O'Connell goals send St Mel's on their way
St Mel's College celebrated the first senior game played at their school grounds by comfortably brushing aside Maynooth PP yesterday.
St Mel's Longford 3-9 Maynooth PP 0-8
Attacking wing-back Brian Harte struck for a goal on the stroke of half-time, which gave St Mel's a 1-3 to 0-3 lead and turned the tie in their favour.
The physically strong Maynooth side had competed well in the opening 30 minutes, but struggled to convert their possession into scores. Niall O'Sullivan - who contributed three points - was their only player to hit the target more than once.
Maynooth PP briefly reduced the gap with the first point of the second half, but St Mel's responded emphatically and guaranteed their progress to the next round when Darragh O'Connell blasted home a couple of well-taken goals.
The lively corner broke through the Maynooth defence in the 40th and 47th minutes to clinch the victory for St Mel's, who despite being by far the most successful school in this competition with 29 titles, haven't brought the title back to Longford since 2003.
SCORERS - St Mel's College: D O'Connell 2-1, B Harte 1-1, C Dooner 0-3 (1f), R O'Connell 0-2 (fs), P Halpin, G Flynn 0-1 each. Maynooth PP: N O'Sullivan 0-3, J Foley (f), K Dunne, O Maloney, N Kinirons, B Miller 0-1 each.
ST MEL'S COLLEGE - D McKenna; P Brady, G Hughes, N Farrelly; M McCann, P Duggan, B Harte; P Halpin, G Flynn; R O'Connell, D Connell, D O'Brien; D O'Connell, D Smith, C Dooner. Subs used: L Sheridan, L Harte, T Farrell.
MAYNOOTH PP - L Condon; D Bonass, C Whyte, J Murray; O O'Cuill, B Carroll, A O'Riain; P Maguire, K Dunne; C McCabe, N O'Sullivan, O Maloney; N Kinirons, J Foley, B Miller.
Subs used: B Bradley, D Murray, M Moyosore, R Dunne, L Byrne, O McDonald.
Ref - B Nea (Westmeath)