Valleymount march on despite brave Laragh effort
VALLEYMOUNT LARAGH 2-12 1-11
THIS Boom Platform Hire Round 2 Junior ‘A’ clash was played out in real championship mode last week, with the scores level numerous times.
In sundrenched conditions and with a great vocal support to add to the occasion, this was a titanic battle to the final whistle as Laragh gave one of the favourites, Valleymount, a hell of a fright, as they put in a great opening half display, to lead by four points at half-time in this thrilling encounter that ebbed and flowed.
Valleymount made a brace of substitutions and positional changes for the start of the second period which turned the game around, but not without one hell of a battle by this Laragh team, who were hoping to bounce back after an opening round to defeat by Kilcoole.
John Nolan got Laragh off the mark with a pointed free in the opening minute after Aaron Lynham was fouled going through.
Goalkeeper Paul Miley levelled matters with a great point from a 45 to get Valleymount up and running in the fifth minute. Liam Miley put the Reds a point up after good work by Declan Cahill.
The Valleymount backs were winning a lot of possession but constantly putting pressure back on themselves, as Damien Hanlon was intercepting a lot of ball time after time; Hanlon was fouled and John Nolan tagged on another pointed free in the tenth minute as Laragh started to apply a lot of pressure. David McDonald won the resultant kick-out and fed Mark Miley with a sublime pass. The industrious Miley was fouled and John Nolan duly pointed for Laragh.
Declan Cahill fielded the kickout and played a great one-two with Mick Richardson and Cahill pointed to close out the opening quarter with the score level 0-03 apiece.
Laragh broke back up the field after good work by Craig McCoy who fed Mark Miley, who played a great ball into full-forward, Keith Lawlor who pointed for the lead.
John Nolan pointed another free as a rampant Laragh moved up through the gears. Each side traded a couple of wides as it was end to end stuff at this stage.
Liam Miley steadied the ship with a point from an acute angle after good build up play by Shane Hughes in the 23rd minute. Laragh’s powerful midfielder, Damien Hanlon, won possession of the kick-out and found Dan Power with a peach of a pass, Power fed the on running Steven Olohan who finished the ball to the net for the first major of the game with five minutes left in the opening half.
Brian Miley pointed a longrange free for Valleymount’s closing score of the half moments later.
Laragh closed out the scoring with another pointed free from John Nolan to leave the half-time score reading 0-05 to 1-06 in favour of Laragh.
Valleymount introduced James Fitzpatrick and Jack Slattery for the restart, moving Stephen Byrne into the full-forward line.
Stephen Flanagan won the throw-in and was fouled as he burst through and Brian Miley pointed from the carpet to leave it a three-point game inside the opening minute.
Laragh should have goaled from their next attack, when bearing down one on one with Paul Miley, who brilliantly saved but Keith Lawlor fired the rebound over the bar to let Valleymount off the hook.
Stephen Flanagan was instrumental in all the good work by the men in red, he won possession and fed Stephen Byrne who was fouled, Brian Miley pointed the free.
The home side were dominating midfield now and Brian Flynn made it a three-point game with another point, as they stepped up another gear.
Yet again, Stephen Flanagan won possession and carved the Laragh defense wide open, Flanagan’s shot was saved and parried by James Nolan, the ball flew up in the air and the ever alert Stephen Byrne rose up, somehow unchallenged, to catch the ball and duly dispatch to the net to level the match in the 39th minute. Now we had game on.
Laragh broke the red strangle-hold on midfield when David McDonald found Mark Miley with a great pass who offloaded to Keith Lawlor who fisted the ball over the on-rushing Paul Miley for another point to put Declan Byrne’s side a point up.
Back came Valleymount in this titanic battle and Flanagan yet again passed off to James Fitzpatrick, who were interlinking brilliantly, and Fitzpatrick pointed, as the sizeable crowd roared on both teams, to close out the third quarter all square.
Declan Cahill hit a long-range ball into Stephen Byrne, who was finding a new lease of life on the 14m line, and Byrne pointed for the Reds to hit the front again.
However, back came Laragh with Mark Miley putting in a great shift for Laragh. Miley was fouled and John Nolan pointed to level proceedings again in the 47th minute.
Steve Olohan took the paint of the outside of the post as a chance to restore the lead was lost. Aaron Lynham was fouled after a great ball in from Andrew Kenny, however, John Nolan registered his first wide from the dead ball as another chance got away.
Not for the first time Stephen Flanagan split through the Laragh defence and fisted the ball over the bar seconds before Jamie Cullen body collided with the midfielder, for which Cullen received a black card and Eamon Kennedy entered the fray for Laragh.
Valleymount hit two bad wides before Laragh reduced the deficit to a single point from another John Nolan free in the 52nd minute.
Damien Hanlon had a glorious chance for a goal moments later, as he tore through the red defence, but somehow Hanlon pulled his shot inches wide with the goal at his mercy to the relief of the Valleymount side.
Laragh were to regret this as moments later Flanagan offload- ed to Stephen Byrne who hand passed onto Shay Geoghegan who flicked to the net for the killer blow as Valleymount now led by 2-12 to 1-10 with 59 minutes on the clock.
Valiantly, back came Laragh and the impressive Mark Miley fed Damien Hanlon who gave a quick pass to Keith Lawlor who went through in search of a goal but was pulled down by Brian Flynn.
Flynn was black carded bny referee Pat Dunne and John Nolan pointed the 14-meter free in the 63rd minute.
Laragh went in search of a goal but a resilient Valleymount held out.
Paul Miley; Mark Carroll, Stephen Cahill, Eamonn Mahon; Brian Miley, Darragh Browne, William Kavanagh; Declan Cahill, Stephen Flanagan; Shane Hughes, Stephen Byrne, Liam Miley; Shay Geoghegan, Micheal Richardson, Brian Flynn. Subs: James Fitzpatrick (H\T), Jack Slattery (H\T), Shane Hughes (62nd min).
James Nolan; Ross Doonan, Peter Merrigan, Jamie Cullen; Craig McCoy, Gary Cullen, Andrew Kenny; David McDonald, Damien Hanlon; John Nolan, Mark Miley, Steven Olohan; Aaron Lynch, Keith Lawlor, Dan Power. Subs: Eamon Kennedy (49th min),Stephen Curley (56th min), John Murphy (57th min).
Pat Dunne (Hollywood)