Thursday 14 November 2019

Colmcille's turn on style in second half

GAA LMFM Minor Division 1 Championship Final: Colmcille's 2-10 Summerhill 1-11

Sean Wall at Pairc Tailteann

A swashbuckling second half display proved decisive as St Colmcille's brought the Delaney Cup back to its ancestral home following this MFC final win at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

It was the Cille's second victory in four years and the completion of a league and championship double. Cille's started with four of the team beaten in last years decider and for long spells throughout the opening half it looked as if the bitter taste of defeat might be their lot once again.

Classy Summerhill led by six points towards the end of the opening half as Cille's struggled to keep them at bay with Eoghan Frayne in particular causing all sorts of problems.

Luckily for Cille's talisman David Bell was razor sharp and he almost single-handedly kept them in the game. Summerhill led 1-8 to 1-5 at the break and Cille's were fortunate to be only three points in arrears at that stage.

What a transformation in the second half though as Cille's began to dominate to such an extent that it took Summerhill a full 26 minutes to add to their first half tally.

A point from Godfrey Ehichoya edged Cille's in front on 42 minutes and they strengthened their position after that before having to withstand a late Summerhill to claim a fully deserved victory.

Cille's entire opening half tally came from the boot of full forward Bell. He pointed them ahead twice in the opening minutes and kept his side's scoring ticking over as Summerhill threatened to be out of sight by half-time.

Eoghan Frayne hit Summerhill's opening three points and then found the net after Cille's had squandered possession on nine minutes. Frayne's fourth point left it 1-4 to 0-4 and the outstanding Adam McDonnell hit two further scores before a Jamie O'Shea point on 25 minutes left it 1-7 to 0-4.

A Bell goal proved crucial close to half-time and left the deficit more manageable in the second half.

Cille's redeployed Godfrey Ehichoya to a more defensive role towards the end of the half and that switch proved decisive as the county U-16 player had a far bigger influence on the game in his new position.

The seasiders were almost back on level terms within a minute of the restart but Sean O'Donoghue's close range effort agonisingly hit a post and went wide.

Summerhill also went close to finding the net in the early stages of the second half but Caolan Nulty made a great block to deny Luke Moran.

Two more Bell points had the deficit back to the minimum and Cille's eventually gained parity when Adam Daly pointed on 39 minutes. Ehichoya then blasted over the lead point when he might well have found the net.

In a three minute spell towards the end of the third quarter the game took a decisive twist with Jakub Kula saving a penalty from Jamie O'Shea at one end and then Endy Ehichoya finding the net at the other to leave Cille's four clear.

Bell extended that lead but Cille's had to endure a tense finish with keeper Kula again coming to his side's rescue with a super save to push an Adam McDonnell effort over the bar.

Summerhill added two further points but Cille's defended magnificently with Liam Stafford, Nulty and Conor Power making sure that they preserved their lead.

ST COLMCILLE'S: Jakub Kula; Matthew Weir, Liam Stafford, Caolan Nulty; Sean Collier, Conor Power, Mark Harris; Endy Ehichoya 1-0, Sean O'Donoghue; Ciaran White, Cian Flynn, Ben Wilde; Adam Daly 0-1, David Bell 1-8 (5f), Godfrey Ehichoya 0-1. Subs: Sean Horan for Collier (47).

SUMMERHILL: Luke Byrne; Ben Moran, Eoin Grehan, Oisin Hussey; Kevin Mulligan, Adam Byrne, Darren Chapman; Gavin McVann, Donal Matthews; Adam McDonnell 0-3, Jamie O'Shea 0-1, Luke Moran 0-1; Sean Mulligan, Sean Hughes, Eoghan Frayne 1-6 (3f, 1 '45). Subs: Daragh McVann for S Mulligan (39).

REF: Joseph Curran (St Michael's)

Drogheda Independent