Darren Brennan made a telling move into attack for last year's beaten county finalists St Lachtains.
An extra shift in gear in the final quarter helped O’Loughlin Gaels to victory at Jenkinstown against St Lachtain’s of Freshford in a very competive fixture.
A point through Freshford’s Pat Killeen opened up the scoring before O’Loughlin’s hit a three pointer on the fifth minute through the hardworking Fergal Brennan.
The Gaels added two further points before Freshford returned through James Maher in what was an even contest throughout, Freshford regaining the momentum before Darren Brennan hit for goal on the 14th minute.
Freshford were now looking in charge with points through Darragh Maher, Joe Fitzpatrick and Darren Brennan.
However the Gaels kept the scores ticking over and kept in touch through a further Brennan goal and three great saves from Declan Murphy.
The half-time score read O’Loughlin Gaels 1-11, St Lachtain’s 2-7.
Freshford hit first in the second half with a point through John Fitzpatrick.
The Gaels hit back immediately through Jamie Ryan but it was Freshford who were piling on the pressure with goalkeeper Declan Murphy again called into action for the Gaels.
Fresh legs in the final quarter proved to be the key for the Gaels however.
Alex Sheridan’s introduction had an immediate effect with a fine point from him.
The fresh energy caught Freshford again when substitute Billy Leydon pointed and Sheridan who was on hand again to assist Seanie Bolger for a 59th minute goal to put the game to rest .
It was an impressive finish by the O’Loughlin’s second string side and beat the side that appeared in last year’s county final is no small thing.
The city side will look to continue that momentum when they meet Danesfort in the second round of the League on Saturday.
Freshford on the other hand will be disappointed at how the game got away from them in the final quarter and they will look to get back on track against Rower Inistioge this weekend.
One positive for St Lachtain’s was the impact outfield from Darren Brennan.
The Kilkenny sub goalkeeper scored 1-3 outfield and in similar fashion to Eoin Murphy with Glenmore, he looks like he could be a valuable asset over the next few weeks.
Teams and Scorers
O’Loughlin Gaels - Sean Bolger (1-5, 0-4 frees); Fergal Brennan (2-1); Jamie Ryan (0-2); Evan Walsh, Sammy Johnston, Ryan Poyntz, Alex Sheridan, Gary Kelly, Billy Leydon (0-1 each)
St Lachtain’s - Darren Brennan (1-3, 0-1 free); Cathal O’Leary (0-4, frees); Darragh Maher (0-3); John Fitzpatrick (0-3); James Maher (0-2); Patrick Killeen (0-1).
O’Loughlin Gaels - Declan Murphy; Jack Lawlor, Barry Lawlor, Ronan Buckley; John McNamara, Ben Leydon, Evan Walsh; John Doyle, Jamie Ryan; Ryan Poyntz, Sean Bolger, Dacel Fwamba; Fergal Brennan, Sammy Johnston, Gary Kelly.
Subs: Billy Leydon, Alex Sheridan.
St Lachtain’s - Jordan Burke; Mark Donnelly, Harry Burke, Shane Dawson; Brendan Quinn, Criomthann Bergin, Simon Rafter; Cormac Rafter, Allie Rafter; Darragh Maher, John Fitzpatrick, Darren Brennan; Cathal O’Leary, Patrick Kileen, James Maher.
Referee - Stephen Delaney (Graigue-Ballycallan)
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.