Donard-The Glen have it easy against depleted Ashford
IF ever a team needed the luck of the toss, it was Ashford in Blessington last Saturday.
The skies opened up for the first 15 minutes of the match, the wind lashing across the pitch laced with heavy rain and when the weather opens up on the Blessington pitch it can be a difficult place.
Ashford were playing against a strong wind and rain, missing several players, on a tough losing streak and were playing a match that meant very little but pride. The omens were not good for Ashford.
And so it proved, Donard-The Glen clocked up 2-10 before Ashford registered their first score in the 25th minute. Jack Conyard in the Ashford goal making a number of outstanding saves to keep the score respectable.
The match was nothing more than a Donard-The Glen procession and the watching county manager John Evans would have taken very little from. The half-time score line finished: 2-10 to 0-2.
Donard-The Glen were simply more physical throughout the pitch and Ashford’s goal kick strategy of keeping it wide, while admirable and the correct strategy was producing little positively. The ball was returned with interest like a game of table tennis. As a result, Jack Conyard in the Ashford goal was the most overworked man on the pitch.
Ashford had no answer for the Donard-The Glen half-forward line, both Liam Mullan and Alan Daly were on fire, scoring seven points in total while pulling the strings and setting up some fine scores for the inside forward line.
Giving Ashford due respect and credit they never let their heads drop and slowly clawed themselves into the match to make the score line somewhat respectable. The wind was behind them, the Ashford management emptied the bench and the fresh legs made a huge difference to the second half and to the final score.
All over the pitch Donard-The Glen were relentless and have a good blend of youth, experience and a strong physical presence down the middle. Unfortunately, they were in a very tough group with a number of local derbies and should regroup for a good crack at the championship next year.
Ashford have a very youthful side and at full strength should be a good match for Stratford-Grangecon in their relegation play-off.
Man of the Match: Jack Conyard
Final Score: 3-20 Donard-The Glen 0-11 Ashford
Scorers - Donard-The Glen: Alan Tutty (0-1), Joe Whyte (0-1), Conor Kelly (0-1), John Hanbidge (0-1), Brian Lennon (1-3), Liam Mullan (0-4), Alan Daly (0-3), Sean Brannigan (0-1), Niall Curran (01), Colin Osbourne (1-2), George Finlay (1-2).
Ashford: Brian Coen (0-5), Tom Kearns (0-3), Cal Connolly, Mick Taylor, Brian Shannon (0-1)
Ashford: Jack Conyard; Rob Clarkson, Iarla O’Donnell, Rian Dwyer; Mikey Treanor, Daniel Kavanagh, Mick Taylor; Joey Doyle, Tomas Kearns; Ross Quinn, Brendan Manning, Trevor Conyard; Cal Connolly, Brian Coen, Jamie Byrne. Subs: Cormac Doyle, Brian Shannon, Nigel Dunne, Cian Staunton, Gavin Weir, Kael Scott.
Donard-The Glen: Ray Halloran; Kevin Osbourne, Alan Tutty, Gerry Healy; Brendan Daly, Joe Whyte, Conor Kelly; John Hanbidge, Brian Lennon; Liam Mullan, Alan Daly, Sean Brannigan; Niall Curran, Colin Osbourne, George Finlay.
Referee: John O’Brien (Newcastle)