Jayson Matthews on the attack for Mullinalaghta in breaking away from Killoe defender Conor Moran. Action from the Senior Football Championship quarter-final replay. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Most fortunate to be still in contention for the Connolly Cup after somehow managing to survive in the drawn encounter the previous week, the title holders Mullinalaghta improved considerably in making no mistake at the second attempt to knock Killoe out of the Senior Football Championship.
Mullinalaghta St Columba’s . . . 1-12 Killoe Emmet Og . . . 0-8
While there was little separating the sides in the first half of the quarter-final replay at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday evening last with St Columba’s holding a slender 0-6 to 0-5 lead at the break, Emmet Og were in serious trouble from the moment they conceded a goal with nine minutes gone on the changeover.
Having already landed a couple of cracking points in the early stages of the second half, James McGivney then created the opening for Jayson Matthews to supply the perfect pass into the clean through Rian Brady and he stuck the ball in the back of the net past the Killoe keeper Shane Fitzpatrick who tried in vain to stop the shot.
That crucial goal left Mullinalaghta in a comfortable 1-8 to 0-6 lead in giving them some breathing space, with Seamus McCormack getting the Killoe point in the 35th minute, but Fergal O’Donnell’s side failed to register another score until the 54th minute when Paddy Kiernan kicked a fine effort over the bar.
In between the reigning champions had tacked on another couple of scores through the excellent Jayson Matthews, the first from a brilliantly struck free from near the sideline. Matthews was then bang on target from play as Mickey Graham’s charges extended their advantage to a commanding seven points, 1-10 to 0-6, with 49 minutes gone on the clock.
Killoe had to settle for a couple of consolation points from Paddy Kiernan and substitute Ciaran Donohoe and whatever hopes they had of staging a dramatic late revival were dashed when Daniel Mimnagh hit the post with a goal attempt in the 57th minute.
Mullinalaghta closed out the game with a point apiece from Jayson Matthews (free) and James McGivney and on the evidence of this solid performance will be extremely hard beaten in their fierce desire to retain the county title with Clonguish providing the opposition in the semi-final.
It must be said that Killoe were badly hit by injuries this season and suffered another significant setback with key forward Sean McCormack unable to feature in the replay.
McCormack was sorely missed in the attack who were guilty of squandering several scoring chances in the first half as they shot a total of eight wides as compared to just three for Mullinalaghta.
Splendidly marshalled by Donal McElligott, the St Columba’s defence were a lot tighter on this occasion with three of their points in the first half coming from Jayson Matthews (two frees) while David McGivney (free), McElligott and Rian Brady were also on target.
Killoe’s best players Padraig McCormack and Daniel Mimnagh landed a point apiece (excellent efforts) while their other three scores (two frees) in the first half were registered by Mark Hughes who opened the Emmet Og account with a fine strike from play in the 15th minute.
There was a lot more intensity and a number of tough tackles in the second half as Mullinalaghta moved up a couple of gears in adding another 1-6 to their tally to run out comfortable winners in the finish with Killoe only succeeding in scoring three more points.
MULLINALAGHTA ST COLUMBA’S: Patrick Rogers; Patrick Fox, Donal McElligott (0-1), Simon Cadam; James Mooney, Shane Mulligan, Conan Brady; David McGivney (0-1, free), John Keegan; Gary Rogers, James McGivney (0-3), Aidan McElligott; Jayson Matthews (0-6, four frees), Conor McElligott, Rian Brady (1-1).
Subs:- Michael Cunningham for J Mooney (injured, half-time); Brendan Fox for C McElligott (55 mins); Francis Mulligan for D McGivney (three minutes into stoppage time); M Cunningham (black card, four minutes into stoppage time).
KILLOE EMMET OG: Shane Fitzpatrick; Liam Hughes, Cian Farrelly, Conor Moran; Michael Quinn, Padraig McCormack (0-1), Ryan Moffett; Paddy Kiernan (0-1), Ronan McGoldrick; Denis McGoldrick, Daniel Mimnagh (0-1), Terry McCormack; Larry Moran, Mark Hughes (0-3, two frees), Seamus McCormack (0-1).
Subs:- Ciaran Donohoe (0-1) for T McCormack (40 mins); Daniel Keogh for R McGoldrick (44 mins); Paddy Hughes for S McCormack (54 mins).
Referee: Aidan Dowler (Moydow Harpers).