St Columba’s retain title in Longford
Abbeylara second best for third year running
St Columba’s 0-13 Abbeylara 1-7
After waiting 66 years to claim the Longford SFC title last year, St Columba’s retained their crown with a deserved win over their neighbours Abbeylara who lost their third county final in a row.
The Mullinalaghta side dominated proceedings but that didn’t reflect on the scoreline and only for a second half penalty from Abbeylara’s Robbie Smyth the winning margin would have been greater.
Mickey Graham’s charges started the game with purpose; Rian Brady and Conor McElligott kicking over two points apiece. Robbie Smyth the slotted over a free in the 10th minute to open Abbey’s account.
Points were exchanged between David McGivney (free) and a wonderful James McEntire effort saw St Columba’s go in at the break just two points ahead; 0-5 to 0-3.
The exceptional Donie McElligott got St Columba’s opening point of the second half and in the 38th minute they extended their lead to four points. One minute later the gap was just two points after Abbey were awarded a penalty which Smyth duly put away.
It was all Abbey at this stage and two frees from Smyth left it a one point game in the 45th minute but that was the closest they would get as the half-parish showed great resolve and resilience to see out the game.
St Columba’s finished the game with 14 men after Jayson Matthews received a second yellow card.
St Columba’s: P Rogers; S Cadam, P Fox, F Mulligan; C Brady (0-1), S Mulligan, D McElligott (0-1); A McElligott, J Keegan; D McGivney (0-2, 1f), J McGivney (0-2), G Rogers; J Matthews (0-1, 1f), R Brady (0-4), C McElligott (0-2). Subs: J Mooney for Cadam (48 mins), M Cunningham for C McElligott (52 mins)
Abbeylara: G Kelly; C Brady, J McEntire (0-1), Barry Smyth (0-1); C Smyth, C P. Smyth, PJ Masterson; R Brady, F Battrim; Brian Smyth, J Kelly (0-1, 1f), B Crawford; R Smyth (1-4, 1-0 pen, 4f), S Mahon, C Berry. Subs: P Berry for Crawford (29 mins), K Smyth for Brian Smyth (37 mins), A Dalton for Barry Smyth (47 mins), N Rabbitt for McEntire (58 mins)
Referee: A Dowler (Moydow Harpers)