In a gripping Teach na Teamhrach JFC final, Bective held off a late Dunsany surge to get their hands on the Peter McDermott Cup.
For Dunsany it was further final heartbreak after last year’s loss to Curraha but there was no denying Bective, who were able to chisel out crucial scores when it mattered most.
Dunsany grabbed the first score of the game from a Shane Walshe free and it took a while for Bective to find their feet. Paul McCabe settled their nerves with a free and Marty Mulhall followed up with another score from placed ball but Dunsany looked very dangerous in attack.
The men in red hit the next three scores of the game through Pierre Fox, Padraig Maguire and another Walshe free to go 0-4 to 0-2 ahead. At this stage Bective dropped McCabe back in a sweeper role and it was a crucial switch.
Some neat interplay saw Ciaran Breslin point on the run and the hard running Cathal McConnell fired over to level the game on the quarter hour mark.
Shane Brennan hit a great score for Dunsany before Craig Roche hit a captain’s point for Bective. McCabe’s free put his side back in front but Walsh levelled for Dunsany with the last score of the half.
There was still plenty of drama before the half time whistle as Bective midfielder Ciaran Reilly was issued with black card and Dunsany captain Eoin Marsh was then fortunate to avoid the same fate.
Backed by the breeze in the second half, Bective scored four of the first five points after the resumption. The hardworking Brian Cantwell hit a point from distance before Sean Keating grabbed his first score of the day.
Walshe replied with a free for Dunsany but Bective’s purple patch continued with another Keating score and then Dunsany full back Gavin Byrne was issued with a black card for a foul on the Bective full forward. When McCabe stroked over the resultant free, Bective were 0-11 to 0-7 ahead with 15 minutes remaining.
Dunsany were in deep trouble at this stage but in the next ten minutes they ran at the Bective defence and drew free after free. Mark Brennan hit over two lengthy placed balls and then missed a much closer 25 yard effort. The onslaught continued and another Brennan delivery was fisted over the bar by Shane Brennan before Marsh levelled the game with a brilliant point on the run with eight minutes left to play.
The momentum was with Dunsany at this stage and Bective needed someone to stand up. It was Cathal McConnell who rose to the occasion with a brilliant run which ended in a point and that was followed up by a score from distance by Paul Lyness.
Marsh replied with a point for Dunsany and Bective lost full back Jack Grant to a second yellow. It was edge of the seats stuff as the final seconds ticked away.
Keating hit his third point from play to put Bective two clear and in the final play of the game, he won a free which Mulhall fired over.
Referee Patrick Coyle blew his whistle on the kick out and the Bective celebrations began.
Final Score Bective 0-15, Dunsany 0-12
Bective – S Breslin; B Malone, J Grant, C Roche 0-1; D Maguire, J Brennan, C O’Rourke; C Reilly, K Brennan, C Breslin 0-1, C McConnell 0-2, P McCabe 0-3; B Cantwell 0-1, S Keating 0-3, M Mulhall 0-3. Subs – P Lyness 0-1 for Reilly (bc), M O’Brien for Cantwell.
Dunsany – N Flynn; P McGovern, G Byrne, C Harkin; P Burke, D Smyth, P Maguire 0-1; E Marsh 0-3, S Brennan 0-1; K Kenna, M Brennan 0-2, P Fox 0-1; S Walshe 0-4, A Kelly, J Keena. Subs – R Montague for Byrne (bc), C Murphy for Kelly.
Ref – P Coyle (Curraha)
Match report – Hoganstand