Micheál Breathnach 3-8
MICHEÁL Breathnach’s near-two decade stay in senior football ranks came to an end in the cruelest fashion last Saturday as David Glynn’s 63rd minute goal saved the day for Kilconly.
The Connemara men might well have thought they had done enough to grab the win when they hit 1-1 in injury-time to take the lead, but there was still time for substitute Glynn to step forward as Kilconly’s saviour and condemn Micheál Breathnach to their first season outside of the top table since 1978.
In truth, the victory was no more than Kilconly deserved. While only two points separated the sides at the final whistle, it was Frank Doherty’s men who bossed the game for long stages and had they not conceded two soft goals during the course of the game, their opponent’s late burst would have been inconsequential.
Micheál Breathnach started at a severe disadvantage, shorn of two of their best players with Fiontáin Ó Curraoin injured and Seán Denvir out of the country, and the duo’s absence was even more keenly felt as Kilconly raced into a five point lead, 0-6 to 0-1, by the end of the first quarter.
Pete Kenny had got the Inverin-based side off to a decent start, converting a free, but Kilconly’s full-forward line soon began to wreak havoc with Michael Murphy (3) and Paul Mannion (2) adding to Niall Mullen’s earlier effort.
The Connemara men were struggling at this stage but Micheál Breathnach were back in the game thanks to a fortuitous goal in the 18th minute, Gearóid Ó Fátharta’s long ball from the left-wing flying over the head of goalkeeper Tommy Mannion and into the net. Pete Kenny added a free and a ‘45 soon after to bring his side back level, 1-3 to 0-6, after 21 minutes.
Despite being so dominant, especially early on, Kilconly were guilty of lettings a few chances slip but John Kerrigan did at least ensure that they went in ahead at half-time, firing over from long-range after patient play from Conor Marsden, Kevin Brady and Michael Murphy set him up.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.