ACHL Division Three
Lámh Dhearg 1-21-1-19 Rasharkin
Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown
Lámh Dhearg returned to winning ways in the first post-split fixture of the league with a 1-21-1-19 victory over Rasharkin at Hannahstown on Wednesday evening.
Things were looking good for the Lámhs at the interval, leading 1-12-0-10 with Odrán Waldron grabbing the vital goal.
But Rasharkin began positively after the break and when Declan Lynch received a second yellow-card- they made use of their numerical advantage and drew level through a Connor Higgins goal midway through the half.
The hosts showed great determination to see off a late Rasharkin onslaught and avenge defeat at the Dreen a few weeks ago.
Both sides went into Wednesday’s encounter looking to respond to their weekends results. The visitors beaten by league leaders Cloughmills, while Lámh Dhearg were pegged back in injury-time by Con Magee’s and as a result missed out on a top-half finish.
Lámh Dhearg started on the front foot with Fionn Mervyn floating over successive scores, both arriving after layoffs from Ciaran Boyd.
It took Rasharkin a few minutes to respond, but they replied with three unanswered points to edge in front.
Donagh Quigg dropped over the initial response and Conor McKillop’s leveller was quickly added to by Conor McFerran.
Parity was restored when Fionn Mervyn turned provider for Paddy Cunningham to steer over his first of the evening and a second soon followed after an angled effort that drifted between the posts.
A converted Odrán Waldron free extended the hosts lead, but Rasharkin twice cut the deficit.
Tiernan O’Boyle hit back from the same scenario at the other end, and despite Ciaran Boyd hitting a magnificent score from range- O’Boyle nailed another free to make a one-point game again (0-06-0-05).
It was all square for a second time when Conor McKillop picked off a fantastic score from range.
But the sides weren’t to be tied for long as the opening goal of the game arrived shortly after.
Rhys Camlin’s quick puck-outs were successful, and, on this occasion, he picked out Paddy Cunningham in the channel and he sent a high ball to the edge of the square where Gerard Smyth flicked it on and shot towards goal- Liam Tunney kept out the initial shot, but Odrán Waldron stabbed the loose ball to the net to make it 1-06-0-06.
Frees were traded between O’Boyle and Waldon in the aftermath and Rhys Camlin was forced into a smart stop when O’Boyle tried to go low from an angled dead-ball.
O’Boyle reduced the deficit again- though Paddy Cunningham conjured up his third point in response.
Rasharkin again narrowed the margin through a well-executed side-line puck from Conor McKeever.
Four unanswered points before the break had the hosts on the front foot heading for the interval.
Odrán Waldron dropped over his third free and Paddy Cunningham followed that with a fantastic long-winded effort that sailed between the sticks.
Two more points came courtesy of Daniel Murray and Waldron (free) before O’Boyle landed his fifth placed with the final action of note in the first half as Lámh Dhearg held a 1-12-0-10 lead at midway.
Rasharkin started the second period brightly with back-to-back points that left the goal separating the sides.
Conor McKillop added to his two first-half points and Tiernan O’Boyle opened his account for the second period from a free.
The hosts were under the cosh in the early stages and things went from bad to worse when Declan Lynch was shown a second yellow-card and subsequent red for a chop on his opponents stick.
O’Boyle converted the resulting free and his side had little under 25 minutes to try and make most of their numerical advantage.
Odrán Waldron floated over his first point from play to relieve a bit of the pressure on his side, but Tiernan O’Boyle conjured up his first score from play in reply.
Back-to-back frees from Kilkenny native Waldron opened up a four-point advantage (1-15-0-14)- though Donagh Quigg doubled his tally for the evening at the other end.
An outstanding Paddy Mervyn point was cancelled out by a fine effort that dropped over the bar from the stick of Shane Hasson.
With little under a quarter of an hour remaining Rasharkin found the net and in doing so restored parity for a third time as Connor Higgins low strike deceived Rhys Camlin and ended up in the corner of the net.
The visitors failed to kick on and the 14-men of Lámh Dhearg forged ahead once again, Odrán Waldron added another two frees to his ever-increasing tally and in between times Paddy Cunningham picked off another excellent score as the Hannashtown outfit were 1-19-1-16 to the good.
Rhys Camlin ensured his sides lead stayed intact, making a tremendous point blank-save to deny Tiernan O’Boyle- who took a swipe at the follow-up that was adjudged to have snuck over the bar.
Points were then traded between Paddy Cunningham and Cormac Gaston and despite Odrán Waldron again opening up a three-point gap, it was again reduced thanks to Tiernan O’Boyle replying.
Try as they might, Rasharkin couldn’t find the net for a second time- which would have swung the game- as the hosts defended resolutely into injury-time and held on for the win.
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, M McGuigan, P Mervyn (0-01), D Lynch, F Mervyn (0-03), C Boyd (0-01), A McGuigan, D Murray (0-01), O Waldron (1-10, 0-08f), P Cunningham (0-05), D Cunningham, G Smyth, SP Gibson. Subs: N McGarry for G Smyth (47), M Lynch for D Cunningham (47).
Rasharkin: L Tunney, C Donaghy, C Doherty, E Kennedy, R O’Boyle, S Hasson (0-01), A McKeever, C McKeever (0-01f), T O’Boyle (0-10, 0-08f), C McKillop (0-03), C McFerran (0-01), D Quigg (0-02), C Higgins (1-00), C Gaston (0-01), T McGregor.
Referee: Niall Clifford (Cuchulainn)