Match report-Dermot Molloy Hurling League Final

Back 13/09/2021 @ 14:49 | mainnews | Match report-Dermot Molloy Hurling League Final

Dermot Molloy Senior Hurling League Final – Markievicz Park, Sunday 12th Sept 2021

Naomh Eoin 2-26 Carrick Hurling 1-6

Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch lifted the Sligo Dermot Molloy Senior Hurling League trophy on behalf of a dominant Naomh Eoin for the first time since 1990 for the Sligo town-based club, who are proving to become a dominant force in Sligo club hurling. This long-awaited win was much merited as they swept aside the challenge of south Leitrim’s Carrick with an impressive performance of free-flowing attacking hurling and incessant defensive intensity.

Indeed, they raced to a four point lead inside the first seven minutes with points from Paul Kilcoyne, Michael Munnelly, wing-back Donal Keaveny, and a free from Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch before the Carrick hurlers could draw breath. Carrick did start to settle with a point from captain Conal McGuire and despite a second super score from Naomh Eoin talisman Paul Kilcoyne and a point from play from captain Ger O’Kelly-Lynch, they started to win more possession and fired over three scores in quick succession from McGuire, Liam Taylor and Conor Hackett, all from distance. This brought the score to 0-6 to 0-4 in favour of the Naomh Eoin by the 12th minute, but it was all downhill from there on for Carrick, as the Sligo club dominated proceedings for the remainder of the game.

The key turning point, as Naomh Eoin upped the tempo, was when Paul Kilcoyne sent a lovely diagonal pass to the nippy corner-forward Liam O’Kelly-Lynch, one of four brothers on the starting team, who raced past three Carrick defenders and rattled the net with a super strike to give Naomh Eoin a 1-6 to 0-4 lead with thirteen minutes on the clock. From here on Carrick struggled to cope with a flood of relentless Naomh Eoin attacks, with Ger O’Kelly-Lynch converting two placed balls, including a 65m free following a great stop by keeper Donnellan off the sticks of both Paul Kilcoyne and Arthur Wall. Further frees from both Ger and Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch were added to the tally after the water break, giving Naomh Eoin an already unassailable nine point lead (1-10 to 0-4) in the 22nd minute. It only got worse for Carrick when the fourth of the O’Kelly-Lynch clan, Tony, found his scoring range, with a point from play, followed in quick session by the two super strikes for points from teenage sibling, Liam O’Kelly-Lynch, as Naomh Eoin converted their possession into scores (1-14 to 0-4) on 27 minutes. Carrick made a rare foray, a minute later, into the opposition full back line and a clever flick across the square by Liam Phelan saw substitute Gavin O’Brien strike into the net past the otherwise impressive Naomh Eoin keeper, Stephen Fleming, to ease their scoring woes. Naomh Eoin then entered a period in wasteful mode with four wides in a row but finished off the first half with a well-worked point off the stick of Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch to give Naomh Eoin a 1-15 to 1-4 lead at the break.

The Kent Park-based team started the second half as they had finished the first with some excellent crisp passing and direct flowing moves, one of which resulted in a goal from the accomplished Paul Kilcoyne and this was followed up by points from Ger (3) and Tony O’Kelly-Lynch. Tony’s score was the best of the game, as he caught the sliotar at pace, he turned and under the pressure of the hook, fired the sliotar over the bar from at least 60m out on the wing. Ger O’Kelly-Lynch really started to dominate the centre-field area and lobbed over two impressive points from play and a free which killed off any semblance of a Carrick comeback with the score now 2-19 to 1-5 after 42 minutes of play. Then the play started to become scrappy and disjointed as a succession of substitutions and switches on both sides upset the flow of the game. However, Carrick could not capitalise on the disruption to the Naomh Eoin performance and allowed their subs to bed in more, following a number of wides and clearances. The final quarter was notable for a series of scores from play as Liam O’Kelly-Lynch, Paul Kilcoyne, Michael Munnelly and Tony O’Kelly-Lynch added to their tallies before Jamie Ward scored Carrick’s only second point of the half, reinforcing the dominance of the winning team. Naomh Eoin finished the injury time period with three late scores from the now-rampant Tony and Liam O’Kelly-Lynch, and substitute Ed Mullane to complete the rout with an impressive final score of 2-26 to 1-6. Captain Ger O’Kelly-Lynch was awarded the trophy by Sligo Hurling Board Chair Sean Reynolds and paid tribute to his team and management, the opposition, the match officials, and the county board for the efficient operation of the league.

Naomh Eoin: Stephen Fleming; Paul Gallagher, Cathal Jordan, Darragh Cawley; Darragh Feehily, Ryan Feehily, Donal Keaveny (0-1); Michael Munnelly (0-2), Gerrard O’Kelly-Lynch (0-7, 3f, 1’65) capt.; Stephen Henry, Tony O’Kelly-Lynch 0-5, Paul Kilcoyne 1-3, Liam O’Kelly-Lynch 1-4, Arthur Wall, Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch 0-3 (2f).

Subs used: Matt Davey, Tommy O’Callaghan, Edwin Mullane (0-1), Stephen Crowe, Aaron Macken.

Carrick Hurling: Lorcan Donnellan; Hugh Glancy, Conor Beirne, Shane Rynn; Paul Lenehan, Stephen Goldrick, Cian Mallon; Conal McGuire (Capt) (0-2), Conor Hackett (0-1); James Mac Nabola, Brendan Delaney, Liam Taylor (0-1); Jamie Ward (0-2, 1f), Cian French, Liam Phelan.

Subs used: Gavin O’Brien (1-0), Niall Crowe, Diarmuid Kelleher, Paul Earley.

Referee: Michael Connolly