Aghagallon 1-10-0-10 Lámh Dhearg
By Kevin Herron
Aghagallon made it back to back league wins over Lámh Dhearg with a hard fought 1-10-0-10 win over the Hannahstown men at Aghagallon this evening (Wednesday).
The men from the Antrim / Armagh border made a blistering start in familiar surroundings and quickly edged ahead through Ruairi McCann’s well taken point. Ruairi Loughran was next on the score sheet for Aghagallon, who lead by 0-03-0-00 after five minutes with McCann again on target.
Indeed Lámh Dhearg had their fair share of the early chances; Conor Murray sent a shot inches wide of the post, while the woodwork denied Paddy Cunningham.
Gerard Slane eventually got the Lámhs off the mark on seven minutes, though a point from midfielder Eunan Walsh and a converted free from McCann stretched St. Mary’s lead to four points.
The visitor’s frustration in front of goals continued until the 21st minute when corner-forward Terry McCrudden ended a baron period of almost fifteen minutes without a score and a few minutes later attacking corner-back Marc McGarry popped the ball between the sticks to leave just two between the sides, 0-05-0-03.
Eunan Walsh added his second point of the half to give St. Mary’s a three point lead heading into the interval, however the Murray brothers (Conor and Ryan ) both hit late points from play to leave just the minimum between the sides at the break, 0-06-0-05.
It would be fair to say the Lámhs wasteful in front of goal was one of the reasons they trailed at the break, hitting five scores from seventeen attempts though they were a bit more clinical early in the second period.
Despite conceding the opening score of the half to a converted Shane Russell free Lámh Dhearg responded through their own converted free from Cunningham and were level after a fine score from youngster Eoghan McKeown.
A delightful point from Cunningham edged the Hannahstown men in front for the first time and Conor Murray landed another super score before departing proceedings with a hamstring injury.
Midway through the second-half Aghagallon found their feet again, corner-forward Dessie Marhsall found time and space and blasted low to the net past Mark McIlvenny to make it 1-07-0-09 in favour of the hosts.
With ten minutes to play proceedings were level once again at Aghagallon thanks to Murray’s replacement Aaron McAufield whose shot dipped over the crossbar.
The game was evenly poised and on a knife-edge when up popped Ruairi McCann to give his side the lead, Aghagallon’s cause was helped further as Michael Herron was dismissed by referee Cathal McDermott and with the one man advantage McCann was able to muster his fourth score of the game.
Lámh Dhearg desperately pushed for a goal which would perhaps snatch a victory but it was a point from Adam Shanks five minutes into injury-time which sealed a hard fought two-points for Aghagallon.
Aghagallon: R Haire, M McStravick, L McCrory, A Doherty, P Mulholland, R O’Neill, A Shanks (0-01), C Farr, E Walsh (0-02), S Russell (0-01f), C Brady, R Loughran (0-02, 0-01f), M McKenna, R McCann (0-04), D Marshall (1-00).
Lámh Dhearg: M McIlvenny, M McGarry (0-01), D Lynch, C Nolan, P Mervyn, M Herron, B McComb, C Murray (0-02), K Quinn, R Murray (0-01), G Slane (0-01), E McKeown (0-01), P Cunningham (0-02,0-01f), S Tully, T McCrudden. Sub: A McAufield (0-01) for C Murray (42 mins).