Leader Cup Final Report

Clonguish 1:15
Killoe Young Emmets 1:10

(Report from Alan Walsh, Longford Leader)

In this repeat of last year’s Peter Hanley Motors Longford senior football championship final that saw Killoe triumph by a single point, 1-8 to 0-10, it was Clonguish that always looked the more likely to prevail in this latest clash between the clubs.

They set out their stall directly from the throw-in and Duggan’s super 4th minute goal, after he rose to the clouds and gathered a high punt before sending a rocket to the net, provided them with a 1-1 to nil cushion.

Playing controlled and measured football, Clonguish were rocked back on their heels somewhat in the 22nd minute as Ronan McGoldrick plundered for a slickly executed Killoe goal, giving the side managed by Luke Dempsey, Stephen Coy and Sean Maguire the lead for the first and only time, 1-4 to 1-3.

Either side of the interval, Clonguish were rampant and full of energy as they registered eight unanswered points, moving them 1-11 to 1-4 clear by the 37th minute (it was 1-8 to 1-4 at half time), and ultimately it was this purple patch that decided the destination of the silverware.

Those eight points were supplied by Carey (4), Duggan (3) and cornerback Matthew Flynn. In fairness, Killoe ‘keeper Oisin McManus deserves honourable mention for his 34th minute save to deny Duggan a goal and the ball made its way over for a point.

Killoe’s best opportunity to arrest the tide and propel themselves seriously back into the hunt came a matter of seconds into the concluding half.

Lively sub Paddy Moran used his pace to splice open the Clonguish defence and he passed to the unmarked Cian Dooner on the edge of the square but his goal attempt was smartly stopped by the wily Joe O’Brien. The wiser option might have been for Moran to have struck for glory himself but take nothing away from O’Brien’s vigilance.

Having surged seven points clear, 1-11 to 1-4, Clonguish did retreat into their shell and Killoe took full advantage with the excellent Paddy Kiernan registering three points (including two great long range strikes) and two points from Mark Hughes meant that after 46 minutes just three points separated the teams, 1-12 to 1-9.

Clonguish’s only reply during this Killoe spell of dominance came via the trusty boot of Matthew Carey, landing a sublime free off the ground from 45m out. Indeed, his dead ball striking was a joy to watch.

Who says secondary competitions aren’t important and with matters in the melting pot Killoe turned to their bench and sprung the experienced Daniel Mimnagh in the hope of giving them a vital edge.

The move didn’t yield the desired result though and Clonguish, co-managed by Liam Belton and John Twaddle, wrapped up the victory as they outscored their opponents by 0-3 to 0-1 in the final quarter thanks to scores by Carey (free), Duggan (free) and centre back Conor Shields.

Mark Hughes, who was one of Killoe’s shining lights, landed a 52nd minute mark and deep in injury time Ronan McGoldrick had a goal correctly disallowed by referee John Cullen – who had a solid outing, for being in the square well before the ball.

Killoe: Oisin McManus; Gavin Hughes, Darren Moffett, Niall Farrelly; Shane Clarke, Ryan Moffett, Mark Rowley; Paddy Kiernan (0-3), Ronan Keogh; Gavin Farrelly, Denis McGoldrick, Cian Farrelly; Cian Dooner (0-2), Ronan McGoldrick (1-0), Mark Hughes (0-5, 0-2 frees & 0-1 mark).

Subs: Paddy Moran for M Rowley (half time), Jake Donnelly for C Dooner (41 mins), Daniel Mimnagh for D McGoldrick (48 mins).