Raymond McLaughlin scored 1-7 as St Michael’s came from behind to topple Kilcar at the Bridge in Dunfanaghy on Sunday afternoon.
St Michael’s 2-11
The visitors had led after a wind-assisted first half 0-8 to 0-2 but St Michael’s used their local knowledge and Brian McLaughlin, who grabbed the hosts’ second goal, effectively in the second half to manufacture the victory that takes them back to the top of the Brian McCormick Sports All-County Football League Division One.
Michael Molloy’s Kilcar had the elements at their back in the first half and in Stephen McBrearty had a player who made the most of it.
The teenager scored two monster frees from 55 and 60 metres, as well as two points from play.
Kilcar also saw Aodhan McGinley score twice and Andrew McClean and James Cunningham were also on target.
With none of the county contingent barring Mark Anthony McGinley - the St Michael’s goalkeeper - involved, both sides were missing a host of regulars.
The main talking point at the break was whether the six-point cushion would be enough for the Towney outfit.
As it turned out, it wouldn’t. With Brian McLaughlin plonked in at full-forward from the substitutes’ bench, St Michael’s now had an avenue to go long.
At the same time, Raymond McLaughlin, who scored St Michael’s only two points in the first half, continued his impressive form.
On 38 minutes, Christopher McElhinney pounced on a Kevin Campbell kick-out and St Michael’s worked the space well and Brian McLaughlin squared for his brother Raymond to slap the opening goal.
Kilcar claimed to have cleared the ball from the line but referee Liam McConigley consulted with the umpires - who were of differing opinions - and awarded the goal.
That made the score 1-4 to 0-8 but crucially, St Michael’s had the momentum.
Ryan Langan’s score on 44 minutes levelled the match and the balance of power was well and truly swung when Campbell in the Kilcar goal failed to gather a Michael Cannon ball in a minute later.
Brian McLaughlin was on hand to punish the goalkeeper and even lost his footing before getting back on his feet to score from a yard out.
Two more points from Raymond McLaughlin had St Michael’s in firm control, 2-7 to 0-8 up.
Barry Shovlin scored Kilcar’s first point of the second half on 56 minutes immediately before McGinley added another for the away team.
But that was as close as it was going to get as St Michael’s finished out the match strongly.
Points from Langan, Cannon, a Raymond McLaughlin free and a Lee Martin Carr effort sealed a win - one that came courtesy of an excellent 13-point turnaround.
St Michael’s: Mark Anthony McGinley; Brendan Rodden, Liam Paul Ferry, James Alcorn; Chris McElhinney, Michael Gallagher, Barry McGinley; Ciaran Gallagher, Peter Witherow; Andrew Kelly, Ciaran Kelly, Martin Breslin; Lee Martin Carr (0-1), Ryan Langan (0-2), Raymond McLaughlin (1-7, 1f). Subs: Michael Cannon (0-1) and Brian McLaughlin (1-0) for A Kelly and C Kelly (half-time)
Kilcar: Kevin Campbell; Stephen Shovlin, Pauric Carr, James Cunningham (0-1); Andrew McClean (0-1), Barry Shovlin (0-1), Daniel Lyons; Stephen McBrearty (0-4, 2fs), Aodhan McGinley (0-3, 1 ‘45’, 1f); Pauric Sweeney, Mark Sweeney, Cormac Cannon; Matthew McClean, David McShane, Gerard McBrearty. Sub: Dermot McGinley for Lyons (59 ).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings).