An injury time point from Niall Mullen rescued a draw for Mountmellick to cap off an exciting end to this ACFL Division 1 game on Sunday morning.
Mullen held his nerve in the sixth minute of added time to split the posts with a long-range free and earn a share of the spoils for his team, and overall it was a fair result.
Mountmellick probably shaded the game in terms of possession, but they didn’t have the clinical edge which Arles-Kilcruise possessed, as they made the most out of the majority of scoring chances they created.
The home side had gotten off to a bright start, with Darragh Hanlon curling over a point in the second minute. Shane Conlon added another four minutes later after a burst forward from midfield to edge them two ahead, but in reality they should have been further ahead as they were dominant in the early minutes.
Arles-Kilcruise finally opened their account for the day when Ross Munnelly cut onto his left foot 30 yards out and curled over his first point of the day, and David Conway drew them level after being set up by Kevin Meaney 21 yards out.
Mountmellick wasted little time in restoring their lead, as Hanlon again curled over from the left wing and Conlonalso got his second, while a long range effort from Niall Mullen saw them open up a three point lead.
Arles-Kilcruise hadn’t really found any rhythm to their play, but finally started to grow into the game midway through the half. Ross Munnelly added a quick fire brace before Mountmellick then gifted them a goal.
The home side had possession from a sideline ball back in the corner of their defence. instead of clearing their lines, they overplayed it and eventually lost the ball, with Arles pouncing on the mistake, as Munnelly’s ball in was tapped down by Brendan Conway to David Conway, and he applied the finish.
Mullen replied with a free for Mountmellick, but Arles were playing well now and they made it count. Brendan Conway and Munnelly (free) pointed before Fran Egan set David Conway up for his second goal, with Mountmellick crying for a free out.
Jason McLoughlin curled over a point from the right wing to push Kilcruise seven ahead, but Mountmellick hit the last three points in the half to trail by just four at the break, 2-7 to 0-9.
Just as in the first half, Darragh Hanlon opened the scoring for the second half with a point, but Kilcruise hit back with interest thanks to scores from Kevin Meaney and David Conway.
That pushed them five in front and they were able to maintain a firm control of the game until the last ten minutes, when Darragh Hanlon was fouled in the penalty area and Brendan McCann pointed to the spot.
Mark Grennan stepped up to take the penalty, and even though Jimmy McDonald guessed right, he couldn’t keep the ball out as it found the back of the net to get Mountmellick wthin one.
Moments later, Grennan was almost celebrating his second as a long ball into the square from Niall Mullen saw Grennan get his fist on it, but Jimmy McDonald made a superb point-blank save to steer it over for a point.
That levelled the game, and after a lengthy delay due to injury, David Conway gave Arles the lead. It looked like ti might be enough, but Niall Mullen had the final say as his excellent point from a free meant the sides finished level.