By Ian Cooney at Athleague
Padraig Pearses 1-20 Four Roads 1-13
Daniel Glynn’s wizardry in front of goal helped Padraig Pearses win their first Roscommon senior hurling title in 30 years in perfect conditions at Athleague.
Pearses have lost eight finals since their 1987 triumph and suffice to say if they had a player of Glynn’s calibre in any of those deciders since, their famine wouldn’t have lasted as long.
The youngster was immense from general play and frees, hitting 0-15 overall as Pearses finally ended their heartbreak.
Four Roads gave it everything but their best players Johnny Coyne and Padraig Kelly needed more help around them as Pearses hurled with superb intensity.
The Pearses half-back line and midfield slowly set about erecting the foundation for this memorable success. Joint captain Mike Donoghue showed great leadership early on as Pearses forwards hinted that they were in the mood for scores.
As it was, wing-forward Shane Naughton took some of the scoring burden off Glynn, hitting four excellent efforts from play over the hour.
A fine game witnessed some eyecatching scores in the opening 30 minutes. While Glynn, Naughton and Daniel Staunton found the range for Pearses, Coyne, Kelly and midfielder David Dolan made inroads on the scoreboard for the Tisrara side.
However, four Glynn points in succession during the last ten minutes of the half opened up a 0-11 to 0-6 interval lead.
When Four Roads full-forward James Fitzmaurice goaled four minutes into the second half, the stage was set for Padraig Mannion’s side to stage a recovery.
But, unlike previous years, Pearses’ feathers weren’t ruffled and they pounced for a goal of their own in the 45th minute when Glynn’s free from the left wing dropped short and half-time substitute Oisín Kelly took advantage of some hesitant Four Roads defending to flick the sliothar to the back of the net.
Pearses never looked back after that, determined that this would be finally the day they banished the demons from the previous 30 years.
Glynn and Naughton kept the scoreboard ticking over as Four Roads looked a beaten docket a long way from home.
It was fitting that Glynn should land one of the points of the game in injury time to confirm Pearses as champions.
PADRAIG PEARSES: P Dolan; K Daly, K Feehily, E Costello; D Loughnane, P Dolan, E Cogavin; T Seale, M. Donoghue; G Downey, D Glynn (10f) 0-15), S Naughton (0-04); A Finnerty, C Kelly, D Staunton (0-01).
Subs: O Kelly 1-00 for Finnerty (h-t), T Cogavin for Downey (54), J Donoghue for Daly (54), B Fallon for P Dolan (59), D Dolan for Seale (60).
FOUR ROADS: D Dowd; Cormac Coyle, M McLoughlin, C Dowd; S Curley, M Kelly, J Mulry; J Moran, D Dolan (0-03); S Beirne, J Coyne (0-06), P Kelly (0-02); E Rogerson, J Fitzmaurice (1-00), N Fallon (0-01).
Subs: Conor Coyle for McLoughlin (h-t), J Rogerson for Cormac Coyle (h-t), B Mulry (0-01) for Beirne (47 mins), A Lawlor for E. Rogerson (54), C Dolan for Moran (57).
Referee: – K McGeeney.