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A west Sligo wonder show as Easkey and Enniscrone/Kilglass meet

Easkey 3-15 Enniscrone/Kilglass 2-16


Cathal Mullaney of Enniscrone/Kilglass in action with Mikey Gordon on Easkey in Seamie Donegan Memorial Park in Dromard. Pic: Christine Kilcullen.

Cathal Mullaney of Enniscrone/Kilglass in action with Mikey Gordon on Easkey in Seamie Donegan Memorial Park in Dromard. Pic: Christine Kilcullen.

Cathal Mullaney of Enniscrone/Kilglass in action with Mikey Gordon on Easkey in Seamie Donegan Memorial Park in Dromard. Pic: Christine Kilcullen.


EASKEY left it very late to overcome west Sligo neighbours Enniscrone/Kilglass in what was a very entertaining first round match of the Connacht Gold Intermediate championship on Saturday evening. In a game where both teams had significant periods of dominance, Enniscrone/Kilglass will be wondering how they did not come away with something from this tie given that they led by two well into injury time while on the other hand Easkey will be asking themselves why they needed 1-1 in added time to secure victory given that they twice led by eight points during the second half. It was JP Carden’s men who started the game the brightest, two frees from Gavin Duffy and points from play by Cian Mulrooney and the impressive Ciarán O’Dowd were only matched by a solitary Easkey effort on target from Mikey Gordon before the game paused for the first half water break. However, Enniscrone/Kilglass would fail to score for the remainder of the opening period while the Sea Blues chalked up 1-6 in the same period. The Easkey revival started with an Andrew Kilcullen pointed free and a Rossa Sloyan effort from play, either side of a fine save at the other end by Easkey keeper Daniel Rolston from a Gavin Duffy powerful goal bound shot. Kilcullen then pointed from play before the first goal of the game arrived, a great attacking team effort by Easkey which was finished to the net by Kevin Duffy. Kilcullen was on target again this time from both a free and a mark while he was also denied a goal as a rasping effort hit the crossbar as the first half entered its closing stages. The final score of the half was a fine effort from a free by Rossa Sloyan who was making his championship debut for Easkey. The Sea Blues, now facing into a breeze, continued where they left off by getting the opening two scores of the second half via a Kilcullen free and a Joe McHugh effort from play. Now trailing by eight the game looked to be getting out of sight for Enniscrone/Kilglass whom at this stage hadn’t scored since the twelfth minute. However, they were handed a lifeline as Ciarán O’Dowd intercepted a misplaced pass in the Easkey defence and he finished calmly to the Easkey net. A pointed effort from play by Brian Coleman followed immediately after and the arrears was reduced to four within three minutes. Easkey to their credit did not let their heads drop and the impressive Kilcullen kept the scoreboard ticking for the Sea Blues with an excellent effort from play from an acute angle and a pointed free either side of a Gavin Duffy effort for Enniscrone/Kilglass. Kevin Duffy then rattled the Enniscone net for the second time, again following some excellent interplay in the lead up and Easkey’s lead was back out to eight once again. The Enniscone/Kilglass comeback was ignited by a wayward Easkey kickout, as Ciaran O’Dowd intercepted once again and he slipped the ball through to Brian Coleman whose effort was saved by Daniel Rolston but the rebound was volleyed to the net by Brian Duffy, who was also making his Championship debut. A fine effort from play from Kevin Duffy eased the pressure slightly for the Sea Blues and then both sides would miss glorious goal opportunities as firstly a punched Joe McHugh effort was saved by Bradley Nealon in the Enniscrone goal and from the resulting counter attack Ciaran O’Dowd shot just inches wide. O’Dowd did however get a point from a fine effort from play shortly after and this combined with a good effort by Brian Coleman from a mark ensured that Enniscrone/Kilglass trailed by just three as the whistle sounded for the second half water break and the stage was all set for a grandstand finish. It took less than a minute after the water break for Enniscrone/Kilglass to reduce the deficit to two with Robert Jacob on target. A superb piece of individual excellence from O’Dowd reduced the deficit to the minimum as the Enniscrone man gave a textbook example of high fielding from his own teams kickout and drove through the Easkey defence to score from play. A Kilcullen effort from a free stemmed the tide for Easkey ever so slightly but at this stage all the momentum was with Enniscrone/Kilglass. Gavin Duffy brought the gap back to one again from a free following and a Brian Coleman effort from an advanced mark levelled the game with five minutes of normal time remaining. The momentum continued for Enniscrone/Kilglass and they hit the front with two minutes of normal time remaining courtesy of a pointed free from Gavin Duffy. A Kilcullen free followed for Easkey and the game entered stoppage time all square. The point of the game was to follow, a superb effort from Robert Jacob from out on the wing and this was quickly followed by another Gavin Duffy pointed free with 63 minutes played. There was however another sting in the Sea Blues tail as Kevin Duffy received a pass from Rory McHugh on the edge of the square and he finished to the roof of the net for the third time in the game putting the Sea Blues back in front. Another Kilcullen effort from play followed as Easkey won the resulting kickout and Enniscrone/Kilglass then had to go all out for a goal with only seconds left. They won a free from the resulting kickout and went direct with a high ball into the danger area which fell for Brian Duffy but his effort was blocked by Easkey veteran Brendan McGrath before the final whistle sounded much to the relief of the Easkey team and support. A thoroughly entertaining game throughout as these two West Sligo neighbours threw everything at each other. Easkey: D. Rolston, C. Montague, I. Barrett, B. Feeney, J. Dunphy, N. Kilcullen, J. Scott, R. McHugh, N. McGuire, M. Gordon (0-1), A. Kilcullen (0-10, 6f), H. Gilroy, R. Sloyan (0-2, 1f), J. McHugh (0-1), K. Duffy (3-01). Subs used: E. Lindsay, E.R McGowan, B. McGrath, E. Brennan. Enniscrone: B. Nealon, C. Mulrooney (0-1), E. Burke, D. Rouse, A. Mullaney, J. Ellis, B. FitzGerald, D. Mullaney, N. Hannon, R. Jacob (0-2), C. O’Dowd (1-4), C. Mullaney, B. Duffy (1-0), B. Coleman (0-3), G. Duffy (0-7, 6f). Subs Used: M. Gordon.

REFEREE: John Griffin (Calry St Joseph’s)

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