Published on August 17th, 2016 | by admin0
Intermediate Football Championship Dunloy 3-11 Sarsfields 3-09
Intermediate Football Championship
Dunloy 3-11 Sarsfields 3-09
It was a trip to Corrigan Park for Dunloy Senior Footballers as they started their quest to go one better than their Intermediate championship final appearance last year. Manager Dominic Dillon had a few selection headaches for the game with a few key players missing. Shane Dooey was a late withdrawal with a knee problem that has hammered his past two seasons, Dyane Scott was unavailable and Kevin McAllister was ruled out through illness. Haven beaten Sarsfields twice in league this season Dunloy would start as may peoples favourites but Dillon and the rest of his management knew it would be a completely different ball game and it was.
The game was only over a minute old when Sarsfields got on the scoreboard after winning the ball in midfield in a slick move through the Dunloy defence resulted in the Sarsfields attacker being left one on one with Dunloy keeper Sean Doherty and Sarsfields were 1-00 – 0-00. Sarsfields then added a point from play before Dunloy got on the score board a fine move down the right hand side resulted in Caolan Gillan slotting over a point from twenty-five yards.
Dunloy and Sarsfields then traded points each with Dunloy’s coming from Stephen McAlone. With ten minutes gone Sarsfields led 1-01 – 0-02 and they then increased their lead to three with a fine score form play from the next attack.
Dunloy then got their first goal of the game as captain Conor McKinley released the on rushing Nigel Elliott who made no mistake as he put the ball in the roof of the net to level the game. The goal seemed to lift Sarsfields more so and they restored their three lead with 3 points in a row in a five-minute spell. Dunloy seemed to be rocked and they were firmly shook when after 20 minutes another flowing Sarsfields move which left Doherty exposed again and it was a six point game in favour of the men from the bear pit 2-05 – 1-02 with ten first half minutes remaining.
Dunloy knew they needed to respond and respond they did, another Gillan point reduced the gap to five before Dunloy got their second goal. A fine flowing move from midfield found Karl Fitzpatrick at the back post and the ‘gazelle’ leaped above the rest to palm it into the net. Dunloy finished the strongest and another McAlone point followed by a fine individual point from McKinley had the game tied at half time. Dunloy knew another half like that and they would be going down the M2 and the championship over.
As the 2nd half started Dunloy made two changes with Eoin Gillan and Jamie McFerran coming in for Miceal Murphy and Decky McGarry. The second half started just like the 1st with Sarsfields getting the opening score. This was soon cancelled out by Nigel Elliott. Both teams exchanged two points each with Dunloy’s coming from McAlone and Fitzpatrick with fifteen second half minute played the scores were still level 2-08 – 2-08.
Dunloy needed something to happen and it did. Elliott got on to a loose ball and released McKinley, the full back tried in vain as the ‘white horse’ powered his way to the twenty one yard line before unleashing a bullet in the top corner of the net. A finer goal you will not see this year and surely that was the spark Dunloy needed.
Sarsfields then reduced the gap to two points with a fine score. The game was then turned in Sarsfields favour when a mix up in the Dunloy defence gifted the city men a third goal and with less than ten minutes remaining Dunloy trailed by one point 3-09 – 3-08. That was to be the last time they troubled the score board as like the 1st half Dunloy finished stronger.
McAlone got his fourth point of the day to tie the scores before Gillan added his third for Dunloy to lead 3-10 – 3-09 with only a minute remaining. The final score of the game came from McKinley a fine point from play. As Sarsfields launched one last attack the man in the middle John Moran blew the whistle and Dunloy were through. Relief was the emotion on the side line, far from their best but Dunloy were through.
Dunloy know they will have to improve and if they tighten up defensively they have the fire power to cause serious problems to anyone in the intermediate championship. Karl Fitzpatrick worked his socks off in midfield and got two crucial scores. Caolan Gillan is always wanting the ball, taking scores and creating chances and Saturday was no different. Stephen McAlone has been a revelation over the past few months after not starting the season how he would have liked. The two Antrim hurlers back in the full forward line is big for Dunloy having played most of the league campaign without these two the management and the rest of the team are delighted to see them back. Nigel Elliott won everything that was put into him a great hour from the dual star and in Conor McKinley Dunloy have a game changer who led by example as the captain should scoring 1-02 but was involved in so much more in what was a complete display.
Next up for Dunloy is the quarter final against St Enda’s in Randalstown at 7pm on Saturday 20th August.
Dunloy showed last year that on their day they are a match for anyone and will be confident enough going up against a good St Enda’s team next time out.
1: Sean Doherty
2: Kieran Hughes
3: Karl O’Kane
4: Oran Corrigan
5: Gabriel McTaggart
6: Kevin Mc Quillan
7: Oran Quinn
8: Miceal Murphy
9: Karl Fitzpatrick (1-01)
10: Paudie Conlon
11: Caolan Gillan (0-03)
12: Stephen McAlone (0-04)
13: Decky McGarry
14: Conor McKinley © (1-02)
15: Nigel Elliott (1-01)