind in the opening half and would have been happy enough with a 1-7 to 0-4 half time deficit as the wind and rain really put them on the back foot.
They came out in the second half and while making a lot of errors, they still got themselves back into the game, holding Twomilehouse to just one score in the second half and coming close to getting a draw at the death.
St Brigid’s were also unlucky. They were in a good position coming down the home straight but 1-1 in injury time for the Louth champions put paid to their Leinster dream.
St Brigid’s wre only behind once in the game before the game entered injury time. They led by five points seven minutes into the second half and looked in a strong position but failed to score again after that, despite their opponents being reduced to 14 men midway through the half. St Brigid’s held on until injury time when two subs conuured up a goal and a point for Young Irelands to snatch the victory away from the Croghan men in the cruellest of fashions.
It was a tough pill to take, especially having already lost the Offaly Intermediate final in a replay a few months back to Ferbane.
Shamrocks, when they look back on things, will draw solace that they won the Senior ‘B’ championship and Division two league and are now back at the top table of Offaly Senior football for 2019 having been relegated back down in 2001.
For full reports and analysis on both games, see inside on pages 60, 61, 62 and 63.