Naomh Eoin 1-12 Easkey 0-12
A storming performance from midfielder Tony O'Kelly-Lynch, who scored eight points, as well as a 57th-minute goal from Arthur Wall, earned Naomh Eoin their first ever Sligo SHC title at Markievicz Park.
West Sligo’s Easkey, who reformed their senior hurling team last year, had not won the title since 1963, with Sligo town outfit Naomh Eoin never having won the competition at all, although they were runners-up on eight occasions, including in last year’s decider.
After a scrappy opening period Naomh Eoin settled with a couple of points, including a fine score from Paul Kilcoyne, but Easkey eventually got into their stride with centre-back Rory McHugh growing in influence.
A wonder point from long-range by Tony O’Kelly-Lynch and then a pointed free from the same player saw Naomh Eoin lead 0-5 to 0-3 by the 17th minute.
But a brace of pointed frees from Joe McHugh brought Easkey level and the same player was denied a certain goal by Naomh Eoin goalkeeper Keavan Brennan’s splendid save.
Tony O’Kelly-Lynch and Joe McHugh then traded points before a fifth point of the day from Tony O’Kelly-Lynch, another massive effort from long-range by the midfielder, gave Naomh Eoin a deserved 0-7 to 0-6 interval lead.
Two more points from Tony O’Kelly-Lynch extended Naomh Eoin’s advantage but Easkey kept battling to draw level, 0-9 each, with scores from Rory McHugh, Andrew Kilcullen and Joe McHugh.
Joe McHugh, who returned to the fray after a brief spell in the dugout for running repairs, popped a '65’ to put Easkey ahead for the first time, 0-10 to 0-9.
Naomh Eoin then scored two points, Tony O’Kelly-Lynch and Paul Kilcoyne on target, to sway matters back in their favour, albeit narrowly.
Joe McHugh’s seventh point brought Easkey level but the game’s only goal - Wall with the decisive strike - gave Naomh Eoin the edge.
Naomh Eoin had the chance to net for a second time in stoppage time but Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch opted to take a point from a penalty opportunity.
Naomh Eoin: Kevan Brennan, David Hickey, Niall Feehily, Ryan Feehily, Michael Munnelly, Cathal Jordan, Liam Henry, Tony O’Kelly-Lynch (0-8, 6f), Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch (0-1 pen), Thomas O’Callaghan (0-1), Paul Kilcoyne (0-2), Donal Fidgeon, Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch, Arthur Wall (1-0), George Wall
Subs: Stephen Henry for George Wall (23), Colm Doran for Fergal O’Kelly-Lynch (44), Darragh Cawley for Ryan Feehily (50), George Wall for Thomas O’Callaghan (58)
Easkey: Jimmy Gordon, Bernard Feeney, Gavin Connolly, James Weir, Cormac Hallinan, Rory McHugh (0-2), Donall Hanley, Niall Kilcullen, Finnian Cawley, Kevin McGee, Mikey Gordon, Ian Barrett, Andrew Kilcullen (0-2), Joe McHugh (0-8, 5f, 1 ‘65’), Hayden Gilroy
Subs: Stephen Mulligan for Ian Barrett (h-t), Cahan Hallinan for Joe McHugh (39), Cahan Hallinan for Kevin McGee (49), Thomas Rolston for Hayden Gilroy (58), Eamonn Kilgannon for Andrew Kilcullen (60), Daniel Rolston for Donall Rolston (60+4)
Referee: James Judge (Mayo)