Kilkerley Emmets' Shane Lennon takes a tumble as team-mate Ciarán Bellew and Wayne Campbell of Naomh Máirtín come into contact. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Anchor Tours SFC group two
Naomh Máirtín 3-11 Kilkerley Emmets 1-9
JP Rooney inspired a dramatic comeback on Sunday night as Naomh Máirtín kept alive their Joe Ward campaign with a flatteringly comprehensive victory over Kilkerley Emmets in Dunleer.
The veteran was introduced as the Jocks flirted with defeat. Kilkerley deservedly led by two points, but from the minute Rooney shot past Cillian Quigley with his first piece of play, Jim Farrell’s men were set for victory.
Sam Mulroy followed up with the Monasterboice men’s third goal and as Kilkerley wilted, the winners piled on the misery. And misery it was as Emmets put in a very impressive performance for large chunks of the affair.
A shock looked on the cards as within 10 seconds of the throw-in the returning Tadhg McEnaney outmuscled Shane Campbell to beat Craig Lynch at his near post as Kilkerley led by a goal.
But the Jocks hit back instantly when Mulroy won and converted a penalty with aplomb.
Naomh Máirtín's Paul Berrill and Daniel McKeown of Kilkerley Emmets. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
The game flowed entertainingly for the remainder of the half with some fine scores being registered and wides kept to a minimum.
Level at the break, 1-5 apiece, Paul Litchfield’s charges emerged for the second period like men possessed, but spurned a glorious goal opening when Shane Lennon blazed off target, only to point a subsequent free to put them in front for the fourth time.
And when McEnaney and Shaun McElroy, with the point of the match, registered, Emmets led 1-8 to 1-6.
Wayne Campbell cut the gap before substitute Rooney stole in behind to claim Mick Fanning’s rained delivery and bury the ball in the back of the net.
That knocked the stuffing out of Kilkerley’s march as from there to the finish, they were outscored: 1-4 to a single point.
Naomh Máirtín: Craig Lynch; Paul Berrill, Mick Fanning, Shane Campbell; Thomas Sullivan, Adam Winters, John Clutterbuck; Wayne Campbell (0-3), Gavan Mooney (0-1); Stephen Campbell, Eoghan Callaghan (0-1), Conor Healy (0-2); Conor Whelan, Sam Mulroy (2-2, 1-0 penalty & 0-2 frees), Conor Morgan
Subs: Alan Downey for Shane Campbell, JP Rooney (1-1, 0-1 free) for Morgan, Bryan McQuillan (0-1) for Whelan, Pádraig McDonagh for Stephen Campbell, Francis McCullough for Clutterbuck, Eoin Wright for Berrill
Kilkerley Emmets: Cillian Quigley; Cormac Bellew, Alan McGeough, Fintan Clarke; Rian Hand (0-1), Andrew McGuill, Neil Mulholland; James Fegan (0-1), Ciarán Bellew; Shaun McElroy (0-1), Seán Hand, Daniel McKeown (0-1); Tadhg McEnaney (1-2, 0-2 frees), Shane Lennon (0-3, frees), Ciarán Clarke
Subs: Ronan Mulholland for Seán Hand, Killian Kampes for Rian Hand, Conal McEnaney for Fegan
Referee: Jonathan Conlon (O’Connell’s)