Lamh Dhearg withstand late Casements rally

All County Football League Division 1

Casements 0-11 Lamh Dhearg 2-7

Two second half goals were the scores that steered Lamh Dhearg to victory over Portglenone in Sunday’s tempestuous league game in Portglenone. In a game which saw two red, two black and countless yellow cards the expertly taken majors Marc McGarry and Michael Herron dealt Casements a body blow from which they could not quite recover. They came close is has to be said and their effort could not be faulted, but they will look back on this game knowing that they had the chances to earn at least a share of the spoils.

The game was barely a minute old when the home side lost midfielder Niall McKeever to a straight card after a bout of ‘handbags’ which held the game up for several minutes. Gerard McAleese had given Casements the lead in the opening minute but Paddy Cunningham brought the visitors level by the fourth. Niall Kelly restored the Portglenone lead with a pointed free on six minutes but it was a further six before we saw the next flag raised when Lamh Dhearg midfielder Domnhall Nugent broke through on the right and swung over a fine score from twenty-five metres.

Lamh Dhearg were then also reduced to fourteen men when right half forward Kevin Quinn received a second yellow card and Portglenone responded quickly and despite appearing to have overplayed the ball in the corner, they made amends as full forward Michael Hagan broke from the pack and swung over a lovely score. That gave the home side a 0-4 to 0-2 lead but after a series of missed chances from both sides Paddy Cunningham found Marc McGarry with an inch perfect pass on the twenty metre line and the left half forward turned inside a defender to fire over and cut the arrears to 0-4 to 0-3 at the break.

Michael Hagan increased the Casement’s lead to two with a pointed free three minutes into the second half but with Domnhall Nugent dominating at midfield the Hannahstown men gained the upper hand and after drawing level with two points from Marc McGarry they hit the front when McGarry crashed the ball to the Casement net in the thirty ninth minute. A minute later it could have been two when substitute Pearse Fagan broke through and fired for the net only to see it turned over by Casement’s goalkeeper Ryan O’Neill and the home side took advantage of the let off when substitute Dermot McAleese and full forward Hagan hit back with two top class scores to cut the gap to just two. However less than a minute after Hagan’s score Lamh Dhearg corner forward Michael Herron fielded a high ball near the edge of the Portglenone ‘square’ before rounding his marker and crashing home from close range.

When Paddy Cunningham added a point from a free just six minutes from the end of normal time the gap was out to seven and it appeared the visitors were home and dry, but with substitute McAleese having a growing influence Portglenone began to dominate. A great run by full back Aidan McKee started the fightback as he put Gerard McAleese in for a point that could easily have been a goal. Dearmot McAleese, Michael Hagan, Corey McLaughlin and Gerard McAleese all fired over points to cut the arrears to just two deep into injury time and suddenly there was a bit of anxiety in the Lamh Dhearg camp. However they kept their composure in the tense final minutes to safely wrap up another victory.

Portglenone scorers

Gerard McAleese 0-4; Michael Hagan 0-4; Dermot McAleese 0-2; Niall Kelly 0-1

Lamh Dhearg scorers

Marc McGarry 1-3; Michael Herron 1-0; Paddy Cunningham 0-2; Pearse Fagan 0-1; Domnhall Nugent 0-1:

PORTGLENONE

Ryan O’Neill, John Convery, Aidan McKee, Ronan Delargy, Michael Kelly jnr, Mark McAleese, Shane Delargy, Paddy Carey, Niall McKeever, Niall Delargy, Aidan Kearney, Gerard McAleese, Kieron McKenna, Michael Hagan, Niall Kelly

Subs – Ryan Convery for Aidan Kearney; Stephen Kelly for Mark McAleese; Peter Duffin for Kieron McKenna

LAMH DHEARG

Mark McIlvenny, Patrick Larkin, Padraig Mervyn, Christopher Nolan, Aaron McAufield, Declan Lynch, Brendan McComb, Pearse Fitzsimons, Domnhall Nugent, Kevin Quinn, Stephen Tully, Marc McGarry, Patrick Cunningham, Terry McCrudden, Michael Herron

Subs – Ben Rice for Terry McCrudden; Pearse Fagan for Ben Rice

Referee – Thomas McGilligan (Dunloy)

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