Latharna Og climb to fourth place

ACHL Division 4

Latharna Og  2-17 Loch Mor dal gCais 0-10

The second half of the Division 4 ACHL games following the Top 5 split got off to a flying start with a hotly anticipated matchup between Latharna Óg and Loch Mór Dál gCais at the blustery Brustin Braes, Larne.

The Braesiders got off to favourable start but couldn’t settle themselves in time and Loch Mór drew first blood with a well worked point from play. The sides traded wides before Daniel Hegarty slotted over Latharna Óg’s first point following a tidy supply from Mark Petticrew. Loch Mór’s discipline cost them early in the game, gifting two quick concession frees – the first, Ryan O’Donnell played a short ball in to Cathal McKillop who pointed, the second a foul on Michael Lismore who duly converted his free.

Loch Mór continued to snap at the homesides heels, abetted by Latharna’s numerous wides taking the score after 10 minutes to 0-03 to 0-02. The Braesiders managed to retain the ball after a melee on the visitors back line and Caolan Shields was perfectly poised to pick up a point, and unfortunate not to convert another from play moments later.

The Shoresiders would take another swipe between the uprights but a tight angle block down provided Darragh Turley with a 65’ which sailed over aided by a strong tail wind.

Both teams continued to get the measure of each other, and succeeding fouls meant both were level at 5 points apiece with minutes to play inthe first half. The teams retired to the changing rooms on the half time whistle but not before Daniel Hegarty, assisted by Jack McAlister chalked up a point as did Darragh Turley with another free.

Half time Latharna Óg 0-06 (0-03f) vs Loch Mór 0-06 (0-02f)

That was as close as the two teams would get, and emboldened by a solid first half performance, straight from the half time throw in Latharna Óg’s Conor O’Boyle charged forward supplying Hegarty with a low ball, with a fizzling ground stroke getting the better of Keeper Bailey Graham.

Loch Mór responded with another 65’ but a textbook passage of play from the half backline, to Keelan McAuley to Ciaran Martin was duly converted to another major by Captain McKillop.

Michael Lismore continued to pull the Braesiders forward with another 2 points from play taking the score to 2-08 to 0-07. Turley’s free on the 40th minute was soon neutralised with Ciaran Martin and Ryan O’Donnell adding to their tally.

As the clock ticked away, Latharna Óg’s backline would use all 9 lives to shepherd an advancing threat on goal, in particular Ronan McKillop and Keeper Phil Craig, the latter utilising hand, hurl and boot to clear the sliothar from danger. In their haste to turn the momentum the Loch Mór forward was penalised by Referee Ryan O’Reilly for a dangerous challenge on Keelan McAuley with the former coming off worse, causing himself a stoppage injury and gifting the homeside a free for his troubles. O’Donnell raised the white flag soon after.
Corner Forward Jack McAlister saved his only score of the day with a quick reaction overhead double on the 50th minute.

The visitors, visibly rattled, attempted some long range points from play but struggled to convert and between a chop down on Lismore and a throw ball, found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-13 to 0-08 scoreline.

With another 4 points for Michael Lismore the game was well and truly settled but all credit to Loch Mór who battled valiantly to the end. An uncharacteristically inconsistent Darragh Turley will surely be disappointed with the first half performance; whilst 4 of the 6 point came from him – he contributed to 7 out of 11 wides for the Lough Shore men, and the deficit seemed all too great to overcome. Ruairí Moran performed well for the visitors and proved to be a real nuisance in the middle of the park.

Latharna Óg’s man of the match was Michael Lismore who provided the lions share of the scores and used the strong wind to lethal effect but was no stranger to a selfless off-load to advancing attacks and worked tirelessly within his own half.

Latharna Og: Craig, McAuley B Petticrew R McKillop D Martin Matthews M Petticrew
O’Donnell Shields Lismore C McKillop C Martin McAlister O’Boyle Hegarty

Bergin (subbed for C McKillop 54’)
McNeill (subbed for Matthews 56’)

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