Dromard crashed to their second defeat in the group stage of the Senior Football Championship against a quite impressive Mullinalaghta side who scored their third win in the current Connolly Cup campaign at Lynch Park, Abbeylara on Sunday evening last.
Thus St. Columba’s under the guidance of Gerry Lynn will carry a lot of momentum into the quarter-finals as a result whereas disappointing Dromard will get another chance to reach the last eight in a play-off against Ballymahonon
It was a deserved win for Mullinalaghta. Dromard did stage a comeback in the early stages of the second half and cut the gap to just two by the 43rd minute but failed to get any closer. Credit to St. Columba’s, they defended very well and got the vital scores they needed in the final 10 minutes.
Mullinalaghta made an excellent start to the game and despite Dromard having possession and creating opportunities they failed to get any scores.
In the opening quarter Mullinalaghta were excellent as they raced into a six point lead. Conor McElligott got their opening score in the 2nd minute before David McGivney hit over two fantastic frees.
Donie McElligott pointed in the 11th minute and then two minutes later McGivney found the target with a free from a tight angle. The county minor followed that up with another pointed free to extend his side’s advantage.
Dromard’s first point didn’t come until the 17th minute when Francis McGee pointed. A lovely point from Jayson Matthews restored Mullinalaghta’s six point advantage and then Ross McNerney got Dromard’s second point.
Mullinalaghta then hit three wides and just before the break David McGivney put six between the sides (0-8 to 0-2) when he converted another free.
Dromard were a different proposition on the changeover and started the second half very well. Within the opening three minutes they had cut the gap to just three with points from Ronan McEntire and two Francis McGee frees.
And in the 43rd minute there was two points between them as McGee hit over a good point. Despite having the chances, Dromard just couldn’t cut the gap any further as Mullinalaghta defended resolutely.
After that purple patch from Dromard, Mullinalaghta got their first point of the second half in the 46th minute when David McGivney pointed another free and Aidan McElligott put them four ahead in the 48th minute as they started to capitalise on Dromard’s mistakes.
McGivney hit over his 7th point in the 57th minute to put his side five ahead. Dromard knew they needed a goal to get back into the game but they just couldn’t get it with McGee getting their final point of the game in the 58th minute from a free.
Kevin Mulligan fisted over a point in stoppage time to seal a fine win for Mullinalaghta.
MULLINALAGHTA ST. COLUMBA’S: Patrick Rogers; Conan Brady, Patrick Fox, Simon Cadam; Francis Mulligan, James McGivney, Shane Mulligan; Ruairí McElligott, John Keegan; Conor McElligott (0-1), Gary Rogers, Donie McElligott (0-1); David McGivney (0-7, 7 frees), Jayson Matthews (0-1), Aidan McElligott (0-1).
Subs:- Kevin Mullligan (0-1) for C McElligott (47 mins); James Mooney for F Mulligan (55 mins); Aaron Earley for J Matthews (57 mins); Bernard Donohoe for G Rogers (58mins).
DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; James Mimnagh, Niall Vance, Paul McGee; Padraig McNerney, Jamsie Martin, Diarmuid Masterson; Bernard Sheridan, Ronan McEntire (0-1); Emmet Masterson, Francie McGee (0-5, 3 frees), Padraig Martin; Ross McNerney (0-1), Peter Masterson, Cian Mimnagh.
Subs:- Peter Reynolds for J Mimnagh (black card, 38 mins); Declan Mimnagh for E Masterson (47 mins); Kevin Donohoe for P McNerney (56 mins); John Sheridan (0-1) for J Martin (56 mins).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (St. Mary’s Granard).