Tullamore's Johnny Moloney accepting the Mick Casey Cup from County Board vice chairman James Murphy and sponsor Ciaran Guinan of Brosna Press
Tullamore secured their first league title in over twenty years thanks to a strong second half performance in which they only hit the front for the first time as the game edged into injury time.
Edenderry had been the stronger side in the opening thirty minutes but they faded as Tullamore gained the initiative and led in the main by Johnny Moloney and the impressive Aaron Leavy they wore Edenderry down and were eventually worthy of their narrow win.
Captain Johnny Moloney noted in his acceptance speech that Tullamore had last won a Division 1 league title in 1994 and they were keen to finally win it again in Rhode.
Tullamore and Edenderry will meet in the championship in the coming weeks and thoughts will be more focused on that than this final. There was probably more talk about the impending U20 All Ireland final than this league game, immediately afterwards with a positive mood evident.
It was a first half to forget for Tullamore as Edenderry were superior all over the pitch and when Tullamore did venture forward a mis-placed pass often let them down.
With a strong cross-field wind making it difficult for both sides, the teams playing towards the trees and away from the top pitch struggled in both halves, with Edenderry playing in that direction in the second half.
They had no such trouble in the first half and cut through Tullamore seconds after the start with Cian Farrell tapping over a point when he could have easily gone for goal.
Edenderry were fully worth their 0-8 to 0-4 lead at the break, with Tullamore probably relieved that it wasn’t more.
It was a role reversal after the interval with Tullamore in for a point through Aaron Leavy with just seconds played.
Tullamore were on top for long periods of the second half but Edenderry just about kept their lead intact and were two in front with just under 9 minutes left to play. A black card for Adam Mahon gave Tullamore numerical advantage and they dominated in the closing minutes.
However, it was not until the 56th minute that they drew level and a minute into injury time that they took the lead for the first time through substitute Peter Fox and they certainly had the initiative at that stage.
It could have been better for Tullamore when Ciaran Burns had a strong shot well-saved by Shane Cummins, who tipped the shot over the bar, to put Tullamore two in front.
Certainly, Tullamore will be happy with their second half showing in particular, while it will not be a half that Edenderry will look back on with much satisfaction.
Tullamore: John Moloney 0-5, 2f, Aaron Leavy 0-2, Diarmuid Egan, Luke Egan, Declan Hogan, Pauric Brazil, Peter Fox, Pa Cosgrave, Ciaran Burns 0-1 each.
Edenderry: Cian Farrell 0-4 2f, Sean Doyle 0-2, 1f, Adam Mahon 0-2, David Hanlon, Alan Harte and Richie Dalton 0-1 each.
Tullamore: Corey White; Ciaran Burns, Declan Hogan, Patrick Robilliard; Kevin O’Brien, Michael Brazil, Paul McConway; Pauric Brazil, Aaron Leavy; Luke Plunkett, Diarmuid Egan, Tom Furlong; Patrick Cosgrave, John Moloney, Luke Egan. Subs: Peter Fox for Paul McConway, Mike Feeney for Tom Furlong, Jay Sheerin for Luke Egan.
Edenderry: Shane Cummins; Liam Farrell, David Hanlon, Eoin Dunne; Mark Abbott, Sean Pender, Adam Mahon; Richie Dalton, David Moloney; Ciaran Farrell, Cian Farrell, Jordan Hayes; Alex Kenny, Alan Harte, Sean Doyle. Subs: Joe Bergin for David Moloney, David Brady for Mark Abbott.
Referee: Fintan Pierce (Raheen).
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