ACHL Division Three
Lamh Dhearg 1-11-3-21 Cushendun
By Kevin Herron at Hannahstown
Cushendun had 16-points to spare but were pushed by a dogged
Lamh Dhearg side for the majority of the game in a 3-21-1-11 win at Hannahstown
In a nip and tuck first half the sides were level on five
occasions before the visitors hit a further six unanswered points to lead
0-13-0-07 at the break.
Gavin Quinn struck early in the second-half to give Lamh
Dhearg renewed hope – but two goals in a matter of minutes from Eoin McQuillan
and Conleth McNeill saw Cushendun regain their composure and a second McQuillan
goal sealed the points for Cushendun.
Dominic Sharkey hit the opening score at Hannahstown inside
of the two minutes – though Mark Finnegan replied from the placed ball.
Conleth McNeill quickly restored his sides advantage, but
Gerard Smyth gathered a high ball from
Finnegan and hit a delightful point on the turn to level at 0-02-0-02.
A second converted Mark Finnegan free had edged Lamh Dhearg
in front for the first time – however Dominic Sharkey intercepted a defensive
clearance and popped the ball over to level for the third time inside of ten
Lamh Dhearg hit their first purple patch of the evening –
Mark Finnegan registered his third free of the evening and quickly followed it
up with a forth after Gerard Smyth was felled.
Defensively the hosts were solid in the first quarter with
Ronan Fegan, Mark Lynch and Sean Paul Gibson mopping up at the back and
youngsters Joel Brady and Michael Clarke showing composure.
Indeed their next score opened up a three point gap and it
began in the defensive third as Ronan Fegan’s clearance was picked up by
Cameron Flynn who switched to Mark Finnegan and Finnegan turned provider for
Michael McGuigan who popped the ball over to make it 0-06-0-03.
Cushendun hit back through a David Kilgore point and almost
conjured up the opening goal of the game – Lamh Dhearg goalkeeper Michael
Clarke opted to close down the danger but left his goal slightly unguarded; the
ball was popped into the path of James Morgan whose shot was blocked on the
line by Mark Lynch and Eoin McQuillan eventually settled for a point.
The sides were level for a fourth time approaching the
tweety minute mark as Morgan laid the ball off for David Kilgore to stroke over
his second point of the evening.
Mark Finnegan’s fifth converted free of the half edged Lamh
Dhearg back in front (0-07-0-06) but it was to be the hosts final score of the
first period as Cushendun would hit seven without reply in a dominant period.
A third David Kilgore point levelled proceedings for a
fourth time and that was quickly followed by a superb Eoin McQuillan point;
after a good switch from Dominic Sharkey.
James Morgan shot over a tight angle in the aftermath and
midfielder Conor McHugh confidently shot over the bar to open up a three point
The visitors were firmly in the ascendancy and McHugh turned
provider for Conleth McNeill to score his second point of the half – Dominic
Sharkey and McHugh would add further points to ensure that their side held a
0-13-0-07 lead at the midway point.
Lamh Dhearg came out with the bit between their teeth after
the break and struck the games opening goal.
Cameron Flynn picked up the reins and confidently burst
forward – his shot was doubled upon by Gavin Quinn and Eoin Magee could do
nothing to stop Quinn’s shot finding the corner of the net to make it
A foul on Aidan McGuigan gave Mark Finnegan the chance to
register his opening score of the second period and the midfielder duly obliged
to make it a two-point game.
David Kilgore charged forward and hit his sides opening
score of the second period – Mark Finnegan would reply after a foul on Flynn to
make it 0-14-1-09 and keep the game firmly poised.
Cushendun upped the ante and three unanswered points opened
up a five-point lead with 42 minutes gone.
Dominic McQuillan drove the ball over the bar and back to
back converted frees from Conor McHugh
brought his evenings tally to 0-04.
The visitors then killed the game off as a contest with two
goals inside of two minutes approaching the final quarter – Eoin McQuillan
skipped forward with purpose and from a tight angle was able to rifle to the
net past Michael Clarke and make it 1-17-1-09.
Moments later the Lamh’s were caught napping at the back and
Conleth McNeill gave Clarke no chance – rifling into the bottom right hand
corner to open up a 2-17-1-09 advantage.
Mark Finnegan replied with his first score from play of the
evening – though Aidan Corbett converted a free and with ten minutes remaining
the visitors secured a third goal.
Conor Hugh’s free was flicked to the net by Eoin McQuillan
for the centre-half forwards second of the evening.
Mark Finnegan again replied but despite the midfielders best
efforts late on; there was to be no grandstand finish as Cushendun saw out
proceedings with three further points.
Conor McHugh shot over the bar from range and James Morgan
added to single first-half point – the final score fell to Conleth McNeill from
a converted free as Cushendun ran out
3-21-1-11 winners at the games conclusion.
Lamh Dhearg: M Clarke, R Fegan, M Lynch, S Byrne, J Brady,
SP Gibson, E Herron, M Finnegan (0-09, 0-08f), A McGuigan, C Herron, M McGuigan
(0-01), C Flynn, G Quinn (1-00), G Smyth (0-01), A Ferris. Subs: A Perry for A
Ferris (52 mins), C McKenna for G Quinn (52 mins), N McGuigan for C Herron (54
mins), K Herron for G Smyth (56 mins).
Cushendun: E Magee, M Dunne, C McKay, M McHugh, N McAuley, A
Corbett (0-01f), M Scally, C McHugh (0-05, 0-02f), T Scally, D Sharkey (0-03),
E McQuillan (2-02), J Morgan (0-02), D McQuillan (0-01), C McNeill (1-03,
0-01f), D Kilgore (0-04). Subs: R Millar for J Morgan (56 mins), M Aillew for D
McQuillan (58 mins), P Dunne for D Sharkey (58 mins).
Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona).