A masterful display from the talented Barry McKeon saw Colmcille win the Minor B Championship on Saturday evening. McKeon, as captain, was the first player to lift the inaugural Glenn Brady Cup - named after the young Granard/Ballymore minor captain who tragically died last year.
Colmcille were always in control of this game but they did find themselves trailing by two points in the opening quarter, after conceding a rather soft goal. Credit to Southern Gaels, they battled hard but were up against very good opposition who had a quality player in McKeon, who made it look so easy with some fantastic scores.
It looked like it was going to be one-way traffic when Colmcille raced into a three point lead within the opening six minutes. Fergal Sheridan opened the scoring for them in the second minute and two minutes later McKeon opened his account with a free. Minutes later Conor Hawkins got his side’s third point with a fine score.
Southern Gaels found it hard to gain possession but opened up their account with their first attack in the eighth minute; Niall Casserley played the ball to Eoin Flood and he was fouled. Gavin Kelly pointed over the free.
One minute later and the Killashee/Cashel amalgamation went ahead. Mark Rossiter’s low drive slipped through the fingers of Colmcille keeper Martin Brady and nestled in the back of the net. They followed that up with a nice point from Kelly.
But Colmcille then took a hold of proceedings. Sheridan was on target again in the 13th minute firing over an excellent score before McKeon got his first point from play to level matters in the 15th minute.
A free from Shea McKeon restored Colmcille’s lead before Barry was on target again with a beautiful effort. Gary Egan, the Gaels keeper, pulled off a great save in the 21st minute to keep his side in the game. However, Colmcille added two more scores before the break. - a free from McKeon and a point from Mark Mulligan - to leave four between the sides going in at half-time.
McKeon was on target again one minute after the resumption firing over a neat score. Two minutes later and Gaels had a chance to get back in the game but Rossiter hit his effort wide.
Colmcille went down the other end and McKeon laid the ball off to Ross McNerney but his shot came off the post. Another free from McKeon two minutes later gave Colmcille a six point lead.
After going nearly 30 minutes without a score Tyler Mateos pointed over Gaels first and only point of the second half in the 39th minute.
Substitute Quinten Lee had a chance to get on the scoresheet one minute later but he hit his effort wide.
The post came to Southern Gaels’ rescue again in the 41st minute; this time it was Hawkins who was denied by the woodwork. Some exceptional play from McKeon one minute later restored his side’s six point advantage before Shea McKeon found the back of the net with his side’s first goal.
It got worse for Southern Gaels in the 50th minute when Colmcille grabbed their second goal of the game through Fergal Sheridan. McKeon finished out the game scoring 1-1 in the space of a minute before he was replaced by Shane Gray.
Southern Gaels’ misery was compounded just before the end when Gavin Kelly was given his marching orders after receiving his second yellow card of the game.
Colmcille: Martin Brady; Vincent Hourican, Gerard Mulligan; Declan Macken, Cormac Hughes, Tommy Moran; Martin Mulligan; Barry McKeon (1-8, 3f); Conor Hawkins (0-1), Mark Mulligan (0-1), Shea McKeon (1-1,1f); Fergal Sheridan (1-2), Ross McNerney.
Subs: Enda Macken for Sheridan (54 mins), Nathan Duignan for Moran (55 mins), Shane Gray for B McKeon (56 mins), Scott Duignan for G Mulligan and Andrew Bleakley for S McKeon (57 mins).
Southern Gaels: Gary Egan; Mel Farrell, Shane Cosgrave; Corrie Carberry, Casey Weafer, Andrew Farrell; Niall Casserley, George McDermott; Gavin Kelly (0-2, 1f), Mark Rossiter (1-0), Tyler Mateos (0-1); Eoin Flood, Mark Murtagh.
Subs: Quinten Lee for Murtagh (half-time), David McGann for Mateos (54 mins).
Referee: Tony Gaffney (Mostrim).