Goals from Sean McKeon and Niall Brady proved to be the difference as Colmcille were victorious in the Reserve League Division 3 Final on Sunday evening and picked up the Padraic Gearty Cup in an entertaining encounter in Emmet Park.
Padraic Gearty Cup Reserve Football League 3 Final: Colmcille 2-12 Longford Slashers 1-10
McKeon’s goal came three minutes from the break while Brady found the back of the net in the first minute of the second half. That goal put ten points between the sides, 2-8 to 0-4, and Colmcille extended that lead to twelve in the 34th minute but credit to Longford Slashers they never gave up.
Cian O’Nuallain pulled a goal back for them in the 38th minute. Slashers then enjoyed a period of dominance but were unable to translate this to scores, kicking a number of wides while Colmcille keeper Colm Kilbride produced some fine saves.
Points from Michael Kilbride and Niall Brady gave Colmcille an early lead but Slashers were back on level terms through Ross Flaherty and Mark Mulligan, 0-2 apiece. Colmcille then hit three points in a row to extend their lead to three points, 0-5 to 0-2 by the 14th minute.
Ciaran Farrell replied for Slashers before Colmcille kicked over another three unanswered points, 0-8 to 0-3. Slashers did spurn a great goal opportunity in the 25th minute but Ross Flaherty blasted wide after a good move from the Townies.
Two minutes later and Colmcille got their opening goal when Shay McKeon set up Sean McKeon and he made no mistake. Diarmuid Sheahan got a point for Slashers just before the break to leave them seven points adrift: 1-8 to 0-4.
One minute into the second half and Colmcille extended the lead to 10 points; Niall Brady’s initial shot was saved by Slashers keeper Daniel Doherty but it somehow bounced over the line.
Shay McKeon and Francis Kavanagh tagged over points to stretch Colmcille’s advantage to twelve points, 2-10 to 0-4, in the 34th minute.
Ross Flaherty pointed over a free for Slashers minutes later and in the 38th minute he set up Cian O’Nuallain for a goal, 2-10 to 1-5.
Colmcille substitute Paul Treacy fired over a point for his side before Slashers took a hold on the game but were guilty of not making their possession count on the scoreboard.
Colmcille keeper Colm Kilbride saved from Flaherty and then the Townies kicked three wides in a row.
Sheahan got a much needed point in the 50th minute with Barry O’Rourke kicking over two points; his second point came following a save by Kilbride who tipped the ball over the bar.
By the 55th minutes, Slashers were five points behind, 1-9 to 2-11, and momentum was with them.
Colmcille though got a point from substitute Paul Murtagh which helped steady them and thwart Slashers comeback.
Slashers looked for late scores but Colmcille defender Conor Farley was excellent. Paulis Merkelis pointed over a free right at the end but it mattered little to the scoreline.
COLMCILLE: Colm Kilbride; Conor Farley, Daryl Sexton; Joseph Mulligan, Francis Kavanagh (0-1), Cathal Macken; John McGee; Ronan Williams; Sean McKeon (1-0); Eoghan Hawkins (0-2), Niall Brady (1-2); Shay McKeon (0-2), Michael Kilbride (0-2, 0-1 free)
Subs: Paul Treacy (0-1) for Sean McKeon (40 mins), Cathal Sexton for C Macken (45 mins), Shane Grey for J Mulligan (53 mins), Paul Murtagh (0-1) for M Kilbride (54 mins), Stephen Brady for E Hawkins (57 mins), Ben Brady for N Brady (59 mins)
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Daniel Doherty; Barry O’Rourke (0-2), Martin Jennings; Rory Maher, Paulis Merkelis (0-1 free), Aaron Flaherty; Tadhg McNevin, Cian O’Nuallain (1-1); Diarmuid Sheahan (0-1), Martin Tarmey, Ciaran Farrell (0-1); Ross Flaherty (0-2, 0-1 free), Mark Mulligan (0-1)
Subs: Shane Kenny for M Mulligan (37 mins), Aidan Gilleran for R Maher (43 mins), Cathal Creamer for R Flaherty (53 mins)
REFEREE: Frankie Toher (Killoe)