Killoe made a storming start to their defence of the Connolly Cup when they scored a most emphatic win over Longford Slashers in a repeat of last year’s county title decider at the excellent Maguire Park in Ballinalee on Friday evening last.
Fielding a full strength side with the return of Michael Quinn a big boost, Emmet Og were full value for their eventual six points winning margin and could have doubled that advantage such was the overall superiority they enjoyed in Round 1 of the Senior Football Championship.
Eight different players got on the scoresheet for the winners and on the evidence of this impressive peformance few can argue with the fact that this talented young Killoe team will take some stopping in their fierce desire to extend their reign as the kings of Longford football.
Having said that, Slashers were minus the services of Paul Kelly (injured), Mark Smith (injured) and Peter Foy (suspended) while Stephen Phillips and Conor Clarke are on the long term casualty list and both are out of action for the rest of the season.
Despite squandering quite a few chances in the first half, Killoe still managed to build up a commanding 1-6 to 0-3 lead with the powerful Simon Kiernan particularly dominant at centrefield while wing back Shane Dowd was also much to the fore.
Denis McGoldrick scored the goal in the 16th minute after connecting with a Michael Quinn centre but Slashers were thrown a lifeline in stoppage time when Colin Smith planted the ball in the net to leave the sky-blues trailing by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break.
But Killoe were in control for most of the second half in adding a further nine points to their tally and Slashers slim hopes were dashed when defender Peter Brady was sent-off for a second yellow card offence in the 42nd minute, at a stage when Emmet Og were 1-10 to 1-6 ahead after MarkHughes shot over the bar.
KILLOE: Cillian Burns; Darragh Bennett, Padraig McCormack, Daniel Keogh; Shane Dowd (0-2), Joe McCormack, Michael Quinn (0-1); Paddy Thompson (0-1), Simon Kiernan; Denis McGoldrick (1-1), Ronan McGoldrick (0-2), Eugene Clarke (0-1); Daniel Mimnagh, Mark Hughes (0-1), Sean McCormack (0-6, four frees).
Subs:- Ronan Keogh for R McGoldrick (49 mins); Paddy Kiernan for M Quinn (50 mins).
SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Dominic Glennon, Barry Gilleran, Gareth Ghee; Peter Brady, Dermot Brady, Brian Farrell; David Sheridan, Michael Brady; Marc Diffley (0-1), Colin Smith (1-7, six points from frees), Martin Nevin; Trevor Clendenning, Niall Mulligan (0-1, ‘45’), Martin Tarmey.
Subs:- Paul Devine for B Farrell (27 mins); Philip Dobson for M Tarmey (39 mins); Brian Walsh for M Nevin (59 mins).
Referee: Derek Fahy (Ballymore).