Colmcille are in a confident frame of mind going into the Senior Football Championship quarter-finals courtesy of a comprehensive victory over winless Killashee St. Brigid’s in the Round 4 clash at Allen Park, Newtownforbes on Saturday evening last.
Much like Colmcille’s win over Fr. Manning Gaels just seven days previously, the clash between these two sides was all but over once referee Jimmy McCormack blew the half-time whistle with Killashee trailing by 1-9 to 0-1.
Going into their final group game and facing a fight against relegation, it was an uphill battle from the start for St. Brigid’s against the likes of polished performers typified by the excellent Barry McKeon and company.
Four points early on from Niall Brady, Barry McKeon, Declan Reilly and Declan Farrell edged the north Longford outfit into a comfortable lead at the end of the first quarter.
Try as they might, St. Brigid’s toiled throughout and for the most part, struggled to get outside their own half for long stretches of play. The fact their only score of the opening half hour came from a Michael Farrell free underlined this very fact.
Of more concern to those sporting white and green was trying to keeping tabs on a hungry looking Colmcille attack as Gary Brady’s men went all out to boost their scores difference.
Declan Farrell, Niall Brady and Darren Mulligan posted further scores and it was a penalty that produced the game’s opening goal as John Paul Reilly converted from the spot following a foul on Paul McKeon.
Niall Brady and Declan Farrell extended that lead still further on the stroke of half-time, a cushion which made for grim reading for those in the Killashee camp with the wide margin of 11 points separating the sides.
Looking forlorn and out of ideas, St. Brigid’s misery got worse in the second half. Niall Brady and Barry McKeon opened the Colmcille scoring after seven minutes with McKeon pouncing on a defensive error to slam home his side’s second goal moments later.
John Paul Reilly and Noel Farrell also got in on the scoring act soon after as Colmcille pressed home their advantage. Substitute Shay McKeon completed the goal glut with fifteen minutes remaining, collecting a well-timed pass from the imperious Niall Brady.
Twenty points in front by that stage, it was perhaps understandable that Colmcille began to ease up. It was a tactic which ultimately allowed St. Brigid’s to post their only score from play courtesy of a Emmet Skelly effort from fully 40 yards.
Skelly followed that up with a free four minutes from time, but in reality it proved to be the merest of consolations . For Killashee, a harsh end to the summer lies ahead, one which comes with the unsavoury prospect of possible relegation back into the Intermediate Championship which they won last year. COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Padraig Murtagh, Conor Hawkins, Martin Mulligan; Noel Farrell (0-1), Declan Reilly (0-1, free), Francis Kavanagh; John Paul Reilly (1-1, goal from penalty), Gary Murtagh; Darren Mulligan (0-1), Paul McKeon, Niall Brady (0-4); Micheal Kilbride, Declan Farrell (0-3), Barry McKeon (1-2). Subs:- Colin Kiernan for C Hawkins (30 mins); Cormac Hughes for M Mulligan (30 mins); Shay McKeon (1-0) for M Kilbride (44 mins); Brian Brady for D Reilly (44 mins), Dara McInerney for N Brady (49 mins). KILLASHEE ST. BRIGID’S: Pat Farrell; Enda McPartland, Michael Magan, Eamon Farrell; Kealan Cox, Tony Dooner, Michael Skelly; James Fallon, Emmet Skelly (0-2, one free); Johnny Casey, Ogie Campbell, James Willis; Bobby Farrell, Darren Reilly, Michael Farrell (0-1, free). Subs:- Raymond Reilly for O Campbell (42 mins); Alan Milton for E McPartland (42 mins); Shane Cosgrove for K Cox (45 mins). Referee: Jimmy McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets).