Moorefield stage dramatic comeback to win Leinster football title

By John Fogarty

Moorefield (Kildare) 1-14 St Lomans (Westmeath) 2-10

In thrilling circumstances, Moorefield turned over a six-point deficit with six minutes of normal time remaining to claim their second Leinster senior football title in O’Moore Park this afternoon.

St Lomans, having been three behind at the break, had taken control of the game with a second goal in the 54th minute and were even five points to the good in the first minute of additional time.

But the comeback commenced when evergreen Ronan Sweeney drilled the ball to the net after a great James Murray interception. Eanna O’Connor then struck over a free after Paul Sharry picked up a second yellow card and then had the presence of mind to add another from play as Lomans reeled.

He was then offered a chance to win when a free was brought forward to the 45 metre line. He scuffed the shot but Sweeney kept it in play and laid it off to fellow veteran Kevin Murnaghan who turned and twisted to send over the winner.

Moorefield had been good value for their advantage at the turnaround but it was Lomans who took control thereafter, levelling matters six minutes into the second half with a third point without reply and then went ahead with Ken Casey’s goal in the 37th minute.

Their second goal, which started with a fine delivery by Sharry from deep to Kieran Lynam, was a classy team score, O’Toole finishing off the move. That looked to have sealed it for Lomans for Moorefield were not beaten.

St Lomans were the livelier at the outset but weren’t getting enough dividend for the amount of work they were putting in. Moorefield seemed happy to soak up the pressure and there was plenty of it from the intricate passes the Westmeath champions were putting together.

John Heslin opened the scoring but cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the half as David Whyte did a fine marking job on him. Shane Dempsey and Casey were largely cut off as much as Lomans went ahead in the 12th and 18th minutes.

But from there until the break it was mostly Moorefield. They strung together four points in a row as they put a lot of heat on Jason Daly’s restarts.

An O’Connor free began the purple patch and it was the Kerry native who concluded it with his second point from play. Kelvin Reilly did interrupt that spell with a fisted point but Murray finished out the half’s scoring to make it 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval.

Scorers for Moorefield: E. O’Connor (0-8, 5 frees); R. Sweeney (1-1); J. Murray (0-2); D. Whyte, E. Heavey, K. Murnaghan (0-1 each).

Scores for St Lomans: K. Casey, R. O’Toole (1-2 each); J Heslin (1 free), P. Sharry (0-2 each); K. Reilly, S. Dempsey (0-1 each).

ST LOMANS: J. Daly; N. O’Toole, J. O’Toole, G. Grehan; G. Glennon, P. Dowdall, D. Whelan; P. Sharry, J. Heslin; D. Windsor, R. O’Toole, K. Reilly; K. Casey, S. Flanagan, S. Dempsey.

Subs for St Lomans: K. Lynam for S. Flanagan (29); C. Reilly for N. O’Toole (33); C. Kilmurray for D. Whelan (55); B. O’Loughlin for K. Casey (black, 59); S. Flynn for D. Windsor (60+1).

Sent off: P. Sharry (60+2, second yellow).

MOOREFIELD: T. Kinsella; S. Healy, L. Healy, L. Callaghan; K. Murnaghan, J. Murray, M. Dempsey; D. Flynn (c), A. Masterson; D. Whyte, E. Heavey, I. Meehan; E. O’Connor, R. Sweeney, N. Hurley-Lynch.

Subs for Moorefield: A. Mullins for I. Meehan (40); S. Dempsey for L. Callaghan (55).

Referee: B. Tiernan (Dublin).



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