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Comeback kings! 1-3 in injury-time clinches dramatic Leinster title win for Moorefield

The Kildare club snatched the spoils away from Westmeath’s St Loman’s.

Moorefield 1-14
St Loman’s (Mullingar) 2-10

Fintan O’Toole reports from O’Moore Park, Portlaoise

NO SHORTAGE OF drama on a December Sunday afternoon in Portlaoise as Kildare’s Moorefield claimed Leinster senior club honours in amazing fashion.

Moorefield staged an incredible comeback against Westmeath’s St Loman’s as they hit 1-3 in injury-time to snatch the spoils on a famous afternoon for the Newbridge club.

David Windsor and Ronan Sweeney 17/12/2017 St Loman's David Windsor and Moorefield's Ronan Sweeney Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

St Loman’s looked to have wrapped up a historic first Leinster title when Ronan O’Toole fired home their second goal in the 54th minute and propel them into a 2-10 to 0-10 lead.

Eanna O’Connor tapped over a 58th minute free but Moorefield still trailed by five points entering injury-time and their race looked to be run. However they delivered a stunning revival.

James Murray’s 61st minute charge forward created the opening for Ronan Sweeney to fire home a Moorefield goal that ignited their comeback. Then after St Loman’s Paul Sharry was dismissed for a second yellow card offence, O’Connor flighted over another free and then notched the leveling point from play in the 63rd minute.

Moorefield were then awarded a free 45 yards out in the dying seconds of the game and after O’Connor’s shot tailed wide of the target, the inspirational Ronan Sweeney punched the ball back into play where it fell to Kevin Murnaghan to tap over the match-winning point.

It was a heartbreaking defeat for St Loman’s to suffer. They had been superb in the second half to wipe out a three-point interval deficit.

Ken Casey notched a 37th minute goal that pushed them ahead 1-7 to 0-7 and their advantage grew to six points when O’Toole netted with six minutes of normal time left. Both goalscorers were constant attacking threats while main men John Heslin and Paul Sharry also stood up to help the Westmeath outfit dominate.

Paddy Dowdall and Eddie Heavey 17/12/2017 St Loman's Paddy Dowdall and Moorefield's Eddie Heavey Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

But St Loman’s didn’t register on the scoreboard after the second goal with Moorefield powering towards the finish line. The winners had been in front by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break, their second quarter dominance helping them establish a strong platform by the midway mark.

After the 18th minute Moorefield outscored St Loman’s by 0-5 to 0-1 with O’Connor and Sweeney pivotal to their best moments. They faded after half-time yet Moorefield never wilted and by the final whistle were celebrating Leinster club glory for the second time, 11 years after their initial breakthrough in 2006.

Scorers for Moorefield: Eanna O’Connor 0-8 (0-5f), Ronan Sweeney 1-1, James Murray 0-2, Kevin Murnaghan, Eddie Heavey, David Whyte 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Loman’s: Ken Casey, Ronan O’Toole 1-2 each, Paul Sharry, John Heslin (0-1f) 0-2 each, Shane Dempsey, Kelvin Reilly 0-1 each.

Moorefield

1. Tom Kinsella

4. Sean Healy
3. Liam Healy
2. Liam Callaghan

5. Kevin Murnaghan
6. James Murray
7. Mark Dempsey

8. Daryl Flynn (captain)
9. Aaron Masterson

20. David Whyte
11. Eddie Heavey
10. Ian Meehan

13. Eanna O’Connor
14. Ronan Sweeney
15.​ Niall Hurley Lynch

Subs

12. Aaron Mullins for Meehan (40)
23. Adam Sweeney for Masterson (52)
17. Sean Dempsey for Callaghan (55)

St. Loman’s

1. Jason Daly

2. Neil O’Toole
3. Jason O’Toole
4. Gerry Grehan

5. Gary Glennon
6. Paddy Dowdall
7. David Whelan

8. Paul Sharry
14. John Heslin

12. David Windsor
11. Ronan O’Toole
10. Kelvin Reilly

13. Ken Casey
9. Sean Flanagan
15. Shane Dempsey

Subs

17. Kieran Lynam for Flanagan (28)
21. Conrad Reilly for Niall O’Toole (33)
18. Ciaran Kilmurray for Whelan (55)
20. Billy O’Loughlin for Casey (black card) (58)
22. Shane Flynn for Windsor (60)

Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin)

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Fintan O'Toole

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