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Eire Og Derriaghy GAC
Junior Football Champions 2001

Back Row L-R:
Conor Muldoon, Gerry O’Reilly, Fra Grimley, Paul Taggart, Lawrence Kelly, Chris Browning, Joe George, Conor Wills, Sean O’Neill, Dessie O’Reilly, Gavin McLaughlin, Rowan Vernon, Alec McGoran, Gareth McLaverty

Front Row L-R:
Adrian Doherty, Neil Ryan, Colm McAuley, John Devlin, Fergal Lynch, Emmett Holmes, Peter Elliott, Adrian O’Reilly, Michael Rafferty

Final - Casement Park, Sat 15th September 2001
Eire Og 2-12 v 2-8 St Malachy's

Straight from the first whistle Eire Og looked the hungrier and better team, and were well worth their 4 point winning margin, which may have been much greater had it not been for two dubious penalty awards for St Malachy's.

For the first 10 minutes both teams seemed to struggle with the slippery conditions and strong wind. Then, somewhat fortuitously, Eire Og scored a goal when the St Malachy's keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and could only watch as it bounced over his head and into the net. Minutes later a goal from a deflected shot saw Eire Og race into an early 6 point lead. St Malachy's came back strongly with 4 unanswered points, but Eire Og managed to steady themselves and looked to go into half time with a healthy 3 point lead until St Malachy's were awarded a very debatable penalty on the stroke of half time. It was well taken and both teams went in level 2-2 to 1-5.

A more determined Eire Og came out for the second half and immediately hit three unanswered points. The game became an open, end to end game with both teams trading points. The Og's hard work all season eventually paid off and we extended our lead to 6 points with 5 minutes remaining. St Malachy's then piled on the pressure looking for goals, and would have found some had the Eire Og keeper not produced two superb saves, one diving high to his left when the ball seemed destined for the top corner, and then saving with his feet moments later. St Malachy's did get their goal when they were given another disputed penalty with a couple of minutes left. But we went straight up the field and scored a point to put four between the teams. That was to be the final score of the game and a long overdue Championship came to Eire Og.

Take a look at the photographs of the final here

Junior Championship - How we got to the Final

1st Round - Casement Park, Wed 25th July 2001
Eire Og 1-12 v 0-02 O'Neill Crowley's
Crowley's never really threatened Eire Og despite scoring a point from early pressure at the start of the first half. From then on Eire Og dominated all over the pitch, but our prolific scoring in the League seemed to desert us, as we missed as many as we scored - the 13 point winning margin should have been much more. A good result on a hot Wednesday evening at Casement.

Quarter Final - Poleglass, Fri 10th August 2001
Eire Og 1-10 v 2-4 Mitchell's
A more determined Mitchell's, at the official opening of their new pitch, presented Eire Og with a harder match than their two previous league meetings. Indeed it took a late Sean O'Neill goal to give victory to the Ogs, as Mitchell's pressed for the winner themselves. With their league form still missing from their Championship performances, Eire Og struggled to pull away from Mitchell's whose two timely goals always kept them in the game. But a Championship semi final now awaits us, hopefully then we can do ourselves justice.

Semi Final - Corrigan Park, Sat 25th August 2001
Eire Og 2-9 v 3-5 Ballycastle
Eire Og came away with a deserved one point victory against a big, strong Ballycastle side to meet St Malachy's in the final. After an even first ten minutes Eire Og then dominated the first half and were approaching half time 5 points ahead, thanks to an Emmet Holmes goal, only for Ballycastle to scramble a goal seconds before half time after a fumble by the unfortunate Og's keeper. This cut our lead to just 2 points and gave the momentum to the north Antrim men. At the start of the second half Ballycastle came out all fired up. They grabbed two quick goals from long balls, which the Eire Og defence will be disappointed to concede. But the Ogs rallied almost immediately with a well taken Sean O'Neill goal (his third consecutive Championship goal) and three unanswered points. In an exciting second half both teams traded points before the final whistle went, giving victory to the Ogs.