Stradbally are Co. Senior football Champions for a nineteenth time after they overcame old rivals and defending champions The Nire in a pulsating decider in Fraher Field this afternoon in a game that had everything, with the Reds claiming a one point win after extra-time.
It was a lively first half with the defending champions making a blistering start going 0-4 to 0-0 in front after eleven minutes with a hat trick of points from the unstoppable Conor Gleeson and one from Shane Walsh.
Daniel Weldon openend Stradbally’s account in the 12th minute before The Nire responded in style as Tom Barron cut through for the games opening goal.
Stradbally answered back through Shane Ahearn before Ger Crowley netted for the Reds following a good mov
Tom Barron pointed for the Ballymac outfit, before three points in succession from Stradbally through a Shane Ahearn brace and one from Eoin O’ Brien to tie up proceedings at 1-5 apiece.
The Nire finished the half strongly with points from Conor Gleeson (two) and Shane Walsh to lead by 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval.
Eoin O’ Brien and Tommy O’ Connors had early second half points for the Reds to reduce the deficit to a point.
The Nire pushed on again though and went four clear as Conor Gleeson and a long range free from Diarmuid Murphy.
It looked as if the defending champions were going to drive on but it was Stradbally who responded well and hit late scores from Michael Walsh, Eoin O’ Brien and Shane Ahearne as the sides finished level at the end of a pulsating 60 minutes, 1-13 each.
There was just the one score during the opening period of extra – time as Jack Mullaney kicked the Reds in front as they held a 1-14 to 1-13 lead.
Robert Ahearne pushed Stradbally two points in front upon the resumption before Conor Gleeson kicked the last score from a place ball.
The final score, after extra-time; Stradbally 1-15 The Nire 1-14.
The Nire laid siege to the Stradbally goal but it was the Reds who held out to lift their tenth county title in seventeen years and a 19th in total.