For the second time in the current Senior Football Championship neighbouring rivals Colmcille and Dromard ended up deadlocked but both of the north Longford clubs will want to improve greatly on this dismal draw if they are to have any hope of collecting the coveted Connolly Cup this year.
Taking into account that Dromard were guilty of some very poor finishing in the quarter-final clash at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday evening last, Colmcille were fortunate to get a second chance with Barry Mc Keon coming to the rescue in the second minute of stoppage time.
With time almost up, McKeon was fouled in front of the posts and he fired over the free to force a replay at the same venue on Sunday evening next. Played in difficult wet and windy conditions, Colmcille held a slender 0-3 to 0-2 lead at the break but it was Dromard who dominated most of the second half and should have booked their place in the semi-final against Killoe Young Emmets.
However, the 2007 county champions continued to clock up the wides (13 in total during the course of a very poor game) and also dropped a few scoring attempts short into the arms of the opposing keeper Mark Kiernan as they almost pressed the self destruct button.
With the aid of the wind, Colmcille made a bright start to the second half when Paul McKeon landed a brilliantly struck free and while Cian Mimnagh was then on target for Dromard with four minutes gone on the changeover, scores were very scarce thereafter.
After Declan Reilly missed a free, defender Martin Mulligan set up Barry McKeon for a cracking point in the 45th minute and Colmcille were looking the likely winners at this stage. But a couple of decent chances of increasing their advantage were then squandered and Gary Brady’s side were guilty of kicking a total of seven wides in this scrappy encounter that was littered by silly mistakes.
Dromard proceeded to regain the upper hand and after a fine catch by Bernard Sheridan set up Francis McGee for a point in the 50th minute, they missed some more chances before substitute Emmet Masterson fired over an excellent equaliser in the 57th minute.
Colmcille were under a lot of pressure at this stage and appeared to be on their way out of the championship when Diarmuid Masterson played the perfect ball into Cian Mimnagh who shot over the bar to give Dromard the lead in the 59th minute.
But there was still time for Colmcille to salvage the situation and after Declan Reilly kicked a free wide, Barry McKeon grabbed a last gasp point to leave the sides all square at the final whistle.
Coached by Sean Connolly’s clubman Ciaran Fox, Dromard failed to build on a promising start to the game that yielded a terrific long range point from Jamsie Martin after only two minutes and they had to wait until the 13th minute for their next score when Bernard Sheridan shot over the bar.
Leading by 0-2 to 0-0, Dromard failed to register another score during the remainder of the first half and Colmcille finally got their opening score when Paul McKeon landed a glorious effort from a tight angle near the sideline in the 14th minute.
Further points followed from Declan Reilly (a free in the 18th minute) and Noel Farrell (a fine strike in stoppage time) to give Colmcille a slender advantage at the break but Dromard done enough in the second half to earn a deserved draw.
COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Ciaran Brady, Noel Farrell (0-1), Gary Murtagh; Francis Kavanagh, Declan Reilly (0-1, free), Martin Mulligan; Enda Farrell, John Paul Reilly; Niall Brady, Declan Farrell, Darren Mulligan; Barry McKeon (0-2, one free), Paul McKeon (0-2, one free), Padraig Murtagh.
Subs:- Michael Kilbride for D Mulligan (injured, 53 mins); Cormac Hughes for E Farrell (60 mins).
DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; Peadar Faughnan, Cathal Conefrey, David Pettit; John Sheridan, Diarmuid Masterson, Kevin Donohoe; Noel Reynolds, Bernard Sheridan (0-1); Peter Reynolds, Ronan McEntire, Cian Mimnagh (0-2); Jamsie Martin (0-1), Francis McGee (0-1), Declan Mimnagh.
Subs:- Peter Masterson for P Reynolds (26 mins); Emmet Masterson (0-1) for D Mimnagh (44 mins); Padraig McNerney for P Masterson (injured, 56 mins).
Referee: Michael O’Brien (Longford Slashers).