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All still to play for as Martin's late score seals a replay date

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Colm Parkinson under pressure from Colin Goss, Jamie O'Hare, Owen Zamboglou, and Damien White

Colm Parkinson under pressure from Colin Goss, Jamie O'Hare, Owen Zamboglou, and Damien White

Colm Parkinson under pressure from Colin Goss, Jamie O'Hare, Owen Zamboglou, and Damien White

Leinster champions Moorefield from Kildare just about survived a stern test by Dromard of Longford in yesterday's provincial quarter-final at St Conleth's Park and while they have definite grounds for complaint having been denied what seemed a clearcut penalty on the cusp of full time, they will know that a significant improvement is required if they are to retain their title.

Francie McGee was the Dromard hero, finishing with an individual tally of 1-6, while Patrick Murray completed the 80 minutes strongly, with three points in the second half of extra time almost giving Moorefield the win.

In the end it was James Martin who secured a draw the visitors deserved, pouncing on a breaking ball to swivel and convert from about 30m.

Moorefield had begun well with a couple of points from Murray (free) and Ciarán Kelly but a brace of white flags from McGee, who gave Kevin O'Neill a torrid time, helped Dromard hit the front.

Jason Phillips was tripped in the act of shooting for goal 14 minutes in and Cormac Reilly had no option but to award a penalty to the Kildare men.

Ronan Sweeney has built a strong reputation as a deadly penalty-taker, proving clinical in Leinster finals for club and county and he showed why, arrowing a low, hard drive to the corner of the net.

Two points from the same player pushed Moorefield five clear and given that they were playing into the breeze it looked as if victory was but a formality.

That was to reckon without Dromard's bravery and McGee's class, the diminutive forward striking for the game's crucial score when goaling just before half time after an excellent move involving Enda McEntire and Donie Conefrey.

Seán Hagan's men were level soon after the resumption thanks to well-taken scores from Martin and Cian Mimnagh but they could never hit the front as the latter period descended into extended bouts of scrappiness.

Murray and Sweeney both pushed Moorefield ahead from frees but it was the nerveless McGee who replied on each occasion, his equalising score from the outside of the right boot a wonderful effort in the 59th minute.

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There was still time for Darryl Flynn to be impeded inside the Dromard parallelogram but Reilly opted to award a free out and at 1-8 apiece, we were set for extra time.

Converted frees by Martin and McGee edged the Longford men in front for the first time since Sweeney's penalty goal but Murray's accuracy from frees and play looked to have effected a great escape, only for Martin to intervene at the death.

Scorers -- Moorefield: P Murray 0-7 (5fs); R Sweeney 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2fs); C Kelly 0-2

Dromard: F McGee 1-6 (0-3fs, 0-1 45); J Martin 0-4 (1f); C Mimnagh, E McEntire 0-1 each.

Moorefield -- T Corley; I Lonergan, K O'Neill, P O'Flynn; K Murnaghan, G Naughton, J Lonergan; R Sweeney, D Flynn; M Treacy, C Kelly, R Glavin; P Murray, J Phillips, P Wolfe. Subs: D Whyte for Treacy (40); F Hanniffy for Wolfe (48); N Hurley Lynch for Glavin (58).

Dromard -- Damien Sheridan; D Pettit, N Vance, P Jones; K Donohoe, C Conefrey; D Conefrey; N Reynolds, E McEntire; G Owens, J Martin, P Masterson; D Masterson, F McGee, C Mimnagh. Subs: Donal Sheridan for Reynolds (ht); Reynolds for McGee blood (40-41); P Mcentire for D Conefrey.

Ref -- C Reilly (Meath).


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