A strong finish from Clonguish saw them make a winning start to this year’s Senior Football Championship in a game that failed miserably to live up to expectations.
Previous meetings between these two sides have always been tight and entertaining but the latest clash at Emmet Park in Killoe on Sunday evening last was a let-down.
St. Columba’s had enough chances to get something out of the game but squandered a number of scoring opportunities in the second half.
Just when it looked like the Mullinalaghta side could get back into the game midway through the second half a stunning effort from Joe O’Brien put Clonguish ahead by three and it set them on their way and they then went on to score four points without reply.
It was O’Brien who got Clonguish off the mark with just one minute gone on the clock. He followed that effort up with an excellent point moments later. Paul Barden added a third point in the 9th minute as Clonguish made a good start to the game.
A fantastic point from James McGivney in the 10th minute got St. Columba’s first score. They had a chance to add another point in the 14th minute but Brendan Burke did well to intercept Shane Mulligan’s attempted pass to his brother Kevin.
In the 17th minute Eoin Keane got Clonguish’s fourth point but two minutes later Mel Dermody put over a fine effort to cut the gap to two. But then Clonguish began to take control and added further points to their tally.
An excellent score from wing back Darren Quinn in the20th minute restored their three point advantage. A free from Paddy Dowd three minutes later and a neat effort from Stephen McLoughlin gave Clonguish a five point lead by the 24th minute.
Mullinalaghta could have grabbed a goal four minutes before the break. Donal McElligott played the ball into John Keegan and he flicked it towards the goal but Clonguish keeper Stephen Watters got a slight touch to prevent the ball from going into the net. Two minutes later a James McGivney free closed the gap as Clonguish led by 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.
Another free from McGivney three minutes into the second half cut the deficit again but Clonguish responded with a superb point from Paddy Dowd. Then St. Columba’s started to come more into the game. A free from James McGivney and a fisted effort from John Keegan left two between the sides in the 37th minute but then they wasted several chances to score further points during a dominant spell.
This proved to be costly and the game turned in Clonguish’s favour in the 45th minute when Joe O’Brien fired over a fantastic point and it was just the boost they needed. St. Columba’s lack of discipline allowed Paddy Dowd to convert three frees in a row to give Clonguish a six point lead with four minutes to play.
Paul Barden fired over another fine score in the 59th minute before Mullinalaghta grabbed a couple of late consolation points through Donal McElligott and JJ Matthews.
CLONGUISH: Stephen Watters; Brendan Devine, Brendan Burke, Anthony Watters; Darren Quinn (0-1), Enda Williams, Padraig Cooney; David Barden, David Faughnan; Stephen McLoughlin (0-1), Paul Barden (0-2), Paddy Dowd (0-5, four frees); Kevin Burke, Joe O’Brien (0-3), Eoin Keane (0-1)
Subs:- Shane O’Brien for E Keane (49 mins); Colin Clarke for S McLoughlin (60 mins).
MULLINALAGHTA ST. COLUMBA’S: Patrick Rogers; Bernard Donohoe, Thomas McCabe, Francis Mulligan; Conan Brady, Donal McElligott (0-1), Shane Mulligan; Ruairi McElligott, John Keegan (0-1); Mel Dermody (0-1), James McGivney (0-4, three frees), Simon Cadam; Kevin Mulligan, Gary Rogers, JJ Matthews (0-1).
Sub:- Conor McElligott for M Dermody (34 mins).
Referee: John Bannon