Killoe Emmet Og left a blaze of destruction behind them at Devine Park on Sunday last when they inflicted a heavy beating on St Mary’s Granard in Round 2 of the Senior Football Championship.
The manner of this victory will send out a clear message to other Connolly Cup contenders that Killoe count themselves as a serious force to be reckoned with in the 2014 championship campaign.
In truth this contest was as good as over with fifteen minutes played. Killoe blitzed the opposition with three rapid-fire goals that shook Granard to the core. St. Mary’s endeavoured to find some way back but were no match for a strong Emmet Og unit who now have their sights firmly set on major silverware.
Killoe manager Tommy McCormack will know that his side will meet stiffer opposition in the latter stages of the championship and they will have to be less wasteful in front of the posts. On numerous occasions throughout the game, Killoe kicked a high volume of scorable points wide and when faced against better opposition, they will need to eradicate this costly flaw.
Notwithstanding that the Killoe management will have little to complain about with regards to Sunday’s performance. Mark Hughes scored three goals while the talented Larry Moran and the industrious Ronan McGoldrick in the second half also contributed greatly to the cause.
St. Mary’s plan to attack Killoe from the throw-in appeared to be going well in the opening minutes. Granard were on top in the possession stakes and an excellent point from Liam O’Rourke settled their nerves. Killoe however awoke from their slumber soon after to create huge havoc all over the pitch. Their first of five goals arrived in the 4th minute. Sean McCormack was rugby tackled inside the small square and their penalty kicker Darragh Bennett coolly planted his shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Killoe broke through the Granard defence yet again and doubled their goal-scoring tally. This time, Mark Hughes raised the green flag and received a rousing applause from the Killoe support.
It was now all about damage limitation for Niall Sheridan’s team. Sensing a slight insecurity in St. Mary’s approach, Killoe continued to bombard the opposition with fast diagonal crossfield passing. Mark Hughes fired home his second goal in the 15th minute and two minutes later Daniel Mimnagh added a fourth with the faintest of touches to find a way past the Granard keeper Gary Carroll.
Trailing by 13 points at the break, 4-5 to 0-4, it was all about pride for St. Mary’s in the second half. Derek Sheridan encouraged the troops with two fine scores that gave their supporters a little lift.
This mini purple patch was shortlived however and Emmet Og quickly restored order with Darragh Bennett and Ronan McGoldrick kicking points for the 2012 county champions.
During the final 20 minutes, Killoe upped the tempo with Ronan McGoldrick and Larry Moran displaying their eye for the target from acute positions. Against the run of play, Killoe got caught napping with seven minutes remaining after Darren Gallagher broke loose to slip the ball past Killoe netminder Stephen Coy for a consolation goal.
But Killoe had the final say when Mark Hughes topped off a fine performance with his third goal and they can now look forward to featuring in the quarter-finals of the Senior Championship.
KILLOE EMMET OG: Stephen Coy; Cian Farrelly, Darragh Bennett (1-1, goal from penalty), Aidan Brady; Shane Dowd, Damien Bratten, Paddy Hughes; Paddy Thompson, Ronan McGoldrick (0-5); Denis McGoldrick (0-2), Paddy Kiernan, Larry Moran (0-3); Daniel Mimnagh (1-0), Sean McCormack (0-2, 1f), Mark Hughes (3-0).
Subs:- Eugene Clarke for Shane Dowd (half-time); Liam Hughes for P Kiernan (48 mins); Terry McCormack for D Mimnagh (55 mins).
ST. MARY’S GRANARD: Gary Carroll; Joseph Connolly, Thomas Gallagher (0-2), Vinny Nally; Brian Sheridan, Declan Murphy, Stephen Lynch; Liam O’Rourke (0-1), Charlie Martin; Darren Gallagher (1-1), David Hynes (0-2) Mark Tully; Timmy Jackson (0-1), David Blessington, Derek Sheridan (0-5, 2f).
Subs:- Fergus Kelly for D Blessington (25 mins); Eoin Higgins for M Tully (half-time); Eoin Mallon for G Carroll (half-time); Declan Hynes for B Sheridan (black card, 46 mins); Conor Mallon for D Hynes (54 mins); James Hynes for T Jackson (58 mins).
Referee: Donal Kane (Young Grattans).