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Dolan leads way as Brigid's cruise to five in a row

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Frankie Dolan, St Brigid's, shoots to score the opening goal of the game

Frankie Dolan, St Brigid's, shoots to score the opening goal of the game

St Brigid's captain Senan Kilbride celebrates the club's fifth straight county title

St Brigid's captain Senan Kilbride celebrates the club's fifth straight county title

Kevin Farrell, St. Faithleachs, in action against Frankie Dolan, St Brigid's

Kevin Farrell, St. Faithleachs, in action against Frankie Dolan, St Brigid's

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Frankie Dolan, St Brigid's, shoots to score the opening goal of the game

There are many statistics that can be used to underline St Brigid's dominance in this game and in the county in general.

St Brigid's have now won five Roscommon titles on the bounce and eight in the last 10 years as they delivered a performance that underlined how far ahead of the pack they are in the county.

St Faithleach's simply couldn't fly at St Brigid's altitude but as they proved last year on their run to the All-Ireland club title, there aren't many who can.

The champions hit a quick 1-2 to settle into their rhythm while St Faithleach's didn't score for 25 minutes.

The second half was five minutes old when they landed their first point from play.

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And at the centre of it all for Brigid's was Frankie Dolan. Manager Benny O'Brien revealed afterwards that training is tailored around keeping some of the more senior players going, with Dolan showing the benefits of that approach.

Dolan now holds 10 county championship medals, having won his first in 1997 when manager O'Brien was still playing. Eight more have followed in Roscommon as well as one with Ballymahon in Longford. Out of 12 county finals, Dolan has won 10.

And despite those miles, when this game was down for decision, he was its most influential player.

Much of the work was done in the first quarter.

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First Dolan dropped over two 45s with the minimum of effort before one long ball caused havoc in the Faithleach's defence.

Senan Kilbride capitalised on the hesitation to knock a ball into the path of Dolan who was ice cool to open a five point lead.

The underdogs, without a county title since 1965, were struggling for any traction up front with Diarmuid and Ciaran Murtagh well marshalled by the Brigid's defence.

It might have been worse for the Ballyleague side but Brigid's got a little careless in their play as Kilbride and Dolan squandered chances.

As St Brigid's lost their way, Faithleach's couldn't capitalise and the game went 10 minutes without seeing a score.

Almost inevitably, Dolan ended the drought, this time with a 45 metre effort from play with the outside of his cultured boot and the Kiltoom men led by 1-7 to 0-1 at the break.

Faithleach's got the bright start they needed with two quick points on the restart as they made good use of the breeze. But Brigid's shut the door quickly on any building momentum with another Dolan effort.

Kilbride was now operating further out the field and Paddy Mulvihill, who transferred from neighbours Garrycastle, became more prominent.

St Faithleach's kept trying through the Murtaghs and Aidan Dooney but as the game wore on, more gaps began to appear. Dolan and Kilbride played keep ball to almost walk the ball into the net as Brigid's extended their lead to 12 points.

Kilbride, the St Brigid's captain, would palm another to the net late on but it mattered little.

Brigid's could afford to run their bench, withdrawing Dolan five minutes from the end and he paid tribute to the work of coach Liam McHale as they prepare to face Ballintubber in the Connacht championship.

"We're not being slogged around the field doing mad running or anything like that you know. We've got Liam McHale and we're lucky to have him. I said it a long time ago that he's one of the best coaches in the country.

"(Ballintubber) have got the O'Connor's and Alan Dillon. We would have played them and we know they're a very good team."

 

scorers - St Brigid's: F Dolan 1-8 (3f, 2'45), S Kilbride 2-1, K Mannion, R Kelly, D Donnelly 0-1 each. St Faithleach's: A Dooney, C Murtagh, D Murtagh (2f) 0-2 each, D Rooney (1 '45).

St Brigid's - S Curran; R Kelly, D Donnelly, N McInerney; R Stack, I Kilbride, N Grehan; K Mannion, P Kelly; A Gleeson, F Dolan, E Egan; C McHugh, S Kilbride, P Mulvihill. Subs: D Kelleher for Egan (39),G Dolan for Gleeson (40), D Dolan for Mulvihill (52), D Blaine for I Kilbride (53), A McInerney for F Dolan (55), D Sheehy for Kelly (58).

St Faithleach's - S O'Connor; D McCormack, C Gunn, D Murray; C Brennan, B Murtagh, K Farrell; H Kenny, S O'Grady; D Hussey, A Dooney, D Rooney; D Murtagh, C Murtagh, E Kenny. Subs: C Gannon for Hussey (45), J Mulryan Walsh for Kenny (49), J Quigley for O'Grady (55 BC),

ref - F Keane (Michael Glaveys)


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