Gary Boyle savours Warrenpoint's Ulster title
A greater ration of experience, enhanced fitness and potent finishing power that was best epitomised by man of the match Ross McGarry helped to take St Peter's Warrenpoint to the Ulster Club Intermediate football title at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh yesterday.
The Down champions were fully extended by a lively Inniskeen outfit in the first half but imposed themselves more forcibly on the contest after the break to gallop to a seven-point victory.
"This is a massive honour for us and we are delighted to have now made our mark in Ulster," beamed skipper Ryan Boyle.
"Obviously we will relish the opportunity to participate in the All-Ireland series but for now we definitely have something to celebrate," he added.
A lively Warrenpoint opening flourish brought three points from Donagh McAleenan, Aaron Magee and McGarry but they were quickly reined in when Paul Meegan flashed over an Inniskeen point before neatly tucking a clever off-load from Michael Fitzpatrick into the corner of the Down champions' net to leave his team one point adrift.
But with Ryan Mallon imposing himself at midfield and McGarry inventive up front, Warrenpoint seized the initiative again when the latter potted two frees before Mallon climaxed a fine run with a well-taken point.
However, Gerald McArdle slowly but surely underlined his value as a target man for Inniskeen providing the launch-pad for a further resurgence by his side which saw Paul Meegan (2) and substitute Ronan Meegan pirate points which ensured stalemate at half-time (1-5 to 0-8).
It was in the third quarter that Warrenpoint stamped their imprint on the proceedings, though.
Substitute Gary Boyle announced his arrival with a point and then drilled in a 53rd minute goal that paved the way for a gallop down the home straight with Inniskeen held scoreless for the remaining 18 minutes of play.
McGarry's eight points earned him the man of the match accolade although Paul Meegan, who registered 1-4 overall, best epitomised Inniskeen's stubborn resistance.