DUNLAVIN THROUGH

Daw­son stars as Har­ney’s men down Donard-The Glen

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

DUNLAVIN sealed their place in the semi-fi­nals of the D’Arcy Sands In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship by de­feat­ing near neigh­bours Donard-The Glen on Sun­day evening last in a packed Baltinglass.

While the foot­ball on dis­play wasn’t off the high­est qual­ity at times, not aided by a strong breeze and wet un­der­foot con­di­tions, it was a case of, who would adapt the bet­ter and in the end, re­al­is­ti­cally, it came down to Dunlavin’s bet­ter free-tak­ing abil­ity to de­cide who would go for­ward as this game ebbed and flowed through­out.

Thomas Davis opened the scor­ing for Dunlavin in the sec­ond minute with a pointed free af­ter Daniel Daw­son was fouled go­ing through by Bill Flynn who re­ceived a yel­low for the tackle.

Gary Allen won pos­ses­sion from the kick-out and laid off su­perbly to Paul Murtagh who placed a great ball into the in­dus­tri­ous Thomas Davis who dis­patched it over the bar to reg­is­ter Dunlavin’s sec­ond point of the evening.

Brian Len­non made a dash­ing run up the side­line and fed full-for­ward Conor Healy who split the posts from an acute an­gle to get the Glen men on the score­board in the fourth minute.

Shane Carty tapped over Dunlavin’s third point af­ter great build up play by Gary Allen and it was pretty much all Dunlavin at this early stage of the game, with Daniel Daw­son mak­ing prob­ing runs, cut­ting through the Donard de­fence time af­ter time.

Eoin Murtagh in­creased the lead with an­other well taken point. Colin Os­borne made a men­ac­ing run up the field and passed off to Brian Len­non who was about to shoot but a bril­liant in­ter­cep­tion by James Sin­nott cleared the dan­ger and Dunlavin built up an­other at­tack.

Thomas Davis knocked over an­other pointed free to put Dunlavin 0-05 to 0-01 up with only ten min­utes played.

Donard re­sponded with cen­tre-for­ward Harry Man­gan lay­ing off to Brian Len­non who soloed 50 me­ters and landed an in­spi­ra­tional point to keep them in touch with their arch-ri­vals in what would turn out to be their last score off the open­ing half.

Sean Bran­ni­gan was harshly noted by the Aughrim of­fi­cial for an almighty shoul­der that floored Fionn Dee­gan, as the hits were in­ten­si­fy­ing at this stage. Full-back Wil­liam Rooney made a great burst up the pitch and found Ray Hal­lo­ran but his shot tailed wide.

Brian Len­non missed the tar­get from a free in the 17th minute. Dunlavin should have put their op­po­nents away in the sec­ond quar­ter, but some poor shot se­lec­tions let Donard off the hook. Dunlavin were dom­i­nat­ing mid­field with Aaron Phe­lan spray­ing a great sup­ply of ball into his for­ward-line, who couldn’t cap­i­talise it onto the score­board, but in­creas­ing their wide tally to five at this time.

Donard were guilty of more bad tack­ling and dis­sent, and Thomas Davis fired over an­other pointed free in the 24th minute to in­crease the lead to four points. Aaron Phe­lan picked up a yel­low card for a high tackle on Harry Man­gan as the ten­sion mounted.

Yet again, Dunlavin had their neigh­bours to the pin off their col­lar, but could not build on their lead as an­other four wides were amassed. A big hit drove Thomas Davis out over the end line in the next at­tack as the half time whis­tle sounded with the score read­ing 0-06 to 0-02 in favour of Dunlavin.

The big ques­tion at the in­ter­val was, Is the lead big enough against the wind for Dunlavin in the next half? It was Dunlavin who got the open­ing chance of the sec­ond pe­riod but Eoin Murtagh dragged his shot wide. Donard landed two bad wides from their next cou­ple of chances and were pun­ished when Aaron Phe­lan made a ma­raud­ing run through the Donard half-back line and was fouled.

Thomas Davis split the posts from the dead ball to ex­tend the lead out to six points in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half. Donard in­tro­duced Niall Cur­ran and Dar­ren O’Neill to the fray.

How­ever, Cian O’Sul­li­van was fouled in the next at­tack, Davis knocked over Dunlavin’s eighth point of the game as Donard looked out on their feet.

Some­how, Donard re­sponded when Colin Os­borne was fouled and a supreme ad­van­tage call by the ref­eree al­lowed the play to de­velop where Conor Healy won pos­ses­sion and ri­fled his shot high into the net to close out the third quar­ter with the score now read­ing 0-08 to 1-02.

In the next at­tack Alan Daly should have fur­ther re­duced the deficit, but his ef­fort tailed wide. Back came Thomas Har­ney’s men with a bril­liant run up the field by James Sin­nott who laid off to the on run­ning Daniel Daw­son who shot low and hard on goal but goalie Mark Moore bril­liantly got down to save and put the ball out for a 45 to keep Dar­ren Be­han’s men in this bat­tle.

Up the other end, Harry Man­gan landed two wides - one from a 14m free - as Donard could not claw back the deficit in this defin­ing pe­riod of the game.

Donard bat­tled to the death but Conor Healy pulled an­other ef­fort wide to let Dunlavin off the hook, as it was the other way around in the clos­ing pe­riod of the first half. Dunlavin ral­lied again and fur­ther pun­ished the glen men with a great point from the boot of James Walsh in the 54th minute to re­store a four-point cush­ion.

Davis missed the tar­get from a free be­fore Brian Len­non pointed again for Donard to leave it a dan­ger­ous three-point lead for Dunlavin in the 58th minute.

Conor Healy missed an­other chance to leave two in it. Shane Carty fielded a bril­liant mark and fed James Walsh who laid off to man of the match Daniel Daw­son who pointed go­ing into in­jury time.

Gary Allen picked up a black card for his trou­bles and was re­placed by Enda Bowes. A Dar­ren O’Neill fisted point in the 63rd minute left it a three-point game as the Dunlavin faith­ful were bay­ing for the full-time whis­tle.

Donard did get an­other chance of an equal­is­ing score but their ef­fort was bril­liantly caught un­der the cross­bar by goalie Tom McGuirk and cleared as the full-time whis­tle sounded.

Dunlavin will have a big say in this, in what is turn­ing into a riv­et­ing In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball cham­pi­onship, as we come to the busi­ness end off mat­ters with plenty of ex­cit­ing foot­ball still to be played yet.

Scor­ers - Dunlavin: Thomas Davis 0-06 (5f), Shane Carty 0-01, Eoin Murtagh 0-01, James Walsh 0-01, Daniel Daw­son 0-01.

Donard-The Glen: Conor Healy 1-01, Brian Len­non 0-02 (1f), Dar­ren O’Neill 0-01.

Dunlavin: Tom McGuirk; Thomas Whe­lan, Thomas Kelly, James Sin­nott; Fionn Dee­gan, Eoin Murtagh, Alan O Sul­li­van; Aaron Phe­lan, Paul Murtagh; Shane Carty, Daniel Daw­son, Gary Allen; Cian O’Sul­li­van, Thomas Davis, James Walsh. Subs: Mark Rigley (42min), Enda Bowes (60min).

Donard-The Glen: Mark Moore; Kevin Os­borne, Wil­liam Rooney, Conor Kelly; Alan Tutty, Colin Os­borne, Bill Flynn; John Han­bidge, Brian Len­non; Der­mot Daly, Harry Man­gan, Sean Bran­ni­gan; Alan Daly, Conor Healy, Ray Hal­lo­ran. Subs: Dar­ren O’Neill (37min), Niall Cur­ran (37min), Eoin Kelly (50min), Kevin Kealy (53min).

Ref­eree: John Keenan (Aughrim)

Dunlavin’s Alan O’Sul­li­van looks to get clear of Donard-The Glen’s Bill Flynn. Photo: Joe Byrne

Dunlavin’s Thomas Whe­lan gets the bet­ter of Alan Daly.

Dunlavin’s Daniel Daw­son in ac­tion against Donard’s Sean Brani­gan.

Donard-The Glen’s Brian Len­non with Dunlavin’s Eoin Murtagh.

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