Larkin Cassidy Solictors IFC Group 2
Glenravel 0-17 Glenavy 2-09
By Aodh O’Loan
In a game which was level on seven different occasions, the home team produce a magical eight minute spell late in the game with six unanswered points and appeared to have sealed the deal but late drama saw them pegged back and eventually limp over the line with two to spare. Both teams held the lead several times in a ding dong battle and when referee Sean Laverty called time on the first half Glenavy would have been very pleased to be a goal ahead, having weathered a green and white onslaught in the opening minutes.
Had the locals been more clinical in their finishing the scoreline at half time may have had a different look to it. Glenravel eventually caught their opponents up and passed them in the second half then lost the lead again before that final spurt, which eventually was enough to secure the win. Had this been a horse race it would surely be considered an epic.
Glenravel came out of the stalls flying and should have had a few scores on the board by the time Eoin Hynds registered the first point of the game with a well taken free on seven minutes. The next six minutes would yield another couple of points for the home team, one from Aiden O’Donnell who had a fantastic hour’s football, and the other from Eamon Fyfe. A low scoring first quarter had Con Magees ahead 0-03 to 0-00. In truth, the margin should have been more as both teams adjourned for liquid refreshments.
The break certainly helped the visitors who’s physical dominance started to yield more fruit upfront. Patrick Gallagher got them off the mark on sixteen minutes and that was followed by a brace of points from big full forward Fergal Green to draw the sides level before his namesake, Fergal Heaney would edge Glenavy in front for the first time. Eamon Fyfe pulled one back for Con Magees but Patrick Gallagher would stretch Glenavy lead to two points on twenty eight minutes before his namesake, Alex Gallagher finished to the net with time almost up in the first half to put Glenavy in a commanding lead 1-05 to 0-04, but an Eoin Hynds free kick just on half time left a goal separating the teams.
Glenravel started the second half well with four unanswered points to retake the lead by the ninth minute. Aiden O’Donnell and Eoin Hynds delivering two each. Patrick Gallagher levelled the game from a free but Eamon Fyfe pointed a lovely score to put the home team back in front. Fergal Heaney levelled, but Eoin Hynds again edged the home team ahead with a well taken point. Heaney would level again in the same minute and then put Glenavy ahead with a good free eighteen minutes into the second half.
It was at this point the home team wrestled some level of control over an eight minute period returning six unanswered points with a plethora of scorers including Eamon Fyfe, Eoin Hynds, Ryan Lennon, Eoin McCusker and David Higgins to pull them 0-17 to 1-09 ahead, and only three minutes left on the clock. Glenavy brought on fresh legs to provide some impetus and needed goals which they duly went after with high balls raining in on the Glenravel goals, to see if their aerial dominance could pay dividends. It did just that, and one of their substitutes netted after a goalmouth scramble two minutes into injury time. The visitors would continue that strategy for the remaining three minutes of stoppage time, and it was nerve wracking viewing for the home fans, but Glenravel stood resolute and emerged victorious by a two point margin.
Glenravel:: Shaun O’Boyle, Cathal Hynds, Darragh Donaghey, Conor Carey Dnr, Conleth O’Loan, Eoin McCusker (0-01), Charlie Henry, David Higgins (0-01), Conor Carey Snr, Eoin Hynds (0-07), Sean McKay, Aiden O’Donnell (0-03), Aiden McCafferty, Eamon Fyfe (0-04), Ryan Lennon (0-01)
Glenavy:: Jake Nelson, Sean McGirr, Ryan Malley, Pearse O’Neill, Patrick Fox, Charles Gallagher, Fergus Cunningham, Michael Johnston, Oliver Brankin, Stephen Doone, Patrick Gallagher (0-01), Michael Kane, Fergal Heany (0-03), Fergal Green (0-04), Alex Gallagher (1-00)
Referee:: Sean Laverty