Allianz League Team Of The Week – The Finals

It was final week in the Allianz football league.

Mayo won Division one, Donegal captured Division two, Derry broke Leitrim hearts in division four.

While Westmeath won promotion and booked their place in the division three final after drawing their final group game.

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The weekend will be forever remembered for the wonderful occasion and atmosphere as Leitrim played in Croke Park.

Shannonside Northern Sound have picked their team of the week after the four important games.

“Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution”

We’ve reached a consensus and here’s our team of the week Compiled by Kevin McDermott

Rob Hennelly – Mayo

It’s been 18-years since Mayo last won a National title and that wait looked to continue with James Horan’s side trailing by five points at the half-time break.

Mayo put in a storming performance in the second half and were two points ahead in injury time. Kerry looked to spoil the party when David Clifford was played in for a one on one with the goalkeeper.

The man between the sticks was Rob Hennelly and the Breaffy man produced an incredible save.

Hennelly now has a league medal for his efforts and will hoping its place on the mantel piece will be replaced by an All-Ireland medal later in the summer.

Brendan Rodgers – Derry

Derry secured their first piece of silverware in Croke Park since 2013.

Damien McErlain’s team beat Leitrim by four points in the Division Four Final. Slaughtneil’s Brendan Rogers showed his experience and wasn’t daunted by the big occasion or the huge Leitrim support.

The full-back cleared a late Shane Quinn effort off the line. Had that shot hit the net- Saturday’s story could have been very different.

Michael McWeeney – Leitrim

“Captain Fantastic” was the name given to Mick McCarthy when he marshalled a resolute Irish defence in Italia 90.

The Moniker would fit the bill for Leitrim full-back and captain Michael McWeeney.

The St Mary’s Kiltoghert defender scored a point and played well. Division three football now awaits.

McWeeney was able to manage the Derry forwards and the Croke Park setting so the higher division won’t phase him at all.

Brendan Harrison – Mayo

End to end and drama filled-what a game! The Division one final wets the appetite for the championship ahead.

James Horan is in his second term as Mayo manager and he’s on a mission to travel home to Raise Sam Maguire above his shoulders later this year.

After coming away from their last ten national finals at Croke Park empty handed. Perseverance has paid off.

Brendan Harrison will be a foot soldier on the full-back line in Horan’s future plans. Forwards won’t have an easy time breaching that line.

Boidu Sayeh – Westmeath

Westmeath versus Louth in division three was a battle for promotion.

A draw or win and Westmeath get the glory and A win for Louth and it would be their day.

Both sides used attack as their weapon and both sides could’ve snatched victory. The end result was a 1-10 to 2-7 draw and Jack Cooney’s side will pack their bags for a move to division two.

There wasn’t a blade of grass Boidu Sayeh didn’t cover as hard-work was the key ingredient in Westmeath’s dream visit to Drogheda.

Chrissy McKaigue – Derry

Played eight won eight, reads Derry’s record. Chrissy McKaigue got two points from play from centre-back against Leitrim in their Division four final.

The heartbeat of the team and a key figure for Derry in their resurgence, renaissance and revolution.

Bevan Duffy – Louth

Ouch that’s gotta hurt. Louth played Westmeath for a place in division two and they couldn’t have got closer.

A draw was the final result and for Louth it will feel like a defeat as division three football will be their diet again next season.

To use the cliché “they died with their boots on” in the unlucky failing of their quest for promotion, At half-time Louth led by two. Half-back Bevan Duffy combined with Ciaran Downey to get them a goal.

A goal-scoring threat from the half-backline- not a bad hand to have in championship poker!

Padraig Cassidy – Derry

Mount Everest- the toughest climb and every mountaineers lifetime ambition.

The climb from division four to division one is no doubt as tough. Derry were in division one five-years ago and have left the summit and returned to the foothill with three successive relegations.

Saturday, saw them take their first rest on their return climb and will spend next season in division three.

Padraig Cassidy covered a lot of ground against Leitrim and had the ball often enough to claim ownership.

Derry are on the journey up the league mountain and Cassidy seems to know the way.

Jason McGee– Donegal

Midfield is a team’s engine and with Jason McGee-Donegal have a turbo charged one.

McGee kicked two points from play and along with Hugh McFadden managed to get the better of Meath’s midfield with a barnstorming second half.

The Donegal full-forward line will grab the headlines for getting the scores to claim the win.

The midfield provided the platform and more importantly the ball for the inside line to wreak their havoc on the Meath defence.

David Clifford – Kerry

Kerry’s unbeaten season came to an end as Mayo took league glory with a four points win.

Kerry manager Peter Keane will see it merely as a Stoney path in a long road.

Kingdom supporters will be expecting a long summer and nothing that happened this season would suggest otherwise.

David Clifford created a goal, scored two points from play and the Fossa man is simply a magician with a football.

Ger Egan – Westmeath

“WIDE!” is not in Ger Egan’s vocabulary

Egan scored four frees and converted a penalty as the Lakeside county progressed to the division three final.

Nerves of steel, 20-20 vision and concrete concentration, all the Westmeath centre-forward is missing is a cape.

Michael Newman– Meath

It’s been 13 years since Meath played division one football and next year the Royals will be returning to the top tier.

The Leinster side will be doing it as 2019 Division two runners-up after losing out to Donegal.

Meath’s Michael Newman will be disheartened to be on the defeated side after kicking five points and scoring 1-01 chalked off by hawkeye.

The end result will disappoint Meath supporters tasting their first defeat of the league this season.

The season has given Meath so many positives for the future. This includes the notion that at times on Saturday, Newman was unstoppable.

Shane McGuigan – Derry

Official man of the match-check

A personal tally of six points-check

Division four title-check

Shane McGuigan got all on his shopping trip to Croke Park on Saturday. Many pundits proclaimed before the league campaign that Derry weren’t a division four team.

Officially now-they are not.

Michael Murphy– Donegal

It could have been a disaster. Eight points down after 13 minutes. Five points down at half-time.

Panic? Not when you have Michael Murphy. It finished Donegal 1-17 Meath 1-15. The Glenswilly kicked seven points including five frees and two marks.

Murphy likes Croke Park and Croke Park likes him. A great performance and a medal. A nice way to spend your Saturday evening.

Ryan O’Rourke – Leitrim

If the division four final was a Western film-Ryan O’Rourke would’ve had a wanted poster with his face adorning it.

Derry marked him tightly, the Fenagh St Cailins forward still ended the game with six points.

If the Leitrim team was a Hollywood drama-O’Rourke would be the leading man. The entire county was behind them and the atmosphere was electric in Croke Park.

Leitrim manager Terry Hyland is writing the script for the rest of the season/film and Ryan O’Rourke will feature heavily on every page.