Laragh in con­trol

GAELIC GAMES JU­NIOR A FOOT­BALL CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

Bray People - - Sport - Mick HA­GAN

Laragh 0-19, New­cas­tle 1-7: High-fly­ing New­cas­tle’s un­beaten run in group 2 of the Road­stone Ju­nior A foot­ball cham­pi­onship came to a sud­den halt at Ash­ford on Tues­day evening last.

With for­mer Wick­low Mi­nor foot­ball man­ager Brian Doyle at the helm Laragh scored a con­vinc­ing victory over the north Wick­low side.

Hav­ing recorded four straight wins, New­cas­tle en­tered this game as warm favouri­ties to con­tinue their winning ways. while Laragh were aim­ing to score their first victory hav­ing played a draw with Cool­boy and Balt­in­glass in their pre­vi­ous games.

Played in ideal con­di­tions this game saw the win­ners col­lect vi­tal points to ease away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone for the mo­ment.

Emerg­ing with a nine-point winning mar­gin, Laragh were fully de­serv­ing of this victory, hav­ing led 0-10 to 1-3 at the break.

The open­ing min­utes saw Stephen Con­way and Gary Cullen score a point apiece while New­cas­tle replied with points through Adam Mer­ry­man and Vin­cent Kingston which saw the sides level af­ter eight min­utes.

Af­ter both sides missed scor­ing chances the win­ners hit a golden spell and with Gary Cullen and Ciarán Nolan tak­ing con­trol at mid­field which re­sulted in them scor­ing five points in a row through top scorer Stephen Con­way (3, one free) and sin­gles from Ge­orge Wind­sor and the im­pres­sive David McDon­ald which left the score 0-7 to 0-2 at the end of the first quar­ter.

A New­cas­tle rally saw cen­tre­for­ward J.P. Kelly solo through the Laragh de­fence to score the only goal of the game on 19 minute and the same player added a point in the 23rd minute which proved to be their last score of the half as the win­ners upped the tempo once more which saw vet­eran Richard Cullen, Christo­pher Mer­ri­gan and Stephen Con­way add a point each which left the half-time score 0-10 to 1-3.

Af­ter the break sub­sti­tute Gra­ham O’Brien re­duced the deficit with a point. At this stage the win­ners laid siege in the New­cas­tle half of the field and with Liam McEvoy and David McDon­ald and Stephen Con­way caus­ing havoc which en­abled them to score four points in a row from Stephen Con­way (2, one free) and sin­gles from Christo­pher Mer­ri­gan and Liam McEvoy, while New­cas­tle re­sponded with points from Shane Cloake and Gra­ham O’Brien as the game en­tered its fi­nal quar­ter.

With both sides striv­ing to achieve victory it was the win­ners who fin­ished the stronger by adding a fur­ther five points from David McDon­ald (2), Stephen Con­way (2, one free) and Liam McEvoy, while the losers replied with a point from JP Kelly which left Laragh wor­thy win­ners in a good all round team per­for­mance

With both clubs hav­ing com­pleted their league sec­tion of the cam­paign the end re­sult sees New­cas­tle ad­vance to semi-fi­nals while Laragh who have made steady progress un­der their new man­ager must wait on other re­sults which will de­cide if they are safe from a rel­e­ga­tion play-off.

Laragh: James Nolan; Bren­dan Ward, Peter Mer­ri­gan, Hugh Cullen; An­drew Kenny, Thomas Cullen, David Mer­ri­gan; Ciarán Nolan, Gary Cullen (01); David McDon­ald (0-3), Christo­pher Mer­ri­gan (0-2), Stephen Con­way (0-9, five frees); Ge­orge Wind­sor (0-1), Liam McEvoy (0-2), Richard Cullen (0-1). Subs. - Danny De­vitt for Ge­orge Wind­sor; Dar­ren Bracken for Ciarán Nolan; Si­mon Byrne for Richard Cullen.

New­cas­tle: Ian Lucy; Ciarán Doyle, Garry McGee, Brian Con­nolly; Chris­tian Muill­gan, Paul McGee, Johnny O’Brien; Adam Mer­ry­man (0-1), Richard Mer­ry­man; Ro­nan Lyng, JP Kelly (1-1), Seán Ownes; Vin­cent Kingston (0-1), Damian O’Neill, Shane Cloake (0-2). Subs. - Gra­ham O’Brien (0 -2) for Seán Ownes; Dar­ren O’Brien for Vin­cent Kingston; Rob­bie Daly for Richard Mer­ry­man; Barry Minogue for Brian Con­nolly; De­clan Con­way fot Damian O’Neill.

Ref­eree: Con O Ceadaigh (Kil­coole).

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