ACHL Division Three
Lámh Dhearg 1-23-1-10 Na Magha
Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown
Lámh Dhearg kept their hopes of a top-four league finish alive with a 1-23-1-10 win over Na Magha at Hannahstown on Wednesday evening.
The game was very much in the balance until ten minutes into the second period, at that point the hosts were shading proceedings 1-08-0-09 – thanks to Daire Cunningham’s early second half strike.
13-unanswered points would ensure that the Hannahstown side were comfortable winners at the conclusion- despite Eoin McCloskey’s late consolation goal.
Only a point separated the sides in the table pre-match with Na Magha travelling over the Glenshane Pass looking for a victory that would see them leapfrog the red hands.
But the return to action of Paddy Cunningham and Odran Waldron was a welcome boost for the hosts after their weekend defeat to Rasharkin.
Lámh Dhearg began the game on the front foot- but without registering a score as they struck the post, crossbar and hit several wides in a frustrating opening.
Timothy Rankin hit the visitors first point of the evening from a 65’ and Ruaidhri McLaughlin found space and floated over a second, a few minutes later.
The Derry natives extended their lead through an angled point from substitute Daire McLaughlin- who himself departed through injury in the aftermath and Rankin doubled his account for the half from a free.
Odran Waldron initiated the hosts response with Aidan McGuigan landing another score to half the deficit.
Having finally found range parity was restored, Daniel Murray got on the end of a flowing move that involved Paddy Cunningham and McGuigan and Cunningham would squeeze a shot inside the near post to make it 0-04 apiece.
The sides then traded scores through Rankin and Murray (free) but it was Na Magha who led at the break, Barry Robinson flicked the ball over to give his side a 0-06-0-05 lead at the midway point.
A second converted Daniel Murray free levelled proceedings upon the resumption and Lámh Dhearg hit the front for the first time through an excellent Paddy Cunningham point with Murray swinging over another to double the advantage.
Na Magha hit back through a Timothy Rankin effort from range to put the bare minimum between the sides.
Six-minutes into the half the opening goal arrived, Paddy Mervyn flighted a high ball into the path of Daire Cunningham in attack and the corner-forward did enough to send the ball low to the net past Oisin Duddy to make it 1-08-0-07.
The Derry side again halved the deficit with back-to-back points from Breandan Quigley and Bliadhan Glass.
But they couldn’t make further inroads as the hosts clicked into gear with 13-points on the spin.
Daniel Murray landed the first four scores in the sequence, conjuring the first from play and landing a further three deadballs in succession to bring his personal tally to 0-05 from frees.
Wing-half forward Paddy Cunningham was finding pockets of space and floated over his third point of the evening and Daniel Murray followed that with another effort from play.
Goal scorer Daire Cunningham let fly with a shot that rose over the crossbar and Paddy Cunningham followed the footsteps of Daniel Murray and chalked up four-points in a row.
Odran Waldron doubled his account for the evening after getting on the end of Declan Lynch free and popping a shot over and the last of the 13-scores in succession fell to substitute Aaron Ferris- after a lay-off from Paddy Cunningham.
Na Magha found a consolation goal late-on after Eoin McCloskey stabbed home at the back post to make it 1-21-1-09.
Paddy Cunningham and Breandan Quigley traded points in the aftermath before Odran Waldron finished the evenings scoring to wrap up a straight-forward win for the Hannahstown side.
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, SP Gibson, T McKenna, M McGuigan, P Mervyn, D Lynch, F Mervyn, A McGuigan (0-01), C Boyd, P Cunningham (0-08), O Waldron (0-03), D Murray (0-09, 0-05f), D Cunningham (1-01), G Smyth, N McGarry. Subs: A Ferris (0-01) for D Cunningham (54), C Megraw for N McGarry (54).
Na Magha: O Duddy, A Campbell, D Shiels, E McCloskey (1-00), O Glass, F Mac an Deanaigh, D Doherty, B Glass (0-01), T Rankin (0-04, 0-01f, 0-01 45’), A Breslin, P Doherty, R McAdams, K Doherty, B Robinson (0-01), R McLaughlin (0-01). Subs: D McLaughlin (0-01) for F Mac an Deanaigh (12), B Quigley (0-02) for D McLaughlin (20).
Referee: Eamon Hamill (St Teresa’s)