Despite conceding a goal after two minutes to Jerome O’Shea, the Ring lads found their feet and two green flags from county football star Liam Ó Lionáin in the 6th and 11th minutes gave them a lead they never surrendered.
With Seamas Ó Lionáin and Daragh Breathnach superb in defence, and Shane Ó Ceallaigh giving a man of the match display at centrefield, Ring began to strangle the life out of the St Molleran’s challenge. Another goal from Cian Ó Conchuir, quickly followed by a Padraig Ó Murchu point, left them leading 3-3 to 1-4 at the interval.
Five points still separated the sides entering the final quarter when corner-forward Alan Walsh threw the losers a lifeline with a tremendous goal. Ring edged four points clear but the gap was cut five minutes from time when O’Shea lofted over a super point.The Carrickbeg outfit pressed and pressed for the equaliser but were thwarted time and again by resolute Ring defending.
Scorers for Ring: L. Ó Lionain (2-0); P. Ó Murchu (0-4, frees); C. Ó Conchuir (1-0); S. Ó Ceallaigh (0-1).
Scorers for St. Molleran’s: J. O’Shea (1-1); A. Walsh (1-0); N. O’Donnell (0-2); R. Murphy, T. Reade (f), (0-1) each.
RING: P. Ó Cathain; S. Ó Cuirrin. L. Ó Cuirrin, S. Ó Lionain; E. Breathnach, D. Breathnach, C. Ó Murchadha; S. Ó Ceallaigh, N. Ó Murchadha; T.Ó hUallachain, P. Ó Murchadha, M. Toibin; L. Ó Lionain, C. Ó Conchuir, J. Ó hArtaigh.Subs: E. Ó Crotaigh for E. Breathnach; L. De Gras for Ó hArtaigh.
ST. MOLLERANS: S. Cullen; M. Reade, D. Reade, P. Maher; B. Landers, R. Murphy, B. Drohan; R. Keane, G. Maher; J. Dooley, T. Reade, N. O’Donnell; A. Walsh, B. Faulkner, J. O’Shea. Sub: E. Burke for Dooley.
Referee: Vincent O’Toole, Roanmore.