Middletown claimed their second senior county title in two years on Saturday evening after an assured performance against Armagh side Cú Chulainns.
Na Fianna got a great start to the game with a good point from Pauric Hughes and a goal from Martin Maguire, who reacted well to fire to the net after his initial effort was hooked by Seán Muldoon. It took Cú Chulainn’s 12 minutes to get their opener, but Declan Coulter fired over two within 60 seconds. Na Fianna joint captain David Carvill and Cú Chulainn’s Corneilius Duffy traded scores to make it 1-2 to 0-3 in Middletown’s favour. Dean Gaffney was on target from a free but Middletown wasted a good few chances, which they were made to rue after 24 minutes when Cú Chulainn’s drew level with Corneilius Duffy getting a flick to the ball after a ruck developed in front of goal. A good score from Connor Devlin briefly had the Armagh side ahead but points from Ryan Gaffney, Dean Gaffney and Nathan Curry, as well as a well-worked goal by Ryan Gaffney on the stroke of half time had Middletown back in front.
Half time Na Fianna 2-6 Cú Chulainn 1-4
Declan Coulter opened the second half scoring for Cú Chulainns, but they would have to wait 15 minutes before their next score. In that period, Middletown seemed to pick up every break around midfield and they fired over 0-7, three great efforts from Cahal Carvill, two frees from Dean Gaffney and one apiece for Shaun Toal and Nathan Curry. Cú Chulainns got their second goal on 17 minutes with Declan Coulter converting a penalty after he was felled in the square. Ryan Gaffney added another for Middletown and Martin Maguire added a fantastic score after he won the ball at midfield, flicked it by a couple of defenders and finished from long range to put his side 2-15 to 2-5 ahead with ten minutes to go. Middletown substitute, Paudie Lappin added a good score from a long way out and Cahal Carvill got his fourth, as the Cú Chulainn challenge faded. A free from Pauric Hughes from the middle of the field and a score from David Carvill sealed a big win for Middletown and their second title in successive years.
Full time Na Fianna 2-19 Cú Chulainn 2-8