Éire Óg 1-9
Old Leighlin 2-9
Michael Lyng Senior Football Championship Group 2 Round 3
At Netwatch Cullen Park
By John Whelan
Old Leighlin got their season back on track with an impressive victory over Éire Óg. Despite Éire Óg being seen as favourites, and Old Leighlin being relatively depleted, the Old Leighlin men saw off a second half comeback from Éire Óg.
Eoghan Ruth opened the scoring after three minutes and Eric McCormack added a free to give Éire Óg an early lead. Éire Óg had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but when Old Leighlin came forward they seemed to glide towards goal, David Bambrick shot past Ricky Keating in the Éire Óg goal to all of a sudden give Old Leighlin a one point lead on ten minutes.
Jordan Lowry levelled the sides shortly after but the signs were ominous for Éire Óg. Hugh Gahan and Michael Meaney (Blackbush) had combined well and forced Keating to make an important save. Old Leighlin began to exact their dominance on the game and Cathal Coughlin converted a free. Old Leighlin got their third goal chance on eighteen minutes and Éire Óg had Alan Callinan to thank as he made a vital block on the goal line, David Bambrick slotted the rebounded ball over the bar. Pat Hickey, Hugh Gahan and Cathal Coughlin added a point each to hand Old Leighlin a firm grip on the game with a five point lead. Old Leighlin had scored five points in four minutes.
Eric McCormack finally offered a response in the form of a converted free on twenty three minutes, a full ten minutes since their last score. Frustratingly for Éire Óg a Cormac Mullins shot rebounded for Jordan Lowry but he couldn’t find the back of the net with his shot. Pat Hickey punished Éire Óg’s inefficiency with a point to reclaim the five point lead. Cormac Mullins reduced Old Leighlin’s lead to four as half time approached.
As the second half started Éire Óg had a huge opportunity to get right back into the game, a Chris Blake pass found Cormac Mullins but he hit the side netting with his shot. The weather seriously deteriorated as the second half progressed. Niall Quinlan got what was the first score of the half on forty one minutes; Cormac Mullins added another score instantly to reduce the deficit to two. Michael Meaney( Blackbush) got Old Leighlin’s first score on forty four minutes after a Michael Meaney ( Monemore) hit dislodged the ball from Mark Furey inside the Old Leighlin half.
James Clarke denied Cormac Mullins another goal chance with a save before Niall Quinlan got a point. Derek Hayden worked very hard to keep the Éire Óg attack going, cut inside towards goal and found a spot behind James Clarke and the ball ricocheted off the post and over the line to give Éire Óg the lead. It didn’t last long and Old Leighlin kept their composure, Pat Hickey levelled the sides once more with seven minutes remaining. Old Leighlin retained their grip on the game when Sean Bambrick found acres of space between him and Rickey Keating and he shot past the Éire Óg keeper to give Old Leighlin a three point lead with five on the clock.
A Simon Rea 45 made the closing moments tense and uncertain but Old Leighlin closed out the game and Sean Bambrick converted a free deep into stoppage time to give Old Leighlin a three point win. Palatine’s win over Ballinabranna meant Old Leighlin’s win denied Éire Óg a bye to the Semi Finals.
Ricky Keating, Richie Mahon, Alan Callinan, Niall Kenny, Jordan Lowry(0-1), Kelvin Chatten(subbed back in for M Fitz 55 mins), Benny Kavanagh, Mark Furey, Eoghan Ruth(0-1), Cathal Kelly, Derek Hayden(1-0), Sean Gannon, Eric McCormack(0-2,2fs), Cormac Mullins(0-2), Niall Quinlan (0-2, 1f) SUBS: Robbie Moore, Chris Blake( in for K Chatten at ht), Shane Kelly, Mark Fitzgerald( in for C Kelly 21 mins), Murtough Ware( in for S Gannon 49 mins), Keith Hession( in for E McCormack at ht), Simon Rea(0-1,45)( in for M Furey 49 mins) Sean Wogan, Lee Moore, Darragh O’Brien, Paul Cashin, Fiach O’Toole, Joey Curtis
James Clarke, Ger Hickey, John Hayden, Eamon Fitzgerald, Richie Burke, Declan Kelly, Davy Dowling, Hughie Gahan(0-1), Ian Atkinson, David Bambrick(1-1), Pat Hickey(0-3), Michael Meany(MM), Cathal Coughlan(0-2, 1f), Michael Meaney(BB)(0-1), Sean Bambrick (1-1, 1f)SUBS: Tom Lynch, Paraic Coughlan, Aaron Amond, Mark Brennan( in for I Atkinson 34 mins), Niall Roche(in for R Burke 57 mins), Declan Gough, Paddy Deevy, Barry Hayes, Roy Sheehy, David Gahan, Sean Whelan, Gearoid Foley, Liam Coughlan, Brendan Kinsella, Kevin Carpenter, Darren O’Neill, Brian Roche, Tadhg Carpenter, Michael Whelan, Roy Sheehy, Eamon Tobin, Willie Minchin, Seamus Kinsella