Sunday 21 January 2018

Commerton puts the seal on sweet title success for Mary's

Leitrim SFC Final: St Mary's 2-14 Mohill 2-8

ST MARY'S bridged a six-year gap in capturing their fifth title against Mohill in an entertaining game at sun-kissed Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon.

ST MARY'S bridged a six-year gap in capturing their fifth title against Mohill in an entertaining game at sun-kissed Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon.

The Carrick side lived up to their favourites tag, opening the scores with a Micheal McWeeney point from play after three minutes, quickly followed by further points from Robbie Lowe and Alan Doherty before Mohill's Shane Quinn pointed in the seventh minute. Two frees by Padraig Tighe levelled matters after 17 minutes but a fitter and faster St Mary's were causing all sorts of problems for the Mohill defence.

A second McWeeney point edged Mary's in front after 20 minutes, which was cancelled out three minutes later by a Donal Flynn point from play.

Mary's dominated the remainder of the half, scoring four points without reply through Robbie Lowe (0-2), Brian O'Donnell and Ray Mulvey, the last two blasted over the bar from close in when goals would have been the easier option.

The half-time score of 0-8 to 0-4 in favour of St Mary's was fully deserved as they controlled the middle of the field and they picked up from where they had left off on the resumption with three unanswered points in the opening six minutes to leave seven points between the sides.

However, two minutes later, a superb run through the Mary's defence by substitute Alan Armstrong found Alan McLoughlin in space and he shot to the net to give Mohill a lifeline.

Urged on by their supporters, two further points from play by McLoughlin and Shane Quinn ignited the Mohill men as they cut the deficit to just two points.

Then in the 46th minute, Robbie Lowe lofted the ball high into the Mohill defence with a 45-metre free which hit the Mohill 'keeper on the leg, rebounding to the inrushing Alan Doherty who duly finished to the back of the net.

For the next 10 minutes, the outcome of the game hung in the balance as neither side managed a score, but the deadlock was broken when Mary's Colm O'Reilly pointed from play and one minute later Mohill were caught napping when a crossfield ball from O'Reilly found O'Donnell in space and he, in turn, passed to the unmarked McWeeney, who finished to the net from close range.

A Joseph O'Rourke point two minutes later looked to be the icing on the cake for St Mary's, but there was more drama to come in the closing minutes.

Mohill, with little to lose, threw caution to the wind and their efforts resulted in a Ray Kennedy goal in the 60th minute followed by a Ray Gallagher point.

But it was too little too late and St Mary's closed off the game with an injury-time pointed free by substitute Niall Commerton to emerge as deserving champions.

Man of the match: C Cunniffe (St Mary's)

SCORERS – St Mary's: A Doherty (1f), M McWeeney 1-2 each, R Lowe (3fs) 0-4, N Commerton (f), B O'Donnell, R Mulvey, C Farrell, C O'Reilly, J O'Rourke 0-1 each. Mohill: A McLoughlin 1-1, R Kennedy 1-0, P Tighe (2fs), S Quinn 0-2 each, O Madden (f), R Gallagher, D Flynn 0-1 each.

ST MARY'S – B Flynn; J Cassidy, R Kennedy, J Glancy (capt); J de Lacey, C Farrell, N McWeeney; C McWeeney, D Lowe; C Cunniffe, M McWeeney, R Mulvey; A Doherty, R Lowe, B O'Donnell. Subs: J Guckian for R Mulvey, C O'Reilly for A Doherty, J O'Rourke for M McWeeney, J Flynn for C McWeeney, N Commerton for B O'Donnell.

MOHILL – P McLoughlin; A Armstrong, E Madden, C Kennedy; D Beck, M McGuinness, C Canning; R Gallagher (capt), S Quinn; P Tighe, J McGuinness, C Beirne; A McLoughlin, D Flynn, J Mulligan. Subs: R Kennedy for C Beirne, G Kelly for P Tighe, S Conaty for D Flynn.

REF – R McBrien (Aughavas).

Irish Independent

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