Clan na Gael 1-17 St Paul’s 0-10
Championships are never easy to come by, but having someone of the class of Stefan Campbell is certainly half the battle.
The star forward not only contributed 0-8 of his sides final tally but worked veraciously hard all evening long.
Clan na Gael were full value for their victory and were in complete control of the contest from start to finish.
Of course, it was far from a one-man show, and there were plenty of players in blue and white that caught the eye.
Shane McPartlan was once again in great from, as were Niall Henderson, Sean Farren and Jamie Brady.
Aaron McCreanor had plenty of help in dealing with the threat posed by Andrew Murnin and successfully completed his job of batting away any ball into the full forward.
St Paul’s were reliant on the accuracy of Eoin McConville from frees and didn’t register a score from play until the 51st minute.
Clans were well on top all over the field and started the brighter of the two with Campbell and Niall McCann (mark) claiming the first two scores.
Their opponents did get back on level terms as McConville slotted over two long range frees, but it was all Clan na Gael for the remainder of the game.
The blue wave crashed through the St Paul’s defence, led by Campbell, who kicked five points on the trot with two coming from play.
The last was an outstanding effort as Clans quickly turned defence into attack after a long ball to Murnin was dispossessed and worked up the field.
‘Soupy’ waved his magic wand and sailed the ball over the bar before winning the resulting kick out and sending through Niall Henderson for a score.
The sides traded points for the remaining minutes, McConville hitting his third and fourth to match scores from McPartlan (45) and Niall Loney.
This left Clans six up at the half time break, with McConville the only man in the green, white and gold to register a score. 0-10 to 0-4.
St Paul’s deadly free taker drove over his fifth as Campbell raised another white flag for Clans, this time with his left foot.
Captain Ronan Austin scrapped the paint off the crossbar with a score while McPartlan found the target from the dead ball.
Peadar Nash became his sides second scorer on the 41st minute with a pointed free before Campbell once again found the target following good work from Jamie Brady.
Niall McCann and McPartlan continued their scoring form while McConville nipped in with a point just before the water break, the score now 0-16 to 0-7.
St Paul’s probably played their best football in the last quarter and had plenty of possession, but needed a goal to get back into the game and never looked like getting one.
Aaron Hare recorded their first score from play after being sprung from the bench while Nash also hit a huge point.
But Clans were out of sight. And they hammered home their winning form with the only goal of the game coming in the 63rd minute.
A brilliant move up the field saw the ball worked to Lennox Camara and the youngster showed a cool head in burying the ball to the corner of the net.
While Campbell didn’t get the Clans goal, it’s worth mentioning that he was the one who turned the ball over in his defence, beginning the move that ended in the three-pointer.
Caolan Campbell tagged on the last score and the final whistle was met with scenes of joy from the Clan na Gael faithful.
The Clans will now look forward to getting back to the top drawer of Armagh club football and as Ronan Austin put it in his captains speech, “The future is bright, the future is blue and white”.
Clan na Gael Scorers: Stefan Campbell (0-8), Shane McPartlan (0-3), Lennox Camara (1-0), Niall McCann (0-2), Ronan Austin (0-1), Niall Loney (0-1), Niall Henderson (0-1), Caolan Campbell (0-1).
St Paul’s Scorers: Eoin McConville (0-6), Peadar Nash (0-2), Aaron Hare (0-1).