Minor player Conor Mallon inspired St. Mary’s as the Granard side claimed the Junior ‘B’ Championship title with three points to spare over Carrickedmond in the final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last.
Granard had to play the majority of the game with 14 players after Fergus Kelly was sent off for a second yellow card in the 25th minute and it was tough on the midfielder.
Carrickedmond tried to make their numerical advantage work and although they did got two points ahead just before the break, Granard worked hard to get back into the game and eventually pulled away in the final quarter.
Carrickedmond hit over the first two points but Granard levelled matters in the 12th minute. Points were traded between Robbie Harrison and Enda Kelly before Gary Carroll edged Granard ahead for the first time in the 21st minute.
Points from David Shannon and Keith McGuire put Carrickedmond back ahead by the 24th minute. Granard were then reduced to 14 in the 25th minute when Fergus Kelly was sent-off for a second foul on Michael Cahill.
In stoppage time Gary Carroll had a goal chance but he flicked his effort wide. A free from David Shannon put Carrickedmond ahead by two points but right on the stroke of half-time Granard wing-back Mark Sheridan narrowed the gap to one point, 0-6 to 0-5.
St Mary’s made a good start to the second half with Carroll and Mallon (free) putting the North Longford side ahead by one point. Then Keith McGuire pointed a free in the 41st minute to leave Carrick on level terms.
The final quarter belonged to Granard as they dominated with Mallon, O’Hara and Paddy McGivney particularly prominent.
Substitute Conor Mulligan was fouled in the 47th minute and Conor Mallon stepped up to fire over his fourth score of the game.
Niall O’Hara set Mallon up in the 54th minute to put Granard ahead by two points. Carrickedmond tried to get scores but Granard defended resolutely and keeper Finbar Moran was steady in the goals.
Although two minutes of additional time was allotted at the end of the second half, nearly six was played but it was Granard that got the final score of the game when Conor Mallon converted a free.
ST MARY’S GRANARD: Finbar Moran; John Brady, Paddy McGivney, Mark Connell; Mark Sheridan (0-1), Eugene Fitzpatrick, Finbar Murphy; Fergus Kelly (0-1), James Cassidy; Andrei Bognan, Conor Mallon (0-5, 3 frees), Padraig Devaney; Brian Harkin, Gary Carroll (0-2), Enda Kelly (0-1).
Subs:- Niall O’Hara for F Murphy (half-time); Conor Mulligan for P Devaney (40 mins); Willie Murray for E Kelly (51 mins); Michael Murray for B Harkin (51 mins); John Murphy for G Carroll (60 mins).
CARRICKEDMOND: John O’Rourke; Tommy Cummins, Tommy Martin, Paul McDonnell; Sean Doherty, James Murray, Michael Cahill; David Shannon (0-3, 2 frees), Keith McGuire (0-2, 1 free); Ronan Hughes, Ollie Rogers, Robbie Harrison (0-1); Patrick Egan, Dermot McCormack, Shane McGoey (0-1).
Subs:- John Burns for P McDonnell (39 mins); Eugene McCormack for P Egan (51 mins).
Referee: Enda Duncan (Ballymahon).