Lethal Laragh are too good
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.