By Conor McKenna
St Loman's 1-12 St Columba's 1-11
St Loman's advanced to the semi-finals of the Leinster Championship, after a smash and grab 1-12 to 1-11 victory, over Longford's St Columba's.
Gary Rogers opened the scoring for Columba’s, with a point in the first minute and the Longford side had a dream start when David McGivney found the net, after an excellent pass from John Keegan.
McGivney caught the ball and buried home, past Loman’s goalkeeper Jason Daly.
James McGivney stretched his sides lead to five points shortly after, but John Heslin responded for Loman’s with two points.
Shane Dempsey tapped over a nice point, but Columba’s responded with a free from Jayson Matthews.
Columba’s pushed on before the interval and had a comfortable and well deserved 1-8 to 0-7 interval advantage.
Rogers stretched his sides lead to five points and the Mullingar side were definitely facing an uphill battle, when a Jayson Matthews point put Columba’s six points up.
Heslin and Rian Brady traded points, to leave the gap at six points after 48 minutes, but it was all Loman’s from that point onwards, scoring 1-4 without reply to seal the victory.
Heslin converted two frees within a minute to reduce the deficit to four points and Loman’s were given a huge lifeline, when substitute Ciaran Kilmurray was dragged down in the penalty area after 53 minutes.
The ever reliable Heslin buried home from penalty spot and the gap was down to one point.
Heslin has been outstanding all year and it would have taken a brave person to bet against him converting the penalty and the Westmeath star duly delivered.
Ciaran Lynam levelled the game for Loman’s with an excellent point, before centre-back Paddy Dowdall won the game for his side with time almost up, with a marvellous effort from an acute angle.
Dowdall has now won ten county titles between football and hurling, captaining Clonkill to an All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling title in 2008 and the dual star would no doubt love to add a Leinster Senior Club Football Championship to his already impressive medal collection.
St Loman’s now face Simonstown in the semi-final and with Dublin champions St Vincent’s already eliminated, they will certainly fancy their chances of going all the way.
St Loman’s Mullingar: Jason Daly; Neil O’Toole, Jason O’Toole, Gerry Grehan; Gary Glennon, Paddy Dowdall (0-01), David Whelan; Paul Sharry, Sean Flanagan; Kelvin Reilly, Ronan O’Toole, David Windsor; Ken Casey (0-01), John Heslin (1-07), Shane Dempsey (0-02).
Subs used: Ciaran Kilmurray for David Whelan (34), Ciaran Lynam (0-01) for Kelvin Reilly (41), Conradh Reilly for Shane Dempsey (48), Gareth Hickey for David Windsor (48),
St Columba’s: Patrick Rogers; Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, Francis Mulligan; Conan Brady, Shane Mulligan, Donal Mc Elligott; Aidan Mc Elligott, John Keegan; David McGivney (1-00), James Mc Givney (0-03), Gary Rogers (0-03); Jayson Matthews (0-03), Rian Brady (0-02), Conor Mc Elligott.
Subs used: Rory Mc Elligott for Conor Mc Elligott (47), James Mooney for Conan Brady (54),
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).