Mullinalaghta St Columba’s wrote themselves into the history books with an 18-point victory over Carlow champions Éire Óg and marched into the Leinster final.
Mullinalaghta became the first ever Longford side to make a Leinster senior decider while Éire Óg were awful, have three men sent on a day to forget.
It’s a remarkable achievement for the tiny parish on the Longford/Cavan border, whose manager has already been snapped up by Cavan for 2019.
Éire Óg opted to put 12 men behind the ball at all times and it didn’t work, as the Longford champions grew into the game, taking advantage of the defensive Carlow men.
Ross Dunphy received a straight red card in first-half stoppage time after an-off-the-ball altercation involving Aidan McElligott.
Donal McElligott opened the scoring for the Longford men with Christopher Blake equalised for Éire Óg but that was as good as it got for the Carlow champions with Mullinalaghta registering
five points in succession to hold a six points to one half-time lead.
James McGivney’s 44th minute goal gave the Longford side a 10 point advantage.
Éire Óg played the last quarter with 13 men after Christopher Blake was dismissed for two yellow cards and Mullinalaghta stretched their advantage to 13 points after a long ball in from Jayson
Matthews was fisted to the net by Aidan McElligott, who was forced to go off injured after an altercation with Eire Og goalkeeper Robert Moore, who was shown a straight red as a result.
St Columba’s Mullinalaghta: Patrick Rogers; Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, Conan Brady; Shane Mulligan, Francis Mulligan, Donal Mc Elligott (0-2); Aidan McElligott (1-0), John Keegan (0-2); Gary Rogers (0-1), James McGivney, (1-0) David McGivney (0-4, 0-3f); Jayson Matthews (0-1), Rian Brady (0-3), Brendan Fox (0-2).
Subs: Conor Mc Elligott for Aidan McElligott (53), Michael Cunningham for Rian Brady (54), Luke Meehan for Shane Mulligan (55), Cian Mc Elligott for Matthews (59).
Éire Óg: Robert Moore; Fiach O’Toole, Mark Fitzgerald, Brendan Kavanagh; Jordan Lowry, Paul McElligott Eoghan Ruth; Sean Gannon, Kelvin Chatten; Simon Rea, Jordan Morrissey, Darragh O’Brien (0-2); Ross Dunphy, Murtough Ware, Christopher Blake (0-1).
Subs: Mark Furey for Morrissey (35), Richie Mahon for Lowry (38), Derek Hayden for Rea (40), Gerry McGill for Ware (52).
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).