St Molaise Gaels complete clean sweep of group stage

Back 20/09/2022 @ 02:02 | mainnews | St Molaise Gaels complete clean sweep of group stage

Reporter: Sorcha McLoughlin

Molaise Gaels got off to an efficient start against Ballymote on Sunday afternoon in Keash, with an opening point from Eoin McHugh with just 30 seconds played. Ballymote struggled to respond despite some skilful offensive play; their first score of the game was achieved within the fifth minute by Jack Hever. Molaise built on their opening score with a consistent stream of points coming from within the forward line up, which consisted of Alan McLoughlin, Jack Davitt, Michael Langan, and James Heraghty, to name four of the frequent scorers of the game. With fifteen minutes played, Molaise led by 7 points to 2. A well-taken goal by Ballymote’s Luke Hogge was suggestive that the east Sligo side would attempt to remain in the game. However, Molaise continued to capitalise on their dominance in possession; Cathal Burns was a massive addition to midfield and continued to win breaking ball. Both sides saw several missed opportunities, with high balls dropping just short of a score. Molaise were tactical in defence, with Colm Clancy and Johnny Kelly turning over possession on numerous occasions and, in turn creating countless scoring opportunities for Molaise Gaels. By the 30th minute of play, the score line read SMG 0-15 Ballymote 1-2.

The second half of the game continued with a similar theme, Molaise attaining the first two scores of the second half, both coming from Alan McLoughlin, one from play and the other from a long-range free kick. Jack Hever, a prominent player on the Ballymote side, started the second half as he did the first with another impressive point. Despite their efforts, however, it would seem the scores came a lot easier for Jimmy Langan’s side as Michael Langan and James Heraghty scored two points in quick succession. Eoin McHugh was efficacious at wing forward and was responsible for setting up several scoring opportunities for Molaise Gaels, promoting the aggressive and sharp attacking play that Ballymote struggled to defend. By the 50-minute mark, Molaise led 0-22 to Ballymote’s hard-fought 1-06. Both sides experienced missed goal chances. Dean Carroll had an opportunity to add to the scoreboard, but it was well blocked by Aaron Brennan.

Similarly, Oisin Brennan, in his efforts, was unfortunate not to score a goal in the closing ten minutes of the game. The remainder of the second half allowed Molaise to control the play; Mark Heraghty and Keelan Waters were impactful substitutions. Alan McLoughlin was potent throughout the 60 minutes, scoring two more points in the closing minutes of the game, bringing his total scores for the day to 11 points. The last kick of the game saw a goal for Molaise Gaels, scored by Joe Keaney.

The final score of the game read Molaise Gaels 1-25 to Ballymote 1-09.

Molaise Gaels: Niall McLoughlin, Colm Clancy, Ethan Watters, Luke Casserly, Micheál Gillen, Johnny Kelly, John Kerins, Cathal Burns, Dean Carroll, Eoin McHugh, Alan McLoughlin (C), Gerard Brady, Michael Langan, Jack Davitt. Subs used: Paddy McGowan, Keelan Waters, Luke Towey, Joseph Keaney, Marc Heraghty.

Ballymote: Aaron Brennan, Shane Rafferty, Michael Doddy, Ronan Keenan, Jack Lavin, Shane Langton, Colin Byrne (C), Michael Rafferty, Conor McGuire, Stephen Ross, Jack Hever, Niall Colsh, Zac O’Dowd, Oisín Brennan, Jim Sweeney.