Celtic Challenge Division Three Final

Derry 2-13
Galway Tribesmen 2-11

Michael McMullan
Reports from Tullamore

Goals from Kosta Papachristopolous and Shea Cassidy shot Derry to a second successive Celtic Challenge title at a sun-kissed O'Connor Park on Saturday.

In a repeat of last year's decider, Derry needed a strong defensive performance, backed up by a heroic goalkeeping display from Leo Passmore to ensure the Corn William Robinson was heading back north.

In a nervy opening quarter, it was tit for tat as both teams were getting a feel for the game.

Derry were the dominant side but after a series of wides, they were hit with a 15th minute Rory MacDonnell goal.

It gave them a 1-5 to 0-5 lead and helped the Tribesmen control the game.

In the closing stages of the half, Shea Cassidy pounced on a loose ball, after Darragh McGilligan probing cross wasn't cleared, to poke home a goal that saw Derry 1-9 to 1-7 ahead at the break.

For the first 10 minutes of the second-half, it was an arm wrestle for supremacy and Derry were pegged back to level terms (1-10 each) after 45 minutes.

Derry then struck for their second goal.  Dara O'Kane's high ball wasn't dealt with by goalkeeper Molloy and Papachristopolous slammed the loose ball to the net.

Karl McGilligan put Derry four points up before Galway sub Reece Ryan - who scored a goal in last year's final - slammed past Passmore and the gap was back to a point.

Niall McGonigle and Passmore were unbreakable as the Tribesmen came in search of a third goal but Derry held on for glory.

MATCH STATS:

Derry: Leo Passmore (0-1f); Mark McEldowney; Jack Conway, Karl McGilligan (0-1); Lorcan McAlinden, Niall McGonigle, Jack Cassidy; Eoin McCallion (0-1), Darragh McGilligan (0-5, 4f); Micheál Murray, Padhraig Nelis, Dara O’Kane (0-2); Kosta Papachristopolous (1-0), Ryan McPeake, Shea Cassidy (1-3, 2f).
Subs: Aodhan O'Hagan for M Murray (27), Thomas McKeagney for D O’Kane (53), Callum O’Kane for L McAlinden (57), Cathan McElhinney, Fearghal McGahon, Keelan O'Kane, Adam Rankin, Callum O'Kane, Ciaran Crossan, Thomas McKeagney, Aaron Campbell, Sé Gallagher, Aidan Cutliffe, Ronan McWilliams, Keelan Doherty, Oisin Madden, Eoghan Quinn.

Galway Tribesmen: Jamie Molloy; Tom Collins, Aaron Barrett, Oisin O’Toole; Conor Corcoran, Bryan Horgan, Jason McDonagh; Rory MacDonnell (1-0), Kevin Walsh (0-1); Eamon Enright, Phelim O’Reilly (0-2f), Ryan Duffy (0-4); Eamon Trayers (0-2), Pádraig Ó Conghaile (0-2), Paul Kearns.
Subs: Reece Ryan (1-0) for P Kearns (41), Evan Duffy for R MacDonnell (48).

Full coverage in Tuesday's County Derry Post.

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