1994 Junior 1 Championship Win
St Nicholas rapid rise in Louth football scaled
new heights at The Grove in Castlebellingham
when corner forward Alan Reilly blasted two
golden goals to send Glyde Rangers reeling
to their third Junior Championship defeat in a
But it was the "never say die" attitude of the
Nicks camp which proved the vital ingredient,
losing towering midfielder Anthony Briscoe
with a hand injury in the midweek, revamping
the back line accordingly and then going and giving the rangers the fright of their lives. Many expected the Tallanstown men to win out in the end with their greater experience and physical bulk but they had no answer to the Nicks will and commitment. The celebrations were loud and deserved in Rathmullen.
As a spectacle the game lacked any great poise and grace, too many rash tackles for that but it played at a tremendous pace with even a couple of players going down with cramp towards the end as the tension mounted. Although, ahead by six point with nine minutes left, the nicks were just unable to put the question beyond reasonable doubt as the Glyde tried to lift their game for one final effort but the resolve of the Drogheda men was too great and they defended stoutly and intelligently to run out very deserving winners.
The basis for the win probably revolved around Alan Reilly, who like most of his colleagues in attack never relieved the supply of possession they would have liked but whatever ball they did get, they used it wisely. They had fallen two points adrift in as many minutes when Reilly capitalised on a loose ball in front of goal, to blast in the net in the first half. It eased the Nicks nerves and they never looked back with Mickey Reilly, the new full back, and Tim Murphy showing them the way forward. Glyde were their own worst enemies as they kicked a series of wides into the wind as the Nicks failed to score for a full 22 minutes, Gareth Hackett giving them 1-2 to 0-3 lead just on half time.
Rangers defence had looked reasonably sound with Enda Sheridan to the fore they must have been looking forward to the final half into the wind, Niall Flynn moving to the '40' where Alan McCullen had the task of keeping tabs on him. Glyde spoiled the play effectively in the midfield for the first 10 minutes of the second period but kicked away their opening, four wides in five minutes and after that a degree of panic set in as they hammered in fruitless efforts from range.
The Nicks capitalised on the uncertainty creeping into the play and again Gareth Hackett popped up for a crucial score which paved the way for the ultimate glory. Reilly bagged his second opportunist goal of the game after 13 minutes to really leave the Rangers with an uphill task and one they simply did not have the legs to surmount.
St Nicholas: Kevin Powderly, Damien Fagan, Mickey Reilly, Brian Milne, Timmy Murphy (capt), Alan McCullen, Stephen Brannigan (0-1), Brian Pentony, Declan Smith, Robert McKenna, Darren Malone (0-1), Gareth Hackett (0-3), Mark Monaghan, Phillip Kirwan, Alan Reilly (2-3), Sub: John Walsh for Brannigan
Glyde Rangers: Denis Kelly, Ciaran Reid, John Bird, Rory McCoy, Aidan Leonard (0-1), Enda Sheridan (0-1), Noel McKeever, Aiden Sheridan (0-1), David Daly, Niall Flynn (0-1), Patrick Farrell, Michael McKeever, Sean Daly, Paulie Reid (0-1), Pat Moran (0-4), Subs : Alan Finlay for D Daly and John Kieran for Farrell