The quintessential game of two halves played out in Courtbane on Friday evening as the visitors put the hosts to the sword with a clinical second half performance. The table toppers didn’t have it all their own way and only held a slight advantage at the break, before turning on the style to run out comfortable winners.
An early point from Ronan Greene got the Mals up-and-running, but alas, this would be the only time they led in the game. In an evenly contested opening half, Dan O’Connell hit the back of the net for the visitors who had Barry O’Hare particularly accurate from the placed ball. The home side got back into the game when Jamie Kelly netted in the 21st minute. With half time approaching, a point from the evergreen Ronan McElroy garnered responses from O’Hare and O’Connell as the visitors held a three-point advantage at the short whistle.
Half-Time: Naomh Malachi 1-2 Roche Emmets 1-5
The second half proceedings however were in stark contrast to the first as an early goal from O’Hare set the tone for a ruthless display of attacking football. Evin Quigley, who had started the game between the sticks, was next to open his account, pointing from distance, and followed this up when he blasted past the hapless Mark Meegan. There was no let up for the Mals net minder as Quigley and O’Hare another further goals to their accounts before O’Connell pointed from distance. A second point from Greene and a quick-fire brace from Shane Rogers stemmed the tide, but only briefly, as Owen O’Hare pointed before his namesake sweetly struck two placed balls. Greene and Collie Rooney narrowed the gap somewhat before the supremely accurate O’Hare claimed his eighth and ninth points of the contest as the visitors punished ill discipline in the Mals defence. Late points from Rooney and Noel Donaldson were to no avail as a goal from Caoimhín Reilly put the gloss on a comfortable victory for the Roche men.
Full-Time: Naomh Malachi 1-9 Roche Emmets 7-13
Naomh Malachi: Mark Meegan; David Begley, David Rogers, Daniel Lundy; Peter McShane, Ronan Greene (0-3), Donal Begley; Padraig Moley, Ronan McElroy (0-1); Noel Donaldson (0-1), Jack Kirwan, Emmet Mullen; Collie Rooney (0-2), Shane Rogers (0-2), Jamie Kelly (1-0).
Subs: Tiernan Gonnelly
Roche Emmets: Evin Quigley (2-1); Gary Marmion, Harry O’Connell, Liam Dawe; Robbie Macken, Liam Carthy, David O’Connell; David Quigley, Dan O’Connell (1-2); Cathal Byrne, Enda Murphy, Owen O’Hare (0-1); Jamie O’Hare, Barry O’Hare (3-9 6f), Caoimhin Reilly (1-0).
Referee: Kevin Brady