St Maryâ€™s Granard suffered their first league defeat this season as Mullinalaghta St Columbaâ€™s grinded out a hard fought win in the Division 1 game at Higginstown on Wednesday evening of last week.
Granard were awarded a late free to draw the game but David Blessington was penalised for reacting to something that was said to him and referee John Hughes decided to hop the ball instead. St Columbaâ€™s were able to clear the danger in holding out for their first win in the current campaign.
St Maryâ€™s had enough chances to get something out of the game but were wasteful on a number of occasions and took the wrong options. Donie McElligott was a driving force behind the Mullinalaghta victory and he won a few important frees while for Granard captain Thomas Gallagher was terrific at full-back.
Due to the early start a number of players arrived late and didnâ€™t have enough time to warm up due to the fact they had to travel down from Dublin for this midweek game.
Early points were traded between Donie McElligott and Granardâ€™s impressive wing-back Mark Tully before St Maryâ€™s were awarded a penalty after Darren Gallagher was brought down but Stephen Lynchâ€™s kick hit the post.
Points from Donie McElligott and John Keegan put Mullinalaghta ahead but Granard were level when David Hynes and Mark Tully scored fine points.
St Columbaâ€™s then went back in front with further scores from John Keegan and David McGivney (free).
The game turned in Granardâ€™s favour when after Mark Tullyâ€™s third point they were awarded another penalty when Liam Sullivan was fouled and Stephen Lynch made no mistake this time with Patrick Fox receiving a black card for the foul in the 24th minute.
But a David McGivney free and a neat Gary Rogers point put Mullinalaghta back on level terms going in at the break, 0-7 to 1-4. Another McGivney free edged his side ahead in the first minute of the second half but Granard levelled with a point from the excellent wing back Declan Murphy.
St Maryâ€™s then went ahead with a free from Darren Gallagher and a Brian Sheridan point. Mullinalaghta worked hard to get back into the game and points from David McGivney (free), David Donohoe and Ruairi McElligott left the sides level again by the 48th minute.
Two minutes later and another free from the boot of McGivney put Mullinalaghta back in front and they extended the lead with further scores from McGivney (free) and Donie McElligott.
Granardâ€™s response was great and a well-taken goal from Liam Oâ€™Rourke left the sides all square again but Mullinalaghta clinched the win when David McGivney fired over his sixth point from another free.
ST MARYâ€™S GRANARD: Dessie Kiernan; Vinny Nally, Thomas Gallagher, Eoin Higgins; Mark Tully (0-3), Paul Smyth, Declan Murphy (0-1); Charlie Martin, Liam Oâ€™Rourke (1-0); Darren Gallagher (0-1, free), Stephen Lynch (1-0, penalty), Brian Sheridan (0-1); Derek Sheridan (0-1), David Hynes, Liam Sullivan.
Subs:- Timmy Jackson for S Lynch (36 mins); David Blessington for D Hynes (50 mins); James Hynes for C Martin (55 mins).
MULLINALAGHTA ST COLUMBAâ€™S: Patrick Rogers; Luke Meehan, Patrick Fox, Simon Cadam; Francis Mulligan, Shane Mulligan, James Mooney; John Keegan (0-1), Ruairi McElligott (0-1); Conor McElligott, Donie McElligott (0-3), David Donohoe (0-1); Aidan McElligott, Gary Rogers (0-2), David McGivney (0-6, all frees).
Subs:- Michael Cunningham for P Fox (black card, 24 mins); Eric Sullivan for C McElligott (46 mins); Bernard Donohoe for J Mooney (51 mins); C McElligott for G Rogers (injured, 57 mins); Aidan Brady for D McGivney (black card, 61 mins).
Referee: John Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og).