Dunloy book top six spot

O’Neill’s All County Football League – Division 2

Cúchullain’s Dunloy 2-24 Davitt’s 1-06

Report by Liam Tunney – @UnitUpdates

A confident attacking display from the Dunloy forward unit saw them demolish an understrength Davitt’s side at a sun-splashed Pearse Park and secure their place in the top six of the O’Neill’s Antrim ACFL Division 2 after the split.

With the visitors trailing Dunloy by a single league point coming into this game, both sides knew that a win would secure their place in the top half of the league going into the second period.

Within seconds of the game getting underway, captain Kevin McAllister had the home side in front, a lead they didn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game, as he cut in from the right flank and swung over his first of an impressive 1-08.

Declan McGarry increased the lead to two seconds later, before a second McAllister point, and scores from Keelan Molloy and Kevin McQuillan had the hosts five points up in as many minutes.

Davitt’s opened their account in fortuitous fashion, Conner McGilligan initially doing well to hold a high ball in the goalmouth, only to be dispossessed by Jason Close, who tapped over the visitors’ first and what would be their only white flag of the first half.

Pádraig Conlon hit an immediate reply for Cúchullain’s before McAllister took centre stage, firing over a brace of points followed by the opening goal of the game.

Karl Fitzpatrick, who himself had gone close minutes earlier with the goal at his mercy, turned provider as McAllister broke the ball to him. Fitzpatrick slipped the quick handpass and the captain broke through to bury the ball left-footed beyond the despairing arms of Liam McGivern in the Davitt’s goal.

A floated, curling effort from half back Chris McMahon was sandwiched between two Shane Dooey scores before the visitors were awarded a penalty in the dying embers of the first half.

A long ball was floated into the Davitt’s full forward line and referee Kevin Parke spotted a pull by Karl O’Kane on Gerard Nugent and adjudged it to have taken place in the penalty area.

The lively Aaron Slane stepped up and buried the penalty into the bottom corner, despite goalkeeper Conner McGilligan guessing correctly, to see the half-time lead cut to ten points.

Slane began the second half where he left off, sweeping over an early free off the ground before Declan McGarry repeated the Keelan Molloy trick from the first half, rattling the ball off the crossbar before raising the white flag.

A nice move up the right flank involving Stephen McGuigan ended with the ball in the hands of McAllister, who made no mistake in finding the target, before Karl Fitzpatrick again went close, his goalbound effort blocked by McGivern.

Another McAllister effort followed before Jason Close fisted over for the visitors, a strong run through the heart of the Dunloy defence ending in a score.

Keelan Molloy then ended another excellent move up the Dunloy right by cutting in to tuck away yet another point for the home side. Aaron Slane hit back for the visitors, but seemed to be ploughing a lonely furrow among the Davitt’s forward line.

Two more McAllister scores followed in quick succession before Anthony Rowntree powered up the left flank, sold a dummy and floated over a left-footed score, arguably Davitt’s score of the evening.

Substitute Liam McCann then peddled a dummy of his own, slipping the ball between the posts from an acute angle on the Dunloy right before Declan McGarry fired home the hosts’ second goal of the night.

Karl Fitzpatrick was again in the thick of it, beating his man and slipping the pass to McGarry, who hammered it home past McGivern. McAllister yet again followed up with a simple 13m free before Chris Rafferty provided an interlude, hitting a left-footed score for the visitors.

The fleet-footed Liam McCann then collected the ball on the Dunloy left, sidestepped an incoming tackle and shot over right footed, before the dangerous Anthony Rowntree forced an excellent stop from Conner McGilligan up the other end.

As the game entered the final few minutes, there was time for Keelan Molloy and Eoin ‘Sammy’ O’Neill to add further scores before Kevin Parke blew the final whistle and sent Cúchullain’s into the top half of the league after the split.

Cúchullain’s Dunloy: Conner McGilligan, Kieran Hughes, Karl O’Kane, Stephen McToal, Chris McMahon, Jamie McFerran, Stephen McGuigan, Kevin McQuillan, Anthony Doran, Pádraig Conlon, Karl Fitzpatrick, Declan McGarry, Kevin McAllister (c), Shane Dooey, Keelan Molloy.

Davitt’s: Liam McGivern, Michael Óg Rowntree, Niall Hughes, Chris Gallagher, Nathan Maginn, Caomhan Slane, Stephen Óg Toner, Anthony Rowntree, Jason Close, Gerard Burns, Ryan Park, Chris Rafferty, Aaron Slane, Gerard Nugent, Caolan Park.

Referee: Kevin Parke

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