Friday 18 October 2019

Abbeylara fight back to earn a replay with Mullinalaghta

Mullinalaghta 0-6 Abbeylara 0-6

John Keegan of Mullinalaghta. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
John Keegan of Mullinalaghta. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Mullinalaghta and Abbeylara will have to battle it out again next weekend to determine what team will be crowned Longford county champions, after yesterday's decider finished all square at a windy Pearse Park.

Mullinalaghta looked on course to secure their third county title in a row after they eked out a narrow two-point advantage against their neighbours midway through the second-half.

Conor McElligott of Mullinalaghta St Columba's consoles Padraig Berry of Abbeylara after the match. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Conor McElligott of Mullinalaghta St Columba's consoles Padraig Berry of Abbeylara after the match. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Abbeylara, however, refused to surrender and the introduction of former county player Pádraig Berry provided a much-needed lift in the closing minutes.

Mullinalaghta trailed by one point at half-time.

Abbeylara enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the opening half hour and had a chance to stretch their lead to three points in the final moments of the first-half, but Cian Brady pulled his close-range shot wide.

Mullinalaghta suffered a major setback just before that particular incident, after their centre-forward James McGivney was issued a black card for a trip on Robbie Smyth.

Abbeylara made the most of the strong wind, as Barry McKiernan and Nigel Rabbitte raised the white flag from placed balls.

Mullinalaghta replied soon after and Donal McElligott found the target with a fisted effort, while John Keegan (above) followed up with an excellent score.

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After the restart Mullinalaghta bridged the gap as David McGivney levelled proceedings on the 38th minute mark.

They continued to push their opponents on to the back foot, but Abbeylara kept their composure and two points ensured they would get another chance to cross swords next Sunday, with the replay confirmed for 3:30pm in Pearse Park.

SCORERS - Abbeylara: N Rabbitte 0-4 (1f), B McKiernan (1f), J Kelly 0-1 each. Mullinalaghta: R Brady 0-2 (2f), D McElligott, J Keegan, D McGivney, G Rogers ('45) 0-1 each.

Abbeylara - G Kelly; M McHugh, F Battrim, C Smyth; R Drady, S Mahon, PJ Masterson; C P Smyth, B McKiernan; C Brady, C Berry, J Kelly, A Dalton, B Smyth, N Rabbitte. Subs: R Smyth for Dalton (25), P Berry for B Smyth (48), C Lynch for McHugh (53),

M Battrim for Masterson (BC) (57).

Mullinalaghta - P Rogers; S Cadam, P Fox, C Brady; F Mulligan, S Mulligan, D McElligott; D McGivney, J Keegan; G Rogers, J McGivney, B Fox; J Matthews, R Brady, A McElligott. Subs: C McElligott for J McGivney (BC) (32).

Ref - D Keane (Grattan Og).

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