Virginia N.S. 1-11
Belturbet N.S. 1-3
Virginia N.S's strong second half performance saw them emerge victorious over Belturbet N.S, in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 1 Football Final in the 3G pitch, Kingspan Breffni Park.
Both sides took time to settle in the first half, with a swirling wind not helping the accuracy of both teams.
Belturbet amassed three wides to Virginia's two in the opening exchanges of the first half. Virginia N.S's Sean McEvoy had a goal chance in the fifth minute of the opening half, but he was foiled by a superb save from Alex Brennan in the Belturbet goal, who went on to have an outstanding match. James Kelly shot the opening score of the match in the ninth minute, floating over a nicely taken point and Virginia N.S doubled their lead with 11 minutes gone, when Paddy Nagle's shot was deflected over the Belturbet crossbar.
Belturbet N.S captain Calum McGreavy reduced his side's deficit to 0-2 to 0-1 with 14 minutes gone, with a tremendously taken long range free. Virginia N.S almost struck for a goal immediately after Belturbet had shot their opening point with McEvoy again bursting through, only to blaze his rocket of a shot wide of the target. Augustus Saulis was upended in the 17th minute and McGreavy again did the honours from the free to level the match up at 0-2 apiece. Nagle ensured Virginia N.S took a slender 0-3 to 0-2 lead into the half time break with a point on the stroke of half time.
Belturbet N.S almost pierced the Virginia N.S rearguard two minutes into the second half. Evin McCarron sent a delightful long pass into Fionnan Donohoe, with the full forward driving a shot low and hard towards the bottom corner, where Virginia N.S's Luke Gillick was on hand to dive to his right and make a fine save.
Liam Belton levelled the match for the first time in the 23rd minute at 0-3 each, with a fine point, for the West Cavan side.
Matthew Smith quickly restored Virginia's lead a minute later, when he fired over the rebound after McEvoy's effort, had thudded off the top of the upright. Virginia N.S's
John Dolan fielded superbly from an Alex Brennan kickout, to fire over the black spot and leave his side 0-5 to 0-3 ahead, with 27 minutes gone.
McEvoy who was a driving force for Virginia N.S, shot two excellent points in the 28th and 30th minutes, to open up a four point gap for his team. Virginia N.S were dominating proceedings and they tacked on points from Nagle and Kelly to leave it 0-9 to 0-3 with 32 minutes gone. Owen McCormack's tap in goal in the 33rd minute, sealed the deal for Virginia and they added a point through John Dolan, to open up a 1-10 to 0-3 lead, approaching the 35th minute.
Oisin Rooney got a merited consolation goal that Belturbet N.S were good value for, palming into an empty net in the 36th minute to trim their arrears to seven points. John Dolan completed Virginia's scoring in the 38th minute, with a sweetly taken point to wrap up a eight point success, in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 1 Final.
Belturbet N.S will reflect on several missed chances when they were on top in the first half in particular that could have made a huge difference.
Virginia N.S's greater firepower up front was ultimately the difference and they had some excellent performers all over the field that saw them pull away in the second half.
Virginia N.S: Luke Gillick, Thomas Lynch, Donal Maguire, Malachy Walker, Conor Nulty, Oliver McCrystal, Killian Brady, Sean McEvoy(0-2), James Kelly(0-2), Paddy Nagle(0-3), Owen McCormack(1-0), John Dolan(0-3), Matthew Smith(0-1). Subs: Andrew Lynch, Karl Farrelly, Harry Leddy.
St.Mary's Boys School Belturbet: Alex Brennan, Jack Lawlor, Evin McCarron, Aaron Ward, Ciaran O'Brien, Colum McDonald, Ben Monahan, Augustus Saulis, Calum McGreavey(C) (0-2 2f), Luke McHugh, Liam Belton(0-1), Oisin Rooney(1-0), Fionnan Donohoe. Subs: Conor Waring, Owen Fitzpatrick, Josh McGovern.
Man of the Match: Conor Nulty(Virginia N.S)..