Glen 2-10 St Brigid's 1-12: Glen won their first All-Ireland club title in a thrilling Croke Park decider.

  • By Matt Gould
  • BBC Sport NI at Croke Park

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Highlights: Glass helps Glenn to All-Ireland victory

The Glen won their first All-Ireland club football title, defeating St Brigid's in a thrilling decider at Croke Park.

In an enthralling final that went down to the wire, the Ulster champions scored crucial goals from Jody McDermott and Conor Glass as St Brigid's won by a point despite trailing for most of the game.

In a thrilling and nail-biting finish, Glen moved two clear thanks to a wonderful Conor Glass goal and Shane Gunnane reduced the deficit to the minimum in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Cunnane had a chance to save St Brigid's with a last-gasp save but sent it wide, prompting scenes of euphoria among the Glenn supporters before referee Brendan Cawley blew his whistle. A first Derry title in 2021.

It was the sweetest kind of redemption for Wattie Graham after a painful and highly controversial defeat by Kilmagud Crokes in last year's All-Ireland final.

It would be a bitter pill to swallow for St Brigid's, whose Ben O'Carroll starred and Brian Derwin's goal early in the second half caused the Glen all sorts of problems.

It was a far cry from Glenn's perfect performance. Great for big spells, however they dug deep and pressed to the final whistle, now synonymous with Malachi O'Rourke's side.

A one-point win would see the Andy Merrigan Cup go to Oak Leaf County for the fourth straight time, after one win each for Bellaghi, Lavie and Ballindery.

Having avenged last year's final defeat by defeating Kilmacut in the semi-finals, many considered the Glen favorites when they returned to Croke Park.

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But it was St Brigid's who shone brightly for much of the first half, led by the irrepressible Ben O'Carroll, with the Roscommon forward severely testing his man-marking skills in a 0-3 deficit to Michael Warnock.

St. Brigid's was thick at the back, especially with Piers Frost.

The Connacht champions got their noses in early through Brian Stack and Emmet Bradley soon hit the Glen's first two scores, with Cathal Mulholland and Ciaran McFall shots both going in a disappointing opening quarter for the Derry side.

By contrast, Brigid looked dangerous every time she flooded forward. Quick in transition and adept at getting the early ball to O'Carroll, they certainly went in at the break wondering how they had only got eight points on the board.

While the likes of Eddie Nolan and Ruidri Fallon had lovely scores from play, Robbie Dolan should have done better when he singled out Tiernan Flanagan, who shot straight at the Glenn forward.

Flanagan's embarrassments were averted, however, as his horribly misdirected pass floated straight into the hands of Fallon, O'Carroll unable to find the back of Conlan Bradley's net after Fallon's excellent rise.

With St Brigid's four up and looking to be in the ascendancy, the game turned at once when Glenn McDermott repped Cormack Sheehy's net before Ethan Doherty's score was repped by Danny Tallon to make it two-in. State of -a-row Ulster champions before the break.

Class Cole inspires Glenn in a frantic finale

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Jodie McDermott's goal helped the Glen get back into the game after a dominant first half by St Brigid's.

Despite Glenn's surge late in the first half to restore parity, Bridget's were not fazed and immediately regained control on the restart, then Brian Derwin's green flag was found by O'Carroll, who was marked by Ryan Duggan in the second half. Warn of severe headaches first.

Derwin then scored a spectacular score with the outside of his right boot.

Although Glass responded to bring Glenn back within three, Glenn's cause suffered when Cathal Mulholland was black-carded following a 48th-minute challenge with Bobby Nugent.

Ruaidhri Fallon and Eddie Nolan scored either side of Emmet Bradley for the Glen to ensure the Roscommon club held a four-point lead with six minutes remaining.

However, after Michael Warnock's much-needed score brought Glen within striking distance, Glass collected a McCuckian pass out of the air, got past his man and unleashed an unstoppable right-footed shot that went past Bridget's keeper Cormac Sheehy. stepped away from his line.

Scores from Bradley and McGuckian at the start of the five extra minutes gave the Glen a slight breathing room, and although Cunnan gave St Brigid's hope, his last ditch free went in what proved to be a thrilling finale. Their seats until the final whistle.

There were remarkable displays at full-time as the Glenn players released all the emotions they have felt over the past 12 months.

Glenn: Conlan Bradley; Connor Carville, Ryan Dougan, Michael Warnock (0-1); Jodie McDermott (1-0), Ciaran McFall (0-1), Cathal Mulholland; Conor Glass (1-2, 1 '45), Emmet Bradley (0-4, 3f); Eunan Mulholland, Conleth McCuggian (0-1), Ethan Doherty (0-1); Tiernan Flanagan, Danny Tallon, Alex Doherty.

Companions: E Conor Convery for Mulholland (27 mins), Stevie O'Hara for Carville (44 mins), Cahir McCabe a Doherty (55 mins).

St. Brigid's: Cormac Sheehy; Robbie Dolan, Brian Stock (0-1), Piers Frost; Ruaidhri Fallon (0-2), Alan Daly, Ronan Stack; Eddie Nolan (0-2), Shane Cunnane (0-1f); Bobby Nugent (0-1), Paul McGrath, Conor Hand; Ben O'Carroll (0-3, 2m, 1m), Brian Derwin (1-1), Ciaran Sucre (0-1).

Companions: John Cunningham for Derwin (45 mins), Connor Gleeson for Nugent (56 mins).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).

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