St James’ unable to cope with talented Mountbellew/Moylough sharpshooter

Galway footballer Johnny Heaney presents the County Minor B Cup to Mountbellew/Moylough captain Oran O'Reilly after their final victiory over St James' in Headford.
Galway footballer Johnny Heaney presents the County Minor B Cup to Mountbellew/Moylough captain Oran O'Reilly after their final victiory over St James' in Headford.

Mountbellew/Moylough 3–9

St James’  0-9

THIS was by no means a one man show, but the display and scoring prowess of Patrick Kelly left an unforgettable memory on this County Minor B Football Final in Headford on Friday night.

Lining out at full forward, the Holy Rosary, Mountbellew pupil contributed 3-5 of his side’s tally and whether dominating in attack or whenever he drifted back out the park, he was in a classs of his own.

A first-minute goal set the early tone as the winners’ opened up a five point gap, but thereafter were largely matched by a City side who were mainly relying on the frees of Cian Gilroy to keep them in touch. However, Kelly continued to make an impact and the six foot plus teenager displayed all the artisry of the legendary Kieran Donaghy when fielding and finishing the second goal to give Mountbellew’Moylough a five point interval advantage.

Just before the break, heavy rainfall made conditions more difficult and the second half was much leaner in the scoring stakes, as some erratic shooting resulted in poor wides by both sides and while St James’ enjoyed loads of possession, they strugged to get a clear sight of Conal Docherty’s goal and the possibility of staging a comeback.

From the early exchanges, it was apparant that Mountbellew/Moylough had more to their game than St James’ as they mixed some slick passing and movement, with the use of the long ball, with Kelly in particular a regular target at the edge of the square. Furthermore, Dara Newell, Conor McDonald, Shane Coyle, Dara Nolan and Mike Mangan were also impressive as they enjoyed a dominant early spell.

Well worthy of their five point inteval advantage, Mountbellew were less clinical on the resumption as St James saw a lot more ball time, but the City side just struggled to break down opponents who got numbers back when dropping deep and comfortably defended their lead.

Kelly was also to the fore as Mountbellew-Moylough struck for a goal in the opening minute of the contest when a Cathal Donnellon delivery eventually made its way to the Moylough man and he finished from close range. St James’ responded with a neat point as Eoin Finnerty set up Darren McPeake to twist and turn and bisect the posts for their opening score.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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