Midfielders lay platform
Monageer-Boolavogue 3-8 Réalt Na Mara 1-7
The midfield partnership of Cathal Walsh and Ian Hawkins fired Monageer-Boolavogue to victory over Réalt Na Mara in the opening round of the Greenstar Under-20 football championship Division 4A, as the towering pair accounted for an impressive 2-5 of their side's tally in this entertaining affair in Monageer on Saturday.
Both sides were evenly matched and there was very little separating them early on.
That was until Hawkins fired his second goal coming up to half-time, which gave his team the edge, as they managed to hold their lead throughout and eventually saw off a second-half rally from the Ballygarrett-based side.
James Fleming was in blistering form right from the off, as he fired the visitors in front with two great efforts in the opening minutes.
His good work was undone, however, as Hawkins judged a high delivery perfectly, sneaking inside the full-back line and firing home from close range.
The home side were unlucky not to have a second moments later as the resultant kick-out was intercepted and the ball found its way to James Stone whose goal-bound effort whizzed past the post.
Fleming levelled matters midway through the half after a well-worked move before Monageer-Boolavogue's midfield duo turned on the style.
Firstly, Cathal Walsh hit a hat-trick of points in the space of four minutes, before Hawkins rattled the net for a second time with a cracking effort which gave the home side a reasonably handsome half-time lead.
Réalt na Mara were right back in it shortly after the resumption when Tom Hobbs hit the net with a splendid finish.
It was still very much to play for at this stage and the game's chief marksmen, Walsh and Fleming, traded scores twice, leaving four between them going into the final five minutes.
But the home side finished the game strongest, with Robbie Donnelly and Páraic Wlash hitting points before Noel Rowsome finished the game off with a late goal from long range.
Monageer-Boolavogue: Lee McHale; Seán O'Leary, Shay Gahan, Darragh Walsh; Carl Rowsome, Michael Rossiter, Noel Rowsome (1-0); Ian Hawkins (2-0), Cathal Walsh (0-5, 3 frees); Micheál Gahan (0-1), Robbie Donnelly (0-1), Diarmuid Fenlon; Páraic Walsh (0-1), Colm McGannon, James Stone.
Réalt na Mara: Adam Fleming; Johnny Sinnott, Billy Dunne, Brian Lee; Conor Doyle, Gavin Morris, Ciarán Dunne; Brendan Corcoran, James Flynn; Tom Hobbs (1-0), James Fleming (0-6, 2 frees), Cillian Doyle; Seán Noone, Darragh O'Toole (0-1), Rory O'Connor. Sub. - Seán Neary for Noone.
Referee: Francis Neville (Shelmaliers).