Leonard shows nerves of steel to hit equaliserSeptember 6, 2012 - 7:00am
MOUNTBELLEW/ MOYLOUGH 0-13
FRANK FARRAGHER IN TUAM STADIUM
ONE of the under-age matches of the year in Galway club football as Corofin and Mountbellew played out a cracking draw in the North Board Minor A final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday evening, before the last kick of the match decreed that the sides would have to meet again.
Almost six minutes of injury had elapsed when Corofin centre forward Jason Leonard faced into a 25 yard free, just a few paces from the sideline on the stand side, with the words of referee Teddy Kerin ringing in his ear that this was to be the last kick of the match.
Mountbellew/Moylough were hanging on to a precarious one point lead, but Leonard showed admirable composure and made a perfect contact with the placed ball to tie up the match – it was a score than any freetaker across the country would have been proud to land and it meant that Corofin had lived to fight another day . . . but only just.
This match had two key ingredients that kept the crowd of about 400 people perplexed from start to finish. Firstly both sides enjoyed spells of total dominance while secondly the two forward lines looked to have the beating of their opposing defences when the possession supply lines opened up.
Mountbellew started with a devastating burst in the opening 10 minutes storming into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead as the combination play of Colm Mannion, Noel McDonagh and Eoin Finnerty cut through the home defence.
Matthew Barrett and Barry McHugh had dominated the early midfield exchanges but just when they seemed to be on the point of being over-ran, Corofin rallied, and over the course of five minute of pulsating action, could actually have hit the net on three occasions.
Corofin started to swarm around the fringes of the midfield exchanges with wing back Colin Brady raiding particularly effectively and he had one goal bound effort brilliantly saved by Moylough ‘keeper Damien Boyle in the 13th minute.
Just prior to that, Corofin centre forward Jason Leonard spurned another goal chance when he drove a penalty high over Boyle’s crossbar but at this stage, Mountbellew/Moylough were really under siege.
Midway through the half, the Corofin fans were also cheering for what looked like a certain goal, when Scott Veldon’s chip over Boyle clipped Mountbellew fingers along the way and just drifted inches wide for a fruitless ‘45’.
Corofin though continued to drive on through the second quarter with full forward Martin Farragher kicking three great points from play while Justin Leonard and Dylan Wall also hit the target.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.