Lámhs maintain winning start in Belfast derby

Casement Social Club Antrim JHC Group 1 

Lámh Dhearg 3-22-1-10 Davitt’s 

Kevin Herron reports from Musgrave Park 

Lámh Dhearg made it two wins from two and set up a winners take all showdown for a direct semi-final spot in the Casement Social Club Antrim JHC with a 3-22-1-10 win over Davitt’s at Musgrave Park on Saturday evening.

The Hannahstown side edged out Rasharkin by a point in their opening encounter and found their scoring touch early on in the Belfast derby. 

Fionn Mervyn swung over their opener and on four minutes they found the opening goal when Odrán Waldron’s clearance from defence was gathered by Gerard Smyth, and he offloaded to Daire Cunningham to fire to the net. 

A long-range Mark Finnegan point extended his sides lead before Marcus Toner got Davitt’s up and running for the evening- converting a free. 

Adam Murray would open his evenings account from the placed ball and followed that with another from play following a nice pass from Padraig Mervyn. 

It looked to be relatively one-way traffic when Mark Finnegan doubled his account from a pinpoint Conor McConville puck-out that picked out the forward to float over and give the Lámhs a 1-05-0-01 lead after 13 minutes. 

Davitt’s responded positively however and three unanswered free’s in succession from Toner had the Beechmount outfit trailing by four with ten minutes until the break. 

Micko Herron dropped over his first point of the half after Padraig Mervyn picked out the experienced forward with a cross field free. 

Talisman Toner landed back-to-back frees in the aftermath to leave Cunningham’s goal the difference going down the home straight. 

Points were traded between Padraig Mervyn and Toner (free) though a long range Fionn Mervyn score and another from Micko Herron saw Lámh Dhearg into a 1-09-0-07 lead at the interval. 

Lámh Dhearg started the second period confidently and extended their lead through points from Mark Finnegan and Adam Murray. 

Half-time substitutes Niall McGarry and Joel Brady added further scores and in-between times Gerard Smyth contested for a dropping ball and won it before offloading to Adam Murray to fizz to the net. 

Adam Murray fires in his sides second goal

It took Davitt’s until the 36th minute to claim their first score from play and it arrived through the familiar source of Marcus Toner. 

Murray replied with his second converted free of the evening and although the Lámhs were pulling into the distance, Davitt’s threw themselves a lifeline with twenty minutes remaining. 

The Beechmount side were frustrated that referee Piarais McCaffrey had blown his whistle and didn’t allow an advantage after Stephen McGivern had fired to the net in the aftermath. McGivern stood over the resulting free and would opt to go low – succeeding in squeezing his shot to the net to make it 2-14-1-08. 

Any prospects of a fightback were short-lived however as Lámh Dhearg racked up another 1-04 unanswered in an eight-minute spell. 

Ciaran Boyd floated over his first score and Adam Murray converted successive frees. Paddy Mervyn linked up with Micko Herron for his third point of the evening and Herron would net within 60-seconds. 

After receiving the ball in a promising position, Herron looked across and spotted Mark Finnegan at the back post and unselfishly handpassed across. Finnegan was unable to steer the ball home and after a further shot was blocked the ball was recycled across to the other post where Herron lined up a shot made no mistake to open up a 3-18-1-08 advantage. 

Stephen McGivern landed a long range free in reply and Adam Murray chalked up his seventh point of the evening. 

Further points were traded between Colm McKee and Mark Finnegan before two late Murray frees completed the games scoring as Lámh Dhearg ran out convincing 3-22-1-10 winners at the conclusion.  

The Lámhs have at the very least secured themselves a quarter final berth but travel to Armoy in a fortnight knowing that victory will see them straight through to the semi-final. 

Davitt’s meanwhile must defeat Rasharkin in their final Group game to have any hope of making it through to the last eight. 

Lámh Dhearg: C McConville, T McKenna, O Waldron, M McGuigan, D Murray, D Lynch, F Mervyn (0-02), C Boyd (0-01), P Mervyn (0-01), A McGuigan, M Herron (1-03), A Murray (1-09, 0-06f), M Finnegan (0-04), G Smyth, D Cunningham (1-00). Subs: J Brady (0-01) for M McGuigan (HT), N McGarry (0-01) for D Cunningham (HT), C Nolan for O Waldon (52), E Stanley for M Finnegan (52), A Ferris for M Herron (60). 

Davitt’s: A McLaughlin, O Gorman, J Park, T Carson, C Gallagher, S McGivern (1-01f), D Mooney, P Carleton, C Heaney, C Maguire, C McKee (0-01), D Whelan, C Rainey, J McNally, M Toner (0-08, 0-07f). Subs: G Cosgrove for C Rainey (48), D Maher for J McNally (48), C Ferran for D Whelan (51). 

Referee: Piarais McCaffrey (St Galls)

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