Lethal Laragh are too good

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

LARAGH in­flicted the sec­ond de­feat on the trot on An­nacurra in the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship as Decky Byrne’s men fol­lowed up their open­ing day vic­tory over Bal­li­na­cor with some aplomb to leave them sit­ting pretty at the head of Group 1.

This meet­ing was the sec­ond game of the two-match IFC pro­gramme played at Aughrim on Sun­day last and with Martin Ging’s An­nacurra com­ing a crop­per in their open­ing game against Kil­macanogue, los­ing by four points, the Der­rysiders needed to get back on the horse quickly.

Start­ing with­out Frank Clune, Gearoid Mur­phy and the out of bounds Michael O’Brien, they were dealt a fur­ther blow be­fore the throw in when full back Shane O’Neill cried off in­jured. He was re­placed by Ciaran Byrne Laragh were mi­nus Mark Cullen and Dan Power who were re­placed by Steve Olo­han and Myles Conway.

An­nacurra made the live­lier start and were un­for­tu­nate not to get a goal af­ter two min­utes. Glen Austin soloed through the heart of the Laragh de­fence and smacked a ground shot off the butt of Peter Mer­ri­gan’s right up­right.

Two min­utes later Shane O’Ke­effe got their open­ing point. The Der­rysiders had the more com­fort­able open­ing min­utes but when David Mi­ley lev­elled with a point for Laragh the Brock­agh men be­gan to come more into the game.

John Nolan pointed a free af­ter eight min­utes and Mark Mi­ley got their third score when he fisted over in the four­teenth minute.

How­ever, An­nacurra pulled back a point when Michael Healy in­ter­cepted a Laragh pass out of de­fence and set up Ian Mc­Don­ald for a sec­ond An­nacurra point on 17 min­utes.

Steve Olo­han re­sponded with a Laragh point to leave his side ahead by 0-4 to 0-2 af­ter 20 min­utes. An­nacurra en­joyed their best spell of the game in the ten-minute pe­riod com­ing up to half-time.

Alan Byrne and Bob Fitzger­ald were doing well at mid­field and with half backs Michael Healy, Martin O’Brien and Paul Mc­Don­ald push­ing for­ward, the scores be­gan to come.

Clive Ho­ran pointed fol­lowed by a point from an Ian Mc­Don­ald free to level scores at 0-4 apiece. Mc­Don­ald from a 45 put the Derry men ahead and Michael Healy had them two points ahead with four min­utes nor­mal time left in the half.

The stiff breeze favour­ing An­nacurra was be­gin­ning to tell but Laragh dealt a sucker punch just as the game en­tered the time added pe­riod for the first half.

Cen­tre half-back Craig McCoy came for­ward in sup­port of his at­tack and found him­self in pos­ses­sion in­side the last line of de­fence to slot home a Laragh goal some­what against the run of play.

Clive Ho­ran hit back for the

lev­el­ling point be­fore the half­time whis­tle to leave the score at 1-4 to 0-7.

Laragh hit the ground run­ning in the early stages of the sec­ond half. Eric Olo­han pointed a free which had been moved for­ward for dis­sent.

John Nolan added a sec­ond pointed free from about forty me­ters and when Damien Han­lon pointed again it meant Laragh were a goal ahead af­ter only four min­utes.

An­nacurra ral­lied with Alan Byrne and Ne­van O’Sullivan re­duc­ing the gap to the min­i­mum. Gearoid Mur­phy, who had just come on as a sub, ex­changed points with Eric Ola­han (a free each) but Damien Han­lon in­creased the lead to two af­ter ten min­utes.

Damien Han­lon’s strong runs for­ward were caus­ing all sorts of bother for An­nacurra.

It took a bril­liant Michael Doyle save to prevent a sec­ond Laragh goal from Han­lon, but Steve Olo­han con­verted the 45.

The game took a de­ci­sive turn at the three-quar­ter hour stage. John Nolan pointed to push Laragh into a four-point lead.

An­nacurra needed to press up field but were caught by a long kick in­side the de­fence to Damien Han­lon who had the pace to race through un­op­posed and round Michael Doyle for Laragh goal num­ber two.

Gearoid Mur­phy had two quick points for An­nacurra, who were still bat­tling hard to get back into the game.

The Brock­agh men re­sponded with a Mark Mi­ley point and an­other 45 con­verted by Damien Han­lon.

Then with five min­utes to go, dis­as­ter struck the Derry men again.

John Nolan shot for a point, but he didn’t con­nect as well as nor­mal and the ball ap­peared to be go­ing wide on the left of goal.

How­ever the shot just crept in­side the post and cross­bar for Laragh’s third goal.

An­nacurra con­tin­ued to battle on but the game was gone now. Gearoid Mur­phy fin­ished strongly scor­ing the fi­nal three points of the game to leave the fi­nal score at Laragh 3-13, An­nacurra 0-15.

Scorers – Laragh: Damien Han­lon 1-3, John Nolan 1-3, Craig McCoy 1-0, Mark Mi­ley 0-2, Eric Olo­han 0-2, Steve Olo­han 0-2 and David Mi­ley 0-1.

An­nacurra: Gearoid Mur­phy 0-6, Ian Mc­Don­ald 0-3, Clive Ho­ran 0-2, Shane O’Ke­effe, Michael Healy, Alan Byrne and Ne­van O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

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