Kelly goal sinks Lámhs in closely contested encounter

Homefit ACFL Division 1 

Lámh Dhearg 0-11-1-12 Portglenone 

Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown 

Portglenone substitute Paddy Kelly netted the game’s only goal to give his side a 1-12-0-11 victory over Lámh Dhearg in a closely fought and keenly contested encounter at Hannahstown on Wednesday evening. 

The hosts started the brighter and led through a Terry McCrudden point following a low Declan Lynch pass and Ryan Murray then converted a free after a foul on brother Conor. 

Corey McLaughlin responded for Portglenone and opened their account after a simple layoff from Michael Hagan. Full-forward Hagan then floated over the leveller, minutes after seeing his free come off the large post.

Lámh Dhearg regained the lead after Stephen Tully’s intelligent pass picked out Conor Murray- to swivel and steer a shot over the bar. 

Ryan Murray then had the confidence to dart forward and side-foot a shot between the posts and a tremendous Carl Maxwell effort dropped over the bar to give his side a 0-05-0-02 advantage approaching the twenty-minute mark. 

 But that lead was wiped out with four Portglenone points on the spin, Aidan McAleese dropped a free over the bar and then swung a fantastic score over after the hosts struggled to clear their lines from the resulting kick-out. 

Niall Delargy was wrestled to ground when a goal chance was on and Michael Hagan converted the close range free to level and Hagan gave a simple pop off to McAleese to edge his side 0-07-0-06 ahead. 

It was all square at Hannahstown at the break, Declan Lynch and Declan Smith played the patience game and Conor Murray took up the charge and hit a lovely point with the outside of the boot to ensure the sides were tied 0-07-0-07 apiece at the interval. 

Portglenone hit the front upon the restart with Aidan McAleese kicking his fourth point of the evening and second from the placed ball. 

The game was level for the fourth time soon after as Conor Murray made an angle and shot over his third point of the evening- following a fantastic, flighted ball from his younger sibling. 

Michael Hagan instantly restored his sides lead and Aidan McAleese weighed in with another as the Bannsiders opened up a two-point gap. 

An angled score from Ryan Murray halved the deficit and midway through the half. Murray tried to drop the equaliser over and nephew Ross was able to fist the ball over the bar to ensure parity. 

The sides traded further scores, Niall McKeever slipped but was able to steer the ball into the path of Oisin Doherty for a straight-forward conversion and Ryan Murray squared things up at the other end. 

Portglenone continued to the common theme by leading again through an Aidan McAleese point but there was to be no response on this occasion and the visitors hit the next score and took a huge step to victory. 

Niall Delargy turned over the resulting kick-out and led the charge forward, picking out substitute Paddy Kelly on an overlapping run and he floated a shot over Mark McIlvenny and into the net to give the Bannsiders a 1-11-0-10 lead. 

A converted Ryan Murray free left a goal the difference as the hosts pushed for a goal chance of their own. 

They had the numerical advantage for the final four minutes when Ronan Delargy cynically chopped down Conor Murray and was black carded by referee Danny O’Neill. 

But despite playing the last few minutes a man light an insurance score arrived in the form of a side-line free from Dermot McAleese to ensure that Portglenone ran out 1-12-0-11 winners. 

Lámh Dhearg: M McIlvenny, F Mervyn, M McGarry, P Larkin, D Smith, P Mervyn, R Diamond, C Hannon, D Lynch, T McCrudden (0-01), C Maxwell (0-01), Ryan Murray (0-05, 0-02f), Ross Murray (0-01), S Tully, C Murray (0-03). Subs: A McAufield for P Larkin (42), D Dunne for C Maxwell (51), S McManus for D Smith (51), N McGarry for S Tully (51). 

Portglenone: R O’Neill, K O’Kane, J Convery, R Delargy, R Hagan, R Convery, P Carey, N Delargy, N McKeever, C McLaughlin (0-01), A McAleese (0-06, 0-02f), D McAleese (0-01f), S Byrne, M Hagan (0-03, 0-01f), O Doherty (0-01). Subs: P Kelly (1-00) for C McLaughlin (46). 

Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona)

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