Mochta's announce return in fine style
StMochta’s 1-13 Dundalk Gaels 0-10
St. Mochta's marked their return to the Senior ranks with an excellent six point victory over Dundalk Gaels on Sunday afternoon.
Seamus McGahon's men whipped up a stunning nine point turn around performance and on the evidence of this opening salvo, they look set to take the Senior ranks by storm.
Their sheer enthusiasm alone was clear for all to see, but it was backed up by an impressive spread of scorers, while their ability to defend and attack space was eye-catching.
It was in stark contrast to the jaded Gaels who look to have their best days behind them.
Conservatism was visibly apparent early on, both sides settled on deep defensive lines. Happy not to concede, happy not to waste energy, especially on a hot day.
David Maloney opened the scoring after one of these patient build ups. The lateral play continued and Declan Byrne made up for earlier misses with his sides first after 12 minutes of action. Their first in the senior ranks for 37 years was worth the wait.
Missed goal chances for both teams then blighted the game. Mochta's Andrew English timed his late run to perfection, only for his finish to let him down.
The centre back rattled the crossbar and the Gaels worked the ball to Ger McSorley at the other end, who then pulled the ball just wide.
Despite losing Derek Crilly, the Gaels responded better shortly after, opening up a 4-1 lead. Eanna McArdle landed a free and with his confidence up, he turned creator in the next play setting up McSorley for his first point.
With momentum all on the Gaels side, the Mochta's reaction was to pull Declan Byrne out the field. The change in tactic worked a treat, by the vacuum he vacated inside alone.
Stephen McCooey was the one who profited most in this new found space. The inside man had a hand in the next three Villagers points, setting up Ciaran McMahon before twisting and turning himself to two points.
In full control, the Mochta's further punished the ten wides the wasteful Gaels kicked in the opening half alone with a crushing goal.
Speedy winger Jamie Farrell cut to Ciaran McMahon who had the composure to lay it off to Eamonn O'Neill across the goalmouth to palm into the net for an easy finish. Gerry Garland ended the half that the Mochta's didn't want to end with a point, to make it 1-5 to 0-4.
Crilly's replacement Padraig Fallon found the target after the break, but the Mochs continued to punish the Gaels endless sloppiness. Jamie Farrell struck a superb brace.
Eanna McArdle did rally with three points all to himself, but it simply wasn't to be Paul Morgan's sides day such was the Mochta's desire.
That hunger was backed up by shrewd Kieran Quinn organisation, with a lead to defend, the Mochta's comfortably set traps and with space to run into, they picked off the frustrated Gaels with ease in the finish.
County champions Newtown Blues next for the triumphant Mochta's, a match up they will certainly relish.
Dundalk Gaels: Joe O'Donoghue; James Lynch, Oisín Murray, Eamonn Kenny; Gary Shevlin (0-2,1f), Adrian Rafferty, David Moloney (0-1); Derek Crilly, Jordan Keating; Paul McCrave, David McComish, Niall Hearty; Éanna McArdle (0-4,2f), Jason Clarke, Gerard McSorley (0-1). Subs: Padraig Fallon (0-1) for D Crilly (15), Sean Murray for D Maloney (41), Mark Hanna for J Clarke (46), Sean McCann (0-1, 1f) for E McArdle (53), Chris Sweeney for J Keating (57), Jamie Faulkner for G McSorley black (58).
St. Mochtas: Jason Callan; David Lennon, Philip Englishby, Liam Lawlor; Barry Mulholland, Andrew English, Conor Garland; Darren McMahon, Eamonn O'Neill (1-0); Ciarán McMahon (0-1), Gerry Garland (0-3,1f), Danny Kindlon (0-1); Jamie Farrell (0-2), Declan Byrne (0-3,1f), Stephen McCooey (0-2). Subs: Cormac Smyth for E O'Neill (46), Craig Lennon (0-1) for J Farrell (50), Nigel Farrell for C McMahon black (59).
Referee: Stephen Murphy (Naomh Mairtin)