Colmcille kept up their unbeaten run in this season’s senior championship campaign thanks to a comprehensive victory over Fr. Manning Gaels at Pairc Na nGael, Dromard on Saturday evening last.
First half goals from brothers Paul and Barry McKeon effectively decided what was a largely one-sided encounter as Gary Brady’s men clinched their place in the quarter-finals.
Fr. Manning Gaels in truth, were no match for their north Longford neighbours and found themselves 2-3 to 0-0 down after just ten minutes of play.
Paul McKeon opened the scoring with a goal after less than a minute, latching on to a fine Barry McKeon pass to rifle past a helpless Gaels keeper Paddy Collum.
The Colmcille corner-forward then turned executioner a minute later as he fired over from 25 yards. Declan Farrell followed that up by getting on the scoresheet himself by evading the clutches of Gaels centre-half-back Dylan Quinn as the Drumlish/Ballinamuck outfit struggled.
It was Barry McKeon who proved to be the chief tormentor and by the 10th minute he all but sealed Fr. Manning Gaels fate courtesy of a well-taken goal from 12 yards.
The Gaels did manage a riposte of sorts and a Pete Collum bundled effort into the net looked to have given them a brief glimmer of hope after 12 minutes.
Collum could and perhaps should have bagged a second goal as half-time approached but agonisingly saw his effort clip the top of the Colmcille crossbar and go over.
A Padraig Gill score from fully 40 yards was the only other foray of note for Gaels fans to shout about thereafter as Colmcille sat on the cushion of a nine point lead (2-8 to 1-2) at the break.
Two terrific John Paul Reilly points, a Declan Reilly free and scores from Micheal Kilbride and Conor Hawkins underlined the gulf between the sides as half time arrived.
The second half appeared to be a case of damaged limitations for the Gaels as substitutes were introduced in a bid to stem the Colmcille tide.
Diarmuid Cooney and Declan Reilly swapped scores during the opening ten minutes while Darren Mulligan edged Colmcille further ahead with a nonchalantly taken effort soon after.
Paul McKeon and then Niall Brady inflicted yet more agony on a forlorn looking Gaels outfit as the contest entered its final eight minutes.
A hat-trick of scores from Padraig Gill and one from Emmet Noonan put some semblance of respectability on the scoreline for the Gaels during the closing stages.
By that stage however, Colmcille had taken their foot off the peddle no doubt influenced by the future spectre of what lies ahead in the shape of this year’s eagerly awaited quarter-finals.
COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Padraig Murtagh, Ciaran Brady, Martin Mulligan; Noel Farrell, Declan Reilly (0-2, frees), Conor Hawkins (0-1); John Paul Reilly (0-2), Enda Farrell; Darren Mulligan (0-1), Paul McKeon (1-2, one free), Niall Brady (0-1); Micheal Kilbride (0-1), Declan Farrell (0-1), Barry McKeon (1-1).
Subs:- Cormac Hughes for M Mulligan (39 mins); Gary Murtagh for C Hawkins (39 mins); Paul Treacy for P McKeon (53 mins); Shay McKeon (0-1) for M Kilbride (49 mins); Brian Brady for E Farrell (60 mins).
FR. MANNING GAELS: Paddy Collum; Michael Kane, Brian Collum, John Paul Farrelly; Ciaran Cooney, Dylan Quinn, Mark Duffy; Johnny Kane, Sean Whelan; Diarmuid Cooney (0-1), Padraig Gill (0-4, one free), John Fitzpatrick; Pete Collum (1-1), Kevin Whelan, David Collum.
Subs:- Cian Brady for B Collum (25 mins); Emmet Noonan (0-1) for C Cooney (30 mins); Darren Quinn for S Whelan (30 mins); Gary Connell for K Whelan (59 mins).
Referee: Michael O’Brien (Longford Slashers).