Cois Fharraige make history with Connacht Shield triumph

Cois Fharraige’s Michael O Conaire and East United’s Dean Baily in a race for possession during the Connacht Junior Shield Final at Eamon Deacy Park on Sunday. Photo: Enda Noone.

Cois Fharraige 4

East United 1

A first ever visit to Eamonn Deacy Park paid rich dividends for Cois Fharraige as they annexed the Connacht Shield title on Sunday to clinch a first ever adult title for the club.

Based on league positions, the Third Division Connemara side would have been classed as underdogs going into this contest, but they gave scant respect to league tables and emerged victorious with a solid game plan.

According to Man of the Match León MacLochlainn afterwards: “We play with a simple game plan and it is effective in our case. We don’t mind teams having the ball at all, but when they get into the danger area, we close them down and deny them space at that stage. It is our method of playing and it works for us and obviously scoring three early goals just made the situation all the better”, said the delighted midfielder.

Cois Fharraige allowed East United have the ball all day long as central midfielder Emmett Shaw ran the show. However, while they looked to be in control, United gained little reward in the last third of the park. Sure, goalkeeper Eoin Ó Coisdealbha made some smart stops, but most were from efforts outside the box, as East shooters were kept to long range.

In contrast, Cois Fharraige were lethal in the last third of the park as Chris Ó Biadha grabbed a brace, before Donal Ó Cealliagh added a third by the half hour mark, as the game had slipped away from the First Division side before they had ever really got into the contest.

Any chance of a comeback was quickly killed off on the restart as Michéal Ó Conaire added a fourth  and while Ollie Keogh’s side did pull one back courtesy of an own goal, they never looked like their recovery mission would prevail.

The contest was just underway for three minutes when Cois Farraige made the initial breakthrough, with a simply crafted and well executed goal. Donal Ó Ceallaigh provided the cross from out wide and Chris Ó Biadha climbed between two defenders to get the vital touch to head home.

Thereafter, East took over in terms of possession and Emanual Sha extended Ó Coisdealbha into making a smashing save for the concession of a corner. After a Shaw set piece picked out Martin McDonagh in the box, the central defender could not direct his header on target.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune