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National News

Vincents Regain Title for First Time Since 1976
Tuesday, 18th March 2008

One of the most unlikely stories of the club football season came to full fruition in the second club final in Croke Park on Monday, as unfancied St. Vincents beat Nemo Rangers to win their second All-Ireland club football championship.

Mickey Whelan has thus been provided with another glittering moment in his career, after watching his side make it all the way to the final, past Crossmaglen, and toppling Nemo

Tomás Quinn and Diarmuid Connolly were the main threats for Vincents, whose flying start was so quick and so shattering that Nemo looked in serious danger of being embarrassed by half-time.

Quinn hit first with a good, curling free out wide on the right. A good effort to open the game. Two minutes later they had a second, Pat Gilroy bundling Derek Kavanagh off the ball just outside his own square. The loose ball fell to Tiarnan Diamond, who sent it over.

It was a hard match physically in the early stages, with two stoppages for injuries by the tenth minute. From that point it became just hard on Nemo.

Connolly grabbed his first with a good run and finish. Nemo could barely get out of their half, where Vincents were running the midfield through Coughlan and O'Sé. Coughlan added a fourth, and Vincents were cruising, both on the scoreboard and in the chances they were affording to miss.

Nemo didn't wake until the 15th minute, when Niall Gilligan found himself all alone after a great build up by Nemo, Savage rushing out to block at his feet. Dylan Meegan fisted their first point over the bar a minute later.

Darragh Breen scored immediately for Vincents, while Kerrigan grabbed one for Nemo. The most important score of the match came in the 21st minute however, the goal which threatened to sink Nemo completely.

Tomás Quinn broke a high ball in the box for Diarmuid Connolly to come steaming in. He slipped it nicely past Brian Morgan in the Nemo goal. Edging into the game, Nemo were suddenly in serious trouble again. James Masters and Quinn traded further points to leave Vincents 1-7 to 0-4 ahead at the break.

Whether Billy Morgan had something to say to his charges at half-time beyond reminding them how good they can be may never be known. Nemo came storming out right from the off, in a desperate attempt to overhaul the deficit.

Alan Cronin grabbed one, Masters hit great points and frees from strange and wonderful angles, Darragh Meegan tried to punch a goal, only to see it bounce off the crossbar and over. They began to overrun Vincents in the middle and up front.

Nemo scored five points in a row, and could have levelled matters but for a poor effort from Masters, a free from a good position curled well wide. It was an important miss. Vincents took heart, and Quinn and Connolly both added frees to leave Nemo chasing once more. Three points in it, three minutes to go.

Masters scored two frees to reduce the deficit to one. No time left, and the title was Vincents for the first time since 1976.

Source - GAA

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