Mohill Community College recorded an impressive and deserved victory over Coola in Ballyfarnon on Thursday last in the Conncht Vocationbal Schools Junior Championship Final but they were made to work very hard for their win.
Mohill Community College 3-11 Coola 2-12
Coola, with Dromahair players Terry O’Rourke and Gary Fowley doing their upmost to thawrt Mohill’s challenge began the game brightly and deservedly opened up a three point lead with Kyle Carty’s excellent point followed by two Terry O’Rourke frees.
Although Mohill looked dangerous on the counter-attack and registered their first point of the game through the excellent Conor Reynolds, it was the Sligo school who ccontinued to look the more dangerous.
Such was the pressure being applied by Coola during the opening quarter that Mohill manager Matt Gaffey was forced into making two early changes with James Mitchell and Shane McGowan both entering the fray.
However, Coola continued to look the more dangerous of the sides and they extended their lead with an excellent goal. Kyle Carty’s powerful run exposed the Mohill defence and after a quick exchange of passes with Daniel Willis, Carty delivered a fine finish to put five points between the sides.
Just when it seemed as though Mohill were in real trouble, they hit back with a goal of their own within a minute of conceding. Keith Beirne did well to find Ronan Gordon and after Gordon’s initial shot was saved by Cian McHugh he made no mistake with the rebound.
That goal proved to be a real boost to Mohill as they suddenly appeared to be playing with more confidence and conviction. With just under 10 minutes of the half remaining Mohill struck for their second goal in quick succession although there was initially some doubt as to whether or not a goal had been awarded.
Keith Beirne was released by Evan Ward and Beirne opted not to take a straight forward point, instead shot for goal. Initially it seemed as though the shot had gone wide of the Coola goal but the eagle eyed linesman spotted that the ball had entered the goal before going through side netting.
Now enjoying a one point lead, Mohill continued to dominate the remainder of the half and just two minutes after their second goal, they registered their third goal with Michael Bohan scoring from close range.
A Shane McGowan point extended the Mohil lead before Coola gave an indication that they were not going to give up without a fight a duly responded with a fine point from Gary Fowley who was proving to be great focal point for the Coola attack.
Keith Beirne (free) and Daniel Willis exchanged points before Mohill finished the first half scoring with points from Jack Heslin and Keith Beirne (free) to give Mohill a 3-5 to 1-5 lead at the interval.
The incredibly warm day in Ballyfarnon made life difficult for both sets of players but it certainly didn’t seem to affect either set of players who began the second half at a similar intensity to which they eneded the first half.
Once again Keith Beirne and team captain Conor Reynolds were proving to be the driving force for Mohill and they combined with Ronan Gordon to allow Beirne score the first point of the second half.
Gary Folwey responded with another fine point for Coola before Keith Beirne and Keith Conlon exchanged points to leave six points between the sides after nine minutes of the second half.
With the warm weather understandably slowly the pace down a further four minuets elapsed before there was any addition to the scoring with Gary Fowley’s after good work involving Terry O’Rourke and Caoláin McCann and that score was soon followed by a Jodi O’Reilly point as Coola reduced the deficit to four points.
Having been under their fair share of pressure Mohill scored two points from Jack Heslin and Keith Beirne, either side of a Kyle Carty point for Coola.
The tension in Ballyfanron increased as the game got closer to full-time and despite being reduced to 14 men Coola continued to battle to as they attempted to reduce the deficit. Gary Fowley must have thought he got his team right back in contention but he was denied by an excellent Shane Sullivan save.
Two points in quick succession from Jack Heslin and Michael Bohan seemed to have secured victory for Mohill but Coola were not yet finished.
With just a minute remaining Gary Fowley pointed to leave six between the sides and that was quickly followed by yet another Fowley point as Coola finished the game strongly. In injury time Coola struck for their second goal of the game with Caoláin McCann finding the Mohill net from close range.
That goal ultimately proved to be little more than a consolation for Coola as the full-time whistle sounded shortly afterwards and Mohill claimed a deserved victory although unfortunately their celebrations were cut short as there was no cup in Ballyfarnon to be presented to the victorious Mohill team.