Naomh Molaise seal return to senior ranks

Back 27/10/2022 @ 00:00 | mainnews | Naomh Molaise seal return to senior ranks

St Molaise Gaels brought senior championship football back to Grange for the first time since 2019 with an impressive 2-18 to 0-9 victory over Easkey on Sunday last.

Jimmy Langan's side ran a dominant show against their West Sligo opponents, who were never allowed to get going in the game.

Within seconds of Bill Carty throwing the ball in to start proceedings, St Molaise Gaels had found the net for the first goal of the game. Luke Towey burst forward from wing back to take the ball up the left hand side of their attack, before launching a right footed missile to the top left corner of Daniel Rolston's goal. No chance for the goalkeeper, and a ruthless start for Molaise.

Michael Langan opened his account soon after, before the impressive Dean Carroll's only score of the game. Andy Kilcullen, operating in the full forward line for Easkey, got two points to his name in as many minutes, and Molaise Gaels held the lead after ten minutes thanks to the early goal.

With Easkey slowly getting their bearings on the game, all of a sudden calamity struck. Easkey were turned over coming out of their defence and Joe Keaney drove through the centre of the defence, before a nice one two with Langan. The ball came back to Keaney who hit the top right corner from close range. A seven point lead now for Gaels, and a long road back for Easkey (who were aided by a first half breeze heading for the scoreboard end).

Kevin Duffy hit two long range points, while Kilcullen pointed from a mark. Towey proved menacing again for Molaise and hit two more points before half time to bring his tally to 1-2. At half time St Molaise Gaels were firmly in the driving seat at 2-5 to 0-5 ahead.

With a margin of six between the teams, the first few scores of the second half would prove vital to the outcome, and Molaise Gaels had no plans to take their foot off the attacking accelerator. James Heraghty (2), Langan and McLoughlin all pointed early on, displaying an exhibition of point taking.

Jack Scott got a routine score from wing back for Easkey, who found it difficult to score against both a strong breeze and a tightly packed opposing defensive structure. The new found role of Alan McLoughlin in the half forward line proved vital for St Molaise Gaels in: 1) allowing space for Langan, Jack Davitt and Cathal Herron to torment defenders in the full forward line, 2) his distribution from long range, and 3) keeping the ball in the latter stages of the game. This switch for Jimmy Langan's side adds a new dimension to their set up both around the midfield area and in attack.

Davitt was rewarded for his hard work for a score late on, as defenders like Luke Casserly, Johnny Kelly and Paddy McGowan were solid throughout.

Easkey did manage one goal chance with a few minutes to spare, as Kevin Duffy had a close shot saved by the feet of Niall McLoughlin.

Despite the outcome being known for some time given the dominant second half display, the final whistle was met with cries of rejoice from St Molaise Gaels players, management and supporters alike as they broke their losing streak in intermediate finals.

Alan McLoughlin accepted the cup on behalf of the team after Michael Langan was awarded Man of the Match.

St Molaise Gaels team: Niall McLoughin; Luke Casserly, Johnny Kelly, Liam Kennedy; Luke Towey, Paddy McGowan, Marc Heraghty; Joe Keaney, Dean Carroll; Eoin McHugh, James Heraghty, Cathal Herron; Alan McLoughin (C), Jack Davitt, Michael Langan. Subs used: Gerard Brady, John Kerins, Ethan Watters, Cathal Burns

St Molaise Gaels scorers: Michael Langan, Alan McLoughlin (0-6 each, 0-3f each), Luke Towey (1-2), Joe Keaney (1-0), James Heraghty (0-2), Jack Davitt, Dean Carroll (0-1 each).

Easkey team: Daniel Rolston; Ian Barrett, Noel McGuire, Bernard Feeney; Eoghan Rua McGowan, Niall Kilcullen, Jack Scott; Rory McHugh, Fionn Moylan; Mikey Gordon (JC), Andy Kikcullen, Hayden Gilroy; Rossa Sloyan, Joe McHugh (JC), Kevin Duffy. Subs used: Eanna Moylan, Jonathan Conway, Brendan McGrath, Ciaran Montague, Dylan Sloyan, Emmett Brennan.

Easkey scorers: Andy Kilcullen (0-4, 0-2f), Kevin Duffy (0-2), Jack Scott, Mikey Gordon (0-1 each)

Referee: Bill Carty (Cloonacool)