All-Ireland club champions St Gall’s completed a remarkable double when annexing the oneills.com Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland football 7s title for the fourth time with a 3-9 to 2-5 win over Bellaghy at Glenalbyn.
The Antrim men, who had earlier beaten two Donegal sides St Michael’s and St Eunan’s in the knockout stages after emerging from their group, were pushed hard by their Derry opponents early on.
Eoghan Brown was in outstanding form for Bellaghy and his goal pushed them into a first half lead but a crucial Anto Healy major gave the winners a 1-4 to 1-3 interval advantage.
Ger Doherty slotted a penalty to give Bellaghy, who had to overcome Bryansford, Clonoe and Caherlistrane in the knockout rounds, a two-point advantage but Conor McGourty converted from the spot at the other end before Colin Brady walked the ball to an empty net to secure the honours for St Gall’s.
The competition proved to be another wonderful success with the crowds flocking to the various venues despite the inclement conditions.
There was an early shock as last year’s champions Clonduff and the runners-up Longstone – both from Down – failed to make it out of the group stages.
But the Ulster domination continues, with the northern province providing the champions for the sixth successive season.
St Gall’s: K McGourty, C McGourty 1-3(1f), C Brady 1-0, A Healy 1-2, T O’Neill 0-2, K Stewart 0-1, R Gallagher, S Burke, A Gallagher 0-1, B Martin
Bellaghy: G Doherty 1-0(pen), C Murray, R McNally, K Doherty, D Graffan, F Doherty, J Diver, D Larkin, E Brown 1-5(0-2fs), S Quinn
Referee: P Hughes