Many may have considered that they delivered low key performances in the group stages but St. Mary’s Kiltoghert showed they will have a major say in the destination of this year’s Connacht Gold Senior Championship after they easily saw off Bornacoola last Saturday in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
By John Connolly
St Mary’s 3-12
A driven Bornacoola led on the 15 minute mark after Damien Moran’s well taken goal but it was a high point as far as they were concerned as a clearly focussed and well drilled St. Mary’s took control of the game and never let go.
A third goal in injury time added a little gloss to the score-line but there was no doubting that once St. Mary’s really got up a head of steam, they dominated this contest in most sectors and stepped up the gears as the game progressed.
What will please St. Mary’s was their reaction to the Bornacoola goal. Around the same time, they lost Jimmy Guckian with a dislocated shoulder and should have been in real trouble but Mary’s brought in Robbie Lowe, put Dermot Reynolds in defence and start to pass their way past Bornacoola.
Their fluent movement, particularly that of sub Robbie Lowe, the dominance of Daniel Lowe in the middle of the field and a solid David Tiernan at full-back suddenly cut of the avenues that had been so successful for Bornacoola in the first half.
Once Niall Comerton got their first goal, St. Mary’s grew in confidence and their passing and defensive solidity improved and no matter how much effort and hard running Bornacoola put in, and they put in a sight, St. Mary’s were able to deal with everything thrown against them.
Despite having contested last year’s County Final, St. Mary’s seem to have come into this championship under the radar but the manner with which they coped with Bornacoola’s challenge and the loss of Jimmy Guckian in particular, means they could yet have a major say in the destination of the Fenagh Cup.
The first action was a yellow card for Barry Butler after just 50 seconds but with both sides hitting wides, Bornacoola’s Brian Conroy pointed from a very tight angle, so tight that one umpire initially signalled it wide on four minutes.
Daniel Lowe set up Niall Comerton for a St. Mary’s point after James McGrail’s shot came off the post on nine minutes but Carrick pressure was not resulting in scores and Bornacoola took advantage, Shane Conroy running through the Mary’s defence to point on 13 minutes.
Seconds later, a high sideline ball saw Damien Moran make a good catch under pressure and his turn and low shot saw the ball end up in the net for a dramatic and well taken goal, no more than a committed Bornacoola deserved.
Ironically, the goal provoked St. Mary’s to burst into life with County player Robbie Lowe, not started due to injury, entering the fray.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.