A goal from Aidan McGarrell seven minutes from time was the crucial score in this Kevin Mullen Shield encounter in Courtbane as the Westerns men claimed the spoils. There was very little between the sides throughout until McGarrell’s three-pointer gave his side some breathing space in the closing stages of their hard fought win.
In ideal conditions, the home side opened the scoring in the second minute following a fine free kick from Padraig Moley. The visitors responded when Moynagh grabbed a quick-fire brace before Donal Begley levelled matters in the 12th minute. Trevor Baylon restored his sides lead before Ciaran McScriven pushed them into a two-point lead by the 18th minute. However, the home side got back on level terms soon after when Ciaran Hughes and Peter McShane got their names on the scoresheet. But the visitors would go in at the break with the slenderest of leads when Rian Duffy claimed the last score of the half.
Half-Time: Naomh Malachi 0-4 Westerns 0-5
The Reaghstown men extended their lead upon the resumption of play through Moynagh and Anthony Durnin but the home side were given a boost when full forward Tiernan Gonnelly pounced on a loose ball in the Westerns goal mouth and finished past Damien Boylan for the opening goal of the contest. Gonnelly added a point soon after to give his side the lead once again but the visitors responded in kind when Durnin and Peter Shiels pointed. Any hope the home side had though evaporated when Aidan McGarrell found space in the Malachi’s defence before finishing with aplomb past Meegan. Although the home side battled gamely a pointed free kick from Ronan Greene was all they had to show for their efforts as the Westerns finished with a brace from Colin Martin and Duffy to give them a five-point victory.
Naomh Malachi: Mark Meegan; David Begley, Stephen Burns, Sean Gogarty; Peter McShane (0-1), David Rogers, Shane Roddy; Pierce Caherty, Padraig Moley (0-1); Donal Begley (0-1), Ciaran Hughes (0-1), Niall Dowdall; Emmet Mullen, Tiernan Gonnelly (1-1), Noel Donaldson.
Subs: Ronan Greene (0-1) for Caherty (inj) (30), Fra McArdle for Gonnelly (inj) (50).
Westerns: Damien Boylan; Andrew Murray, James Ward, Micheal Martin; Sean McGuinness, Dylan Ogle, Justin Nevin; Anthony Durnin (0-2), Trevor Baylon (0-1); Colin Martin (0-1), Aidan McGarrell (1-0), Niall Moynagh (0-3); Rian Duffy (0-2), Peter Shiels (0-1), Ciaran McScriven (0-1).