Sean Cavanagh salutes the Moy's emotional All-Ireland success
AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship final?: Moy Tír na nÓg (Tyrone) 1-10 Michael Glavey’s (Roscommon) 0-7
SEAN Cavanagh described AIB All-Ireland club title success with the Moy as more emotional than anything he experienced during his three Sam Maguire wins as a Tyrone player.
The five-time Allstar led the scoring at Croke Park with 0-5, all from frees, as the south Tyrone outfit capped a thrilling intermediate campaign with silverware.
Not everyone believed they’d even make it out of Tyrone but they consistently displayed their determined streak both inside and outside the county, winning a series of tight games.
Saturday’s final was, ironically, one of their most comfortable outings as they largely controlled the game following Tom Loughran’s goal after just 27 seconds and successfully implemented their counter-attacking strategy.
Colm Cavanagh has nailed the sweeper role for Tyrone and did so again for his club, gaining the man of the match award.
Older brother Sean celebrated with his wife, children and family afterwards and took a number of emotional pictures at the foot of the Hogan Stand.
“My wife doesn’t normally allow GAA memorabilia around the house but that one will be very special,” said Cavanagh.
“I’d been thinking about that (picture) for a few days. Maybe that’s it, maybe it’s meant to be, that this is where it ends. It’s a beautiful day.”
Cavanagh had accepted that last August’s crushing 12-point
All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin was his last experience of Croke Park.
“Maybe it was fate, maybe last August wasn’t meant to be my last day in Croke Park,” continued Cavanagh. “I left that day gutted, walking off and seeing my family and thinking, ‘Surely this is how it ends’. It was sheer gut wrenching disappointment.
“Maybe there was a bigger plan out there. Maybe I was meant to leave with my family on a bigger day like this at Croke Park. That’s what it feels like right now.”
Cavanagh was still just 25 when he won the last of his three All-Irelands with Tyrone in 2008, the year he captained Ireland to International Rules success.
“I had success early in my county career and I maybe didn’t appreciate it as much because it was coming so quickly,” he said. “I appreciate this every bit because I played for the club for so long. I started in the Moy senior team as a 15-year-old, back in 1998, so almost 20 years on I’ve got my first All-Ireland.
“The full-back, Tommy McNicholl, I’ve been playing with him since I’m eight or nine years of age. Karol McQuade, he’s a couple of years older than me, he played me a pass in the first ever (senior) game I played in 1998 and I scored a goal.
“He came on there today with a couple of minutes to go. Things like that, you can’t write the script. I don’t know, it’s the GAA at its best. It’s just emotional, I feel much more emotional now than what I did with any All-Ireland win (with Tyrone).
“With them it brings the euphoria, the buzz, the crowds, but this goes straight to the heart and that’s the reality.”
The Cavanagh brothers were at midfield for the throw-in but Sean soon moved to full-forward and Colm dropped deep to anchor the defence.
The game-plan worked a treat, particularly as they were in full control after Loughran’s early goal when he latched onto a long ball in from Harry Loughran.
By half-time, the Moy led 1-5 to 0-1 and they stretched the gap to eight by the three quarter stage.
Andrew Glennon reeled off four points from frees for the Roscommon outfit, cutting the deficit in half, but it merely glossed the scoreline and the Moy closed out the scoring with Conall Duffy and Sean Cavanagh points.
Michael Glavey’s were reduced to 14 men after the 44th minute dismissal of midfielder Caoileann Fitzmaurice.
Moy Tír na nÓg: N Brady; P Mackle, T McNicholl, T Conlon; A Currie, M Gribbin, N Conlon; C Cavanagh, E Deeney (0-1 45); D Conroy, E Rafferty, T Loughran (1-0); R Coleman (0-2), S Cavanagh (0-5 frees), H Loughran (0-1)
Subs: Conall Duffy (0-1) for Conroy (52), A Donaghy for Rafferty (60), D McKeown for Currie (59), K McQuade for Coleman (61), K Kavanagh for Deeney (62), R O’Neill for Conlon (64)
Michael Glavey’s: D O’Malley; T Murphy, L Cregg, D Frayne; G Patterson, N Morris, C Hussey; C Fitzmaurice, J Finan; S O’Malley, S Comer (0-1), D Ruane; C Heneghan, A Glennon (0-6, 0-4 frees), S Burke.
Subs: T Murphy for Heneghan (20), J Brennan for Ruane (h-t), S Markham for Cregg (62).
Ref: B Cawley (Kildare)