Sam McCartan (St Loman’s) and Marc Eivers (Shamrocks).

Late scores help St Loman’s to win Mullingar town derby

St Loman's, Mullingar 0-19 Mullingar Shamrocks 0-11

By Gerry Buckley

As expected, St Loman’s won the Mullingar derby against Shamrocks in the race for the Flanagan Cup last Sunday evening in muggy weather at TEG Cusack Park, but the underdogs emerged with a degree of credit against the county champions who only pulled away in the final quarter.

Shamrocks skipper Denis Corroon, who has had a fine campaign despite his side losing all their four matches to date, converted a tricky free after 80 seconds to open the scoring.

Sam McCartan equalised in style before a rapid-fire brace from the boots of Ronan O’Toole and Shane Dempsey respectively had the men in blue and white two clear after six minutes. Another Denis Corroon free and a great score from play by Ross Corroon levelled the scoring.

However, a hat-trick from John Heslin – two great frees either side of a fine team score – had the holders ahead by 0-6 to 0-3 at the first water break.

A fine mark by Oliver MacNamara and a well-judged free from Denis Corroon kept Enda Monaghan’s troops very much in touch. They should have taken the lead in the 23rd minute when great work by Efe Siode teed up Ross Corroon, but his slapped effort from point-blank range came back off the upright. McCartan converted a 28th-minute ‘45’ with aplomb.

Free-takers, Heslin and Corroon, exchanged excellent placed balls to round off the first moiety, with St Loman’s ahead by 0-8 to 0-6.

The overwhelming favourites doubled their advantage by the 34th minute with a lovely point from Peter Foy at the end of a patient move, and a Heslin free. Ross Corroon (a wonderful score) and Heslin (a free – the award for a foul on him seemed soft) soon swapped points.

There was no shortage of effort from the green and white-clad side but they were turned over regularly by their more experienced opponents, and in one such incident in the 40th minute, Fola Ayorinde crashed the ball against the crossbar.

Corroon (a free) and Dempsey (a tidy finish) traded points. Heslin was wide when a goal beckoned before O’Toole pointed to leave Declan Kelly’s charges ahead by 0-13 to 0-8 at the second water break.

O’Toole was on target again at the start of the final quarter, but a Denis Corroon brace (a free and a fabulous effort from open play) kept Shamrocks in touch. However, O’Toole and Heslin pointed in quick succession to extend the winners’ lead to six points (0-16 to 0-10) with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Another Heslin free made it a seven-point gap, either side of Danny McCartan and Ayorinde hitting the woodwork when scores looked certain. Dempsey and Ayorinde pointed in injury-time for the Delvin Road outfit – both should have found the net (with Philip Shaw doing well to deflect the first goal opportunity over his own crossbar).

Sub Lorcan Smyth scored a consolation point via the upright with time almost up.

Scorers – St Loman’s: J Heslin 0-8 (6f), R O’Toole 0-4, S Dempsey 0-3, S McCartan 0-2 (1‘45’), P Foy and F Ayorinde 0-1 each. Mullingar Shamrocks: D Corroon 0-7 (6f), R Corroon 0-2, O MacNamara (m) and L Smyth 0-1 each.

St Loman’s, Mullingar: Jason Daly; Sean Kelly, Jack Geoghegan, David Whelan; Peter Foy, Kelvin Reilly, Conor O’Donoghue; Ryan Jones, Sam McCartan; TJ Cox, Ronan O’Toole, Danny McCartan; Fola Ayorinde, John Heslin, Shane Dempsey. Subs used: Sean Flanagan for Cox (42), Kevin Regan for Jones (51), Eoghan Hogan for O’Donoghue (56), Gerry Grehan for Kelly (59).

Mullingar Shamrocks: Philip Shaw; Ryan Blundell, Efe Siode, Marc Eivers; John O’Reilly, Conn O’Hanlon, Dillon Matthews; Denis Corroon, Brian Farrell; Killian Daly, Ross Corroon, Alan Cashman; Oliver MacNamara, Paddy Fagan, Jordan Warde. Subs used: Paddy Joyce for R Corroon (inj., 37), Ken O’Reilly for Warde (48), Micheal Curley for Eivers (50), Lorcan Smyth for Cashman (54).

Ref: Alan Coyne (Castletown-Finea/Coole/Whitehall).