Late late comeback puts St Molaise Gaels into Junior A final

Back 03/10/2022 @ 22:32 | mainnews | Late late comeback puts St Molaise Gaels into Junior A final

St Molaise Gaels secured a place in the Connacht Gold Junior A championship final in dramatic fashion with a late comeback that broke Owenmore Gaels hearts in Markievicz Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was an outcome that would have seemed most unlikely for much of the game but despite being behind on the scoreboard and down a man for most of the second half, great credit goes to the Grange based side who never gave up the fight.

St Molaise Gaels actually opened the scoring with a Daniel O’Connor free. Owenmore response with a point from Ciaran Harvey and then another from team captain Nathan O’Malley. A second O’Connor point for St Molaise left it level on 2 points apiece after 8 minutes.

Owenmore then got the first goal of the game when Ryan Philips finished good work by Mark Walsh and Roly Anderson. 

Saint Molaise had four of the next five scores – all points -  from Jack McGovern (two) Conor Watters and John Heraghty to get back to level pegging again in the 20th minute.

Owenmore regained the lead with a superb Roly Anderson point and another from Philips and although Heraghty had the last scene of the half, the yellow and blues from Collooney headed into the break a point up.

Garrett Lavin opened the scoring for Owenmore two minutes into the second half and things seems to be going their way when Molaise were reduced to 14 men following a consultation between referee Keith Henry and one of his linesmen.

Owenmore Gaels moved to take full advantage of the extra player and added five unanswered points over the next 15 minutes, two each from Oisín Geraghty and Philips and one from Anderson, to lead by seven points 1.11 to 0.7 with 15 minutes to play,

St Molaise moved John Gilsenan, who had been named at midfield but who started in goal, back out the field at this point and his influence helped steady his side who got their first score of the second half from a Jack McGovern free after 17 minutes.

While that was cancelled out by a point from Anderson, Gilsenan himself and John Heraghty then pointed as they tried to generate some momentum in the St Molaise chase. A 54th minute point from Ryan Philips – their first in eight minutes seemed to calm Owenmore nerves to leave them six points to the good with four minutes to play.

The north Sligo side however had the bit between their teeth and when captain Daniel Keaney fond the net in the 56th minute, their belief grew.

Gilsenan added a point and when centre back Oisín Gilmartin came up to put one between the sides as the game slipped into added time, the victory was suddenly anybody’s.

As the first minute of added time elapsed another long ball into their goal area led to a goalmouth scramble, in the middle of which Gilsenan applied the final touch to put the ball in the net and give St Molaise an unlikely two point lead that their opponents had no opportunity to recover.

It was on the balance of play, the most unlikely of outcomes but credit to St Molaise Gaels on keeping at it to the very end to secure a final day outing against Shamrock Gaels on Sunday week.

St Molaise Gaels; John Gilsenan (1-2); Tristian Watters, Gavin Gilsenan, Tola Caraway; Evan Farrell, Oisín Gilmartin (0-1), Conor Watters (0-1) ; Conor Feigheney, Daniel Keaney (1-0); Oisín Sheridan, Daniel O’Connor (0-2), John Heraghty(0-3, 1f); Jack McGovern (0-3, 1f), Aaron Currid, Luke Gallagher

Owenmore Gaels; Diarmuid O’Grady; Shane Maye, Liam Gilligan, Garrett Lavin (0-1); Kyle Mullen, Pa Murphy, Ryan Quigley (0-1); Roly Anderson (0-3), Mark Walsh; Aaron Walsh, Ryan Phillips (1-3); Ciarán Harvey (0-1); Gary Anderson, Nathan O’Malley (0-1), Oisín Geraghty (0-3)