ST MARY’S TO MEET HARPS IN SEMI-FINAL
St Mary’s Stephen Coen in possession as Enda Kivlehan of Coolaney/Mullinabreena defends during their Belfry Senior championship quarter final in Markiveicz Park. Pic: Carl Brennan.
ST MARY’S 3-15 COOLANEY/MULLINABREENA 1-9
ST Mary’s took complete control of their Belfry Senior championship quarter final with Coolaney/ Mullinabreena in a what was very much a one-sided game in Markievicz Park on Sunday.
Glenn Young’s St Mary’s showed they are very much contenders for this year’s championship with a totally commanding performance against a struggling Coolaney/Mullinabreena side.
St Mary’s were rampant in front of goal, with Rory Guinan, Kyle Cawley, Stephen Coen and Mark Breheny causing all sorts of trouble for the Coolaney/ Mullinabreena defence. St Mary’s captain Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch was also impressive, driving many attacks which left Coolaney/Mullinabreena reeling.
Leading by five points at the break, Anthony Brennan’s side desperately needed a strong start following the resumption but instead St Mary’s crushed any aspirations of a comeback, with two goals in the space of 40 seconds spelling the end of Coolaney/Mullinabreena’s run in this year’s championship. A goal from substitute Criostóir Davey on 46 minutes couldn’t bridge the gap as St Mary’s ran out 12 point winners in what was a very commanding performance from the 2015 champions.
An early St Mary’s attack saw Coen’s effort go wide and it was Coolaney/Mullinabreena who got on the scoreboard first, through a Shane O’Brien free after Barry Gorman was fouled in the first minute.
St Mary’s hit their second wide before Guinan got them off the mark in the third minute and Cawley linked up with Coen for their second, the goal opportunity was on with Coen selecting to take the point.
St Mary’s were winning the midfield battle as the Coolaney/Mullinabreena kick out was being swept up as St Mary’s started to dominate possession.
Guinan added two points on the bounce, a free on Coen in the 11th and a fine point from play to put them three in front as St Mary’s could have been further ahead, hitting five wides by the 13th minute.
Their lead increased to six points a minute later when midfielder Paul Kilcoyne found the net for the game’s first goal, Kilcoyne being fed by the lively Cawley to put St Mary’s 1-4 to 0-1 in front.
The hardworking Nathan Mullen was impressive for Coolaney/Mullinabreena and the half back was through on goal in the 14th minute. A good move involving Daniel Davey fed Mullen but his shot was excellently saved by Fintan Ruddy in the St Mary’s goal. Down the other end it was Eoin McDonagh in the Coolaney/Mullinabreena goal who had to pull off a fine save to deny Cawley, his shot going over the bar. Coolaney/Mullinabreena needed to score and this arrived through a well-taken Kieran Finan free on 17 minutes but it was cancelled out by a Breheny free a minute later.
Barry Gorman was threatening the St Mary’s goal mouth and his attempt was fisted out of danger by Ruddy. Stephen Connolly found Daniel Davey who pointed a fine score from play which put six between the sides with five minutes to go to the break. Captain Raymond Connolly added another, Mullen involved in the build up as Coolaney/Mullinabreena looked more settled. Another Breheny free was followed by an excellent score by Mullen to make it 1-7 to 0-5 in favour of St Mary’s at half time. If Coolaney/ Mullinabreena got a dream start to the second half, the Markievicz Park spectators were in for a game but two minutes after the resumption it was all over as a contest. Coen, who was being well marked by Enda Kivlehan, was through early on and saw his chance hit off the post before St Mary’s pounced again through the brilliant Cawley. O’Kelly-Lynch dispatched to him and Cawley hit the net on 31 minutes to put them into a comfortable 2-7 to 0-5 lead.
Coolaney/Mullinabreena’s hearts sank less than 40 seconds later when St Mary’s hit their third goal, they won possession with Coen and Guinan linking up with Christopher Kelly who smashed the net.
With a lead of 3-7 to 0-5, there was no looking back for St Mary’s and Johnny Martyn could have got a fourth but opted to take the point. Coen, Breheny and substitute Mark McGoldrick kept tapping over the scores. Criostóir Davey’s made an impact when he was introduced carrying an injury but the goal was too little too late as St Mary’s advance to meet Eastern Harps in the semi-final.
ST MARY’S: F Ruddy, K Coen, L Nicholson, J Martyn (0-1), C Kelly (1-0), B McGarry, G O’Kelly-Lynch, N McManus, P Kilcoyne (1-0), D Kilgallon, M Breheny (0-4, 3f), K Cawley (1-1), S Coen (0-3), R Guinan (0-4, 2f), C O’Grady. Subs: N Rooney for Kilgallon (36), C Breheny for Martyn (40), M McGoldrick (0-2) for Guinan (43), C Darcy for O’Kelly-Lynch (b/c 44), N McDermott for Kelly (53), A Lynch for Kilcoyne (b/c 55),
COOLANEY/MULLINABREENA: E McDonagh, S Barrett, C Gorman (0-1), P Gorman, E Kivlehan, A Coleman, N Mullen (0-1), B Gorman, R Connolly (0-3, 2f), D McCormack, S O’Brien (0-1,1f), S Connolly, S Gorman, D Davey (0-2), K Finan (0-1, 1f). Subs: G Feely for P Gorman (h/t), C Davey (1-0) for S Gorman (45), N Connolly for S Connolly (53), K Doddy for Mullen (inj 58). REFEREE: B Judge.
Prior to throw-in a minute’s silence was observed for Mairead Davey and Noirín Cawley.
Enda Kivlehan of Coolaney/Mullinabreena wins possession as St Mary’s Kyle Cawley challenges during the Belry Senior championship in Markievicz Park on Sunday. Pics: Carl Brennan.
Coolaney/Mullinabreena’s Declan McCormack and Sean Gorman attempt to stop Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch during the Belfry Senior championship quarter final in Markievicz Park on Sunday.