Missed chances costly for Abbeylara as Dromard score narrow win

Dromard booked their place in the semi-final of the Leader Cup against Longford Slashers after grinding out a narrow win over Abbeylara at Lynch Park on Sunday last.

The game itself matched the weather conditions; drab, dour and miserable and there wasn’t much to warm up the supporters in attendance on a very cold December day.

Abbeylara had enough of the play and chances to win the game but were wasteful in front of the posts. They did have a chance to bring the game into extra-time right at the end but Robbie Smyth’s free from about 45 metres went wide.

There wasn’t much between the sides in a terrible first half with Abbeylara hitting a number of wides. Seven minutes had gone on the clock when Jamsie Martin opened the scoring for Dromard with a free. Abbeylara had to wait another five minutes to get their first score; Fergal Battrim played the ball into Robbie Smyth and he found the range with a nice score.

Abbeylara began to get on top but for all their possession they were guilty of kicking a lot of poor wides before they eventually went in front in the 23rd minute; Shane Mahon passed to Sean Murphy to fire over a point.

Just before the break another Jamsie Martin free drew Dromard level. One minute after the break James McEntire had a chance to restore his side’s lead but his long range effort was gathered by Dromard keeper Damien Sheridan.

Abbeylara then squandered two very good chances to get more scores on the board. In the 35th minute Dromard edged in front; Jamsie Martin’s free came off the post and the loose ball fell to Francis McGee who fired over a point.

Five minutes later Mickey O’Connor levelled matters for Abbeylara. Dromard introduced Gary Maguire in the 42nd minute for McGee and the substitute made a difference. One minute after his introduction Maguire set up Jamsie Martin to put Dromard in front again.

A second point from Robbie Smyth in the 50th minute brought the sides level for the fourth time. Two minutes later Abbeylara had a great chance to go in front for the first time since the 23rd minute but Jason Kelly hit a bad wide after a nice move involving a number of players.

Four minutes from the end Dromard got what ended up being the winning score; Diarmuid Masterson with the pass and Gary Maguire with the point. Substitute Anthony McBrien was unlucky not to grab a goal for Abbeylara one minute after his introduction but his shot went just narrowly wide.

As the clock ticked down Abbeylara piled on the pressure as they went in search of the equalising score but it failed to materialise as Dromard stood firm in holding out for a slender win.

DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; Paul McGee, Padraig McNerney, David Pettit; John Sheridan, Diarmuid Masterson, Peter Reynolds; James Mimnagh, Bernard Sheridan; Emmet Masterson, Ronan McEntire, Cian Mimnagh; Jamsie Martin (0-3, two frees), Noel Reynolds, Francis McGee (0-1).

Subs:- Cathal Conefrey for P McNerney (half-time); Declan Mimnagh for R McEntire (half-time); Gary Maguire (0-1) for F McGee (42 mins); Peter Masterson for E Masterson (50 mins).

ABBEYLARA: Damien O’Connor; Barry Smyth, Fergal Battrim, Michael McHugh; Colm P Smyth, Arthur O’Connor, Eamon Gallagher; Mickey O’Connor (0-1), Derek Smyth; Brian Smyth, Robbie Smyth (0-2), Cormac Smyth; Shane Mahon, James McEntire, Sean Murphy (0-1)

Subs:- Jason Kelly for J McEntire (34 mins); Anthony McBrien for J Kelly (56 mins); J McEntire for S Mahon (56 mins).

Referee: Jimmy McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets).