Laragh win pulling up as derby turns into a damp squib
ON a damp, misty evening in Aughrim on Saturday last, neighbours Laragh and Ballinacor crossed swords in the Darcy Sand Intermediate Football Championship.
Expectations of a close encounter in this derby match were wide of the mark as Laragh hit the ground running and were 0-5 to 0-0 ahead before Ballinacor opened their account after nine minutes.
John Nolan and Mark Miley had the green and gold clad Laragh men two points up in as many minutes. They were moving the ball at pace and causing all sorts of problems for the Glenmalure men. Mark Miley again, John Nolan with a fisted point and David Miley from play continued to push the Laragh men on.
The one-way traffic was halted when James Murphy opened the Ballinacor account with a pointed free.
Ger Byrne followed almost straight from the kickout with a great point floated over from the roadside sideline into the town goal, and when the same player converted a close-in free to leave just a two-point gap after 11 minutes, we thought that the Ballinacor side were back in business.
They had played poorly up to this point, appeared to have weathered the storm and were ready to make a game of it.
It turned out to be wishful thinking. Instead, from there until the half-time break it was Laragh who drove on, and gradually the scores mounted.
Further points from Mark Cullen, John Nolan (free) and a fine left-footed effort from corner forward Eric Olohan pushed Laragh into a 0-8 to 0-3 lead with three minutes left in the half.
Full-forward Mark Miley finished the half as he had begun it, with two more points. The first of these really should have been a goal, but it didn’t seem to matter greatly as a 0-10 to 0-3 lead for Laragh left them comfortable at the break.
Apart from that brief rally during which they registered their three points, Ballinacor had failed to get to the pace of the game and badly needed to shake themselves in the second half.
Ger Byrne got the first score of the second period with a point after three minutes, but Laragh responded with points from Mark Cullen, Mark Miley and David Miley to lead by 0-13 to 0-4 ten minutes into the half.
Conor Parsons then stepped up to land one of his trademark long-range points from outside the ‘45’.
On the three-quarter hour mark Ballinacor were awarded a penalty. Dean Carter’s shot to Peter Merrigan’s left was well blocked by the keeper and Ballinacor’s cup of woe overflowed when the rebound was kicked into the side netting. This was not going to be Ballinacor’s day.
Myles Conway arrived on the field as a Laragh sub and pointed with his first touch of the ball. Really that should have been a goal but, like Mark Miley in the first half, it made no difference in the end.
The whole tempo of the play began to ease as the game moved towards its inevitable conclusion. Conor Parsons scored another point from distance and John Nolan and David Miley concluded the Laragh scoring, bringing their tally to 0-16.
Ballinacor moved Daniel Dowling to full-forward for the final few minutes in the hope of registering a goal. However, despite a couple of near misses, their only reward was a point which bounced in the goalmouth and straight over the bar. This brought the Ballinacor finishing score to 0-7.
This was a bad day at the office for the Glenmalure side and they have a bit of work to do if they are to entertain hope of being contenders later on.
Laragh do entertain hopes of being contenders later on, but they will need a more strenuous test to see if their hopes are justified. All that can be said is that they won this one comfortably.
Laragh’s David Miley breaks away from Philip Byrne.
Dean Carter, Ballinacor, under pressure from Laragh’s Ian Merrigan.