St. Columba’s Mullinalaghta made the AIB Leinster football semi-final with a two point win over Rhode, setting up a meeting with Carlow’s Eire Og after a 1-6 to seven point win over Rhode.
Mullinalaghta are looking to become the first Longford team to make the Leinster final, deservedly progress to the semi-final, Rhode paying the price for losing Brian Darby, to a straight red card midway through the first-half.
Jayson Matthews goal on 39 minutes proved the crucial score as he reacted well to a shot that came off the crossbar. The team were all square at three points apiece in what was a low scoring first-half.
Jayson Matthews opened the scoring for the Longford men with Rian Brady adding a second free on 15 minutes as Rhode struggled to find their way into the game.
Rhode were then dealt a major blow when Brian Darby was shown what looked to be a harsh straight red card after a clash with James McGivney on 18 minutes.
This seemed to spring Rhode to life and after Darren Garry got their first score after 21 minutes, Niall McNamee followed that up with a routine free to leave the sides level after 23 minutes.
The low scoring and dogged trend continued for the rest of the half with Rhode actually going in front on 28 minutes before a well taken Rian Brady point with the left foot levelled matters
just before the break.
Rhode got the opening score of the second half through a Niall McNamee free to take the lead but a series of key moments were about to unfold.
Anton Sullivan had a goal disallowed on 38 minutes for a square ball and with the next attack, Mullinalaghta came down the field and hit the net through Jayson Matthews.
Anton Sullivan and Gary Rogers traded scores within a minute of each other before a Niall McNamee free on 47 minutes left only one between them as the Longford men hung on to a 1-4 to 0-6
Coming down the stretch into the final 10 minutes, Mullinalaghta secured a crucial score through John Keegan to put them two ahead and eventually sealing a meeting with Eire Og.
Mullinalaghta: Patrick Rogers, Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, Francis Mulligan, Donal McElligott (0-01), Shane Mulligan, Conan Brady, David McGivney, John Keegan (0-01), Gary Rogers (0-01), James McGivney, Aidan McElligott, Jayson Matthews (1-01), Rian Brady (0-02, 1f), Brendan Fox.
Subs: Donal McElligott temp 34-38 mins, Michael Cunningham for Brendan Fox 40 mins, Conor McElligott for Jayson Matthews 63 mins.
Rhode: Ken Garry, Eoin Rigney, Jake Kavanagh, James McPadden, Darren Garry (0-01), Brian Darby, Niall Darby, Alan McNamee, Conor McNamee, Paul McPadden (0-01), Paraic Sullivan, Dylan Kavanagh, Ruairi McNamee (0-01f), Anton Sullivan (0-01), Niall McNamee (0-03f).
Subs: Shane Lowry for Paraic Sullivan 56 mins, Mark Rigney for Anton Sullivan 63 mins, Gareth McNamee for Niall McNamee 64 mins.
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)