Dunlavin on a high after winning five from five
DUNLAVIN 3-14 S’FORD-G’CON 1-9
DUNLAVIN made it five wins from five following their final group game and confirmed themselves as group winners and straight into the semi-final of the Darcy Sand’s Intermediate Football Championship with this comfortable win over Stratford-Grangecon on Sunday evening last in a glorious Hollywood.
Stratford-Grangecon started the brighter with the dynamic Mark Murphy firing over the opening point inside the first minute for Pat Lambe’s side.
Shane Carthy levelled matters in the next attack to get Jonathan Daniels’ side up and running. Mark Murphy restored the lead, but this was cancelled out when Eoin Murtagh carved over a point after a riveting run.
Tomas Lawlor was next out of the blocks for Dunlavin, with his first point of the evening. Shane O’Rourke missed a sitter of a 21-meter free after Paddy Cronin was deemed to overcarry/time waste.
Dunlavin lost Mark O’Sullivan on a black card for a foot trip and he was replaced by Mark Reid. Kieran Byrne levelled proceedings with a point after great work by Mark Landon.
An Alan Deering point closed out the opening quarter with the scoreboard reading 0-4 to 0-3 in favour of Dunlavin.
A couple stray shots went wide for Dunlavin before a good passage of play between Cian O’Sullivan and Eoin Murtagh finished with Shane Carthy registering his second white flag of the game.
Eoin and Joe O’Neill were just about competing with the pressure being applied by Dunlavin. However, a lovely bit of individual play by Eoin Murtagh saw the county man cut clean through Stratford’s rearguard and fire his shot past Paddy Cronin in the 20th minute.
Shane O’Rourke landed Dunlavin’s sixth point of the game. Matt Manley replied with a well taken point for the Grangecon side.
Dunlavin were still applying pressure going into the closing stages of the half, with patient play, keeping possession.
Fionn Deegan laid the ball across to Alan Deering who flicked home, as he appeared to be in the square, however, the goal stood as the half-time whistle sounded with the lead now 2-6 to 0-4.
Two powerful points on the restart from Tomas Lalor built a nice cushion for Dunlavin. Colin Byrne replied with a point as Eoin O’Neill and Kieran Byrne were battling hard for the Slaneysiders.
They were rewarded with a brace of points, before calls for a penalty were waved away by the offical, much to the annoyance of the Stratford following.
Dunlavin broke up the field and Shane Carthy landed another point which was duly followed by another from Tomas Lalor.
Paul Murtagh put the result beyond doubt with a clinical finish off the underside of the crossbar, to land their third green flag of the day to close out the third quarter with the scoreboard reading 3-11 to 0-7.
Stratford got a glimmer of hope when Mark Murphy crashed the ball past Tom McGuirk in the next attack, as they battled away valiantly.
Paddy Cronin had a pointblank save from a Shane Carthy shot. Shane O’Rourke and Matt Manley traded points going into the final few moments. Tomas Lawlor closed out the scoring with a brace of points, a great finish to the week for the club, with their Junior Bs qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Dunlavin have time to recover now and await their opponents in the semis after the last eight stage.
Stratford-Grangecon will have to regroup quickly and face into the prospect of a dreaded relegation semi-final.
Scorers - Dunlavin: Tomas Lawlor 0-6 (1f), Alan Deering 1-1, Eoin Murtagh 1-1, Paul Murtagh 1-0, Shane Carthy 0-3, Shane O’Rourke 0-2, Darragh Dillion 0-1
Stratford-Grangecon: Mark Murphy 1-2, Matt Manley 0-3 (1f), Kieran Byrne 0-2 (1f), Colin Byrne 0-1, Michael Mangan 0-1.