Derry Gaels survive Avondale comeback to claim victory
DERRY GAELS got the win after they survived a late comeback from the home side last Friday night under lights in Avondale.
A game which was a tale of four quarters ebbed and flowed with some excellent football on display on both sides of the field. Derry Gaels opened the scoring from a free in the fourth minute after Colm Walsh dusted himself down to point a free he had earned on the 21.
Cormac McGraynor responded for the home side moments later when his effort from range just passed the outstretched hands of Robert Davey and found the back of the net. The Avondale trio of midfielders Andrew Brancatto and Ollie Matthews linking up superbly and centre back Luke Kearney playing superbly in this opening period.
Cian Ward pointed for the home side on 11 minutes and was quickly assisted by Ollie Matthews who found space after a quick free to fire over.
For Derry Gaels, Oisin Dunne and Conor Byrne were defending immensely for the visitors and turned over a large number of ball in this time.
With these two, defending immensely, patient play by Avondale would bring their next score and it came from the boot of Adam Doyle.
With 17 minutes on the clock, Derry Gaels sprung Dylan Lynch from the bench and his impact was immediate.
After winning a free, he quickly found Robert Doyle lurking unmarked on the 14-yard-line and Doyle was left with the task of flicking the ball into the Avondale net.
Josh Mullen and Colm Walsh both had goal efforts saved at either end before a John Toomey point brought the gap to a minimum.
Avondale full-back Kelan Busher had a tremendous battle with Colm Walsh over the opening half and the Avondale man is definitely one to look for the future after his display over the hour.
Ward and Lynch added a point a piece for both sides to bring the half to its conclusion with Avondale one point up.
Another Derry Gaels substitute to have a massive impact was Adam Keegan who was introduced at the interval.
The lively corner-forward pointed a free to open the half and nearly had a goal opportunity only for Jamie Doyle to rush off his line and extinguish the danger.
Another great score from Toomey gave Derry Gaels the lead before a goal effort from Dylan Lynch snuck wide of the post.
However, the young Ballymanus man dusted himself down and won the resulting kick out and found Robert Doyle again who fired home his own and his side’s second goal.
Keegan scored two further more points for himself on 41 and 46 minutes after a pass from Lynch and Derry Gaels were in the ascendancy.
A free from the same player left a seven-point gap going into the final 10 minutes with Avondale yet to score in the half.
The influential Dylan Lynch was lost to a second yellow soon after and Avondale set about making the numerical advantage count.
A point from Cian Ward came in the 56th minute worthy of namesake and former Meath footballer and just on the stroke on normal time ending, Luke Kearney fired home a penalty to bring the gap to a one score game.
Withstanding the Avondale onslaught, Derry Gaels needed something to prevent a draw and with 32 on the clock, Sean Campbell took a couple of heavy challenges before firing over an insurance point and victory for his side in a very exciting derby game.
Avondale: Jamie Doyle, John Porter, Kelan Busher, Conor Cranley, Torna Mulconroy, Luke Kearney (1-0), Edward Kinsella, Andrew Brancatto, Ollie Matthews (0-1), Cathal Baker, Cian Ward (0-3), Cormac McGraynor (1-0), Josh Mullen, Ryan Connolly Doyle, Adam Doyle (0-1). Subs: Kevin Conway for Porter, Ronan Byrne for Mullen and Danny Morley for Kinsella
Derry Gaels: Robert Davey, Shane Arthur, Oisin Dunne, Conor Byrne, Sean Campbell (0-1), Dylan Byrne, Padraig Doyle, Ben Stephenson, Robert Doyle (2-0), James Doyle, John Toomey (0-2), Dara O’Shea, Philip Toomey, Colm Walsh (0-1), John Moran. Subs: Dylan Lynch (0-1) for Campbell, Adam Keegan (0-4 ) for P Toomey, Dylan Rochford for O’Shea, Evan Doyle for Arthur.