Match report-SFC Drumcliffe RP v St. Molaise Gaels
Belfry Senior Football Championship
St Molaise Gaels 1-11
Drumcliffe/Rosses Point 0-9

A goal in added time from substitute Callum O’Domhnaill, along with the sharpshooting of full forward Alan McLoughlin guided St Molaise Gaels into the quarter-finals of the Belfry senior football championship at the expense of neighbours Drumcliffe/Rosses Point in Saturday evening’s Group 2 match, played at Kent Park.

For most of the hour, there was rarely more than a single point between the teams as Drumcliffe/Rosses Point enjoyed the majority of possession for long periods. However, in the first half, they were unable to translate that prominence into a significant scoring advantage.

Molaise, without the injured Luke Towey, relied on the accuracy of Alan McLoughlin during the opening period. McLoughlin scored three of Molaise’s four first-half points - and would contribute six in total. DRP, who recalled Brian Og Murphy to the starting 15, began well and established a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage early on thanks to points from Jamie Gillen, Eoin Gaughan and Niall Canning. 

But the first-half was a low scoring affair with clear-cut opportunities at a premium. While DRP created the bulk of them, they recorded first-half five wides and the sides went in at the interval level at 0-4 each.

The restart saw Willie Gormley’s side emerge with greater purpose. Two quick points from McLoughlin and centre back Mark Quinn moved them two ahead but Paul Logan responded for DRP with two scores at the other end to restore parity. 

The game continued its tit-for-tat pattern in terms of scores. Fine scores from play from Molaise’s Jamie McLoughlin and Daragh Gallagher at one end, were matched by impressive long-range efforts from John Harvey and DRP captain Neil Ewing at the other. 

However McLoughlin’s scoring threat up front for Molaise was always a factor. In the closing minutes of normal time, he slotted over two vital frees to move his team 0-11 to 0-9 ahead. 

As the game entered added time, DRP searched frantically for the equalising scores, but Molaise were creating chances of their own on the counter - and in the fourth minute of added time, one such move set up Callum O’Domhnaill with a goal opportunity and he showed good composure to fire the ball past DRP keeper Ronan McCormack and score the goal which sealed the contest.

DRP had a goal opportunity seconds later but substitute Niall Collery’s close range shot flashed wide. By then however, Molaise were five points clear and already planning for a last-eight meeting with county champions Tourlestrane.

For Drumcliffe, the prospect of the relegation play-off looms large once again. 

St Molaise Gaels
Niall McLoughlin, Evan Farrell, Gavin Gilsean, Eoin McHugh, Jason Brennan, Mark Quinn 0-1, Keelan Watters, Cathal Burns (Capt), Paddy McGowan, Jamie McLoughlin 0-1, Darren Gilsean, Daragh Gallagher 0-2, Cathal Herron 0-1, Alan McLoughlin 0-6, Darragh Elliot. Subs used: Daniel Keaney for Cathal Burns, John Gilsean for Cathal Herron. Diarmuid Gallagher for Darren Gilsean (blood sub), Callum O’Domhnaill 1-0. 

Drumcliffe/Rosses Point: Ronan McCormack, Tommy Finnegan, John McGowan, Ciaran McLoughlin, John Harvey 0-1, Dara Long, Seán Power, Brian Monaghan, Cian Lally, Neil Ewing (Capt) 0-1, Paul Logan 0-3, Niall Canning 0-1, Jamie Gillen 0-1, Brian Óg Murphy, Eoin Gaughan 0-2. 
Subs used: Aaron McCormack for Tommy Finnegan, `Oisín O'Reilly for Brian Monaghan (BC), Niall Collery for Brian Óg Murphy.

Referee: Padraig Golden. 

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