Mostrim 0-09 Vs. Abbeylara 1-12

Abbeylara got their league Division 1 campaign off to a great start with an important away win over North Longford neighbours Mostrim last Saturday in Devine Park. Edgeworthstown has always been a tough place to gain a victory and this game was no exception. With the elements of weather in full force, the Abbey men braved the cold wind and hailstones to record a 6 point victory and in the process build a solid foundation for the league games ahead.

Playing with the wind behind them in the first half, it was Mostrim who took an early lead by going 2 points up inside the first 10 minutes. However, having come to terms with the wind, Abbey slowly began to find their rhythm and recorded their first point from a 30 yard Jason Kelly free (against the wind) after Colm Dalton was fouled coming in from the left.

Abbeylara then followed that score up with a fantastic piece of play that saw James McEntire and Jason Kelly exchange a number of passes as they cut through the centre of the Mostrim defence to eventually feed Sean Berry who’s first time goal bound shot was well saved by the Mostrim goalkeeper, only to be deflected over the bar to bring the sides level at 2 points apiece.

Mostrim regained some momentum in the game and went another two points up and it would have been more was it not for some very alert defending from the Abbeylara back line, in particular from Brian Smyth and Anthony McBrien. With all the Abbey defence keeping things tight at the back, that provided the platform for the forwards to establish themselves in the game and they did just that.

In a very productive period of the first half, the forwards scored another 4 points without reply with Captain for the day Robbie Smyth scoring the pick of the bunch with his trusty left boot from 30 yards out on the right after a good assist from James McEntire to set him up. The next score saw more great Abbeylara combination play as Sean Murphy played a nice one-two with Sean Berry to then feed in Colm Smyth who from 20 yards out (left of center), scored a great right footed point.

Strong running from the midfield continued to see Abbey create opportunities and Jason Kelly was unlucky to have a perfectly placed point inexplicably waived wide by the referee. But he wouldn’t have to wait long for another score as more determined play from Colm Smyth saw Abbey win a free kick from 20 yards out on the left which Jason dispatched with great accuracy from the hands.

Abbeylara’s sixth point of the game came from yet another flowing move through the centre, this time with James McEntire and Colm Smyth combing to create a great chance for Robbie Smyth which he duly converted from 20 yards.

That would be Abbey’s last point to register in the first half as Mostrim came back into the game with 3 more points of their own to leave them 1 point up at halftime and the scores at 0-07 to 0-06.

Manager Donal Ledwith’s halftime words were clearly still fresh in the memory as the Abbeylara players came out in the second half and quickly took the game by the scruff of the neck. With the wind at his back, Robbie Smyth sent over a huge kick from 35 yards out on the left to bring the sides level again and lift the rest of the Abbeylara team.

The increasingly influential Colm Smyth again combined with Sean Berry before being fouled 15 yards out from goal. Jason Kelly scored the resulting free kick and then followed that point up with an assist for James McEntire who scored a rousing point, 30 yards out on the right which sailed over the bar.

With the Abbey defence playing so well, Mostrim found it difficult to get back in the game but they did manage to register another point. However, that was quickly cancelled out by a well taken Robbie Smyth free kick. Mostrim came again and found the target once more as they tried in vain to get a foothold in the game but with the likes of Micheal McHugh, Shane Mahon and Colm Dalton in such miserly form, Mostrim failed to add any more scores to their tally.

From that point onwards Abbeylara showed their strength and superior fitness to close out the game comfortably. Jason Kelly took centre stage as he put himself on the score sheet again with a very well taken long range point from play on the right which he followed up with another 30 yarder from the left of centre after a great catch and pass from Derek Smyth.

The team’s final score of the game came from the penalty spot after another powerful run from Fergal Battrim saw James McEntire fouled as he received a pass from the Abbey midfielder. The penalty itself was cooly slotted home by the clinical Jason Kelly, leaving the Mostrim Goalkeeper with no chance as the ball flew into the top right hand corner of the net.

The referee blew the final whistle shortly afterwards to conclude a very satisfactory win for Donal Ledwith’s men and a positive start from which to build on.

The Club would like to thank all those who turned out to support the team and look forward to seeing more supporters at the next Division 1 league game at home to Fr. Manning Gaels on Saturday the 12th of April at 5pm.

Lineout and scorers as follows: D.O’Connor, A.McBrien, B.Smyth, C.P.Smyth(0-01), M.McHugh, S.Mahon, C.Dalton, F.Battrim, J.Kelly (1-05), Cormac Smyth, J.McEntire(0-01), M.O’Connor, S. Berry(0-01), R.Smyth(0-04), S Murphy. Subs: D.Smith for M.O’Connor

Pictures from the Match:
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