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Fossa A Step Too Far For Harps
Stewartstown 1-13 Fossa 0-19
Stewartstown’s bid to win the All Ireland Junior title came up just short as they lost out by three points to Fossa in a keenly contested encounter at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon. This was a match where the Tyrone and Ulster champions showed what they were worth in terms of talent, skill and commitment.
Stewartstown led 1-7 to 0-7 at the break and they were full value for that advantage. indeed with a bit more composure and self belief they could have been further in front. With Gareth Devlin a constant threat up front, Macaulay Quinn and Stephen Talbot showing the way in midfield and Mark Rooney providing additional cover for Darren Devlin in front of David Clifford they defied their underdogs tag.
Gareth Devlin opened the scoring after he was fouled himself before David Clifford raced through to equalise. A fine score from out on the right wing from Clifford edged Fossa in front. Devlin though levelled matters before the same player turned sharply to put his side in front with his weaker right foot. Macaulay Quinn then landed a neat score before Clifford replied from a free after he had been fouled.
Harry Buckley levelled matters via the post before Dan Lowe and Clifford traded points from frees. In the 24th minute the Harps struck for a goal when the alert Devlin was in the right place at the right time to flick to the net after a cross from the right wing from Dylan McElhatton. Quinn then tagged on another point from midfield as Stewartstown drove home their advantage. Emmet O’Shea pointed for the Munster champions but back came the Harps with a fine point from midfielder Stephen Talbot. It was Clifford who had the final say of the half to leave just a score between the two sides.
Fossa came out for the second with all guns blazing and Stewartstown’s advantage quickly disappeared. Centre half back and Captain Paudie Clifford pointed inside sixty seconds before his brother David scored from a free as well as from play to level. O’Shea then put Fossa in front with a mark before Stewartstown were dealt a blow when full back Darren Devlin was sent off. Lowe converted a free but Fossa then hit two in a row from Paudie and David Clifford.
Stewartstown though certainly weren’t going away and Anton Coyle’s first touch since coming on saw him set up Lowe for a point with his left boot. Fossa though were starting to make the extra man count with Clifford knocking over a free and Buckley scoring from play although it shouldn’t have counted as there was a foul off the ball in the build up with Cian O’Shea getting a black card after the point had been scored. Talbot then got his second of the afternoon to set up a thrilling finale. Fossa though with David Clifford to the fore were able to get the scores that they need despite a fine point from Harps defender Conor Quinn. Stewartstown lost Anton Coyle, Gareth Devlin and Kyran Robinson to sending offs late on while Fossa had David and Paudie Clifford sent off as well as their brave bid for a National title came up just short.
Stewartstown scorers: Gareth Devlin 1-5 (3F), Dan Lowe 0-3 (2F), Macaulay Quinn 0-2, Stephen Talbot 0-2, Conor Quinn 0-1
Fossa scorers: David Clifford 0-11 (3F), Harry Buckley 0-3, Emmet O’Shea 0-3, Paudie Clifford 0-2