Naomh Malachi got back to winning ways thanks to a stirring second half performance that put paid to the challenge of Dowdallshill in the semi final of the Kevin Mullen Plate. Played in ideal conditions in DkIT, the men from Courtbane produced a fantastic display of attacking football after the restart, adding 2-9 to their tally and securing a place in the final of the competition for the first time.
A minute silence preceded the game in memory of the late Genevieve Woods. When the game got underway both sets of forwards were showing early promise, but it was the Mals men who settled quickest and raced into a four point lead in the opening quarter through Ronan Greene, Jamie Kelly, Colin Rooney and Mark Meegan. Noel Finnegan opened the Dowdallshill account with a brace of scores, but the men from Courtbane finished the half stronger and further points from Donal Begley, Ronan McElroy, Greene and Kelly opened up a six point lead at the break.
Half-Time: Dowdallshill 0-2 Naomh Malachi 0-8
Needing a big start after the interval, the Hill side were rocked with two sucker punches inside the opening eight minutes of the second half, when first McElroy and then Colin Hoey (with a contender for goal of the season) finished to the back of the net. From this point onwards the Mals men assumed control on proceedings and further points from McElroy, Greene (2), Rooney, Padraig Moley and midfielder Pierce Caherty put daylight between the sides. Credit to the Dowdallshill men though, as Jack McGailey and two fine long-range efforts from Gerry McShane added to their scoreline. But it was the border side who would have the final say, and further points from Greene, Moley and Kelly put a gloss on their performance.
Full-Time: Dowdallshill 0-5 Naomh Malachi 2-17
Naomh Malachi: Liam McCann; Damien Hamill, Stephen Burns, David Begley; David Rogers, Colin Hoey (1-0), Conor Gonnelly; Pierce Caherty (0-1), Ronan McElroy (1-2); Donal Begley (0-1), Ronan Greene (0-5), Padraig Moley (0-3); Colin Rooney (0-2), Mark Meegan (0-1), Jamie Kelly (0-2).
Subs: Eamonn Murphy for Donal Begley, Ronan Lynch for Meegan.