Homefit ACFL Division One
St Brigid’s 1-12 – 1-15 Lámh Dhearg
Kevin Herron reports from Musgrave Park
Lámh Dhearg hit six scores in succession to take control of the second half proceedings and chalk up a fourth straight victory with a 1-15-1-12 win over St Brigid’s at Musgrave Park on Wednesday evening.
Despite trailing to an early Joseph Finngean goal the Hannahstown side levelled just after the midway point in the opening half through a fortuitous Daire Larkin strike and it was nip and tuck thereafter until they took control with six unanswered second half points to see them home.
St Brigid’s were first off the mark inside of four minutes at Musgrave Park when Rory Brolly was able to steer the ball into the path of James Smith for a simple conversion in front of the posts.
The opening goal fell to the hosts inside of the seven minutes and it was route one football, half-back John Toner flighted a high ball out of defence into the path of Rory Brolly who advanced and then guided the ball into the path of Joseph Finnegan whose low shot found the bottom corner to make it 1-01 to no score.
Lámh Dhearg hit back with a point instantly after Ryan Diamond passed it to Declan Smith off the shoulder and Smith split the posts.
The game was a bit more of an even contest thereafter with scores exchanged on a regular basis.
John Toner found the run of Smith who restored his sides four-point advantage- only for Terry McCrudden to convert a free and Rory Brolly who angle over a response.
Just before the opening half water break Terry McCrudden kicked an advanced mark as Finnegan’s goal was difference during the first quarter of an hour.
The visitors closed the gap upon the resumption with Diamond and Smith again linking up, following a quick passing move through the hands.
James Smith kicked his third score of the evening from a free before the visitors pulled level on 19 minutes.
A fantastic outside of the boot pass from Pearse Fitzsimons was gathered by Daire Larkin who played a one-two with Terry McCrudden before taking on a shot that caught out Kevin McGovern and went in via the post to tie the score up at 1-04 apiece.
Terry McCrudden would edge his side ahead for the first time through his third converted kick of the evening with Smith restoring parity instantly- kicking an advanced mark.
James Smith nudged his side back into the lead after a patient passing move concluded with Rory Brolly picking out Smith who sent it high between the posts.
The sides were level for a third time thanks to a confident Eoin Matassa point and further scores were traded before the break.
Smith looked to have angled over a point that would have saw his side hold a slender advantage, but Declan Dunne landed a 45’ at the second time of asking to ensure the game was tied 1-07 apiece at the interval.
St Brigid’s regained the lead upon the restart after Michael Cummings broke the ball down for James Smith to conjure up his seventh point of the evening.
Terry McCrudden would level with a converted free at the other end before Smith nudged his side ahead for the final time – having passed up a gilt-edged chance from a simple free minutes before, he wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice and guided the ball between the posts.
Lámh Dhearg got themselves back on level terms again through Cormac Hannan converting an advanced mark from Michael Herron’s pass and after taking the lead shortly after they never looked back.
A magnificent Declan Dunne free gave them the lead for just the second time and Terry McCrudden doubled it from a more straight forward free a few minutes later.
McCrudden took his tally to six after substitute Fionn Mervyn had his run halted and going into the final quarter the Hannahstown side were 1-12-1-09 to the good.
The visitors extended the lead with Cormac Hannan steering over his second point of the evening and Declan Dunne converted his third placed ball of the evening.
Having conceded six on the bounce St Brigid’s eventually replied and closed the gap to four-points thanks to a converted James Smith free.
They were then given a numerical advantage for the last few minutes as Cormac Hannan picked up a second booking.
James Smith would make it back-to-back scores with his tenth score of the contest, but Terry McCrudden replied at the other end.
Goal scorer Joseph Finnegan landed a further point after a run from deep, however it was to be the final score of the evening as Lámh Dhearg claimed the spoils after a terrific second half showing at Musgrave.
St Brigid’s: K McGovern, J Morgan, J Toner, S Campbell, N Lundy, C King, R Boyle, M Cummings, J Finnegan (1-01), P King, C McAleer, P Finnegan, P Henvey, J Smith (0-10, 0-03f, 0-01 advanced mark), R Brolly (0-01). Subs: F McKernan for J Morgan (16), P McComiskey for P Henvey (36), P Lundy for N Lundy (46), D Foster for M Cummings (57).
Lámh Dhearg: M McIlvenny, R Murray, C McVarnock, M McGarry, E Matassa (0-01), P Mervyn, A McAufield, M Herron, P Fitzsimons, D Larkin (1-00), R Diamond, D Smith (0-02), D Dunne (0-03, 0-02f, 0-01 45’), T McCrudden (0-07, 0-06f, 0-01 advanced mark), C Hannan (0-02, 0-01 advanced mark). Subs: F Mervyn for C McVarnock (35), N McGarry for D Larkin (52), C Nolan for M McGarry (58).
Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona)