O'Reilly Goals send Moytura to Midlands
History was made in Ballinrobe on Sunday last as the Moytura Hurling Club qualified to represent Mayo at the National Feile na nGael hurling festival, as they overcame the challenge of a skilful Westport side. Again, Moytura full-forward Ronan O'Reilly was the hero of the moment as he bagged five close range goals, to add to the four he converted in his sides semi-final outing a week earlier.
Played in pristine conditions on Ballinrobe Community School Pitch, it was O'Reilly who opened the scoring with his first goal within a minute of the throw in, courtesy of a long-ball into the danger area from Moytura midfielder Liam Noone. Westport's response was almost immediate with Killian Kilkelly pointing before David Elkayem put the Covies in front as raised Westports first green flag in the 4th minute. Dwayne Corcoran increased Westport's lead minutes later as he converted the point of the game from out on the left touch-line. In a livewire close to the opening half, O'Reilly again for Moytura and Ronan Higgins for Westport traded goals to leave the minimum between the sides with five minutes remaining in the opening half. It was at this stage that O'Reilly bagged another brace of goals within a minute, as he pounced with predatory instinct on two mix-ups in the Westport full back-line to leave his side at 4-1 to 2-2 in front going in at the interval.
Moytura started the second half the strongest and a point from centre-forward David Varley was shortly followed by another Moytura goal - this time courtesy of midfielder Evan Somerville. Westport's continuous attack reaped further points from Killian Kilkelly and Dara Gallagher, but tidy goalkeeping from Kieran O'Halloran along with stout defending from James Murphy and Shane O'Halloran kept the Moytura goalmouth clear. It was fitting however, that O'Reilly finished off the scoring of the day as he converted his fifth goal - and Moyturas sixth in total - as he rounded goalkeeper Westport 'keeper Robert Lee to seal his sides place at the All-Ireland Feile na nGael in Laois/Offaly in June.
After the game, Jackie Coyne (Mayo Hurling Committee Secretary ) presented the U14B Shield to Liam Noone - captain of the successful Moytura side. He congratulated both sides on their high skill level and wished the Moytura club the best of luck in their adventures at Feile na nGael. The Moytura club will be hosted by the St Finians Club of Mountrath in Laois, and are grouped with Lisnaskee Emmetts of Fermanagh and Clonad of Laois. For further information on Feile na nGael visit www.feilenangael09.gaa.ie
Footnote: In the U14A final, Tooreen had a convincing 2-19 to 0-2 win over Ballyhaunis in Tooreen. Tooreen will be hosted by the Harps Gaels Club in Laois and are also grouped with Abbeyleix of Laois and the Antrim representatives.
Moytura: Kieran O'Halloran; Daniel Gibbons, James Murphy, Rory King; Joe Burke, Shane O'Halloran, Brendan Varley; Liam Noone, Evan Somerville (1-1 ); Ernan Flannery, David Varley (0-1 ), Brendan Sheridan; Aaron Killeen, Ronan O'Reilly (5-0 ), Micheal Varley. Subs: Dara Deane, Colm O'Malley, Gary Hopkins.
Westport: Rob Lee; Jack O'Donnell, Eanna Varley, James Moran; Conor McHale, Shane Geraghty, Killian Browne; Ronan Geraghty, Dwayne Corcoran (0-1 ); Sean Brogan, Dara Gallagher (0-1 ), Stephen Coughlan; David Elkayem (1-0 ), Ronan Higgins (1-0 ), Killian Kilkelly (0-2 ). Subs: Paul Lambert, Patrick Lennon, Niall McManamon, Jack Byrne, Keith Hastings.
Ref: Gerry Kilbride (Ballyhaunis )