Donard-The Glen have it easy against de­pleted Ash­ford

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - DIAR­MUID HAUGHIAN

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)

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