2007 League Finals

2007 League Finals night, as reported in the Roscommon Herald
Flanagan’s find their range in thrilling finale

The O’Gara’s Royal Hotel Roscommon County Darts League ended in thrilling fashion on Sunday with one of the most outstanding finals seen in recent years.

For fifth time in eight years, Flanagan’s Bar, Castleplunkett, claimed the Willie Tiernan Perpetual Cup by beating The Widow Pat’s of Knockcroghery on a 5-3 scoreline.

Six of the eight games were decided in the fifth and deciding leg. The final produced several moments of individual brilliance, notably from two players. The Widow Pat’s Mick Egan hit two 180s, while Flanagan’s Francis Hussey hit checkouts of 60, 100 and 120, the highest of the night.

Both players made these efforts when needed most. Flanagan’s scraped through the pairs to hold a 2-1 lead at the break. Francis Hussey posted his 120 checkout and Brian McCormack included a 15-dart leg in beating Pat Byrne and Mick Egan 3-2, despite a 68 checkout by Byrne and 99 checkout by Egan. Indeed Egan also hit his first maximum of the night.

Padraig Kearney/Gerry Owens failed to capitalise on their side’s lead as they lost to Paul Carton/Noel Connaughton in another decent game. Martin Kearney/ Noel Ryan, after being 2-0 down, fought back powerfully to give Flanagan’s the all-important lead at the interval. They beat Jimmy Reilly and Tony Lyons 3-2 .

An impressive 90 checkout by Kearney helped out nicely in the comeback.

Flanagan’s started the singles as they finished the pairs. Francis Hussey was highly impressive on his way to beating the Widow’s skipper Paul Carton 3-0 in the first one-sided game of the night. He scored and finished very nicely and used his checkouts of 60 and 100 to good effect.

At this stage Flanagan’s were 3-1 up and were looking certain to increase that lead when Martin Kearney went 2-0 up on Mick Egan. As Egan started to find his range again, he added his second maximum, which aided his other fine scoring to eventually turn the game on its head, squeezing through 3-2 over a disappointed Kearney.

In a game which promised more, Jimmy Reilly and his supporters enjoyed a 3-1 win over Padraig Kearney, which levelled the overall match 3-3. Checkouts of 66 and 94 were Reilly’s best efforts. In another very tight and tense game, there was a 3-2 win for Gerry Owens over Pat Byrne. Byrne’s scoring at times was outstanding but crucial missed doubles cost him dearly.

Noel Connaughton stormed into a 2-0 lead in the eighth game against Brian McCormack, which looked like becoming 3-0, but it never happened. Connaughton had a number of chances to win but his efforts just fell short of the mark.

McCormack started to claw his way back from the dead. All his effort paid off as the final score of 3-2 went his way to cement his team’s position as the number one darts team in the county and overall champions of the 2006/2007 Darts League.

Shield Final:

McDermott’s Bar, Ballinaheglish 5, The Elf Inn, Elphin 0. This was a one sided affair as McDeremott’s of Ballinaheglish retained their title with a comprehensive win over The Elf Inn, Elphin.

As a much closer final was anticipated, McDermott’s must be credited for the way they went about their business. Thomas Concannon, one of three Roscommon youths on the Ballinaheglish team, opened up McDermott’s account courtesy of a 62 checkout in the first leg.

Thomas and his cousin David Concannon, also a county youth, duly defeated Matthew Hynes/Padraig Byrne 3-0 to give them the first of their five games.

Joe Elliffe/Andy Fallon beat David Murphy/Tommy Beirne 3-1. McDermott’s completed the perfect start as Gerry Fallon/Gary Concannon overcame Martin Murphy and John O’ Connor on a 3-0 scoreline. Gary Concannon, the youngest of the three youths participating, had a 115 checkout coming at a time when The Elf Inn looked like kickstarting a revival.

Thomas Concannon came out on top in the first singles in a 3-1 win over Matthew Hynes who failed to get into any rhythm. With the wind now truly out of The Elf Inn’s sails, the first opportunity of sealing the match fell to Joe Elliffe and he made no mistake against an out of sorts Martin Murphy on a 3-0 scoreline to cap a very surprising 5-0 win for the Ballinaheglish side.

Presentations of the shield and cup were made by Larry O’Gara, The Royal Hotel, Roscommon town, to the winning captains. The shield was presented to McDermott’s captain, Luke Concannon and the cup to Flanagan’s captain Noel Ryan.