Longford SFC: Conor Berry scores the crucial goal as Abbeylara overcome Colmcille to reach another county final

Peter Hanley Motors Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Padraic O'Brien

Reporter:

Padraic O'Brien

Email:

padraig.obrien@longford-leader.ie

2018 Longford Senior Football Championship

Mullahoran native Danny Brady, the manager of the Abbeylara senior football squad. Photo: Syl Healy

Capitalising on a costly mistake by the Colmcille keeper Mark Kiernan who let a dipping shot from Padraig Berry slip from his grasp, the pressure from Conor Berry saw him finish the ball to the net with eight minutes gone in the second half of the SFC semi-final clash at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.

Abbeylara . . . 1-10     Colmcille . . . 0-10

Colmcille were only trailing by a point at that stage (0-7 to 0-6) after a bright start on the changeover yielded a couple of scores from frees converted by the McKeon brothers Paul and Barry but the gift goal conceded proved to be the defining moment in this scrappy game that was spoiled by a difficult wind.

Even without the injured Robbie Smyth, Abbeylara were still good enough to consolidate their grip on a close encounter in making it through to the Senior Football Championship Final for the fourth year in succession, having lost the previous three title deciders.

Clonguish and Mullinalaghta meet in the second SFC semi-final on Saturday evening next.

ABBEYLARA: Gavin Kelly; Cormac Smyth, Michael McHugh, Fergal Battrim (0-1); PJ Masterson (0-1), Shane Mahon, Russell Brady; Colm P Smyth, Conor Berry (1-1); Cian Brady (0-1), Brian Smyth (0-1), Mel Brady; Barry McKiernan (0-2, one free), Jason Kelly, Nigel Rabbitte (0-3, two frees).

Subs:- Padraig Berry for J Kelly (injured, half-time); Aaron Dalton for M Brady (47 mins); Cathal Lynch for C Berry (black card, 59 mins).

COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Martin Mulligan, Kieran Brady, Alan McKeon; Ciaran McKeon, Declan Reilly, Noel Farrell; John Paul Reilly, Gerard Mulligan; Paul McKeon (0-3, all frees), Barry McKeon (0-3, two frees), Cormac Hughes; Ruairi Harkin (0-2), Cathal McCabe, Rory Hawkins (0-1, free).

Subs:- Declan Farrell (0-1) for G Mulligan (42 mins); Enda Macken for C McKeon (52 mins).

Referee: Aidan Dowler (Moydow Harpers).