Longford kings Mullinalaghta move a step closer to the senior football titles treble

Senior Football League - Leader Cup Semi-Final

Deniese O'Flaherty

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Deniese O'Flaherty

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Leader Cup Semi-Final

Conan Brady on the ball for Mullinalaghta St Columba's in this tussle with Clonguish opponent David Barden with Joe O'Brien also in the picture. Action from the Leader Cup semi-final. Pic: D Gilmore

County champions Mullinalaghta moved a step closer to the senior football titles treble when they cruised to a comprehensive win over Clonguish in the Leader Cup semi-final at Lynch Park on Saturday last.

Mullinalaghta St Columba’s . . . 1-17   Clonguish . . . 1-7

As the Laurels pitch was unplayable due to the bad weather, the game was switched to the Abbeylara venue and St Columba’s were rarely troubled as they put in another solid team performance and particularly impressive was Gary Rogers in the forward line as a playmaker and getting scores.

Clonguish had to play the second half with 14 men after Gerry Moore was sent off just before the break following a tussle that involved several players. Mullinalaghta were ahead by five (1-7 to 0-5) at that stage and were able to pull away on the changeover.

Clonguish got a consolation goal from a penalty in the 45th minute after Paul Barden was fouled and Joe O’Brien converted the kick.

got a consolation goal from a penalty in the 45th minute after Paul Barden was fouled and Joe O’Brien converted the kick.

St Columba’s goal late in the first half came after Donal McElligott hit the crossbar from a penalty and his younger brother Aidan followed up to finish the ball to the net.

It was another of the McElligott brothers that opened the scoring in the game with Conor landing two fine early points. Ciaran Williams got Clonguish’s first point in the 8th minute but then Mullinalaghta kicked over three points in a row through Jayson Matthews (2) and Gary Rogers.

Ciaran Williams got the second point for Clonguish in the 17th minute before Mullinalaghta went ahead by five with a neat point from Rian Brady and a Gary Rogers free. Clonguish battled back to cut the gap to just two by the 25th minute. Joe O’Brien converted a free before Paul Barden hit over a wonderful point and then Williams got his third score.

Two minutes later Mullinalaghta were awarded a penalty after Peter Hanley fouled Gary Rogers and the Mullinalaghta goal materialised and Clonguish were then dealt another blow in the 30th minute when Gerry Moore received a straight red card.

Frees were exchanged between David McGivney and Joe O’Brien in the early stages of the second half before Mullinalaghta regained control, playing some lovely football.

Gary Rogers kicked over a ‘45 and then Jayson Matthews converted another free before he got a fantastic point from play after collecting the ball from Ruairi McElligott. Further scores followed from Rian Brady and John Keegan to extend the lead to a commanding 10 points.

Joe O’Brien (free) and Shane Mulligan exchanged points and while Clonguish got a goal from a penalty midway through the second half that proved to be their final score of the game.

Mullinalaghta added another three points to their tally during the remainder of the match with Gary Rogers shooting a couple of fine efforts while Aidan McElligott was also on target for the Leader Cup holders.

MULLINALAGHTA ST COLUMBA’S: Patrick Rogers; Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, James Mooney; Conan Brady, Shane Mulligan (0-1), Francis Mulligan; Ruairi McElligott, John Keegan (0-1); Gary Rogers (0-5, 2f, 1 ‘45), Conor McElligott (0-2), Donal McElligott; Jayson Matthews (0-4, 3f), Aidan McElligott (1-1), Rian Brady (0-2).

Subs:- David McGivney (0-1, f) for J Mooney (half-time); Michael Cunningham for R McElligott (41 mins); Brendan Fox for C McElligott (44 mins); Aaron Earley for F Mulligan (51 mins); Luke Meehan for S Cadam (55 mins); Tom Meehan for P Fox (injured, 58 mins).

CLONGUISH: Declan McKenna; Gerry Moore, Anthony Watters, Neil Devlin; Darren Quinn, David Barden, Francis Molloy; Peter Hanley, Packie Molloy; Kevin Burke, Joe O’Brien (1-3, 3f, goal from penalty), Colin Farrell; Chris Gordon, Paul Barden (0-1), Ciaran Williams (0-3).

Subs:- Shane O’Brien for C Farrell (44 mins); Mikie McGuinness for P Hanley and Paul Barden Jnr for C Gordon (52 mins).

Referee: Aidan Dowler (Moydow Harpers).