Post-match brawl sours sweet Laragh vic­tory

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - DANIEL HAGAN

LARAGH showed that they are more than up for the chal­lenge of this cham­pi­onship af­ter claim­ing their sec­ond win on the spin up against Donard-The Glen in Hol­ly­wood on Sun­day evening.

Last year’s Ju­nior ‘A’ cham­pi­ons trav­elled up the Wick­low Gap in search of a sec­ond win af­ter their nar­row one-point vic­tory over Ash­ford two weeks ago, how­ever a brawl di­rectly af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle be­tween both camps has tainted what was a fan­tas­tic vic­tory for Decky Byrne’s side.

Tadhg Fen­nin’s Donard were look­ing for their first tri­umph af­ter their draw against Carnew Emmets in Shil­le­lagh.

Donard-The Glen posted the first score of the game with a beau­ti­ful 45 off the left boot of Alan Daly, who was the most prom­i­nent player for the Glen through­out.

Laragh hit the net af­ter five min­utes as David Mi­ley fired past goal­keeper Mark Moore af­ter a good pass from John Nolan.

The game was level a cou­ple of min­utes later as Brian Len­non and Colin Os­borne pointed.

Donard had to set­tle for lon­grange point at­tempts in the early stages as Laragh’s de­fence were putting a lot of pres­sure on the at­tack­ers and re­gain­ing pos­ses­sion.

Donard were strug­gling in this pe­riod to string passes to­gether.

Once Laragh had claimed back pos­ses­sion, they were very quick on the break with some rapid hand pass­ing.

Laragh went two points up 10 min­utes in as a John Nolan scored a free and David Mi­ley fired over a beauty.

Damien Hanlon in the mid­field was dic­tat­ing a lot of the play in the mid­dle of the park with his tall frame and strong run­ning caus­ing all sorts of prob­lems for the op­po­si­tion.

Com­pletely against the run of play 16 min­utes in, Donard scored a goal to make it 1-4 apiece.

A long run by Colin Os­borne was not stopped by the Laragh de­fence, he even­tu­ally played the ball to Brian Len­non, who slot­ted the ball past James Nolan in the Laragh net.

Donard did kick five wides in the first half play­ing against the wind. They wasted some good op­por­tu­ni­ties to go into half-time in the lead.

John Nolan’s free tak­ing has al­ways been a strength in his game, and he showed that time and time again in the first half, scor­ing three from three at­tempts.

The game was fairly fiery in the open­ing pe­riod with many off the ball clashes not spot­ted by ref­eree Bren­dan Fur­long.

Donard did pull two points back again through full-for­ward Alan Daly to level it up be­fore the break, though the last of these points was du­bi­ous as it looked to have gone just wide.

The game was any­one’s for the tak­ing as ref­eree Fur­long sounded his whis­tle for the sec­ond half to be­gin.

In the open­ing sec­onds, Laragh scored two quick-fire points through Mark Mi­ley and his name­sake David to grasp the ad­van­tage.

They played some very at­trac- tive foot­ball in these early stages as they showed that they can hold their own in the ham­pi­onship.

The turn­ing point in this game came in seven min­utes into the half as Laragh grabbed the goal they were look­ing likely to get through full-for­ward Mark Mi­ley.

The ball broke into free space af­ter a mix up in the Donard de­fence, Mi­ley was the quick­est to pounce and he fin­ished low into the bot­tom cor­ner. A fin­ish that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Pre­mier League.

Donard had plenty of pos­ses­sion in Laragh ter­ri­tory but failed to con­vert any of their chances, fir­ing five con­sec­u­tive wides be­fore ad­ding to their first half tally.

All of Donard’s good play was com­ing through Alan Daly as he was all over the field at­tempt­ing to rally his team on.

They fi­nally got their score through Kevin Os­borne, with Brian Len­non also point­ing ad­ding to his goal and point in the first half.

Laragh cap­tain Damien Hanlon was again dom­i­nat­ing pro­ceed­ings in mid­field with his strength in the air and his pow­er­ful run­ning. Donard were find­ing it dif­fi­cult to stop him through­out.

Donard did have a goal chance as a goal­mouth scram­ble led to the ball be­ing blocked sev­eral times by Laragh de­fend­ers in their num­bers and was even­tu­ally par­ried away by keeper James Nolan.

Eoin Kelly did hand pass the ball over the bar im­me­di­ately af­ter the scram­ble.

Donard had to try to over­come a three point deficit as they clock hit 55 min­utes.

They were in des­per­ate need for a goal, but it was Laragh who went up the other end and ex­tend their lead to five, as another John Nolan free was con­verted and sub­sti­tute Steve Olo­han put the ball over the bar.

Three min­utes from time, Laragh could have fin­ished the game off as Mark Mi­ley was one on one with Mark Moore af­ter a su­perb long ball by Damien Hanlon, but Mi­ley’s shot crashed against the post.

The game went into stop­page time and Bren­dan Fur­long pointed to the penalty spot af­ter Alan Daly was taken down just in­side the box.

Daly him­self stepped up to take, but his strike was par­ried away by James Nolan to prevent a late Donard-The Glen fight back.

The fi­nal whis­tle was blown to the de­light of the Laragh con­tin­gent, par­tic­u­larly their fol­low­ers, who came out in num­bers to sup­port their lo­cal side.

There were un­pleas­ant scenes af­ter the match though as both teams and man­age­ment clashed into an ugly brawl.

Scor­ers: Laragh – David Mi­ley 1-3; John Nolan 0-5 (4f); Mark Mi­ley 1-1; Damien Hanlon 0-2 (1f); Steve Olo­han 0-1.

Donard Glen: Brian Len­non 1-2 (1f); Alan Daly 0-5 (1f, 1 45); Colin Os­borne 0-1; Kevin Os­borne 0-1; Eoin Kelly 0-1.

Laragh: James Nolan; Ian Mer­ri­gan, Gary Cullen, Bren­dan Ward; Andy Kenny, Alan Smith, Jamie Cullen; Dave McDonald, Damien Hanlon; Craig McCoy, John Nolan, David Mi­ley; Peter Mer­ri­gan, Mark Mi­ley, Eric Olo­han. Subs: Aran Lyn­ham for A Smith (47min) Steve Olo­han for E Olo­han (56min)

Donard-The Glen: Mark Moore; Ger­ard Healy, Alan Tutty, Kevin Os­borne; Eoin Kelly, Harry Man­gan, Bill Flynn; Colin Os­borne, John Han­bridge; Conor Kelly, Lawrence Daly, Brian Len­non; Ray Hal­lo­ran, Alan Daly, Der­mot Daly.

Ref­eree: Bren­dan Fur­long

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