North Leinster Colleges Senior B Football Championship First Round
Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore 4-8
Moyne Community School 1-7
Only a solitary point separated the sides when Colaiste Choilm got the better of Moyne Community School in the North Leinster Colleges Senior ‘B’ Football Championship last year but the Tullamore outfit were much superior in the rematch at the St. Loman’s GAA grounds, Mullingar on Tuesday of last week.
Three first half goals shattered the Moyne challenge in another early championship exit and they were in serious trouble at half-time, at which stage Colaiste Choilm had built up a commanding 3-4 to 1-2 lead after playing with the advantage of the wind.
Powered by Declan Hogan at centre-half-back (who occupied the same position on the Offaly minor team who lost to Longford in the 2010 Leinster Final) and with the strong midfield pairing of Owen Carroll and Shane Heffernan very much in control, the Tullamore team added another 1-3 to their tally with just eight minutes gone in the second half to put the issue beyond all doubt.
The fourth goal, fired home by full-forward Jason Darby, was the killer blow but Moyne showed a lot of spirit in never giving up the fight in the face of adversity and managed to close the gap in enjoying their best spell of the game which yielded four points in a row through Gary Maguire (when a goal was on), Niall Woods (a terrific long range strike), Shane Clarke (another excellent effort) and a Maguire free between the 41st and 48th minutes.
In between Colaiste Choilm were denied a couple of more goals with William Molloy having a close range shot blocked while a great save by the Moyne keeper Sean McNerney prevented the dangerous Darby from finding the back of the net for a third time.
McNerney also came to the rescue when getting a vital touch to deflect a Mark Hayes goal attempt against the crossbar and also saved well from Heffernan in a strong finish by the emphatic winners. Heffernan then hit the crossbar and in stoppage time Colaiste Choilm substitute Brian Norris shot sweetly over the bar to leave his side ten points clear at the final whistle.
While the winning margin was a fair enough reflection on the trend of the game, Moyne squandered a glorious chance of putting some pressure on the Tullamore team in the early stages of the second half when full-forward Aaron Byrne shot straight at the opposing keeper Niall McCabe.
A badly needed goal was there for the taking, although Mark Prunty followed up to fire the ball over the bar, but Colaiste Choilm had already stretched their half-time advantage with a point apiece from Stephen Keogh and Hayes.
Tullamore made a great start to the game with a goal from Hayes after only two minutes and a point followed immediately from Owen Carroll before Moyne got their opening score when corner-forward Gary Maguire converted a free in the 5th minute.
Although the north Longford side got back on level terms in the 9th minute with a goal from Maguire who made no mistake from a penalty awarded after Mark Prunty was fouled in the square, Colaiste Choilm came storming back to clock up 2-2 without reply to establish a firm grip on the game.
After Hogan fired over a free, goals from Darby and Molloy in the 13th and 17th minutes left the rattled Moyne side facing a real uphill battle and another point followed from Darby before Shane Clarke was on target for the losers in the 23rd minute.
But Colaiste Choilm had the last say in the first half when Carroll landed a cracking long range point and while the second half was a lot more competitive, the damage had already been done and Moyne generally found the going too tough in falling at the first hurdle in the championship race for the second season in succession.
MOYNE CS: Sean McNerney (Dromard); Darren Quinn (Fr. Manning Gaels), Darren Reilly (Fr. Manning Gaels), Gerard Mulligan (Colmcille); Eoin Keane (Clonguish), Brian Collum (Fr. Manning Gaels), Martin Mulligan (Colmcille); Niall Woods (Gortletteragh, 0-1), Mark Breslin (Fr. Manning Gaels); Ross McNerney (Colmcille), Shane Clarke (Killoe, 0-2), Mark Prunty (Fr. Manning Gaels, 0-1); Gary Maguire (Dromard, 1-3, goal from penalty, two points from free), Aaron Byrne (Carrigallen), Gerard Percival (Carrigallen).
Subs:- Jonathan McCabe (Arva) for M Breslin (41 mins); Michael Reynolds (Dromard) for G Mulligan (55 mins); Daniel Watters (Sean Connolly’s) for R McNerney (55 mins).
COLAISTE CHOILM: Niall McCabe; Kieran Sheridan, Jack Keogh, Brian Maxwell; Brian Corcoran, Declan Hogan (0-1, free), Conor McNiff; Owen Carroll (0-2), Shane Heffernan; Matthew Dempsey, Mark Hayes (1-1), Stephen Keogh (0-1); Martin Holleran (0-1), Jason Darby (2-1), William Molloy (1-0).
Subs:- Brian Norris (0-1) for J Darby (46 mins); John Kavanagh for W Molloy (55 mins).
Referee: Michael McAdden (Westmeath).