Gift goal a vital factor in Colmcille win over Mostrim

Cillian Lynn on the attack for Mostrim in breaking away from Colmcille defender Martin Mulligan. Action from the Senior Football Championship Round 2 game at Lynch Park, Abbeylara on Friday evening last. Photo: Declan Gilmore Photography
Although Colmcille had the comfortable margin of seven points to spare in the finish to make sure of their place in the quarter-finals of the Senior Football Championship, Mostrim were left to rue a costly mistake that saw them concede a gift goal in the early stages of the Round 2 clash at Oliver Lynch Park, Abbeylara on Friday evening last.

Although Colmcille had the comfortable margin of seven points to spare in the finish to make sure of their place in the quarter-finals of the Senior Football Championship, Mostrim were left to rue a costly mistake that saw them concede a gift goal in the early stages of the Round 2 clash at Oliver Lynch Park, Abbeylara on Friday evening last.

Paul McKeon planted the ball in the back of the net in the 11th minute to leave Colmcille in a strong position and when further points followed from McKeon and his brother Barry, Mostrim were trailing by 1-6 to 0-2 midway through the first half and facing a real uphill battle to get back into the game.

The Edgeworthstown side (managed by former player Tony Kelly) had got off to a bright start when Joe Dempsey shot over the bar with just 30 seconds gone on the clock but back came Colmcille (coached by Mullahoran native Danny Brady) to fire over four points in a row through Niall Brady, Paul McKeon (2) and Barry McKeon - the latter landing a great score.

Then came the only goal which proved to be a vital factor in the eventual outcome but Mostrim - improving considerably on a poor performance in the heavy first round defeat against Killoe - gradually closed the gap and just the goal separated the sides at the break, 1-7 to 0-7.

A brace of points apiece from Michael Hussey (free and play) and Brian Farrell (frees) and another from Cillian Lynn in stoppage time gave them hope while Colmcille’s solitary reply in the second quarter was a point by Barry McKeon after the Mostrim keeper Ciaran Garvey had produced a fine point-blank save to keep out a shot from John Paul Reilly.

But with the quality Colmcille players Declan Reilly and Barry and Paul McKeon making a big impact, this was a tough task for Edgeworthstown who conceded a couple of crucial scores in the early stages of the second half when the McKeon brothers kicked a point apiece (free and play).

And it could have been worse but for an excellent save by Ciaran Garvey to prevent Colmcille substitute Niall Farrelly from scoring a goal but Mostrim, to their credit, battled back with the lively Cillian Lynn firing over a cracking long range point in the 41st minute.

Moments later Mostrim were denied a badly needed goal when substitute Shane Kiernan hit the post and after Paul McKeon converted a free for Colmcille, Joe Dempsey kicked a great point for Edgeworthstown in the 48th minute but that turned out to be their last score of the game.

A bad wide followed from Brian Farrell before another Colmcille substitute Cathal Reilly set up Barry McKeon for his fifth point from play in the 52nd minute - top notch shooting from the promising County U-21 player.

Barry and his brother Paul clocked up a total of 1-10 between them (just three of the scores coming from frees) and are such key figures for Colmcille who could afford the luxury of kicking 12 wides on this occasion - as compared to 4 for Mostrim.

Just for good measure, the north Longford side tacked on another couple of points in the closing stages of the game with substitute Vinny Hourican on target, along with Anthony Gormley, and Colmcille will be quietly confident of making further progress in the Connolly Cup.

COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Podgie Murtagh, Ciaran Brady, Noel Farrell; Declan Reilly, Martin Mulligan, Gerry Mulligan; Niall Brady (0-1), Fergal Sheridan; Anthony Gormley (0-1), Declan Farrell, John Paul Reilly; Paul Treacy, Paul McKeon (1-5, three frees), Barry McKeon (0-5).

Subs:- Niall Farrelly for P Treacy (half-time); Cathal Reilly for D Farrell (40 mins); Enda Farrell for N Brady (48 mins); Vinny Hourican (0-1) for JP Reilly (48 mins); Darren Mulligan for D Reilly (59 mins).

MOSTRIM: Ciaran Garvey; Damien Moran, Michael Kenny, Aaron Gallagher; Cathal Smith, Martin Coyle, Gerard Smith; Fintan Coyle, Niall Quinn; Alan O’Hara, Cillian Lynn (0-2), Joe Dempsey (0-2); Darren Bloomer, Brian Farrell (0-3, all frees), Michael Hussey (0-2, one free).

Subs:- Shane Kiernan for A O’Hara (half-time); Luke Kenny for D Bloomer (43 mins); Brian Smith for M Hussey (54 mins); Johnny Murphy for N Quinn (56 mins).

Referee: Fergal Kelly

(Ballymahon).