St Columba's, Mullinalaghta 0-13 Abbeylara 1-07

After waiting 66 years to claim the Longford SFC title last year, Mullinalaghta St Columba’s retained their crown with a deserved win over their neighbours Abbeylara who lost their third county final in a row.

Mullinalaghta dominated proceedings but that didn’t reflect on the scoreline and only for a second half penalty that was scored by Abbeylara’s Robbie Smyth the winning margin would’ve been greater.

Mickey Graham’s charges started the game with purpose; Rian Brady and Conor McElligott kicking over two points apiece. Robbie Smyth kicked over a free in the 10th minute to open Abbey’s account.

Points were exchanged between David McGivney (free) and a wonderful James McEntire effort saw Mullinalaghta go in at the break just two points ahead; 0-5 to 0-3.

The exceptional Donie McElligott got Mullinalaghta’s opening point of the second half and in the 38th minute they extended their lead to four points. One minute later the gap was just two points after Abbey were awarded a penalty which Smyth duly put away.

It was all Abbey at this stage and two frees from Smyth left it a one point game in the 45th minute but that was the closest they would get to Mullinalaghta as the half-parish showed great resolve and resilience to see out the game.

Mullinalaghta finished the game with 14 after Jayson Matthews received a yellow.

St Columba’s: P Rogers; S Cadam, P Fox, F Mulligan; C Brady (0-1), S Mulligan, D McElligott (0-1); A McElligott, J Keegan; D McGivney (0-2,1f), J McGivney (0-2), G Rogers; J Matthews (0-1,1f), R Brady (0-4), C McElligott (0-2).

Subs: J Mooney for Cadam (48), M Cunningham for C McElligott (52)

Abbeylara: G Kelly; C Brady, J McEntire (0-1), Barry Smyth (0-1); C Smyth, C P. Smyth, PJ Masterson; R Brady, F Battrim; Brian Smyth, J Kelly (0-1,1f), B Crawford; R Smyth (1-4,1-0pen,4f), S Mahon, C Berry.

Subs: P Berry for Crawford (29), K Smyth for Brian Smyth (37), A Dalton for Barry Smyth (47), N Rabbitt for McEntire (58)

Referee: A Dowler (Moydow Harpers)