Victory rescued in the final minutes by the Glensmen

Antrim Intermediate Football Championship – Round Robin

Michael Davitts 0-14    Glenravel Con Magees 4-09
Davitt Park, bathed in sunshine was the venue for this first game in the Larkin Cassidy Solicitors Group 1 IFC Round Robin series between two teams who have done battle a few times in recent years. Davitts deserve great credit for their superb new facilities which overlook Belfast, offering magnificent views across Ireland’s second largest city. They also have extensive plans to develop the site further in the coming years. Good luck with that venture. 

This game can be characterised by two teams dominating  for long periods with the away team just about doing enough in their periods of dominance to secure victory. Leading by nine points at the twenty minute mark it looked like Glenravel would ease to victory leaving Davitts to rue so many missed chances in the opening quarter. But then the city lads got their act together and thirty minutes later would lead by a single point and they looked the more likely to push on from there to victory.

However the last ten minutes of the game were ruled by the visitors and with man of the match Eamon Fyfe once again pulling the strings, they went on to win by a seven point margin as the Davitts were left to rue a succession of missed chances.

Glenravel corner back Cathal Hynds shows his forwards how its done as he slots in his team’s third goal in Sunday’s win over Davitt’s

The visitors started well and Aodhan O’Donnell pointed from a free in the first minute to get them off the mark. Eamon Fyfe doubled that lead 3 minutes later and when Sean McKay was upended  in the box as he was about to pull the trigger, referee Cathal McDermott awarded a penalty which Fyfe duly slotted home to extend the Glenravel lead to five points. Stephen Tully, who had an impressive hour at centre three quarters, got Davitts off and running after seven minutes and even though the home team had the lions share of possession their forwards squandered several scoring chances. Their opponents were much more clinical in front of goals and when Aodhan O’Donnell (point) and Eamon Fyfe (1-01) stretched the visitors’ lead to nine points the signs were ominous for the locals.

However a sustained spell of pressure in the final ten minutes of the half delivered points from Padraig McParland, Stephen Tully and three in succession from the excellent Gerard Slane which brought some respectability to the Davitts scoreline and at half time they trailed by just four points. (0-06 to 2-04)

Davitt’s Niall Hughes in action against Glenravel’s Aidan O’Donnell

Davitts continued to dominate the first ten minutes of the second half with the very impressive full forward, Padraig McParland (0-2) and one of their substitutes got on the scoresheet with a solitary reply from Glenravel from a free by Aodhan O’Donnell.

We now had a two point game and everything to play for and when McParland brought the teams level with two very well taken frees from out on the right hand side. Minutes later Gerard Slane put Davitts into the lead for the first (and only) time with eight minutes of normal time remaining and at this stage it looked like the home team would push on to victory. However Eoin Hynds settled Glenravel nerves with a pointed free to level the game again with six minutes left and when his brother Cathal showed up from corner back to toe poke home a goal from short range the visitors’ lead was restored to three points. Aodhan O’Donnell increased that to four with as many minutes left but back came Davitts with points from McParland (who would finish the game with six points to his name) and Sean Og O’Neill to leave Glenravel just two in front 0-14 to 3-07. Davitts emptied the bench with a couple of substitutions in the hope that fresh legs would get them back into the game again but it was the visitors who finished stronger with points from Ryan Lennon and Eamon Fyfe before hat-trick hero Fyfe sealed a very good performance with a lovely goal right at the end to leave Glenravel victorious, 0-14 to 4-09.

Davitt’s Stephen Tully in action during Sunday’s IFC game with Glenravel

Davitts:: Aaron Slane, Conor Toner, Anthony Rowntree, Michael Og Rowantree, Niall Hughes, Daniel Wallace, Christopher Gallagher, Sean Og O’Neill (0-1), Ryan Park, Christopher Rafferty, Stephen Tully (0-2 0-1f), Gerard Slane (0-4), Caomhan Slane, Padrain McParland (0-6, 0-4f), Stephen Og Toner

Glenravel: Shaun O’Boyle; Cathal Hynds (1-0), Conor Carey Jnr, Charlie Henry, Jonathan Fyfe, Eoin McCusker, Conleth O’Loan, Connor Carey Snr, Eoin Hynds, (0-1f), Aodhan O’Donnell (0-4f), Declan Traynor, Sean McKay, Ryan Lennon (0-1), Eamon Fyfe (3-3), Aiden McCafferrty
Referree: Cathal McDermott.


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