ACHL Division Three
Davitts 0-16-2-12 Lámh Dhearg
Kevin Herron reports from Davitt Park
Lámh Dhearg rallied in the second period to fightback from six-points down at the interval and beat Davitt’s 2-12-0-16 at Davitt Park on Wednesday evening.
The hosts benefited from the advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half and Chris Gallagher landed seven of his sides 0-13 points.
Fionn Mervyn’s red card may have proved a stumbling block for Lámh Dhearg- who fell five behind in the aftermath.
But they regrouped, battled back and then hit the front at the third time of asking late-on. Joe McCaffrey kept Declan Lynch’s penalty at bay, blocked the follow-up and was finally beaten from a deflected shot in quick succession.
Davitt’s failed to recover from the late blow and finished with 14-men themselves as Canice Mooney departed in injury-time of a fantastically contested derby.
Davitts’ hit the front from the throw-in as the ball was quickly recycled to Marcus Toner to float over the opening score.
Daniel Murray replied from a free and Odhran Waldron then curled a shot over the bar to give the Hannahstown side a 0-02-0-01 lead.
The hosts were back on terms through a Stephen McGivern point and forged ahead for the second time thanks to a converted 65’ from Chris Gallagher.
Gallagher was almost inch perfect from frees all evening, converting back-to-back placed balls before adding another and one from play; in-between points from Stephen McGivern and Thomas Maguire which had the home side 0-09-0-02 ahead.
But with 17 minutes on the clock, a stroke of fortune had Lámh Dhearg back within reach when Declan Lynch’s free spun against the breeze and dropped into the net over Joe McCaffrey to make it 0-09-1-02.
Jamie McNally notched up the next score and a further free from Chris Gallagher followed, but Daniel Murray then converted two frees of his own in response.
Davitt’s would head in at the interval with a six-point advantage, Gallagher brought his personal tally to 0-07 with his fifth free of the half and Marcus Toner added to his early score to give their side a 0-13-1-04 lead.
Despite playing against the swirling elements, it was Davitt’s who registered the opening score of the second period, again it was Chris Gallagher who continued to punish the visitors from frees.
Gerard Smyth dropped a shot over at the other end and Ciaran Boyd then won the resulting puck-out and returned it over the black spot as the Lámhs were on a roll.
A converted Daniel Murray free followed imminently and Odhran Waldron landed a magnificent score from range to cut the deficit to three (0-14-1-08).
Although they had the momentum the visitors were dealt a blow when referee Paul McDonnell spotted a confrontation and issued a red card to Fionn Mervyn.
Davitt’s pulled two-points further clear as Chris Gallagher reached double figures for the evening, converting a free and then landing a 65’ in the aftermath.
The 14-men from Hannahstown responded however, Declan Lynch played a short free to Waldron to float the ball over and the Kilkenny native converted a free to bring it back to a three-point game.
Declan Lynch then landed a long-range free as the game ticked towards the conclusion with the pendulum swinging.
With little over a minute remaining Sean-Paul Gibson was chopped down in a promising position and referee McDonnell signalled for a penalty.
Lynch seized responsibility for the opportunity to give his side the lead for just the second time.
However, Joe McCaffrey thwarted the initial effort and then kept a second effort at bay in the scramble that ensued.
But at the third time of asking Lynch saw an effort deflected to the net by a Davitt’s player as Lámh Dhearg went 2-11-0-16 ahead.
The player count was evened up in the aftermath with Canice Mooney shown a second yellow-card.
Declan Lynch doubled his sides advantage from a free, but a tense finale played out as Davitt’s pursued a goal that would win the game.
They thought they would have the opportunity when a high ball was flighted into the path of Marcus Toner- who looked to be on his way to goal- though the silother spilled from his possession and the visitors did enough to hold on for the two-points and make it back-to-back league victories.
Davitts: J McCaffrey, O Gorman, M Rowntree, A McLaughlin, C Gallagher (0-09, 0-06f, 0-02 65’), T Maguire (0-01), J Park, P Carleton, D Mooney, J McNally (0-01), C McKee, M Toner (0-02), R McIlroy, O Persson, S McGivern (0-02). Subs: C Mooney for J McNally (21), A Rowntree for O Persson (47).
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, B Rice, T McKenna, D Lynch (2-02, 1-02f), P Mervyn, R Diamond, C Boyd (0-01), F Mervyn, O Waldron (0-04, 0-01f), D Murray (0-04f), E Murray, G Smyth (0-01), SP Gibson. Subs: N McGarry for E Murray (50).
Referee: Paul McDonnell (Rossa)