Smyth earns
Abbey replay with late equaliser

Abbeylara players Shane Mahon, Eamonn Gallagher, Athur O'Connor and Michael O'Connor in action against J.J. Matthews and David McGivney of St. Columba's Mullinalaghta during the Senior Football Championship Quarter Final on Saturday last at Pearse Park. PHOTO: RAY DONLON
Neighbours Abbeylara and Mullinalaghta have to do it all again after substitute Robbie Smyth grabbed a late equaliser to earn a dramatic draw for Abbey.

Neighbours Abbeylara and Mullinalaghta have to do it all again after substitute Robbie Smyth grabbed a late equaliser to earn a dramatic draw for Abbey.

Five minutes from time Mullinalaghta were five points up and looked to be heading for the semi-finals but Abbey battled hard to get to within one point of them in the space of two minutes and then in the 60th minute minute Smyth equalised.

Abbey started well and hit three unanswered points inside the opening seven minutes. Mullinalaghta were level by the 16th minute with three very good scores from the McGivney brothers David (two) and James.

A Jason Kelly free edged Abbey in front and in the 21st minute Rian Brady (free) levelled it and before half-time he fired over another to put the minimum between the sides.

Arthur O’Connor levelled the game again five minutes after the interval but a fantastic score from James McGivney put Mullinalaghta ahead two minutes later. JJ Matthews then put them two in front.

Abbey replied with a free from Brian Smyth before Mullinalaghta took control; a nice point from Ruairi McElligott restored their two point advantage before Matthews stretched that to three.

Substitute Gary Rogers put four between them and in the 55th minute there was five in it when corner back Conan Brady got himself on the scoresheet.

Credit to Abbey they didn’t panic and cut the gap to two in the 56th minute; Brian Smyth fed Colm P. Smyth and he found the net with a well taken goal. Seconds later there was just one point in it and the momentum was with Abbey.

Abbey’s experience told and with time running out Robbie Smyth grabbed the leveller. Smyth had a chance to clinch a dramatic win deep in stoppage time but hit his effort wide.

For Mullinalaghta they will feel it’s the one that got away while Abbey will be buoyed up by their comeback.

ABBEYLARA: Damien O’Connor; Fergal Battrim, Colm P Smyth (1-1), Anthony McBrien; James McEntire, Shane Mahon, Arthur O’Connor (0-1); Derek Smith, Jason Kelly (0-2,1f); Eamonn Gallagher, Michael O’Connor (0-1), Colm Dalton; Barry Smith, Brian Smyth (0-2,1f), Sean Murphy. Subs: Nigel Rabbitt for M O’Connor (half-time), Colm E Smyth for Dalton and Robbie Smyth (0-1) for Murphy (52mins).

ST COLUMBA’S: Patrick Rogers; Conan Brady (0-1), Thomas McCabe, Simon Cadam; James McGivney (0-2), Donie McElligott, Shane Mulligan; Ruairi McElligott (0-1), John Keegan; Conor McElligott, JJ Matthews (0-2), David McGivney (0-2); Rian Brady (0-2,2f), Kevin Mulligan, Aidan McElligott. Subs: Gary Rogers (0-1) for C McElligott (51mins), Aaron Earley for Matthews inj (57mins).

Referee: Derek Fahy (Ballymore).