GAA: London and Warwickshire share youth honours in Birmingham
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GAA: London and Warwickshire share youth honours in Birmingham

LONDON and Warwickshire’s new generation of home-grown players went toe-to-toe in the Under 16 and Under 18 Provincial Finals last weekend, with each county picking up a title.

Warwickshire took the honours in the Minor meeting on a scoreline of 7-10 to London’s 3-5, though the final score may have been a slightly harsh reflection on the actual difference between the two sets of teams.

Warwickshire’s extra experience and freshness proved the telling difference it seemed. Indeed, this Warwickshire team are the product of three years’ worth of development squads.

The team have also been training with senior teams, unlike their London counterparts.

Warwickshire held a four-point advantage at half-time on a scoreline of 2-7 to 2-3, with London’s Conor McDermott scoring the pick of the bunch with an exceptional goal, nestling the ball into the top left corner.

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London reduced the margin to just two points shortly after the second-half commenced, but fatigue soon began to set in as the Exiles fielded nine players who had also played in the U16 game prior.

Around the 50th minute the eventual victors netted to send Warwickshire into a nine-point lead.

London could only respond with a single point as Warwickshire goaled thrice more in the closing stages to ensure victory.

Eoin O'Donnell and Séan Rice at wing back both played well for London after assisting the Under 16 team to victory in the previous game, likewise Ciarán O’Donoghue and Matthew McHugh.

Midfielder and captain for Warwickshire Cruise Kelly Evans lifted the cup.

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London were victors in the U16 final thought. This was the first game at Pairc na hEireann and it was an excellent, competitive final played in good spirits.

Both sides traded scores early in the match and by midway through the first-half London led on a scoreline of 0-6 to 0-4. However, by the interval, Warwickshire had pulled away to forge a seven-point margin on a score of 1-10 to 0-6.

London gathered momentum in the second-half and by 50 minutes were just one point behind.

A Milo McNulty goal and Elliot McPhunn’s second of the game essentially sealed the victory for the Exiles, with the final score 3-12 to 2-11.

Credit is due to Conor Redmond of London, who started the game at centre back before being repositioned between the sticks due to an injury to his goalkeeper in the second-half.

Captain Joshua Obahor, representing Parnells, accepted the cup on behalf of London.