Two goals from Niall Sheridan proved decisive as Abbeylara registered their first win in Division 1 of the All County Football League this season and inflict a first defeat on Gary Brady’s Colmcille side at Lynch Park on Sunday last.
Sheridan’s second goal came at the right time for Abbeylara; eight minutes into the second half after Colmcille had cut the deficit to just one point. The home side started the game brightly and with just one minute gone on the clock opened the scoring with a point from Cormac Smyth.
One minute later Niall Sheridan got his first score; Anthony McBrien did well to lay the ball off to Sheridan and he curled the ball over the bar. Colmcille’s first point came in the 6th minute when Declan Farrell was on target.
But Abbey restored their two point advantage three minutes later with a lovely effort from McBrien and extended their advantage when Sean Murphy got the fourth point in the 11th minute after receiving a pass from Sheridan.
There was a lucky escape for Colmcille in the 13th minute when Padraig Murtagh did very well to deny Arthur O’Connor a goal; blocking his attempt on the line.
Colmcille had plenty of the ball but just failed to engineer scores. As half-time approached they fired over two points in quick succession from Paul McKeon (free) and Darren Mulligan to close the gap but then suffered a setback just before the break when Sheridan got his first goal of the game. John Kiernan played a quick free into the big full-forward and he found the back of the net.
Colmcille started the second half with a real purpose and three unanswered points from Niall Brady, Paul McKeon and a fantastic effort by the impressive John Paul Reilly cut Abbey’s lead to the minimum of margins. But the home side hit back with another goal when Anthony McBrien played a perfect pass into Niall Sheridan and he made no mistake.
Colmcille were guilty of kicking a number of wides before they scored again through Francis Kavanagh in the 43rd minute but Abbeylara then struck the killer blow with a third goal. Colmcille keeper Mark Kiernan tried to fist the ball to a defender but it fell short to Liam Reilly and he fired into an empty net to get the vital score with Sheridan following through to make sure it definitely went in.
John Paul Reilly replied with a score for Colmcille but then Niall Sheridan fired over his second point after receiving the ball from Anthony McBrien. The young forward was excellent throughout the game and linked up very well with Sheridan on a number of occasions.
A point apiece from John Paul Reilly (free) and Brian Brady cut Abbey’s lead to four points with time running out and there was an exchange of scores between Anthony McBrien and Colmcille’s Paul Mc Keon before the final whistle.
ABBEYLARA: John Joe Reilly; Michael McHugh, Eamon Gallagher, Niall Flynn; James McHugh, Arthur O’Connor, Liam Reilly (1-0); John Kiernan, William Crawford; Mickey O’Connor, Brian Smyth, Cormac Smyth (0-1); Sean Murphy (0-1), Niall Sheridan (2-2), Anthony McBrien (0-2)
Sub:- Jason Earley for J Kiernan (50 mins).
COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Ciaran Brady, Padraig Murtagh, Cillian Reilly; Gary Murtagh, Francis Kavanagh (0-1), Brian Brady (0-1); Enda Farrell, John Paul Reilly (0-3, two frees); Niall Brady (0-1), Declan Farrell (0-1), Darren Mulligan (0-1); Niall Farrelly, Paul McKeon (0-3, two frees), Leigh McKeon.
Sub:- Paul Treacy for L McKeon (40 mins).
Referee: John Bannon