Donard off the mark with win over Strat­ford-Grange­con

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - PAT DUNNE at Dunlavin


DONARD-THE GLEN picked up their first points in the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship in a glo­ri­ous Dunlavin on Fri­day evening last.

Tadgh Fen­nin’s out­fit were put to the pin of thier col­lar early on by a sensationa­l start by a dy­namic Strat­ford-Grange­con. Goals swung the pen­du­lum back in favour of the Glen men at cru­cial stages in a highly com­pet­i­tive game.

Pat Lambe’s side got off to a fly­ing start and led by four points to no score af­ter four min­utes from a lethal Colin Byrne trio of white flags along with a mighty score from Matt Manley as Mark Lan­don and Mikey Man­gan dom­i­nated the early ex­changes in the mid­field sec­tor be­fore Donard knew where they were.

John Han­bidge fed the on-run­ning Brian Len­non who fisted the size 5 di­ag­o­nally across the large par­al­lel­o­gram where full-for­ward Colin Healy was on hand to flick the ball to the back of Paddy Cronin’s net for an in­stant re­ply to put the Glen men back in the hunt.

Liam Mon­aghan and Colin Byrne traded points in an ab­sorb­ing open­ing quar­ter of end to end foot­ball as both sides went toe to toe.

Alan Daly tagged on a brace of points as Donard rose up a gear. Some tena­cious tack­ling by broth­ers Eoin and Joe O’Neill were keep­ing out their op­po­nents.

Liam Mullen in­creased the lead with a point be­fore Paddy Cronin bril­liantly stopped a goal-bound shot by Mullen mo­ments later.

The ever­green Kieran Byrne bombed over a point to cut the deficit to the min­i­mum with seven min­utes to play.

Donard-The Glen picked up a brace of yellow cards in quick suc­ces­sion.

Conor Healy’s yellow was quickly fol­lowed by one to Liam Mullen which could eas­ily have been a dif­fer­ent colour af­ter a mon­ster tackle floored the Strat­ford goal­keeper as he was solo­ing out the field.

A Kieran Byrne free lev­elled the bat­tle go­ing into the clos­ing stages.

A strong fin­ish to the half yielded two goals for Donard, Alan Daly scored an out­ra­geous ma­jor as he fired home from the tight­est of an­gles on 30 min­utes, which was fol­lowed by an­other as Colin Os­borne shot for a point was par­tially blocked and re­bounded into the dan­ger­zone where Liam Mullen fisted the ball home, a sick­ener for Strat­ford at this cru­cial stage.

Shane Byrne closed out the scor­ing with a point as the half-time whis­tle sounded with the score read­ing 3-4 to 0-8.

Kieran Byrne re­duced the gap with a pointed free on the res­tart. Donard landed three bad wides be­fore Larry Daly and corner-back Oisin Adler each pointed.

A Mark Mur­phy won­der goal put the Strat­ford-Grange­con side back in con­tention from the next at­tack. This would turn out to be their last score as drama soon fol­lowed for Strat­ford when they were re­duced to 14 af­ter los­ing cen­tre back Eoin O’Neill on a straight red in the 43rd minute.

Liam Mullen and Alan Daly tagged on a brace of points as they fin­ished the stronger. Conor Healy and a brace of points by Liam Mon­aghan gave Donard a badly needed vic­tory. Their chances of pro­gress­ing are bal­anced on a knife-edge, while Strat­ford-Grange­con will have to re­group quickly to get points on board.

Scor­ers - Donard-The Glen: Alan Daly 1-3 (1f), Liam Mullen 1-2 (1f), Conor Healy 1-1, Liam Mon­aghan 0-3, Larry Daly 0-1, Oisin Adler 0-1.

Strat­ford-Grange­con: Kieran Byrne 0-4 (1f), Colin Byrne 0-4, Mark Mur­phy 1-0, Shane Byrne 0-1.

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