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2022 Waterford Senior Football Championship Final – The Nire 0-10 Rathgormack 0-8
The Nire defeated Rathgormack by 0-10 to 0-8 in the Waterford Senior Football Championship Final on Sunday October 30th at Walsh Park Waterford.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 30, 2022
The Nire make it back to back Waterford SFC titles
JJ Kavanagh & Sons Waterford SFC Final
The Nire 0-10 Rathgormack 0-08
Report By Dermot Keyes at Walsh Park for GAA.ie
The Nire, inspired by Conor Gleeson and Jamie Barron, claimed their first back to back Conway Cup success since 1994, condemning Rathgormack to a third successive senior final defeat.
“We just dug the heels in, put the shoulder to the wheel and we’re delighted with the win,” said Barron, one of several outstanding performers for the men in gold and blue this afternoon.
At the break, the sides were tied on five points apiece with The Nire surely the happier given the strength of the wind they faced. Rathgormack made the better start and opened the scoring through a Jason Curry free in the second minute following a foul on Mairtín Power.
Three minutes later, they doubled their lead through Conor Murray who struck cleanly from the right flank following James Power’s pass.
By the seventh minute, the challengers were three clear thanks to Stephen Curry, who bisected the uprights from a tight angle right of Stephen Ryan’s crossbar. But The Nire replied immediately through Conor Gleeson, who was sent goalward by Kyle Cuddy’s assist.
Dominating the high ball and commanding their own high and hanging kick-outs, The Nire began to settle into the contest.
Dermot Ryan’s 15th minute free left just a point between the sides before the defending champions drew level seven minutes later as Ryan’s second converted successfully navigated the wind. But parity was retained for barely a minute thanks to a finely struck point by Billy Power.
With Sean Walsh and Tholom Guiry in commanding form at centre-field, The Nire’s confidence continued to grow.
A chain of passes linking Ciaran Walsh, Aaron Ryan and Conor Gleeson concluded with a 24th minute point for Gleeson with Rathgormack surely wondering what had become of their early momentum.
Two minutes from the interval, Aaron Ryan steered the ball brilliantly over the bar off the outside of this right boot to send The Nire ahead for the first time. But the sides went in level thanks to a well-struck effort by Rathgormack’s Glen Power, who capitalised on Billy Power’s crossfield pass.
The second half began with a Conor Murray shot cannoning off the post and wide for Rathgormack, one of several moments that felt critical come Tadhg Tobin’s full-time whistle.
Five minutes after the restart, Conor Gleeson found his range with a super point from wide on the left and he pointed again via a free two minutes later. Jason Curry’s 38th minute point steadied the ship from Rathgormack’s perspective but even by then it was clear that they were finding it tough to breach The Nire’s defence.
The fleet-footed Barron, played in by Ciaran Walsh, put two points between the sides in the 40th minute. Conor Murray converted his second point following fine work by Willie Hahessy on the three quarter hour mark but, critically, the next point went The Nire’s way through Aaron Ryan following a short 45 by Dermot Ryan.
With Conor Gleeson leaving the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder in the 58th minute, the game remained in the balance. In the first additional minute, substitute Jason Gleeson sent over a point which left just the minimum between the sides. But the Conway Cup’s destination was sealed barely a minute later thanks to Aaron Ryan, assisted by the brilliant Barron.
Scorers for The Nire: Conor Gleeson (0-04; 0-1f), Aaron Ryan (0-03), Dermot Ryan (0-02f), Jamie Barron (0-01).
Scorers for Rathgormack: Conor Murray (0-02), Jason Curry (0-02; 0-01f), Stephen Curry (0-01), Billy Power (0-01), Glen Power (0-01) and Jason Gleeson (0-01f)
The Nire: Stephen Ryan; Fionn Hallinan, Sean Boyce, Jake Mulcahy; Tom Barron, James McGrath, Dermot Ryan; Sean Walsh, Tholom Guiry; Aaron Ryan, Conor Gleeson, Jamie Barron; Ciaran Walsh, Dylan Guiry, Kyle Cuddy
Subs: Craig Guiry for Ciaran Walsh (48), Michael Moore for Conor Gleeson (58).
Rathgormack:Padraig Hunt; Cathal Crowch, Conor Walsh, Liam Connolly; Glen Power, Mairtín Power, Wilie Hahessy; Declan Hennebry, Michael Curry; Billy Power, Conor Murray, Ronan Elliffe; James Power, Stephen Curry, Jason Curry
Subs: Jason Gleeson for Jason Curry (Blood, 26-27), Jason Gleeson for Ronan Elliffe (42) and Robbie Flynn for Glen Power (48).
Referee: Tadhg Tobin (Brickey Rangers)
A Halloween Weekend full of @JJKavanaghBuses Football Final Action! 🎃
Full fixture details below ⬇️
— Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA) October 24, 2022