Granard and Mullinalaghta finish all square

St. Mary’s, Granard . . . 0-11

St. Mary’s, Granard . . . 0-11

St. Columba’s

Mullinalaghta . . . . . . . . . 1-8

Deniese O’Flaherty reporting from Higgingstown

A point from Ciaran Mallon deep into stoppage time earned St. Mary’s Granard a draw in their opening fixture of the Division 1 League as they ended the game with 14 men while Mullinalaghta finished up with 12.

It looked like St. Columba’s had snatched the win when Eric Sullivan scored a goal in the 56th minute but in stoppage time Granard were awarded a free. But before Mallon stepped up to take it a scuffle broke out with Rian Brady getting sent-off. Mallon missed the free but made amends with the follow-up. Shortly after, a goalmouth scramble led to Glen Kelly being injured and in another clash Mullinalaghta brothers Ruairi and Conor McElligott and Granard’s Thomas Devaney were all sent-off.

Granard had been dealt a blow in the 5th minute when David Blessington was shown a black card but his replacement Glen Kelly made a good impact. Derek Sheridan opened the scoring for Granard one minute later. Gary Rogers replied for Mullinalaghta before Granard started to dominate. Another Derek Sheridan point and two from Glen Kelly put them in front by three by the 12th minute.

David McGivney fired over a free for St. Columba’s in the 13th minute before a neat Glen Kelly point restored Granard’s three point advantage. In the 23rd minute Paul Smith’s ’45 put four between the sides. David McGivney responded with a fine point before David Donohoe was shown a black card.

Points were exchanged between Ciaran Mallon and James McGivney as Granard went in at the break three in front, 0-7 to 0-4.

David McGivney got the opening score of the second half before a fine Stephen Lynch point put three between them again in the 42nd minute. Granard had chances but failed to add on scores and points from Conor McElligott and Rian Brady cut the gap to just one by the 49th minute.

The lead was three again in the 52nd minute with points from Ciaran Mallon and Darren Gallagher but a David McGivney free and a goal from Eric Sullivan in the 56th minute turned the game in Mullinalaghta’s favour.

But Granard (under new manager Niall Sheridan) fought hard to get something out of the game and they did just that in a dramatic finish with Mallon coming to the rescue to score a point as the sides finished all square.

ST. MARY’S GRANARD: Declan Hynes; Declan Murphy, Thomas Gallagher, Jody Connolly; Brian Sheridan, Charlie Martin, Kevin McGauran; Darren Gallagher (0-1, free), Fergus Kelly; Paul Smith (0-1,’45), Ciaran Mallon (0-3, 1 free), Stephen Lynch (0-1); Derek Sheridan (0-2), Timmy Jackson, David Blessington.

Subs:- Glen Kelly (0-3) for D Blessington (black card, 6 mins); David Hynes for T Jackson (half-time); Thomas Devaney for F Kelly (36 mins); Bernard Clyne for K McGauran (45 mins); Andrei Bogdan for G Kelly (nine minutes into stoppage time).

ST. COLUMBA’S MULLINALAGHTA: David O’Rourke; Bernard Donohoe, Paddy Fox, Simon Cadam; Luke Meehan, James McGivney (0-1), Francis Mulligan; David McGivney (0-4, 2 frees), Shane Mulligan; Aaron Earley, Conor McElligott (0-1), David Donohoe; Eric Sullivan (1-0), Gary Rogers (0-1), Ruairi McElligott.

Subs:- James Mooney for D Donohoe (black card, 28 mins); Rian Brady (0-1) for B Donohoe (half-time), Jayson Matthews for A Earley (52 mins).

Referee: John Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og).