Monday 21 October 2019

David beats Goliath: Tiny Mullinalaghta club slays Dublin giants Kilmacud for Leinster glory

Pure elation: John Keegan of Mullinalaghta St Columba’s celebrates after the final in O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photos: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Pure elation: John Keegan of Mullinalaghta St Columba’s celebrates after the final in O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photos: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Patrick Fox of Mullinalaghta St Columba’s celebrates after the final in O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Photos: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A tiny GAA club in Co Longford has slain the Dublin champions in an extraordinary David versus Goliath clash.

The half-parish of Mullinalaghta, with a population of about 350, left Kilmacud Crokes gob-smacked after beating them 1-8 to 1-6 at yesterday's Leinster club SFC final.

The odds were against Mullinalaghta St Columba's, who were up against the likes of Dublin's multiple All-Ireland winners Paul Mannion and Cian O'Sullivan. But to everyone's shock, the tiny club created one of the best sports stories of 2018.

The underdogs trailed by three points with four minutes left on the clock at O'Connor Park in Tullamore.

But they rallied in the final minutes, with David McGivney reducing the gap to two before Gary Rogers rifled home a 59th-minute penalty.

Longford GAA records Mullinalaghta St Columba's membership at just 155 - of which 114 are adults.

Their Dublin opponents have 4,800 members.

Manager Mickey Graham said after the game that he was "lost for words".

"It just shows you that with hard work, small teams, if they have a panel of players willing to make the sacrifice, can achieve things like this."

Mullinalaghta's full-back Patrick Fox was named man of the match.

"There are no words to describe it," he said.

"We've put in some work over the last three years. It's amazing. We always believed."

Local councillor Paraic Brady told the Irish Independent that "the mighty have fallen".

"The thing about the boys at Mullinalaghta is that they have no fear whatsoever. They couldn't care less about their opponents' winning record and faced them head on."

Irish Independent

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