A determined second half performance from Mullinalaghta St. Columba’s saw them overturn an eight point half-time deficit into a two point winning margin against Killoe at the Laurels on Sunday last and book their place in the Leader Cup Final.
Emmet Og had stretched their lead to nine two minutes after the break but St. Columba’s then took control of the game and with Rian Brady and JJ Matthews causing problems the Killoe defence were forced into conceding frees which Brady and David McGivney duly converted.
The greasy surface made underfoot conditions poor and the quality of football at times wasn’t good. Rian Brady’s free to open the scoring in the 2nd minute was cancelled out one minute later when Sean McCormack fired over a free.
JJ Matthews shot at goal was hit straight at Killoe keeper Shane Fitzpartick in the 5th minute before Rian Brady was on target again with another free. Brady then turned provider in the 13th minute for his side’s opening goal with James McGivney finishing the ball to the net.
Killoe’s response was brilliant; Micahel Quinn played the ball into Shane Clarke, he forced a save out of Mullinalaghta keeper David O’Rourke but Denis McGoldrick pounced on the loose ball to grab his side’s first goal.
David McGivney (free) and Denis McGoldrick exchanged points before Killoe hit a purple patch. A great goal from Michael Quinn put them ahead in the 19th minute and then two fine efforts from Sean McCormack and Simon Kiernan stretched their lead to four points in the 26th minute. Their advantage was doubled just before the break with a converted free from Sean McCormack and a Darragh Bennett goal from a penalty after Shane Mulligan had dragged down Quinn in the square.
Killoe’s lead was nine two minutes into the second half but then St. Columba’s gradually began to get back into contention. Three points from David McGivney (2 frees) and a Rian Brady free cut the gap to five in the 39th minute. That was down to two in the 42nd minute when Donie McElligott appeared to get a touch ahead of his brother Conor to fist the ball to the net.
The sides were level in the 47th minute when JJ Matthews and Rian Brady added on points. It was all Mullinalaghta at this stage and the momentum was with them. Killoe then squandered a few scoring chances, kicking poor wides.
A free from David McGivney edged St. Columba’s ahead in the 56th minute and a great point from Conor McElligott put two between the sides as the Mullinalaghta men held out for a fine win.
MULLINALAGHTA ST. COLUMBA’S: David O’Rourke; Conan Brady, Thomas McCabe, Simon Cadam; James McGivney (1-0), Shane Mulligan, Francis Mulligan; David McGivney (0-5, 4f), John Keegan; Conor McElligott (0-1), JJ Matthews (0-1), Donie McElligott (1-0); Rian Brady (0-4, 3f), Aidan McElligott, Gary Rogers. Sub:- Eric Sullivan for A McElligott (54 mins).
KILLOE EMMET OG: Shane Fitzpatrick; Cian Farrelly, Daniel Keogh, Ronan Keogh; Darragh Bennett (1-0), Joe McCormack, Paddy Hughes; Sean McCormack (0-4, 2f), Simon Kiernan (0-1); Paddy Kiernan, Denis McGoldrick (1-1), Shane Clarke; Andrew Thompson, Michael Quinn (1-0), Ronan McGoldrick.
Subs:- John Kiernan for A Thompson (40 mins); Mark Hughes for S Clarke (42 mins).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Ballymahon).