LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND 2
After reaching semi-finals and finals in this competition since their relegation to the Intermediate ranks back in 2017, Mountmellick will be hoping they can finally get over the line this year and win the championship, thus returning to Senior status.
Gordon Lawlor’s charges defeated Arles Kilcruise in round one after a fine defensive display saw them run out three-point victors. They had it much easier in this round two clash with O’Dempsey’s second string though, who were outclassed on the day by Mountmellick and they ran out twenty eight point winners.
O’Dempsey’s managed to get off to a dream start. Their midfielder, Ciaran McManus, went through on goals in the opening minute and he buried a shot to the top left corner past Eoghan Keogh.
However, Mountmellick didn’t seem too perturbed, as their full-forward, Colm Coss kicked three fine points from play in a row, before Eoin George slotted another to put them ahead after ten minutes of play in McCann Park, Portarlington.
O’Dempsey’s had a lot of the ball in the opening quarter of the match, but Mountmellick were very well organised and turned them over whenever the Killenard side got near their 45’. Mountmellick thought they had a goal after twelve minutes, but Finn Culleton was seemed to have handpassed the ball into the O’Dempsey’s net.
However, they did get their goal moments later, as Eoin George injected a bit of pace into the attack and went past a few O’Dempsey’s challenges before finding John Connolly, who found Finn Culleton rushing in and Culleton palmed to an open net.
Mountmellick led 1-4 to 1-0 during the first water break but raised the game a few levels and left O’Dempsey’s for dead by half-time. Straight from the resumption of play, John Connolly went from provider to goalscorer, as he bagged Mountmellick’s second, then wing-back Mark Dowling marched up the field to fire in goal number three after more good work from Connolly.
Niall Mullen landed two points from play either side of one from centre-back Darren Fitzpatrick, before O’Dempsey’s grabbed a few scores before the half-time whistle. Eoin Finlay and Darran Finlay put over points, as O’Dempsey’s trailed 1-3 to 3-8 at the interval.
The O’Dempsey’s men managed to get a goal upon the restart, with Eoin Finlay bravely fisting to the net despite Mountmellick keeper Eoghan Keogh colliding with him as he went for the ball. Daniel McCormack and Coss exchanged points as O’Dempsey’s had reduced the deficit back to nine points, but that would be as good as it would get for them.
Mountmellick again upped it a few levels, and before the second water break, they were out of sight once more, with Colm Coss and Niall Mullen tagging on more points, while Eoin George blasted in their fourth goal.
Mountmellick’s forward line were untouchable in the last quarter, as Coss, Mullen, George and Culleton tormented the O’Dempsey’s back line. Coss and Mullen got in for goal number five and six for Mountmellick, with Coss kicking 1-11 on the day and putting in a masterful performance.
Scorers: Colm Coss 1-11 (0-2 frees), Niall Mullen 1-6, Eoin George 1-3, Finn Culleton 1-2, Mark Dowling and John Connolly 1-0 each, Darren Fitzpatrick 0-1
Team: Eoghan Keogh; Kai Byrne, Gearoid Hanrahan, Redmond McEvoy; Karl Donoher, Darren Fitzpatrick, Mark Dowling; Stephen Lynch, Ger Reddin; John Noonan, Eoin George, Niall Mullen; Finn Culleton, Colm Coss, John Connolly. Subs: Ciaran Rochford for Byrne (35 mins), Tadgh Culliton for Donoher (40 mins), Jarlath Connolly for John Connolly (47 mins), Shane Conlon for Noonan (50 mins), Michael Dowling for McEvoy (55 mins)
Scorers: Eoin Finlay 1-2 (0-1 free), Ciaran McManus 1-0, Liam Finlay 0-2, Darran Finlay, Pat Maher and Daniel McCormack 0-1 each
Team: David Nicholson; Eoghan Fitzpatrick, Richie Whelehan, Aidan McLernon; Darragh Bannon, Paddy McCormack, Michael Gill; Daniel McCormack, Ciaran McManus; Darren Fitzpatrick, Eugene Nolan, Pat Maher; Darran Finlay, Eoin Finlay, Sam Molloy. Subs: Liam Finlay for Molloy (15 mins), Brian Behan for D Fitzpatrick (21 mins), Chris McCormack for Bannon (HT), Odhran Gallagher for D Finlay (47 mins), Nicholas Doggett for McLernon (50 mins),
REFEREE: Darren Bracken (Portarlington)
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