Smyth goal helps Lámhs to first Division Three victory

ACHL Division Three 

Lámh Dhearg 1-17-2-13 Glen Rovers 

Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown 

Lámh Dhearg claimed their first league win since returning to Division Three after getting the better of Glen Rovers Armoy in a thrilling encounter at Hannahstown on Sunday afternoon. 

There wasn’t more than four-points between the sides at any stage of the afternoon with Owen Kinney’s first half goal briefly giving the visitors some breathing space. 

Although Lámh Dhearg battled back on a few occasions and a goal of their own through Gerard Smyth with five minutes remaining provided a platform for victory. 

A nervy finish did materialise when substitute Liam O’Hara netted with 60-seconds remaining, although the hosts collected their first two-points of the campaign after successfully seeing out the allotted time. 

The Lámhs were first off the mark through a Fionn Mervyn point early-on, though Thomas Burns struck a reply for the side that went into the day joint-top of the table. 

The opening half hour saw the sides almost shadow each other score for score. Shane Devlin was afforded an advantage and floated the ball over, only for Daniel Murray to convert his first free of the afternoon. 

Lámh Dhearg got their nose back in front when Gerard Smyth got underneath a Declan Lynch free from range and shot over on the turn, but parity was restored again when Emmet O’Hara got onto a loose ball, swivelled, and dropped the ball over to make it 0-03 apiece. 

The visitors regained the lead themselves thanks to a Ciaran Coyles score following a slick Colin Lordan switch. 

At the other end Ryan Diamond and Odhran Waldron played a one-two before Diamond sent a shot between the posts and levelled for a foruth time in the half. 

Declan Lynch dropped over a long-range point to edge his side 0-05-0-04 ahead- though Glen Rovers hit three unanswered scores to take command for the first time in proceedings. 

Following a PJ McBride point to level, back-to-back scores from Thomas Burns had the Armoy outfit two-points clear. 

Things could have got better for the visitors when Burns slipped the ball outside to Ciaran Coyles whose dipping strike from range was bravely met by Rhys Camlin in the Lámh Dhearg goal. 

A point from Odhran Waldron halved the deficit temporarily, but Glen Rovers hit the game’s opening goal three-minutes before the break. 

Trevor Linton scooped up possession in midfield and floated a high ball into the danger area where Owen Kinney pulled on the ball and fired it past Camlin to give his side a 1-07-0-06 lead. 

The hosts did respond well before the break with three-points on the spin, the first coming from Eamon Murray – despite running into danger. 

A Ryan Diamond effort from range followed and Daniel Murray then converted his second free of the afternoon to ensure that just a single point separated the sides at the interval (1-07-0-09). 

Lámh Dhearg were back on terms upon the games resumption with Odhran Waldron and Daniel Murray working terrifically to win back possession and Waldron steering over his second point of the contest. 

Eamon Murray then angled over his second point to edge the hosts back in front, although Armoy hit back courtesy of a converted Trevor Linton free. 

Further points were traded after Gerard Smyth landed a point on the turn and that was met by an instant response from Thomas Burns for his fourth point of the afternoon. 

Armoy were back ahead through a PJ McBride point and a further score from Thomas Burns doubled their advantage (1-11-0-12). 

A converted Daniel Murray free halved the deficit, but PJ McBride guided over his third of the afternoon and Trevor Linton sent over another free to ensure the visitors were a goal clear with little under a quarter of an hour remaining.

Declan Lynch dropped a long range free over the bar to start – what he hoped would be a revival for the Hannahstown side and Odhran Waldron then clipped another over shortly after to make it a one-point game. 

The scorers of the last two points then combined to conjure up an equaliser as Waldron fed Declan Lynch to pop the ball over and draw the sides level at 1-13-0-16. 

The crucial score arrived with little under five minutes remaining at Hannahstown and having looked down at out at one stage, Lámh Dhearg went a goal in front. 

Much of the credit must go to Declan Lynch who burst forward and dropped a ball into the danger area where Gerard Smyth flicked the ball past Conor Devlin and into the net to give his side a 1-16-1-13 lead. 

A foul on Niall McGarry then allowed Daniel Murray to send over his fourth free of the contest and it would prove to be the games insurance score. 

Glen Rovers were denied a quick response when Arthur Devlin played a high and hopeful free that Owen Kinney latched onto, but Rhys Camlin batted the ball to relative safety. 

Although the visitors went again, and Devlin sent another Hail-Mary into the mix and this time substitute Liam O’Hara swept the ball home to make it a grandstand finish at 1-17-2-13. 

Talisman Thomas Burns may have earned his side a share of the spoils with the game’s final opportunity, however his effort drifted to the left and wide as the Lámhs held out to claim their first league victory of the campaign. 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, M McGuigan, T McKenna, D Lynch (0-03, 0-01f), SP Gibson, C Boyd, R Diamond (0-02), D Murray (0-04f), O Waldron (0-03), F Mervyn (0-01), N McGarry, G Smtyh (1-02), E Murray (0-02). 

Glen Rovers, Armoy: C Devlin, Calum Coyles, S Devlin (0-01), J McFetridge, E O’Hara (0-01), A Devlin, L Dillon, PJ McBride (0-03), C McCormick-McKenna, T Linton (0-02f), T Burns (0-05), C Lordan, T McBride, O Kinney (1-00), Ciaran Coyles (0-01). Subs: E O’Boyle for T Linton (54), L O’Hara (1-00) for C Lordan (58). 

Referee: Lorenzo McMullan (Bredagh)

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