Danny Tallon paves way for Glen's Paddy McLarnon Cup success against Crossmaglen
Ulster Under 21 FC final: Paddy McLarnon Cup: Glen 2-12 Crossmaglen 2-10
A rampant performance and two goals from man of the match Danny Tallon paved the way for Glen’s third successive Paddy McLarnon Cup success at Creggan on Saturday.
Crossmaglen had the chances in a wasteful eight minute second half spell.
When Oisin O’Neill narrowed the gap to a single point in the 59th minute, the missed chances came back to haunt the Rangers.
It would have been an injustice, as over the hour Glen were the more balanced team and they should have been out of sight at half time.
“The big difference was that we were creating the chances, but previous to that we hadn’t,” commented Glen manager Enda Gormley. “If you have the ball, you are in control and any modern coaching is about decision making”.
Crossmaglen couldn’t live with the pace of Tiarnan Flanagan who burst through in the fourth minute but his shot was blocked by the trailing leg of defender Shane Farrelly.
In their previous rounds Crossmaglen set their stall out early on but Glen were ready and put the Armagh champions on the back foot.
In the ninth minute Paul Gunning blasted over the bar when a goal was there for the taking. Minutes later Glen were awarded a penalty, with ‘keeper Tiernan McConville shown a black card for a foul on Conor Convery.
Sub ‘keeper Jamie McEvoy’s first action was to save Convery’s spot kick, as Glen were in danger of kicking themselves out of the game.
Oisin O’Neill with a point from 40 metres and a point from the lively Rory O’Connor, which should have been a goal, helped settle Crossmaglen back into the game.
Flanagan went on to spurn another goal chance but Glen finished the half strong with points from Conor Convery and Aidan Hughes to lead 0-7 to 0-6.
Cross mixed up their attack, bringing in Shane McConville and pushing Rian O’Neill inside in a bid to open the Glen defence.
Within minutes of the half Rory O’Connor had cracked home a goal for Crossmaglen.
Danny Tallon came back with a point for Glen and in the fifth minute he was on the end of Jack Doherty’s cross and in a ruck of players managed to finish to the corner of the Crossmaglen net.
Substitute Stephen O’Hara landed an eight minute point to open up a three point gap. Crossmaglen enjoyed a period of dominance but didn’t make it could on the scoreboard, with only a Rian O’Neill point to show for their efforts.
Glen punished them with a Danny Tallon penalty as the champions opened a five point game.
Back came Crossmaglen with Rory O’Connor slicing through the Glen defence for his second goal of the game, to make for an exciting finale.
Rian and Oisin O’Neill hit late scores for Cross but O’Hara’s last minute free sealed the win and ensure Glen’s run of Ulster titles continued.
“I have been lucky to have been involved in a lot of title winning teams,” Gormley outlined.
“But I can’t emphasise enough the number of people who have put these boys through their hands.”
Glen: C Mullan-Young; D McCusker, C McDevitt, O Hegarty; T Mullan, C Mulholland, A Hughes (0-1); J Doherty, C McCabe; C Convery (0-3, 1f), D Tallon (2-2, 1 pen), C Darragh; T Flanagan, P Gunning (0-4, 3f), O McGill.
Subs: S O’Hara (0-2, 1f) for C Darragh (34), C Darragh for P Gunning (58).
Crossmaglen: T McConville; D Cunningham, S Farrelly, J McKeever; A Smylie, A Rushe, P Stuttard; S Morris, R O’Neill (0-3, 1 ‘45’); O O’Neill (0-3). C McNamee, C Kieran; M McCabe (0-3, 2f), C O’Connor, R O’Connor (2-1).
Subs: J McEvoy for T McConville (11), S McConville for C McNamee (HT), T Hughes for D Cunningham (38), C Donnelly for C Kieran (56).
Referee: S Laverty (Antrim).