Tir Chonaill Gaels claimed the London football title for the second year in a row thanks to an injury time free from skipper Liam Gavaghan as they beat Fulham Irish by a point at McGovern Park in Ruislip.
The Gaels were slow starters in the first period, scoring only three points inside the first-half. It was Fulham Irish who set the pace thanks to an opening point courtesy of veteran Lorcan Mulvey and an early goal from Marty Hughes who weaved around the Gaels backline to bury the ball in the net for the first goal of the final.
Before the Irish goal Tir Chonaill Gaels did get their account up and running thanks to Gavaghan and Liam Gallagher.
Further points from Liam Staunton and David Connern pushed Fulham's lead out to four as their opposition faltered in front of the posts.
In the last few remaining minutes of the first half, the first yellow card was brandished when Aaron Murtagh was cautioned when he caught Hughes with a late high tackle. Which summed up a poor half from Tir Chonaill Gaels as Fulham Irish went into the break six points up.
The second-half told a different tale than the first did. TCG flew out of the traps and looked to find a way back into the game.
Gavaghan got his side's second-half account up and running before Kevin Rafferty found himself with the golden opportunity to narrow the gap between the sides as he was given space to bury the ball in the Fulham Irish net.
Tir Chonaill Gaels went onto score four more points with Gavaghan scoring the pick of the points before Fulham could find a response.
Your 2019 London Senior Football Champions!! #TCGAbú🏆🙌🏽🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/pP0D21moBD— Tir Chonaill Gaels (@TirChonailGaels) October 20, 2019
The final however kept the Ruislip crowd on their toes as the tension around McGovern Park could have been cut with a knife. Liam Turley levelled the game with an excellent score as heart rates inside the ground on and off the pitch raised as the game entered its final stages.
To add to the drama Goal scorer for Fulham Marty Hughes was black carded as was Tir Chonaill Gaels forward Brendan McGarvey.
With time running out on the clock it looked like the final would be going to a replay once again as individual mistakes and solid defending stopped either team from creeping ahead.
Tir Chonaill Gaels could have had the game wrapped up in the dying embers when Gavaghan was one and one with Andrew Walsh in the Fulham net but the Gaels captain fisted the ball over the bar as TCG took a one point lead in extra time.
Liam Staunton replied immediately with a free to level the game once again.
Tir Chonaill Gaels were quick with the kick out and looked to create one last chance to grab the win.
The Gaels were gifted a free in the dying seconds and it was down to Gavaghan to deliver back to back senior titles. The skipper had no problem finding the middle of the posts with a strong wind as he curled the ball over the bar near the 45 mark to seal Tir Chonaill Gaels 18th London Senior Football Championship title.
Tir Chonaill Gaels: .G McEvoy, M McWilliams, .P Butler, .D O'Donnell, A McGarvey,M Moynihan L Gallagher (0-1) A McDonnell B.Mullin .K Rafferty (1-0) (subbed for S Murney) .A Askin (subbed for R Kearney) A Murtagh .B McGarvey (Black card sub replaced by L.Monaghan) D McWilliams (subbed for E. Mageean (0-1)) .L Gavaghan (0-8)
Fulham Irish: A Walsh, M Cunningham (sub for A McArdle), S Walsh, H Dockry, R Sloan, P Naughton, R Morgan, D Givney (sub for B Martin), C O’Doherty, L Staunton (0-3), C Duggan (sub replaced by R Mulgrew), L Turley (0-1), L Mulvey (0-1) (sub for P Friel (0-2)), M Hughes (1-0) (black card subbed for D O’Connor), D Connern (0-1)