If anyone had any doubts that Melvin Gaels are in with a genuine shout to win a first ever AIB Connacht Club title for Leitrim, they were banished last Sunday in devastating fashion when the Kinlough men demolished Coolaney Mullinabreena in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
By John Connolly
Melvin Gaels 2-21
Coolaney Mullinabreena 0-7
A 20 point victory is normally regarded as some sort of fluke result but there is no doubting that Melvin Gaels were more than worth their incredible winning margin, setting down a marker that they will be the team to beat in this year’s Provincial Intermediate championship.
Any hopes the Sligo men, fresh from winning the Sligo title just a week previously in a replay that went to extra-time, were ruthlessly swept aside by the Kinlough men once they found their stride with Emlyn Mulligan’s 16th minute penalty.
Up to then, Coolaney had more than matched the Leitrim champions and led by a point when young Criostoir Davey, still a Minor next year, broke through on goal and looked certain to goal only for Jesse McGuinness to make a wonderful save to deny the Sligo men a goal.
Who knows what would have happened had Davey found the net but what happened afterwards suggests that it wouldn’t have mattered as Melvin Gaels upped the intensity and simply over-ran a Coolaney Mullinabreena outfit who looked as if they didn’t know what hit them.
Points followed from all angles and all distances as Melvin Gaels delivered their first complete performance of the year, a sixty minute display that manager Billy Gavigan has been seeking all year and a display that sets the Kinlough men up perfectly for the rest of the year.
What was stunningly obvious about Melvin Gaels was their intense desire as one passage of play saw Peter McGowan involved in a move down the left wing, some 40 yards out from goal. Recycling the ball, McGowan took off and when a high shot came, the young wing-forward was somehow under the ball, fighting for possession.
But McGowan typified the effort put in by all the Melvin Gaels players last Sunday, immense work-rate and honest effort that never let-up, never let-up even as they led Coolaney by more than 15 points in the second half and suggests that this is a team determined to go very far.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.