Minor Football ‘A’ Championship – Tuesday September 4
Dunloy 6-23 Lámh Dhearg 1-2
Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy
A ruthless demolition… and it could have been more. Dunloy strolled to the semi-finals of the minor football championship on Tuesday evening with 36 points to spare over a beleaguered Lámh Dhearg side.
The Cuchullains took apart the Hannahstown men from the first whistle at will and continued to press, pressurise and dominate their opponents over the 60 minutes. Man of the match Seaan Elliott top scored for the home side, finishing the match with an impressive 3-5 with all three of his goals coming in the first half. Anton McGrath added another major in the opening 30 minutes while Anthony Smyth and substitute Daire Crawley found the back of the Lámh’s net in the second half.
Ten different scorers on an evening when the Cuchullains also hit double figure in wides all equates to a facile championship outing for the men from Pearse Park. The Lámh Dhearg goal came from a long ball to the heart of the Dunloy defence and half forward Conor Smyth getting the last touch but the red hands task was made even more difficult when they were reduced to 14 men after 25 minutes. Half back Jack Summersgill seeing red for a foul on Daithi McGuigan but it did little to effect the game. The Cuchullains were already 17 points ahead at that point and the Hannahstown men already looked a beaten side.
Eoin Matassa, Ciaran Keating and ‘keeper Daniel Hartley all had good games for Lámh Dhearg, Hartley may have conceded six goals but on three further separate occasions he denied the Cuchullains with a mix of bravery and athleticism but Dunloy were just too strong over the hour.
The game was barely 15 second old when the home side created the goal chance of the match. Elliott claiming a perfect ball from midfielder Scullion from the throw in but was dragged to the ground inside the square. Referee O’Donnell awarded a penalty and Elliott dusted himself down before sending Hartley the wrong way with his spot kick. Elliott’s second goal came just six minutes later, this time he used his blistering pace to evade the Lámh Dhearg defence and firing low beyond the diving Hartley.
Nine points separated the sides after as many minutes before the visitors to Pearse Park recorded their first score of the match. John Boyd collected the ball 50 yards from goal before sending the ball high to the heart of the Dunloy defence. The Cuchullains failed to deal with it and Conor Smyth got the last touch before the ball hot the back of the net to give the Lámh’s hope of turning the tide.
Those hopes didn’t last long. Dunloy scored their third goal of the match in the 22nd minute, Anton McGrath leaving his half back position to collect a perfect Crossfield pass from Anthony Smyth before firing home to open a 13 point lead. Seaan Elliott completed his hat-trick just two minutes later, midfielder Scullion with the assist before Summersgill saw red moments later to effectively end the Lámh’s challenge. The home side added three further points before the half time whistle to lead 4-12 to 1-1 at the interval.
It was more of the same onslaught after the restart with Dunloy taking their chances at will despite a packed Lámh Dhearg defence. The fifth goal came midway through the half, the Cuchullains had already fired six unanswered points before Anthony Smyth took his tally to 1-3 for the match in the 42nd minute.
Lámh Dhearg centre half scored the Hannahstown mens second point of the match in the next attack of the match but that was the last time they would trouble the score board. Dunloy looked to their bench with the game effectively over and it was a substitute that scored their sixth goal of the match. Daire Crawley finding himself in space in front of Hartley and made no mistake with the goal at his mercy. The home side continued to rack up points with Anthony Smyth and Paddy Kinsella marauding from full back and Scullion catching the eye. 6-23 to 1-2 at the final whistle and a place in the last four against favourite’s St Brigid’s beckons for the Cuhcullains.
Dunloy: Paudie McGilligan; Oisin McErlane, Paddy Kinsella, Cathair McCloskey; Anton McGrath, Aaron Crawford, Ciaran McQuillan; Ryan McFarlane, Callum Scullion; Daithi McGuigan, Rory Mullan, Eoghan McMullan; Anthony Smyth, Eoghan McGrath, Seaan Elliott.
Subs: Conal Kelly for C McCloskey (43); Daire Crawley for D McGuigan (43); DJ McKendry for C McQuillan (50); Daithi Cree for R Mullan (50); DJ Crawley for E McGrath (50)
Lámh Dhearg: Daniel Hartley; Aaron McCloskey, Ross Murray, John Hawkins; Jack Summersgill, Eoin Matassa, Tiernan McKenna; Ciaran Keating, Daniel Murray; Morgan Pettigrew, Tony Nelson, Conor Smyth; Sean McCullagh, Adam Cunningham, John Boyd.
Subs: Niall McGarry for T McKenna (38); Tomás McArdle for C Smyth (42)
Scorers for Dunloy: Seaan Elliott 3-5 (1-00 pen, 2 f’s); Anthony Smyth 1-4 (1 f); Eoghan McGrath 0-4; Daire Crawley 1-1; Callum Scullion 0-3; Rory Mullan 0-3; Anton McGrath 1-00; Paddy Kinsella 0-1; Daithi McGuigan 0-1; Eoin McMullan 0-1
Scorers for Lámh Dhearg: Conor Smyth 1-00; Ross Murray 0-1; Eoin Matassa 0-1
Referee: Jarlath O’Donnell (Con Magees, Glenravel)