Leader Cup Semi-Final Report

Killoe Young Emmets 1-12,  St Marys Granard 0-13 

(Report from Padraig O’Brien, Longford Leader)

Despite the absence of several regulars, the reigning county champions Killoe reached yet another final when they held out for a hard earned win over Granard in the Leader Cup last four clash at Higginstown on Saturday evening.

Beaten by Mullinalaghta in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the senior football league competitions last season, Killoe just did enough to edge out the recently crowned Division 1 title winners St. Mary’s in this entertaining encounter.

A cracking early goal from Jake Donnelly with eight minutes gone on the clock proved to be the decisive score as the home side were left to rue a number of missed chances including a clear-cut opportunity for Jamie Brady Hynes to finish the ball to the net but the full-forward somehow shot wide from point-blank range in the 18th minute of the first half.

Killoe led by 1-8 to 0-8 at the break and while they managed to consolidate their grip on the game in advancing to meet Clonguish in the Leader Cup final on Sunday next, the big blow of losing their best player Darren Gallagher was a most significant factor in Granard’s eventual defeat.

Powerful midfielder Gallagher was forced to retire injured with ten minutes gone in the second half and the county man must now be considered a doubt to be fit to start against Rathcline in the opening round of the championship at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Thursday July 18.

With Luke Dempsey back at the helm, Killoe will kick-off the race for the Connolly Cup against the 2022 champions Colmcille at Pearse Park on Tuesday July 16.

Killoe: Oisin McManus; Gavin Farrelly, Gavin Hughes, Eamon Igoe; Shane Clarke, Darren Moffett, Mark Rowley; Ryan Moffett, Ronan Keogh; Jake Donnelly (1-0), Denis McGoldrick (0-3), Cian Farrelly (0-2); Cian Dooner (0-4), Ronan McGoldrick, Mark Hughes (0-3, 1 free).

Subs: Shane McManus for G Hughes (44 mins); Paddy Moran for J Donnelly (47 mins).