Killoe Emmet Og grinded out a hard fought victory over Mostrim at Maguire Park on Wednesday evening last to retain the Reserve Football League Division 1 title.
Mostrim had chances at the end to force the game into extra-time but the Killoe defence were resolute as they held on for the narrow win.
Mostrim had held a one point lead at the break, 0-5 to 0-4, and were three ahead by the 33rd minute but Killoe worked hard to get back into the game. When they began dominating midfield midway through the second half the game turned in their favour. Their forwards then hit form with Ronan McGoldrick and Eugene Clarke, in particular, instrumental in their fightback and eventual success.
Mostrim’s Alan O’Hara fired over the opening point of the game in the 3rd minute before Killoe replied with three points in a row. Emmet Og also created a goal chance in the 9th minute with Mostrim keeper Kevin Murphy alert to a dangerous ball played in by Ronan McGoldrick to his brother Denis.
Two very good points from Michael Hussey brought Mostrim level by the 16th minute. Eugene Clarke replied for Killoe to edge them back in front but Hussey was on the scoresheet again in the space of a minute, firing over two frees to give his side a one point lead going in at the break.
A fine effort from Denis McGoldrick two minutes into the second half left the sides level but Mostrim hit back one minute later with a goal. A high ball was floated in which Brian Noonan appeared to get the final touch to find the back of the net.
Eugene Clarke then scored a point for Emmet Og but Mostrim were three up again in the 36th minute in a lovely move involving Fintan Coyle and Damien Moran, which was finished off with a neat point from Luke Kelly. Then Clarke responded for Killoe and two points in three minutes closed the gap to the minimum of margins by the 41st minute. Two minutes later and the game was all square again when Ronan McGoldrick fired over a free.
The momentum was now with Killoe as Mostrim struggled to gain possession. Another R McGoldrick free in the 45th minute put his side in front and it was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Ronan McGoldrick raced through in the 47th minute and from a tight angle fisted the ball over the bar. The same player was on target again minutes later after receiving a good ball from Paddy Kiernan and it was looking good for Killoe.
But Mostrim gradually began to create chances again and after 15 minutes without a score, Fintan Coyle fired over a fine point in the 51st minute before Joe Dempsey had a goal effort cleared in the 52nd minute.
Substitute Paul Connell set up Niall Quinn for a point shortly after his introduction but try as they might Mostrim couldn’t get the equalising score as Killoe held out to take the league title.
KILLOE EMMET OG: Shane Fitzpatrick; Aiden Brady, Damien Bratten, Shane Tully; John Lynch, Paddy Hughes (0-1), Shane Clarke; Paddy Kiernan, Cian Farrelly; Thomas Reilly, Eugene Clarke (0-4), Ronan McGoldrick (0-5, 2 frees); Denis McGoldrick (0-2), John Kiernan, Terry McCormack.
Subs:- Thomas Brady for T Reilly (half-time); Ger Carberry for J Kiernan (40 mins).
MOSTRIM: Kevin Murphy; Cathal Smith, Sean Monaghan, Brian Smith; Padraig Jones, Damien Moran, Darren Bloomer; John Coyle, Fintan Coyle (0-1); Joe Dempsey, Niall Quinn (0-1), Luke Kelly (0-1); Alan O’Hara (0-1), Barry Noonan (1-0), Michael Hussey (0-4, 2 frees).
Subs:- Johnny Murphy for J Coyle (44 mins); Paul Connell for P Jones (53 mins); James Farrell for B Noonan (57 mins).
Referee: Aidan Dowler