St Vincent’s 2-12 St Columba’s 0-11
Goals in each half proved decisive as Dublin champions St Vincent's advanced to the Leinster final after overcoming the brave challenge of Longford club St Columba's in Glennon Brothers Park.
In the end there was no fairytale ending for the Mullinalaghta side who had caught the imagination of so many on this their maiden Leinster Championship campaign - after clinching the Longford title for the first time in 66 years.
Mullinalaghta kept with their fancied opposition in the opening stages of the game and a free from Jayson Matthews saw them take an early lead in the 13th minute.
St Vincent's replied with a goal; Diarmuid Connolly with a superb ball into former Mayo attacker Enda Varley - who passed across the goal for the evergreen Mossy Quinn to palm the ball into the net.
However points from Rian Brady and James McGivney drew Mullinalaghta level in the 17th minute before captain Shane Mulligan fired over an excellent point to put them ahead again.
Towards the end of the first half though St Vincent's hit a purple patch with Shane Carthy, Quinn (two frees) and Ruairi Trainor giving them a three point lead just before the break. A free from Matthews put two between them at half-time, 1-7 to 0-8.
After squandering early chances in the second half Mullinalaghta very nearly conceded a second goal in the 39th minute when Carthy hit the post, and it was Gary Rogers who got the opening score of the second half.
A beautiful point from Connolly and one apiece from Carthy and substitute Albert Martin then put St Vincent’s ahead by four in the 53rd minute. By which time the Dublin club began to empty their bench, and the fresh legs made a huge difference.
Points were traded between David McGivney (free) and another substitute Joe Feeney before McGivney again made it a one point game in the 56th minute. Try as they might though the Longford side couldn’t eat further into the lead.
Shane Carthy who was excellent throughout then got his side’s second goal in the 59th minute, after which it was game over. And he hit over a third point minutes later to give his side a seven point winning margin.
The scoreline however was not a true reflection on Mullinalaghta’s performance - nonetheless it’s the Dublin side who now go on to face Rhode in the Leinster final; their third final appearance in four years.
St Vincent's: M Savage; M Concarr, J Curley, C Wilson; B Egan, G Brennan, Cameron Diamond; D Murphy, D Connolly (0-01); D Burke, S Carthy (1-03), Cormac Diamond (0-01); R Trainor (0-01), E Varley (0-02), T Quinn (1-02, 0-02f).
Subs: J Feeney (0-01) for Murphy, A Martin (0-01) for Burke, N Mullins for Cormac Diamond, K Golden for Cameron Diamond, M Loftus for Varley.
Mullinalaghta St Columba's: P Rogers; P Fox, S Cadam, J Mooney; S Mulligan (0-01), D McElligott, C Brady; R McElligott, J Keegan; G Rogers (0-02), J McGivney (0-01), D McGivney (0-03, 0-03f); J Matthews (0-02), A McElligott, R Brady (0-02).
Subs: M Cunningham for R McElligott, F Mulligan for C Brady.
Referee: D Moore.