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Goal-fest in Courtbane as the Mals secure third win on the bounce

Goal-fest in Courtbane as the Mals secure third win on the bounce

Naomh Malachi and the John Mitchels served up a classic encounter in Courtbane on Friday but ultimately it will be the home side who will be much the happier following their come-from-behind victory. In this goal fest, it was a fisted effort from Donal Begley in the 51st minute that proved to be the catalyst for the Mals to claim the two points on offer.

Kevin Gallagher opened the scoring for the visitors in the opening minute but this was soon cancelled out by an excellent point from Noel Donaldson. Some quick thinking from Ronan McElroy and Begley set up Tiernan Gonnelly for the opening goal of the contest in the 5th minute. The scoring did not abate however, as Conor Reilly popped up with a fine score from his centre back position before Ben O’Brien scored a fortuitous goal for the Ballybailie men when a loose ball ricocheted off him and past Liam McCann. Padraig Moley responded with a well taken point for the hosts but the Mals were rocked once again in the 17th minute when Rory Durnin connected sweetly on the half-volley to regain the lead for his side. Gallagher and Ronan Greene traded points before another trademark run from Reilly resulted in a score, and when Robbie Coyle knocked over a free kick and Aaron Kealy tapped over another, the visitors held a commanding six point lead by the 26th minute. The Mals needed a response, and some fine build up from Conor Gonnelly and Begley set Colin Rooney into the clear and he finished with aplomb past David Anderson for his sides second goal. A pointed free from Greene on the stroke of half time meant that the sides went into the break two points in arrears following an entertaining opening exchange.
Half-Time: Naomh Malachi 2-4 John Mitchels 2-6

Some good interplay between the impressive David Rogers and Darren Rowland set up Greene for the opening score of the second half, and the former Louth man drew the sides level in the 39th minute with a fine curling effort. Rooney put the Mals for the first time since the 5th minute before Gallagher equalised from a placed ball. The visitors regained the lead when Durnin finished past McCann for their third major following a goal mouth scramble. The Mals were on the back foot but a run of three excellent scores from Greene, Gonnelly and substitute Ciaran Hughes in as many minutes drew the sides level once again. With the game in the balance, Begley got his fist to the end of a long ball from Greene to claim the sixth goal of the contest and establish a lead for the home side. Moley and the industrious Donaldson added further points and although Durnin and Reilly added two late scores it was all to no avail as the Mals claimed their third win of the league campaign.
Full-Time: Naomh Malachi 3-12 John Mitchels 3-9

Naomh Malachi: Liam McCann; David Begley, Stephen Burns, Conor Gonnelly; Jamie Kelly, Peter McShane, David Rogers; Ronan McElroy, Padraig Moley (0-2); Donal Begley (1-0), Ronan Greene (0-5 2f), Noel Donaldson (0-2); Colin Rooney (1-1), Tiernan Gonnelly (1-1), Darren Rowland.
Subs: Ciaran Hughes (0-1) for McElroy (inj), Shane Roddy for Rowland.

John Mitchels: Daniel Anderson; Aaron Kane, Mark Rooney, Connell Keenan; Ryan Carroll, Conor Reilly (0-3), Mitchell Keenan; James Clarke, Neil Reilly; Aaron Kealy (0-1), Kevin Gallagher (0-3 2f), Ben O’Brien (1-0); Rory Durnin (2-1), Dean McGloughlin, Robbie Coyle (0-1 1f).
Subs: Emmet Farrell for Keenan, Gareth Finnegan for Kealy.

Referee: John Crawley

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