Late points cost Mountrath place in Leinster Final

Three points in the last six minutes from Ballymahon in Rahan last Friday denied Mountrath a place in another Leinster Final this year.

Three points in the last six minutes from Ballymahon in Rahan last Friday denied Mountrath a place in another Leinster Final this year.

Playing with the strong wind but up the hill in the second-half, Mountrath came from six points down to lead by one entering the last ten minutes. At that point they looked all set to push on and win on the heavy pitch but the Longford side rallied scoring the last three points to snatch the victory.

Despite playing into the teeth of the win in the first-half, Mountrath laid siege to the Ballymahon goal in the early stages but only had three wides and four shots that dropped short to show for their early efforts.

The Longford side eventually got up the field and scored on each of their three attacks, two from midfielder Cian Gilmore and one from Sean Donohue.

Mountrath eventually opened their account after 14 minutes through a free from Cathal Duggan and he added a second soon after when Ballymahon’s influential centre-back Luke Gunning was very lucky not to be black carded after hauling down Joe Phelan who was bearing down on goal.

Ballymahon continued to press forward with the wind at their backs and after a point from Dylan Farrell, the Longford side scored a crucial goal when Sean Donohue fisted home from close range.

Further points followed from Evan Chalmers, Cian Gilmore and Jamie Birmingham although scores from Tadgh Cuddy and Sean Murphy for Mountrath kept the gap to six at the break. Joe Phelan almost got in for a goal before the break but, after storming through the defence, his shot was saved by Matthew Duffy.

The lead became seven early in the second-half with another point from Cian Gilmore but with the wind at their backs, Mountrath took control scoring 1-5 without reply. Three points from Cathal Duggan and one from a well struck ‘45 from Tadgh Cuddy reduced the gap to three by the 40th minute.

The Laois school were well on top with Ballymahon unable to get out of their own half and the game was level with 47 minutes on the clock. A shot from Joe Phelan was saved by Matthew Duffy but as the ball looped up, Ciaran Conroy was on hand to fist the ball into the net. Cathal Duggan added a point to put Mountrath in front and from there they were well placed to go on and win.

However Ballymahon had other plans and they managed to lift the siege and finally apply pressure at the other end of the field. Points from Cian Gilmore (2) and Luke Gunning edged them in front.

Mountrath had one late chance to snatch the win from a close range free but Cathal Duggan’s blasted effort was blocked.