St. Mel’s scored a five point win over Moate Community School in Round 1 of the North Leinster Colleges Senior ‘A’ Football League at Emmet Park, Killoe on Thursday last. Backboned by five players from this year’s Killoe Og team who won the minor championship title, the Longford College displayed a lot of promise in the early stages of the game and built up a four-point advantage. Full-forward Killian Farrell was prominent for St. Mel’s and almost got a goal in the 7th minute when his powerful shot was superbly saved off the line by the Moate keeper Gavin Fleming. Fleming was called upon a number of times over the course of the contest and were it not for his excellent performance Moate would have lost by a much wider margin. St. Mel’s full-back Niall Keenan lorded his defensive lines and showed great composure on and off the ball.
In attack, Larry Moran once again showed his eye for the target. Moran hit an impressive five points while Killian Farrell with 0-4 to his credit also put in a fine performance for St. Mel’s, coached this season by Fr. Joe McGrath and Declan Rowley. In the second half Moate endeavoured to find some way through the tight St. Mel’s defence and closed the gap with three quick points in succession through Liam Cassidy and a couple of long range efforts from Philip Ganley and Joe Keenaghan.
With just three points between the sides, the Westmeath School created a glorious goal chance with 14 minutes remaining. Cassidy delivered a brilliant ball into the path of Stephen Woods but his shot skimmed the wrong side of the cross bar.
That was as good as it got for Moate as St. Mel’s finished the stronger to register three further points in the closing minutes to make certain of the victory. ST. MEL’S: Shane Fitzpatrick; Dessie Reynolds, Niall Keenan, Shane Kelly; John Lynch, Daniel Cox, Ronan Sweeney; Adrian Duffy, Paddy Kiernan (0-2); Larry Moran (0-5), Niall Kelly, Alan Sorohan (0-1); Shane Tully (0-1), Killian Farrell (0-4, one free), Ronan Duffy. Subs:- Shane McCormack for A Sorohan (26 mins); James Heffernan (0-1) for R Duffy (40 mins); Liam Hughes for N Kelly (47 mins). MOATE CS: Gavin Fleming; Paul Henson, Joe Keenaghan (0-2, one free), Boidou Sayeh; Robert Gorman, Sean Bracken, Theo Watts; Andrew McCormack, Sean Donlon; Liam Cassidy (0-1), Sam Moran (0-1), Philip Ganley (0-3, two frees); Stephen Woods (0-1), Robert Hickey, John Corbally (0-1). Sub:- Aaron Farrell for J Corbally (54 mins).
Referee: Frank Toher (Killoe).