Favourites Drom & Inch claimed the County Junior A football title with a comprehensive win over Shannon Rovers. With conditions far from ideal the mid champions atoned for last year’s final defeat with a fine first half display into the teeth of a biting wind.
The victors were particularly strong down the centre with Seamus Callanan anchoring the defence at centre back whilst Tipperary U21 forward David Butler led an attack that seemed well drilled and crucially took their scoring chances.
Drom captain Jerome Ryan led by example in the third minute with a fine left footed point after a good surge forward from Declan Ryan and two minutes later the mid Tipp side found the net for the first time. Slack Rover’s passing allowed Drom break forward with speed before James Woodllock found David Butler who finished low past Michael Quinlan.
Rovers did enjoy an even share of early possession and the experienced pair of John Flannery and George Hannigan caused their opponents problems at midfield. Yet their attacks, particularly with a gale at their backs, were lateral and ponderous allowing a hungry and physically strong Drom defence opportunities to spoil.
A Flannery free that dropped short allowed Rovers’ full forward Eamon Costello to register his sides’ opening score but immediately Drom responded with another flowing move that yielded a Woodlock point.
Frustratingly for the Rovers’ strong support the North Champions couldn’t turn a huge work ethic and possession into scores and when goal chances did present themselves a combination of rash shooting and fine defending kept them at bay. A fine soccer pass from Barry Cahalan put James Stack through but he blazed a shot high to land Rovers’ second and final point of the opening half.
As the tie entered its second quarter Stack again, along with George Hannigan were denied two further goals with Drom keeper Shane Hassett doing particularly well to divert Hannigan’s shot that seemed destined for the top left corner.