OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship
Dunloy 3-13 Glenavy 0-10
Sunday October 3
Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy
A strong second half performance from Dunloy put the Cuchullains into the last four of the Intermediate Championship on Sunday afternoon. With a number of permutations still possible coming into the game, The Cuchullains had one eye on the game between St Pauls and St Patrick’s while a win by 15 points or more would have pushed Dunloy ahead of Sarsfields. That in itself was a tall order with matches between these two sides always close affairs but St Paul’s had to better Dunloy’s in by more than four points to make the semi-finals and while they defeated the Lisburm men, eight points was the winning margin.
This was the proverbial game of two halves. Glenavy were accurate and dangerous in the first half with Fergal Henry causing plenty of problems for the Dunloy full back line while the power and pace of Patrick and Charles Gallagher with Conor Hamill providing attacking impetus for Glenavy.
The visitors hit two wide’s in the opening exchanges but from then on the first half, their accuracy was spell binding. Henry and Alex Gallgher combining well but Dunloy’s ability to carve open goal opportunities kept them in the game. Their opening goal came in the eighth minute with Glenavy failing to clear the danger after the ball came back off the upright from a Seaan Elliott shot. Anton McGrath was on hand to apply the finishas both sides went score for score in the opening quarter.
The second Dunloy goal came in the 22nd minute with Glenavy ahead by one point. Referee Cathal McDermott judging Oisin Hamill taking the ball from Lorcan Murphy illegally to give the home side a penalty. Karl Fitzpatrick stepped up and confidently dispatched to bottom corner, sending Glenavy ‘keeper Murphy the wrong way.
A brace of scores from Henry brought Glenavy level at the half time break with a score line 2-2 to 0-8.
If the first half was a rigid, tactical encounter, the second certainly had a more open feel about the contest. The wind was blowing towards the score board at Pearse Park but didn’t seem to affect either side. Dunloy started to win more ball in the middle third with Ryan McGarry and Kevin McQuillan prevalent while Ryan McFarline becoming more involved.
Glenavy struggled to deal with the threat of Seaan Elliott and he combined well with substitute Michael Smith.
The Cuchullains kept Glenavy scoreless for 24 minutes of the second half while they began to open a substantial gap on the score board. Keelan Molloy, McQuillan, Elliott and Michael Smith all registering scores before the third Dunloy goal in the 20th minute. Seann Elliott intercepting a kick out before passing inside to Michael Smith. The Dunloy man’s first effort was well saved by Murphy as he dived bravely at his feet but Smith followed up with the rebound to open a 10 point lead for the Cuchullains.
The introduction of Deaglan Smith gave Dunloy an extra option while trying to carve open the Glenavy defence but as the news filtered through of the score line at the Shaws Road, Dunloy’s original target of a 15 point win changed to what became a more realistic target of bettering St Paul’s winning margin.
Fergal Henry rounded off a fine hour with two further frees to take his tally to eight points for the hour while Seaan Elliott’s fith point of the game was sandwiched by a brace from Karl Fitzpatrick as Dunloy ran out 12 point winners.
Dunloy: Conor McGilligan; Cathaoir McCloskey, Conor Kinsella, Eoin McFerran; Oran Quinn, Aaron Crawford, Anton McGrath; Ryan McGarry, Kevin McQuillan; Keelan Molloy, Karl Fitzpatrick, Ryan McFarline; Chrissy McMahon, Anthony Smith, Seaan Elliott
Scorers: K Fitzpatrick 1-4 (2f’s); S Elliott 0-5; Michael Smith 1-1; A McGrath 1-00; K Molloy 0-2 (1f); K McQuillan 0-1
Glenavy: Lorcan Murphy; Liam Henry, Oisin Hamill, Johnny Phillips; Ruairi Forrester, Ciaran Loney, Matthew Hamill; Patrick Gallagher, Michael Johnston; Conor Hamill, Charles Gallagher, Darragh Forrester; Fergal Henry, Alex Gallagher, Declan Doone
Scorers: F Henry 0-8 (5f); C Hamill 0-1; D Doone 0-1
Referee: Cathal McDermott (Tir na nOg)