Moorefield’s late heroics show that a game is never over until it’s over

Galway senior hurling captain David Burke proudly stands beside the four cups won by the county in 2017, Leinster, McCarthy, Irish Press (minor) and National League, at a presentation function for the Galway minors in the Lough Rea Hotel.
Galway senior hurling captain David Burke proudly stands beside the four cups won by the county in 2017, Leinster, McCarthy, Irish Press (minor) and National League, at a presentation function for the Galway minors in the Lough Rea Hotel.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

HIGH-wire finishes in sport tend to be thrilling spectacles and we had another one at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise last Sunday when Moorefield pulled off a stunning victory in the Leinster club football final after trailing by six points with only a minute of normal time remaining. The outcome looked done and dusted as opponents St Loman’s stood on the brink of an historic provincial triumph for a Westmeath team

Barely seven minutes later, however, the St Loman’s players were collapsing in agony after the Kildare champions had pulled off a sensational comeback which saw them score an unanswered 1-4 to emulate the club’s title-winning feat of 2006. No wonder, their squad and supporters were beside themselves with ecstasy in the moments after the final whistle.

It was a cruel outcome for St Loman’s who had recovered well from a three-point interval to put themselves in a seemingly commanding position thanks to goals from wing forwards Ken Casey and Ronan O’Toole. Moorefield were on the ropes and trailing by 2-10 to 0-10 in the 59th minute when out of nothing they launched a Roy of the Rovers style revival.

It was sparked by a well-taken goal from veteran Ronan Sweeney and with Eanna O’Connor holding his nerve from frees and play, Moorefield completely took over in injury time with wing back Kevin Murnaghan landing the match-winner in the 66th minute. It had to be seen to be believed as St Loman’s collapsed when virtually past the winning post.

Naturally, the Corofin camp would have been keeping a close eye on the action at O’Moore Park as they are now due to face Moorefield in the All-Ireland club semi-final next February, presuming there is no slip up in their re-arranged quarter-final fixture against Fulhum Gaels in late January. The other semi-final brings together former kingpins Nemo Rangers of Cork and those remarkable warriors from Slaughtneil of Derry.

On paper, that looks the way tougher side of the draw, but Corofin can make no assumptions about what lies ahead. Having to travel to London again for the second time in around six weeks isn’t ideal and will have disrupted their training schedule. At least, if they get over the exiles, they will have had some important competitive match practice heading into their novel clash with Moorefield.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.