The jubilant Kilmeena team who defeated St. Patrick’s, Sligo, in the AIB Connacht Club JFC final at Markievicz Park this afternoon. Photo: David Farrell

Mayo champions are magnificent as they cruise to victory

Kilmeena were crowned Connacht junior Gaelic football club champions following a huge 1-18 to 0-5 victory over Sligo champions St. Patrick’s, Dromard, in the final at Markievicz Park, Sligo, this afternoon, reports Aiden Henry.

To say it was a brilliant display by the west Mayo side would be an understatement. From start to finish they produced a performance that their Sligo opponents had no answer to.

This must rank as one of Kilmeena’s finest displays ever and they can look forward to the All-Ireland series in three weeks’ time, when they meet the winners of the Leinster final between the Offaly and Kildare champions.

As the scoreline suggests, this was an easy victory for Kilmeena in the end. Indeed, when the two teams went in for the half-time interval it was difficult to see anything other than a Kilmeena victory as they held an eight-point lead, 0-10 to 0-2.

Once Kilmeena settled into their stride they rattled off five points in each of the two opening quarters with top quality points coming from John McGlynn (two), Darragh Keaveney (three), Niall Feehan, Niall Ryan (two) and two from man of the match Jack Carney. A feature of these 10 Kilmeena points in this first half was that nine came from open play.

If there was any doubt about a Kilmeena victory at half-time, it was gone a minute after the resumption when great old warrior Niall Ryan crashed home the game’s only goal following an inch-perfect pass from John McGlynn. This was the killer blow for the Sligo side, although it must be said they continued to battle hard to the bitter end.

After Ryan’s goal, Kilmeena added eight more points to their tally while St. Patrick’s managed two late pointed frees to put a more respectable look on the final scoreboard.

In the end it was a truly great all round performance for Kilmeena, who can look forward with plenty of confidence in the All-Ireland series.

Finally, it would be wrong not to mention the brilliant spirit in which this game was played as both teams made the match official’s day very easy by the sporting way in which they performed.

*See Tuesday's print edition for a full match report and reaction