In a thrilling clash played out in Colt on Friday evening, St Lazerians, Abbeyleix claimed a last ditch goal to send them through to the next round with Eoghan Fennelly adopting a ‘hero’ status in the process.
St Fintan’s, Mountrath snatched an ideal start to the game as they hit Abbeyleix for 1-1 inside the opening ten minutes. Dan Russell fired over the opening point of the game after six minutes, before Fionan Comerford shook the Abbeyleix net to give his side an early four point lead.
Abbeyleix went on to claim the next two points, with a ten minute gap in-between. Eoin Reilly opened the Abbeyleix account with eight minutes on the clock, before Eoghan Fennelly registered what was to be the first of seven points for the day to cut the deficit to two.
Abbeyleix were proving dominant, but their composure in front of goal, or lack thereof, was costing them dearly. Mountrath took advantage to land 1-1, with Colm Lanham raising the green flag with a low shot from thirty-five yards to leave the score at 2-2 to 0-3.
Abbeyleix closed out the half on a high with Laois goalkeeper and Leinster Long Puc champion, Eoin Reilly, burying a twenty-one yard free into the back of the net. Eoghan Fennelly closed out the half with a pointed free to see them trail by a point at the break.
The opening ten minutes of the half proved eventful with Abbeyleix landing five points as opposed to Mountrath’s two, with Eoghan Fennelly accountable for four of those as Abbeyleix took the lead for the first time in the game.
The sides went on to match each other score for score right up until the twenty-ninth minute when Mountrath grabbed the equalising point as the game looked to be deadlocked. Abbeyleix obviously had a different idea as they lobbed a long ball into the square, with Eoghan Fennelly steering the ball into the Mountrath net to clinch the win.
SCORERS - Abbeyleix: Eoghan Fennelly 1-7 (0-6 frees), Eoin Reilly 1-3 (1-1 frees), Eugene Hearns, Thomas Doyle and Conor Bergin 0-1 each; Mountrath: Dan Russell 0-9 (0-7 frees), Fionan Comerford 1-1, Colm Lanham 1-0.
ST LAZERIANS, ABBEYLEIX: Enda Rowland; PJ Corby, Oisin Carroll, David Bonham; Mark Cahill, Declan Phelan, Ruairi Dunne; Eugene Hearns, Thomas Doyle; Joe Bergin, Stephen Reilly, Daniel Coffey; Eoghan Fennelly, Eoin Reilly, Conor Bergin.
ST FINTAN’S, MOUNTRATH: Paddy Carroll; Billy Kirwan, Kevin Byrne, Diarmuid Murphy, James Fahy, Paul Rice, Gavin Sydes; Colm Lanham, Paul Meade; Colm Linehan, Mick Meade, Diarmuid Lanham; Dan Russell, Ken O’Keefe, Fionan Comerford. SUBS: Martin Carroll for Damian Lanham; Peadar Rice for Colm Linehan.