Killoe end wonderful year with the winning of the Leader Cup

It took Killoe quite some time to assert their superiority over Longford Slashers in the Leader Cup Final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last but when they eventually turned on the power in the second half there was just no stopping the confident county champions who ended up winning the league title by the wide margin of ten points to complete the senior double in some style.

It took Killoe quite some time to assert their superiority over Longford Slashers in the Leader Cup Final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last but when they eventually turned on the power in the second half there was just no stopping the confident county champions who ended up winning the league title by the wide margin of ten points to complete the senior double in some style.

Young Emmets ended a wonderful year in producing their usual immense workrate in a real team effort when it mattered most to pull right away from a Slashers side who competed particularly well in the first half and appeared to be very much in contention when Michael Brady scored a goal with three minutes gone on the changeover.

Brady rose high right in front of the posts to direct a Mark Smith centre into the back of the net to leave the championship runners-up leading by 1-5 to 1-3 but Killoe recovered quickly and their superior fitness proved decisive as they stepped up another couple of gears to clock up 2-5 without reply in a glorious spell between the 34th and 48th minutes.

Understrength Slashers, who sorely missed the services of experienced trio Paul Kelly, David Sheridan and Stephen Phillips (all out injured), had their lead wiped out in a short space of time as Killoe got back on level terms with a brace of fine points from Ronan McGoldrick and hit the front in the 38th minute when Mark Hughes shot over the bar.

Wing back Shane Dowd then fired over a point after capitalising on a bad mistake in the Slashers defence as a pass went badly astray and after Sean McCormack converted a free, the killer blow was eventually struck in the 46th minute when Killoe grabbed a second goal.

Sean McCormack cut in from the right to pick out Daniel Mimnagh whose initial attempt for a goal was saved brilliantly by Slashers keeper Colm Farrell who parried the ball against the post but the alert Mimnagh got a vital touch to the rebound in finding the back of the net.

And things went from bad to worse for Slashers a couple of minutes later when Mimnagh raced through to create the opening for Mark Hughes to round the opposing keeper before shooting into the empty net and rampant Young Emmets now held a commanding 3-8 to 1-5 advantage.

The county champions played some excellent football during this dominant period to put the issue beyond all doubt and particularly prominent in a slick attack were Ronan McGoldrick, Daniel Mimnagh and Mark Hughes who scored 2-5 between them in the second half.

And thus Killoe did not have to depend on Sean McCormack to get them across the finishing line on this occasion (as was the case in the county final replay) and who is going to stop this talented young team at senior level in the years to come.

Slashers managed to close the gap with a couple of consolation points from frees converted by the Smith brothers Mark and Colin in the 50th and 51st minutes but Killoe were not finished yet and just for good measure they added another three points to their most emphatic tally through Mark Hughes, Denis McGoldrick and Daniel Mimnagh to run out easy winners in the finish.

That scenario seemed highly unlikely after witnessing a close encounter in the first half, although Killoe were guilty of kicking seven wides as compared to four for Slashers who had got off to a good start with a brace of points from Colin Smith, the first from a free in the 3rd minute while he landed a fine effort from play in the 9th minute.

But Killoe hit the front in the 10th minute with a well struck goal from Paddy Thompson after receiving the ball from Eugene Clarke and moments later Sean McCormack shot over the bar to leave Slashers trailing by 1-1 to 0-2.

Cracking points were then exchanged between Clarke and Slashers midfielder Niall Mulligan before Mark Smith fired over a well struck free in the 18th minute to close the gap to the minimum of margins.

There was no further score until the 30th minute when Sean McCormack fired over a free and Slashers replied in the fifth minute of first half stoppage time with Colin Smith (free) on target.

Thus Killoe held a slender 1-3 to 0-5 lead at the break and showed a lot of character in refusing to get rattled when Michael Brady got the vital touch to flick home the Slashers goal in the early stages of the second half.

To the sheer delight of their vociferous supporters who comprised the vast majority of the small attendance in the region of 400, Killoe went on to completely dominate the remainder of the game in outscoring Slashers 2-8 to 0-2 and are the undisputed kings of Longford football.

KILLOE YOUNG EMMETS: Cillian Burns; Darragh Bennett, Padraig McCormack, Daniel Keogh; Shane Dowd (0-1), Joe McCormack, Michael Quinn; Paddy Thompson (1-0), Simon Kiernan; Daniel Mimnagh (1-1), Ronan McGoldrick (0-2), Eugene Clarke (0-1); Denis McGoldrick (0-1), Mark Hughes (1-2), Sean McCormack (0-3, two frees).

Subs:- Paddy Kiernan for R McGoldrick (54 mins); Ronan Keogh for E Clarke (57 mins); Cian Farrelly for D Bennett (57 mins); John Kiernan for S McCormack (60 mins); Stephen Coy for C Burns (60 mins).

LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Dermot Brady, Gareth Ghee, Darren Flaherty; Conor Clarke, Barry Gilleran, Peter Brady; Niall Mulligan (0-1), Michael Brady (1-0); Brian Farrell, Colin Smith (0-4, three frees), Trevor Clendenning; Martin Nevin, Mark Smith (0-2, frees), Andrew Dalton.

Subs:- Ruairi Barrins for D Flaherty (38 mins); Martin Tarmey for B Farrell (44 mins); Brian Walsh for M Nevin (54 mins); Shane Dann for M Smith (59 mins).

Referee: Michael Flynn (Ballymore).