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posted Jun 22, 2011, 2:11 PM by Kevin Brassil
18th January 2010

Raheny Minor B 3-9 St James Gaels 2-9
Raheny Minor B team secured a very hard fought 3-9 to 2-9 victory over St James Gaels in the play-off game of the Minor Football Championship group semi-final  at Iveagh Grounds, Crumlin on Sunday morning last.  The final is against old rivals St Vincents on a date and a venue to be decided by the County Board.
Having lead at the break by 3-5 to 6 pts, Raheny had to withstand tremendous pressure from a gallant St James Gael fight back in the 2nd half to edge into the final by three points.  
James Gaels started brightly and scored the first point of the game.  Raheny responded with a goal from a free by Darragh Moriarty to give Raheny a lead they were never to relinquish. Points from Eoin Gillen, Eamonn Fitzgerald, and Darragh Moriarty (2) helped to increase the lead before Mark Stevens’ added 2 goals to go into the break with an   8 point lead... Raheny had played great football in the 1st half with some wonderful scores coming from great passing movements with Eamonn Fitzgerald leading the attack.
 True to form St James Gaels stormed back into the match in the 2nd half scoring some excellent points to cut into the Raheny lead. Two points from Darragh Moriarty helped steady the ship for Raheny, before James Gaels scored a goal in a goalmouth scramble to cut the lead to 6 pts. St James Gaels were then awarded a penalty which goalkeeper Kevin Richardson did well to get down to and divert it onto the post out for a ‘45’. Raheny really had their backs to the wall at this stage and only sterling defending by Jake Gill, Mathew Bennett, Mark Sullivan and Ian Fitzsimons kept St James Gaels at bay. Two magnificent points from 2nd half substitute Niall Fitzsimons helped ease the pressure before James Gales were awarded a 2nd penalty with just 5 minutes left on the clock. Goalkeeper Kevin Richardson did well to get a hand to the shot but was unable to prevent the ball going into the net to leave just 3pts between the sides.  Try as they might James Gaels could not breech the Raheny rearguard and a great save by Richardson in the Raheny goal in the last few minutes denied them the score they needed to draw the match.
Raheny had to contend with a very strong St James Gaels midfield and were well served by Sean Byrne and Eoin Kirwan in this area. Mark Sullivan gave his all at centre back and was well assisted in the half back line by the flu ridden Ian Kavanagh and Ian Fitzsimons. Jake Gill had another great game at full back having to give height advantage to the 6 ft plus full forward; he was very brave indeed in the tackle. Sean Snee dealt with what came his way in his corner and team captain Mathew Bennett led by example in the other corner, making great tackles and saving one shot off the goal line in the final minutes of the match.
In attack full forward Brendan Hayes was unlucky to see his shot come back of the crossbar in the first half and some great scores from Mark Stevens, Eamonn Fitzgerald, Darragh Moriarty, Eoin Gillen and Niall Fitzsimons throughout the match helped Raheny gain a great victory. Substitutes Alan Barbour, Cormac O’Connor, Cillian Ball, Paul Harkin, Graham Mitchell and Paddy Quinlan all made valuable contributions to the game.
 The Minor B management team  of John Shatwell and Tadhg Moriarty wish to thank all those supporters who travelled to the game ;also Alan White, Paddy Reid, Eoin Keogh, Davy Carroll, David Shatwell and Colm Woods for their help on the day.