John Mitchels moved out of the relegation places thanks to an impressive second half display over Naomh Malachi in Ballyballie on Tuesday night. A ten-minute spell after the interval built up an effective lead over their counterparts and was to be the difference between the sides at the finish.
The opening half was a tight affair. Conor Reilly and Collie Rooney traded early scores, and although Robbie Coyle edged the hosts ahead from a placed ball in the 14th minute, Donal Begley restored parity with a well taken point soon after. A Rooney free kick put the visitors ahead before a long-range effort from Padraig Moley extended the lead by the 23rd minute. However, a Kevin Gallagher free kick and a second point from Reilly drew the sides level by the 29th minute. Although Emmet Mullen restored the Mals’ lead with a well-worked point, a thunderbolt from Robbie Coyle claimed the first goal of the contest, before a Rooney point on the stroke of half-time left the minimum between the sides at the interval.
Half-Time: John Mitchels 1-4 Naomh Malachi 0-6
Aaron Kealy opened his account for the mid-Louth side upon the resumption, before his side were dealt a blow when Aaron Kane received a black card for dragging down Jamie Kelly inside the small square. Ronan Greene finished the spot kick with aplomb to give the visitors a one-point lead in the 35th minute. However, this incident spurred the hosts into action, and while Stephen Coyle drew the sides level soon after, the Mitchels regained the lead when Reilly finished past the unlucky Niall Bird. Points from Reilly and wing back Brendan McDonnell were added to by a long-range effort from substitute Neill Reilly as the hosts grew in confidence. A Rooney free kick stemmed the tide albeit momentarily as Barry Kirk kicked his side’s tenth point of the contest. In the closing stages, two points from Coyle and a second from McDonnell extended the gap, and although Shane Rogers claimed the last point, it was the home side who reigned supreme and moved out of the relegation places at the Malachi’s expense.
Full-Time: John Mitchels 2-13 Naomh Malachi 1-8
John Mitchels: David Anderson; Ryan Carroll, Emmet Farrell, Aaron Kane; Brendan McDonnell (0-2), Mitchell Keenan, Anthony Coyle; James Clarke, Aaron Kealy (0-1); Kevin Gallagher (0-1 1f), Conor Reilly (1-3), Stephen Coyle (0-1); Alan Mackin, Robbie Coyle (1-3 2f), Barry Kirk (0-1).
Subs: Neill Reilly (0-1) for Kane (black card)
Naomh Malachi: Niall Bird; David Begley, David Rogers, Sean Gogarty; Ciaran Hughes, Ronan Greene (1-0 1p), Donal Begley (0-1); Ronan McElroy, Pierce Caherty; Jamie Kelly, Collie Rooney (0-4 3f), Emmet Mullen (0-1); Tiernan Gonnelly, Shane Rogers (0-1), Padraig Moley (0-1).
Subs: Francis McArdle for Caherty
Referee: Thomas Brennan