Naomh Malachi 2-10 Lann Léire 2-8

Naomh Malachi retained their Kevin Mullen Plate title with a well-deserved victory over Lann Leire in Courtbane on Tuesday night. The home side were never behind in the contest and were particularly dominant in the opening stages of the second half but had to withstand a fightback from the Dunleer men before securing the win.

Paul McShane’s men opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when Ronan Greene slotted over following good work from the Begley brothers. A Colin Rooney free kick stretched their lead however a brace of placed balls from Alan Murphy levelled matters. Rooney restored the Mals’ advantage before a fine penalty save from keeper Craig Devlin thwarted Greene’s effort. Rooney claimed his third point following good work from Ciaran Hughes. Greene followed suit with the Mals’ fifth point of the opening half before Noel Donaldson popped over after being set up by Ronan McElroy on the half-time whistle.
Half-Time: Naomh Malachi 0-6 Lann Leire 0-2

The Mals dominance was reflected on the board in the third quarter when Stephen Burns scrambled a ball to the back of the net. Although Shane Kennedy pointed, Donaldson responded soon after, and when Rooney goaled from close-range the Mals held a commanding lead. However, the visitors claimed a major when Kennedy set up Alan Kealy to narrow the gap. Murphy and Rooney exchanged scores as the game entered into the last ten minutes. Ian Mulroy found space in the Mals’ defence to claim his sides fifth point before a fine individual effort from Liam Campbell restored the home sides advantage. The visitors finished strongly when Murphy and a brace from midfielder Paul Callan reduced the arrears to four points. A Rooney free kick was added surety for the home side who retained their title despite conceding a last minute goal from Jason Torris.
Full-Time: Naomh Malachi 2-10 Lann Leire 2-8

NAOMH MALACHI: Liam McCann; David Begley, David Rogers, Conor Gonnelly; Stephen Burns (1-0), Peter McShane, Donal Begley; Ronan McElroy, Padraig Moley; Ciaran Hughes, Ronan Greene (0-2), Noel Donaldson (0-2); Colin Rooney (1-5 3f), Tiernan Gonnelly, Jamie Kelly.
Subs: Darren Rowland for T Gonnelly, Liam Campbell (0-1) for Hughes, Willie Finnegan for Kelly.

LANN LÉIRE: Craig Devlin; Thomas Doyle, Andrew Dowd, Jason Torris (1-0); James Torris, Ian Mulroy (0-1), Paul Doyle; Shane Kennedy (0-1), Paul Callan (0-2); Ben Holdcroft, Bob Murphy, Donal Clare; Mickey Durnin, Alan Murphy (0-4 3f), Liam Callan.
Subs: Alan Kealy (1-0) for Clare.

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