Laragh United 1-14
Laragh ended Mountnugent's intermediate championship hopes on Saturday evening with a superior second-half display at Kingspan Breffni Park.
In what was a repeat of the 2012 junior championship final, Kevin McDonnell's side dismantled their opponents, after having trailed at half-time, to achieve a similar result to the one they earned last October.
Liam McKenna's 18th minute goal looked to put Laragh in the driving-seat heading towards the interval, but Mountnugent came into their best form of the evening until the break to lead by one.
However, they couldn't keep up similar pace in the second-half as Patrick Rudden, who finished with 0-8, punished them with frees which were enough to get Laragh comfortably over the line.
With revenge undoubtedly an incentive used in the team huddle before throw-in, Mountnugent took the early lead in this game with a Ciaran Caffrey free and saw it doubled through Liam Hennessy in the 9th minute.
Hennessy would be unlucky to see the evening's first goal chance turned around the post thanks to a fine save from Laragh net-minder Martin Smith and it provided the Stradone men with the wake-up call they needed as points from Sean Tierney and Patrick Rudden (free) saw their account opened, but they still trailed after a well-worked '45' between Ciaran Caffrey and Eurick Reilly saw the former fire between the posts.
At that point, things looked to be running smoothly for Mountnugent but they'd be rocked on 18 minutes after Tierney did brilliantly to cut inside and speed past his marker to release an unmarked Liam McKenna, who blasted to Jonathan Givney's net.
Rudden's second free pushed the gap to three, but they' be back to square one in an instant after a superb bit of fielding from David Givney afforded him the time and space to release Hennessy and the corner-forward lashed past Smith for a timely three-pointer.
The major saw the Meath border men into somewhat of a purple patch as Ciaran Caffrey and David Givney landed long range points and the game could well have gotten away from Laragh had Hennessy's ambitious effort on goal not flashed just wide of the post. Instead they finished out the half strong, earning frees for Rudden to point to leave the difference at 1-6 to 1-5 by the halfway stage.
Mark Rehill's early score looked to be an indicator for Mountnugent, but it was their opponents that would come into some rich form in the third quarter as a Rudden free would be the first of four unanswered points to come. The centre-forward pointed from around his station soon after and when McKenna and Declan King done similar Laragh found themselves in a two-point lead heading towards the last 15 minutes.
Midfield aces Caffrey and Givney grafted to reduce Mountnugent's arrears, with the latter grabbing two points in five minutes, but Laragh truly found their range in the closing stages, with four different scores in the last 10 minutes which was more than enough to see out a deserved victory.
Laragh Utd: Martin Smith; Patrick King, Shane O'Rourke, Philip Fitzsimons; Declan King (0-1), Seamus Cooney, Liam Brady; Colin Oates, Enda Cullivan (0-1); Liam McKenna (1-1), Patrick Rudden (0-8, 5f), Cian O'Rourke; Gerry Murray, Declan Brady, Sean Tierney (0-2). Subs: Eoin Donohoe (0-1) for L Brady (Temp sub, 4 mins), E Donohoe for P Fitzsimons (29), Conal O'Donhoe for D Brady (35).
Mountnugent: Jonathan Givney; Ronan Kearney, Thomas Brady, Joey Adams; Thomas McCabe, Stephen Smith, Eoghan Smith; Ciaran Caffrey (0-4, 1f), David Givney (0-3); Daniel Harte, Ronan Caffrey, Reamon Finnegan; Mark Rehill (0-1), Eurick Reilly, Liam Hennessy (1-1). Subs: Gerard Barkey for E Reilly (Temp sub, 4mins), Graham Patterson for E Smith (HT), Gerard Barkey for M Rehill (42), Thomas Hennessy for S Smith (59).
Ref: Brian Crowe
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