Impressive Laragh claim Hotel Kilmore Intermediate Football Championship title in style
Laragh United 2-16
Belturbet Rory O’Moores 1-9
at Kingspan Breffni
Laragh won their first Hotel Kilmore Intermediate Football Championship since 1994 with a thoroughly deserved victory over Belturbet this afternoon at HQ.
Jody Devine’s side came into the match as slight favourites but turned in a commanding performance, dominating in most areas of the pitch, as they ran out 10 point winners.Laragh’s resounding win was built on a near-flawless first-half performance.
At the interval, Laragh held a comfortable 10-point lead andwere practically home and hosed. Most of the pre-match predictions revolved around a close, physical encounter but this was anything but – Laragh found top gear from early on and accelerated off into the distance, leaving the Rorys trailing in their slipstream.
Enda Henry, stationed at full-forward, was the focal pointof Belturbet’s attacks early on. He won a pass from Cormac Donohoe and played it back to the young centre-forward who opened the Rorys’ account in the fourthminute.
But the kick-out battle was already proving telling. Laragh were winning most of their own and most of Belturbet’s and with that edge in the possession stakes, they looked dangerous straight away.
A long ball into the full-forward line was won by LiamMcKenna, who sent over a neat point to settle Laragh’s nerves, and Paul Smith added their next as they hit the front on six minutes after good work from Liam and Jack McKenna.
A 40-metre point from Liam McKenna opened a two-point gap. For Laragh’s next point, Shane O’Rourke fielded well and Jack McKenna set Pauric O’Reilly up to put three between them.
Belturbet’s best spell came in the next 10 minutes as they managed to remain in touch and actually closed the gap to two.
Shane Fitzpatrick found Conal McGinley, who fired over a great strike, and although Pauric O’Reilly drove through at the other end and blasted over, Enda Henry won and converted a free to make it 0-5 to 0-3.
Paddy Rudden, who had an outstanding game at full-forward and won every ball that came his way, was proving a major thorn in Belturbet’s side.
He was involved in a chance for Ian Leddy, who was denied by an incredible save from Cian Vaughan at the expense of a 45, which Fergal O’Rourke converted to make it 0-6 to 0-3 on 22 minutes.
And then, the floodgates opened. Shane O’Rourke won another kick-out, a long delivery was flicked on by Jack McKenna and Pauric O’Reilly slotted away low to the net.
Lee Reilly then linked up with O’Reilly to tee Paul Smith up to make it 1-7 to 0-3 (in the process claiming the top scorer accolade in all three divisions) and from the next kick-out, the ball was worked to Liam McKenna and he smashed to the net.
Suddenly, Laragh were 2-7 to 0-3 in front. Conall McGinley and Sean Tierney traded scores just before the break to leave a gap of 10 and the Rorys were facing a huge uphill battle.
On the resumption, Belturbet started on the front foot with two well-struck frees from Enda Henry. Laragh replied through wing-back Ian Leddy, who squeezed over a point from a tight angle, but Belturbet were competing well, with sub Eoin McGuigan influential.
They pulled back another with a super score from Conor Vaughan but the problem was, the damage was done. Chasing the game, they started to go for goals too early and eschewed a number of point-scoring opportunities. From one such situation, Laragh broke away and Man of the Match Jack McKenna sent over a huge point to make it 2-10 to 0-7 and put the issue beyond doubt.
They took the opportunity to empty their bench and all of their subs impresssed. They finished strongly, with Ruairi Power kicking two points, Jason Walsh one and Oisin Carolan another as they won pulling up to deservedly get their hands on the Gilroy Cup at long last.
Belturbet: Cian Vaughan, Luke Smith, Mark Lawlor, JohnCahill, Shane Fitzpatrick, Kevin McConnell, Fionán O’Reilly, Damien O’Reilly,Mark Teevan, Enda Henry, Cormac Donohoe, Niall Lawlor, Conor Vaughan, Sean ÓgLawlor, Conal McGinleyEoin McGuigan for Mark Lawlor (23 mins), Peter Shannon forLuke Smith (23), Brendan Fitzpatrick for Teevan (ht), Donal McDonald for McGinley (37), Jack O’Callaghan for N Lawlor (55), Jason O’Reilly for Vaughan (60)
Laragh United: Fergal O’Rourke, Stephen Cooney, FergalMcKenna, Cian Carolan, Ian Leddy, Colm McKenna, Lee Reilly, Eoin Donoghue,Shane O’Rourke, Sean Tierney, Paul Smith, Jack McKenna, Liam McKenna, PatrickRudden, Pauric O’Reilly
Subs: Ruairi Power for S Tierney (40 mins), Oisin Carolan for P O’Reilly (43), Barry Davis for Cooney (47), Jason Walsh for Donoghue (48), Cian O’Rourke for L McKenna (56). Kieran O’Donoghue for Rudden (59).
Referee: James Clarke.