Two goals in the first ten minutes of the second-half were the launchpad as Abbeyleix came from three points down at the break to record a five point win over Colt in a windy O’Moore Park on Saturday afternoon.
Ace marksman Eoghan Fennelly got the first of the goals with Eoin Reilly adding the second as Abbeyleix upped their game after playing second fiddle to Colt in the opening half.
Defensively Abbeyleix were also on top in the second-half with Declan Phelan challenging the free scoring Fennelly for the man of the match accolade.
At the end of a fast paced first-half Colt deservedly held a 0-11 to 0-8 lead. There was little to chose between the sides in the opening 15 minutes and they were level on three occasions with points for Colt from Colm Kavanagh, Chris Murray and Dan Dalton being cancelled out by a trio of frees from Eoghan Fennelly.
However from the 15th to the 23rd minutes, Colt outscored Abbeyleix by five points to one with four coming from Chris Murray and the other from Henry Keyes. Abbeyleix’ only point in the period came from Eoghan Fennelly but he added two points in quick succession on the 23rd minute to close the gap to two.
He added two more frees late in the half to bring his total, and his team’s total, to eight but Colt responded with long range points from Colm Kavanagh and Mark McDonald and a seventh of the half from Chris Murray to go in three points ahead.
However as the rain began to fall at the start of the second-half, Abbeyleix came out with a renewed sense of purpose and blasted home 2-2 in the first ten minutes with the goals coming from Eoghan Fennelly and Eoin Reilly. Fennelly also added the two points to leave his side four points ahead after trailing by three at the break.
Chris Murray had opened the scoring for Colt on the resumption but it took 13 minutes for Colt to add to their total with Murray again on target. Abbeyleix were now on top and after another Fennelly free, Eoin Reilly put over their first point from play with 46 minutes on the clock.
Henry Keyes, who top scored for either side from play with four points, reduced the deficit briefly but Mark Cahill launched over a spectacular effort from play to restore Abbeyleix’ five point lead.
Abbeyleis almost had a third goal but Eoghan Fennelly’s shot was well saved by Brian McDermott.
With the game over as a contest, the sides added two points apiece in the closing minutes with Eoghan Fennelly launching over two more frees to bring his total for the day to 1-13 while Henry Keyes showed his accuracy from play with both of Colt’s late scores.
Scorers: Abbeyleix: Eoghan Fennelly 1-13 (0-13f); Eoin Reilly 1-1; Mark Cahill 0-1. Colt: Chris Murray 0-8 (0-5f); Henry Keyes 0-4; Colm Kavanagh 0-2; Dan Dalton 0-1; Mark McDonald 0-1
Abbeyleix: Enda Rowland; David Moloney, Oisin Carroll, PJ Corbey; Rory Dunne, Declan Phelan, David Bonham; Eugene Hearns, Mark Cahill; Joe Bergin, Stephen Reilly, Daniel Coffey; Conor Bergin, Eoin Reilly, Eoghan Fennelly. Subs: Daniel Shanahan for Joe Bergin (48mins), Tim Bonham for Daniel Coffey (60mins), Cathal Fitzpatrick for Conor Bergin (60mins)
Colt: Brian McDermott; Craig Moore, Arran McGowan, Mark McDonald; Colin Ryan, Brendan O’Connor, Brian Keegan; Ger Doolan, Chris Murray; Dan Dalton, Colm Kavanagh, Niall Brennan; Henry Keyes, Padraig Dunne, Shane Mullins. Subs: Eamon Delaney for Colin Ryan (HT), Tony Ryan for Eamon Delaney (35mins) (inj)
Referee: Anthony Costigan (Rathdowney-Errill)