Carrickcruppen 1-12 Culloville 0-12
It was a fairy-tale ending to an unbelievable year for Carrickcruppen as they clinched championship glory with a classy display.
Barry Flynn’s men have been one of the stories of the season. Winning the championship from Division 2B having lost just one game all season.
Once again it was the youngsters who came to the fore for Cruppen, who captured the Atty Hearty Cup for the first time since 2004.
Eoin Woods was heroic. Tiernan Kelly grabbed the game-winning goal. Richard Keenan and Jack Cunningham were superb in midfield and Lorcan McParland worked exhaustingly hard from end to end.
Special mention must go to Oisin O’Hare who nullified Culloville’s dangerman Niall Rowland, although not always by the letter of the law.
O’Hare’s black card midway through the second period offered the Blues a lifeline, but they just couldn’t close the gap.
Colm Watters fired over three of his seven frees to bring the margin back to a goal by the second half water break.
Culloville’s comeback mission was severely dented with the dismissal of Cathal Hazter, who’s personal dual with James Burns was one of the highlights.
Goals win games
With Hatzer gone and a goal the only solution, Kieran Hatzer’s side went for broke, in search of a three-pointer.
The best chance fell to Ryan Garvey who’s sided-footed effort flew across the face of goal and wide.
Cruppen nailed the only goal of the day as Kelly made the most of a mistake by his marker Aaron McCambridge.
The corner back misjudged the ball leaving Kelly one-on-one. The corner forward slotted home a lovely effort into the bottom corner.
Woods was once again a standout performer, and he got his championship final off to a flyer. The wing half forward rose to fetch the throw in fired over after just 12 seconds.
Blaine Hughes gave an exhibition of long range free taking as Cruppen settled the better of the two.
Stephen Loughran continued his trend of grabbing two points a game, while Woods nailed the final two scores that saw Cruppen over the line.
The final whistle was met with scenes of joy as the red and white faithful stormed the field of play.
It was heartbreak for Culloville, who were one of the joys of this seasons championship. They left it all on the line but just couldn’t get back on level terms.
Senior football awaits Carrickcruppen in 2022, but they have an Ulster final campaign to look forward to first. No doubt they’ll enjoy the celebrations for a wee while longer.