A much depleted Mullinalaghta side registered their first win in Division 1 of the All County Football League this season when overcoming Mostrim at the Laurels on Friday evening last.
Having to field without their county minors and also Conor and Ruairi McElligott, who were serving a suspension, Mullinalaghta deserved the victory but they very nearly allowed Mostrim snatch a point; that was after they were twice in a strong position.
St. Columba’s opened the scoring in the second minute of the game when Eric Sullivan played the ball into Myles Matthews and he slotted the ball over the bar. Mostrim registered their first score one minute later with Gerard Smith getting a nice point.
Two points in quick succession edged Mullinalaghta back in front before Michael Hussey converted a free for Mostrim. St. Columba’s were twice ahead by three in the space of six minutes before Gerard Smith was on target again with another fine score in the 22nd minute.
A lovely ball in from Gary Rogers was finished to the net by Eric Sullivan in the 24th minute to give Mullinalaghta a five point advantage and points from Shane and Francis Mulligan stretched that lead to seven four minutes from the break before Mostrim replied with a goal from Luke Kelly to trail by 1-8 to 1-4 at half-time.
St. Columba’s made a bright start to the second half and were six in front by the 37th minute with a James McGivney free and a Gary Rogers point. Mostrim hit back with an excellent point from Brian Farrell in the 38th minute before Shane Mulligan responded with a terrific score - racing through to restore Mullinalaghta’s six point lead.
It was all St. Columba’s at this stage but in the 40th minute Mostrim scored a second goal to get right back in the game. A quick free from Gerard Smith found Michael Hussey who played the ball into substitute Shane Kiernan, who found the back of the net to cut the gap to three points.
Another James McGivney free put Mullinalaghta ahead by four points in the 44th minute but that was to be their final score of the game. Although they did enjoy possession they couldn’t add any further scores to their tally.
In the final 10 minutes Mostrim very nearly punished Mullinalaghta for being wasteful and making mistakes. In the 48th minute Gerard Smith had a great goal opportunity when he went through but blasted the ball over the bar.
A Michael Hussey free brought Mostrim to within two points of Mullinalaghta in the 54th minute. As the clock ticked down both sides tried to get scores; Francis Mulligan brought a good save out of Mostrim keeper Ciaran Garvey near the end and in stoppage time Joseph Dempsey hit over a point to cut the deficit to the minimum of margins but St. Columba’s held on for the narrow win.
MULLINALAGHTA ST. COLUMBA’S: David O’Rourke; Bernard Donohoe, Patrick Fox, Simon Cadam; Francis Mulligan (0-1), James McGivney (0-5, 4 frees), Conan Brady; John Keegan, Shane Mulligan (0-2); James Mooney, Gary Rogers (0-2), David Donohoe; Myles Matthews (0-1), Eric Sullivan (1-0), Kevin Mulligan (0-1).
MOSTRIM: Ciaran Garvey; Cathal Smith, Damien Moran, Aaron Gallagher; Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Kenny, Sean Noone; Fintan Coyle, Johnny Murphy; Luke Kelly (1-0), Gerard Smith (0-3), Cillian Lynn; Brian Farrell (0-2), Joseph Dempsey (0-1), Michael Hussey (0-2, 2 frees).
Subs:- Shane Kiernan (1-0) for C Lynn (half-time), Alan O’Hara for S Noone (36 mins); John Coyle for C Smith (59mins).
Referee: Aidan Dowler