St Mary’s advanced to the quarter-final stage of the Connacht Gold Senior Championship after what was a routine victory over Allen Gaels in Ballinamore on Saturday evening last but the contest won’t live for too long in the memory as a scrappy game, in which St Mary’s were much the better side never really burst into life.
By Philip Rooney
ST MARY’S KILTOGHERT 0-12
ALLEN GAELS 0-7
Although they dominated in terms of possession and territory, St Mary’s struggled in front of goal and six first half wides meant they were unable to pull away from their opponents. Although they led for the vast majority of the game it was only in the final few minutes that St Mary’s pulled away from their opponents and were able to be sure they were on course for victory.
St Mary’s got off to a flying start and their early pressure was rewarded with two Niall Comerton points, both from frees giving them an early advantage inside the opening minutes. However, as the half progressed St Mary’s found it much more difficult to add to their ally while Allen Gaels, although slow to work their way into the game proved to be very dangerous on the counter-attack.
In what was a scrappy opening half, that St Mary’s will feel they should have held an advantage after, Allen Gaels would no doubt have been pleased with the manner in which they were capitalising on their limited opportunities.
The game was 17 minutes old before St Mary’s struck for their third point of the game with Dermot Reynolds showing great composure and technique to score from distance.
Having spent much of the half defending their goal, Allen Gaels and in particular Declan Gilhooley were looking dangerous on the counter-attack. Having gone almost 20 minutes without opening their account, Allen Gaels struck for three points in as many minutes, all scored by Gilhooley, to give an indication that they believed there was something in the game for them.
Allen Gaels took the lead for the first time in the game a minute prior to the interval when Martin Beirne pointed after he got the better of Johnathan Cassidy. However, that lead was quickly wiped out as St Mary’s blood substitute James Flynn made an instant impression on the game as he scored a fine point.
To read the full report see this week’s Leitrim Observer.