O'Raghallaighs' Andrew Rogan and Ciarán Brassil lift the Division Two title after today's victory over Kilkerley Emmets. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
O'Raghallaigh's 2-20 Kilkerley Emmets 1-15
O’Raghallaigh’s claimed the Division Two title on Sunday afternoon with a comprehensive display at the Gaelic Grounds.
Mickey Conlon’s men were already the division’s top-scorers, but to have enhanced their plus-200 point tally in the manner they did, against a Kilkerley Emmets side who would have taken the title themselves with a win, underlines their diligence and quality.
Having coped with some early pressure from Emmets, O’Ragh’s ran amok with each of their starting forwards among the scorers.
Tadhg McEnaney led the visitors’ charge. However, unusually, Shane Lennon had an off day beside him and saw a late penalty - which, if converted, would have merely acted as a consolation, wonderfully saved by Joe Flanagan, down to his right.
Had Emmets taken some of their first half goal chances, things may have turned out differently, with Ronan Mulholland seeing a shot saved as Lennon and Daniel McKeown stood free across goal in what was their clearest-cut opening.
But they were never in control and the home side’s dominance at midfield gave them the platform to record a 10th league win from 11.
Moore and McEnaney traded five points apiece in the first half, but O’Ragh’s deservedly led 0-12 to nine at the turnaround and Rogan’s goal three minutes after the break put them firmly on their way to glory.
Winger Daniel Morgan, one of three impressive youngsters in the winners’ ranks, along with Jack Carr and Olan Walshe, bagged his team’s second major before Emmets captain Shaun McElroy was dismissed after a coming together.
The numbers were later evened when Robert Mulroy was ordered off, but his team were in cruise control by that juncture and leading 2-16 to 0-11.
Seán Hand’s long punt found its way into the back of the net after some confusion in the O’Ragh’s goalmouth as the travelling contingent got something to shout about.
However, there was only one team making noise at full-time as O’Raghallaigh’s sealed their return to Division One.
O’Raghallaigh’s: Joe Flanagan (0-1, ‘45); Stephen Murphy, Ciarán Brassil, Tómas Callan; Eoin Moore, Chris Smith (0-1), James Moonan; Alan Doyle (0-1), Robert Mulroy; Jack Carr (0-1), Barry Flanagan (0-4, three frees), Daniel Morgan (1-1); Olan Walshe (0-1), Ben Rogan (1-4), Rúairí Moore (0-6, two frees)
Subs: Andrew Rogan for Morgan, Dean Byrne for Walshe, Matthew Moore for Callan, Seán Grennan for Rúairí Moore
Kilkerley Emmets: Darren Meehan; Cormac Bellew, Alan McGeough, Ciarán Clarke; Rian Hand, Andrew McGuill, Shaun McElroy; Ciarán Bellew, James Fegan; Ronan Mulholland, Seán Hand (1-3), Killian Kampes (0-1); Tadhg McEnaney (0-9, four frees), Shane Lennon (0-2, one free), Daniel McKeown
Subs: Ciarán Murtagh for Mulholland, Fintan Clarke for McGeough, Ciarán McGlynn for Ciarán Bellew, Conall McEnaney for McKeown (black card), Niall Mulholland for Kampes
Referee: Gerard Corrigan (Mattock Rangers)