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Rafferty's Dream Day As Dominant St Rynagh's Return To Senior

posted 1 Nov 2010, 14:02 by Unknown user   [ updated 20 Aug 2012, 06:28 ]
by Kevin Corrigan - Tullamore Tribune 

St Rynagh's 1-11 Durrow 0-8.

GER Rafferty experienced an unforgettable day as St Rynagh's returned to senior football with a comfortable and richly deserved 1-11 to 0-8 win over Durrow in the Tullamore Court Hotel Intermediate Football Championship final in O'Connor Park on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier in the afternoon, Rafferty got married to Ballycumber woman, Alma Daly and then made a quick dash to Tullamore where he was the captain and trainer of the St Rynagh's team. The Cloghan stalwart played his part as St Rynagh's ground out a comprehensive win and there was wild celebrations on the O'Connor Park pitch before the captain and colleagues made the journey to the Hudson Bay Hotel in Athlone for the wedding reception.
While Durrow were competitive for a good while, they were always fighting an uphill battle in this one and a St Rynagh's win looked inevitable from a long way out.

It was a professional and efficient performance from St Rynagh's. There may not have been much spectacular about their football but they were very effective in most things they did and Durrow were operating under severe pressure. St Rynagh's worked very hard throughout the field and Durrow just could not get the space they required.
St Rynagh's were the better team by a distance and they certainly look better equipped than Durrow to hold their own at senior level. St Rynagh's possessed a healthy mix of youth and experience and with some fine work being done at underage level, their future looks brighter than it has in some time.

On Saturday, the way forward was shown by one of their young guns, ace corner forward, Niall Wynne, who scored eight points, three from play, and led the Durrow defence on a merry dance all afternoon. Still a minor, the quality of Wynne's play and his point taking was a joy to behold and we will watch his future career unfold with great interest. 
Beside him, Paudie Mulhare showed his vast experience and he was also instrumental in their success. Mulhare may have fumbled the ball on occasion but he was always a handful and ended up with a decisive 1-2. Ciaran Flannery also had his moments in attack.

Pat McIntyre had another fine game at midfield for the winners while Aidan Hanrahan did well when introduced. Defensively, St Rynagh's were rock solid and they scarcely put a foot wrong against a very poor Durrow attack who just could not get motoring. Ger Rafferty dominated as we expected while young Joe O'Connor was in great form beside him, the outstanding Stephen Clancy negated the threat of Stephen Weir and James Rafferty was very good at full back, despite carrying an injury.

Durrow were managed by a Cloghan man, Gary Daly but they were disappointing on the day. Their defence never looked truly comfortable and their best performer was midfielder, Emmett Molloy who had a magnificent game, kicking three fine points and covering huge ground. Brian Geraghty had his moments beside him while Paul Kinnarney provided an occasional threat in the attack and Kevin Mealiff worked hard but Durrow never looked like amassing a winning score.

The first half was a dogged affair with Emmett Molloy giving Durrow the lead inside the first minute but St Rynagh's first score in the seventh minute proved hugely important with Paudie Mulhare brilliantly finding the net after the ball broke kindly for him.

Stephen Wynne and Niall Wynne (Free) added quick points before Durrow settled. Stephen Weir, who couldn't find his best form, went for goal from a thirteen metre free when he should have taken a tap over point but points from Paul Kinnarney (free) and Emmett Molloy kept them in it.

Niall Geraghty, another key player who was below par, had an 18th minute goal shot blocked before Niall Wynne booted over a great free for Rynagh's. Durrow finished the half well and two Paul Kinnarney points, one free, left them traiing by just a point, 1-3 to 0-5 at the interval.

Durrow also started well in the second half with Kinnarney getting a free but with the wind on their backs, St Rynagh's were not going to be denied. Four Niall Wynne points, two frees and two beauts from play, and a Paudie Mulhare point that could have been a goal put them 1-8 to 0-6 ahead after fourteen minutes.

With victory in their sight, St Rynagh's continued to drive on relentlessly and a Niall Wynne free and Mulhare point put them 1-10 to 0-6 clear. Emmett Molloy and Stephen Weir kicked the next two points for Durrow but by this stage, they were chasing a lost cause and a closing point from Niall Wynne ensured there was a six point margin in it at the end.