Mullinalaghta 0-6 Abbeylara 0-6

In awful conditions for football Mullinalaghta and Abbeylara could not be separated as the weather took its toll on the standard of football on show.

Abbeylara had the wind advantage in the opening half and Mullinalaghta opted to keep bodies behind the ball in order to frustrate the opposition and keep the score-line down, as the reigning champions would have expected to push on in the second half with the aid of the wind.

Small margins play a massive part in Gaelic football and the correct decision by the referee to dismiss Mullinalaghta talisman James McGivney on a black card just before the interval no doubt played a massive part in deciding the outcome of this game.

Both sides set out their stall to defend throughout and this led to this game being poor as a spectacle in truth, with Barry McKiernan opening the scoring for Abbeylara from a free.

Donal McElligott fisted over to level the game, with both sides struggling with the conditions in the early stages.

It was tit for tat for large periods of the first half, with Nigel Rabbitte exceptional throughout the game, scoring four points out of a total of six for Abbeylara.

Longford star Robbie Smyth was introduced in the 25th minute, with the lively forward carrying an injury into the game and Abbeylara had a great chance to find the back of the net before half time, with Cian Brady missing a golden chance and the ball narrowly fading to the right and wide.

This would have given Abbeylara a four-point lead at the interval, but Mullinalaghta looked to have weathered the storm and maximise the wind advantage, with Mickey Graham’s side registering the first three points of the second half, to turn a one-point deficit into a two-point lead.

Abbeylara added two scores courtesy of Jason Kelly and Nigel Rabbitte to level the game and a shock result looked on the cards, with Abbeylara having lost the last three finals before today.

However the underdogs could not get the score to win it, with a late long range from Barry McKiernan fading left for his side's only wide of the second half.

Abbeylara will be without corner-back Cormac Smyth for the replay, after the defender was shown a straight red card in stoppage time and referee Donal Kane blowing for full-time shortly after, with this game definitely one to forget.

A row broke out between both sides after the final whistle.

Both sides were intent on keeping possession throughout, with hand-passing prominent and the teams will go to battle again next Sunday, with the replay confirmed for 3:30pm in Pearse Park.

Abbeylara: Gavin Kelly; Michael McHugh, Fergal Battrim, Cormac Smyth; Russell Brady, Shane Mahon, PJ Masterson; Colm P Smyth, Conor Berry; Aaron Dalton, Cian Brady, Brian Smyth; Jason Kelly (0-1), Barry McKiernan (0-1, 0-1f), Nigel Rabbitte (0-4, 0-1f).

Subs: Robbie Smyth for A Dalton, Padraig Berry for B Smyth, Cathal Lynch for McHugh, Michael Battrim for Masterson (BC).

Mullinalaghta: Patrick Rogers; Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, Conan Brady; Francis Mulligan, Shane Mulligan, Gary Rogers (0-1, 0-1 "45"); Aidan Mc Elligott, John Keegan (0-1); Donal Mc Elligott (0-1), David McGivney (0-1), James McGivney; Brendan Fox, Jayson Matthews, Rian Brady (0-2, 0-2f).

Subs: Conor McElligott for J McGivney (BC).

Referee: Donal Kane (Grattan Og).