NEASDEN GAELS 1-11 (14)
HARLESDEN HARPS 2-6 (12)
London Intermediate Championship Final
NEASDEN Gaels are the London Intermediate Football Champions after a 1-11 to 2-6 win over Harlesden Harps in Greenford on Sunday.
It was a game filled with poor shooting as both teams combined for 21 efforts wides of the mark.
Clive Mills and Ryan O’Hare exchanged points in the opening minutes before Darren Lynch calmly side-footed past the Gaels keeper inside five minutes. Niall O’Carroll then denied Mills a goal with a superb save before three points in a row for Gaels levelled the game.
Conor Byrne and Conor Doran pointed from frees while Frank Kane nailed a long range point on 20 minutes.
While Harps attacked in the 23rd minute, there were some unsavoury scenes down the other end with the umpires having to get involved 40 metres from the goal to prevent a more serious incident occurring.
The biggest problem for the Harps was isolating their forwards, as Mills and Lynch looked to have the better of their markers when the ball through gave them a chance to run at them.
In contrast, Gaels knew the damage O'Hare and Conor Doran could do as he had the better of his marker and they exploited it at every opportunity.
Pictures by Malcolm McNally
Tadhg Downey split the posts from wide right for Harps’ first score for 22 minutes and their final score of the half, while Conor Doran and Byrne points saw Gaels lead 0-6 to 1-2 at the break.
O’Hare pointed twice after the restart for Gaels with Lynch keeping the Harps’ scoreboard ticking over.
Harps introduced Daniel Somers with an immediate effect. His point narrowed the margin to one before a defence-splitting run gave John Rafferty the space to get his side’s second goal. Ciaran Houlihan pointed for a three-point lead for Harps but then they withdrew into themselves.
Conor Doran was instrumental in the Gaels’ revival as the forward line were at times back in corner back positions to win ball and counter.
Doran tracked back and burst forward for their first score for 10 minutes and added another after O’Hare pointed from a free to tie the game with seven minutes left.
Then, Dara King provided the moment of magic for man of the match O’Hare to score the match-winning goal with two minutes remaining. Despite their efforts, Harps shot two wides in injury-time as well as a consolation point from wing back Rónán McGee.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Man of the match
Ryan O’Hare (Neasden Gaels). A fine performance capped with the winning goal to send his side up to senior level
Neasden Gaels: N O’Carroll; T Connolly, K Geraghty, C Flanagan; J McGauley, C McGoldrick, D King; F McMullin (c), A Flanagan; D Farrelly, C Doran (0-4), F Kane (0-1); C Byrne (0-2), S Doran, R O’Hare (1-4).
Harlesden Harps: E Mylotte; J Mannion (D Somers (0-1), R Reid, P Rafferty; T Downey (0-1), S O Halloran, R McGee (0-1); B O Mahoney, J Minihan; C Houlihan (0-1), J Rafferty (1-0), Ashley O Halloran; C Mills (0-1), D Lynch (1-1), J O Donovan.