O’Neill’s Sportswear Antrim Senior Football League Division One
Lámh Dhearg 3-14-0-11 Naomh Éanna
Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown
Lámh Dhearg continued their winning run in the league as quickfire goals from Declan Dunne and Terry McCrudden inside the first quarter of an hour helped them on their way to a 3-14-0-11 win over Naomh Éanna at Hannahstown on Wednesday evening.
The hosts were first off the mark through a Paddy Mervyn point, though Odhran Eastwood restored parity through a converted free.
On 10 minutes the red hands struck the opening goal of the game, Shaun McManus dropped a high ball that looked to be tailing wide, but it dropped and Declan Dunne palmed it down and into the net.
Dunne would turn provider for a quickfire second, Michael Hynds was felled in front of goal and quick thinking from Terry McCrudden saw him pick out Kieran Fay-Kelly with the Naomh Éanna defence napping. Kelly’s shot rocketed off the bar and back to Declan Dunne who shaped to shoot and then laid the ball off to McCrudden and the Lámhs captain steered a low shot to the net to give his side a 2-01-0-01 advantage.
Fionn Nagle hooked over his sides second score approaching the midway point in the half, only for Conor Murray to reply with a splendid point from McManus’ lay-off.
The visitors hit back-to-back points as Michael Morgan shaped up and guided a shot over and Odhran Eastwood dropped an angled shot in at the near post.
It was Lámh Dhearg who would end the half on the front foot though and points from Owen McKeown and double from Shaun McManus saw the hosts lead by seven at the break (2-05-0-04).
Naomh Éanna reduced arrears upon the games resumption as Morgan popped over to double his tally for the evening.
Declan Dunne added to his personal tally with two placed balls in succession, the first from a 45’ and the second from a free.
Further points from Michael Hynes and Paddy Mervyn made it four without reply and had opened up a ten-point margin 10 minutes into the half.
Naomh Éanna replied with three of the next four points in proceedings. Fionn Nagle and Fionntan O’Connor produced back-to-back points, and although Declan Smith would fist over a point in-between times, Nagle hit his third of the evening from an advanced mark.
The Lámhs would extend their lead with three points of their own in succession. Declan Smith doubled his account with a terrific shot that curled inside the large posts and after getting a hand to a kick-out from John Finucane to assist a Carl Maxwell point, Declan Dunne kicked his third point of the evening to move his side 2-13-0-08 ahead inside the last ten minutes.
Nagle would finish the evening with five points to his name after he converted a free and then swung over a terrific point in the aftermath.
Michael Hynes and Aaron Ibinson traded points and the Lámh Dhearg widened the gap in injury-time with a third goal of the night.
Having used all their subs and with Paddy Mervyn sustaining a knock, the midfielder was on route to the side-line but had the presence of mind to keep possession from a kick-out and lay the ball off to Declan Dunne.
Dunne picked up the reins, played a one-two with substitute Matthew McElgunn and then palmed the ball across to substitute Adam Murray= who slide a low shot to the net to ensure his side ran out 3-14-0-11 winners at the conclusion.
Lámh Dhearg: J Finucane, F Mervyn, M McGarry, P Larkin, D Smith (0-02), D Lynch, M Hynds (0-02), P Mervyn (0-02), C Murray (0-01), C Maxwell (0-01), S McManus (0-02, 0-01m), O McKeown (0-01), T McCrudden (1-00), D Dunne (1-03, 0-01 45’, 0-01f), K Fay-Kelly. Subs: M McElgunn for D Lynch (HT), A Murray (1-00) for K Fay-Kelly (39), Ross Murray for F Mervyn (48), D Martin for D Smith (51), N McGarry for C Maxwell (51).
Naomh Éanna: M O’Boyle, C McKeown, D McNulty, O Kennedy, E O’Hare, C Maxwell, C Brady, P Curran, F O’Connor (0-01), C McGrath, T Gilmour, A Ibinson (0-01), M Morgan (0-02), F Nagle (0-05, 0-01m, 0-01f), O Eastwood (0-02, 0-01f). Subs: R Kalla for T Gilmour (9), C McCabe for O Eastwood (HT), R Kelly for C McGrath (54), C Morgan for P Curran (60), D Kingi for M Morgan (60+1).
Referee: Cathal McDermott (Tir na nÓg)