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Published on August 8th, 2016 | by admin

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Laverty Cup minor Football final. Dunloy 1-11 Aghagallon 0-13

Dunloy Bridge 10-year gap to lift the Laverty Cup

The great support from the previous Tuesday had travelled to Randalstown for the Laverty cup final with Aghagallon, the first time the 2 sides had met this season in any competition. Dunloy forced into a few changes with the injury to Decky Smith and the unavailable Lee Scott shuffled the pack to put on Anthony Smith, younger brother of Decky, along with Matthew McCarte who replaced Frankie Cochrane in nets.

Dunloy started brightly and opened the scoring after a few minutes through a Keelan Molloy free dispatched between the posts. Aghagallon then came on strong hit three unanswered points as they settled the better through the opening 15 minutes. Dunloy playing with breeze advantage needed the next score and they got it a flowing move from midfield found its way to Conal ‘Coby’ Cunning and he slotted it the ball over the bar.

Dunloy were starting to find their stride and when Eoin O’Neil went through on goal but after putting it past the keeper a covering defender cleared it to safety and a big let off for Aghagallon. The half drawing to a close Aghagallon struck between the posts again and with 25 minutes played they lead by 0-04 – 0-02. Dunloy’s second goal chance came and gone when Seaan Elliott and Coby found themselves two on one with the Aghagallon full back a goal looked inevitable but in fairness he made a great tackle to thwart the attack.

Dunloy finished the half the stronger and a fine O’Neill point and Coby free in stoppage time had the teams going in level at the break 0-04 – 0-04. Aghagallon much the happier as they knew they would have a stiff breeze in their favour for the 2nd half.

The 2nd half started with a change in Dunloy’s line out. Goal keeper Matthew Carte came out the pitch with Frankie Cochrane going into nets where he played so well against Reggae the previous match. Dunloy started slowly and three unanswered points from Aghagallon had them 0-07 – 0-04 to the good with ten second half minutes gone.

It was time for Dunloy to dig in and they did after such a tough game on Tuesday night it would have been easy to find an excuse but not this team. Two Molloy points from a free and fine individual score from play had the gap back to the minimum. Dunloy were pumped up and made their domination of the last five minutes’ count when a fine ball by Liam McCann released O’Neill and there was no mistake this time he found the bottom left hand corner of the Aghagallon net. O’Neill who wasn’t happy with his own display against Creggan was back at his very best doing what he has been doing all year.

With fifteen minutes gone in second half Dunloy led 1-06 – 0-07 but they wouldn’t trouble the score board again for ten minutes as Aghagallon took control and rattled over five points in a row to lead by three again.

 

Dunloy looked tired and needed a spark they got it Seaan Elliott went on a mazy run and unleashed a right footed shot from out the field to cut the gap to two. Dunloy were now on top and two long range frees from Molloy had the game squared as the clock reached thirty minutes 1-09 – 0-12. Aghagallon were now feeling the pinch but got their noses in front again with a fine point from long range and with a minute of stoppage time played Dunloy needed a score and they got it.

Molloy broke from midfield off loaded to Coby and from twenty-five yards out the ball was straight over the bar and we were heading to extra time – or were we?

With nearly three minutes of injury time on the clock the lively O’Neill got on to a pass from Chrissy McMahon who won a ball, that he had no right to win, and found Eoin O’Neill. O’Neill had his defender beat and he was away, the only option for his marker was foul him and he dually did.

So like Tuesday night against Creggan there was twenty-one yards between Coby and a Dunloy victory and like Tuesday night there was never any doubt the ball split the posts and Dunloy fans roared as surely that was the kick that brought the Laverty cup home.  There was still time yet the kick out was well up the field it broke between half a dozen players and McMahon appeared with the ball again and that was the last action the final whistle sounded and while definitely not at their best Dunloy as all good teams do they still won the game. It was over to the presentation and Cathair McGuigan proudly lifted the Laverty Cup above his head the first Dunloy man to do it since Conor McKinley ten years ago.

In defence the corner backs, both U16, had super games – Anton McGrath and Aaron Crawford ooze class and can play in a variety of positions and have done for U16’s and minors this year today they were on defensive duty and didn’t disappoint

Half backline was solid with Chrissy McMahon breaking up ball at every opportunity and starting attack after attack a great sixty minutes from him

In Midfield Molloy was out on his feet come the end he covered every blade of the Randalstown pitch he contributed five points in an outstanding display. He had a few different partners throughout the game who all worked hard but the man in the sling on the sub bench was a massive miss to Dunloy and a broader smile you didn’t see in Randalstown when Decky Smith heard the final whistle. He wasn’t on the pitch but he hit every ball from the side line

In the forward line O’Neill and Coby were a constant threat with 0-04 and 1-01 their tally. Great movement from all the forwards and tracked back well and helped out when things were getting tough

Sacrificed in the back line, because he is so good in there but could play anywhere on the pitch, Conor Kinsella produced another master class this time at full back – he would put his head in where most wouldn’t put a foot he came out with the ball and created attacks from full back regularly throughout the hour. Fantastic display and he got ran close by Molloy and Coby but Kinsella was the man Dunloy needed to hold firm and he did and is a worthy man of the match.

Anthony McQuillan and his management team will be very happy with the week they have had and the attitude shown by their players but I am sure he will be looking for the next game to be settled before stoppage time and ease the nerves a bit along the side line only leading twice in the game the first minute and the last minute Dunloy showed great character after a very tough week this will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.

 

Starting team:

  1. Matthew Mc Carte
  2. Anton McGrath
  3. Conor Kinsella
  4. Aaron Crawford
  5. Chrissy McMahon
  6. Cathair McGuigan ©
  7. Ewan Dixon
  8. Conal Cunning (0-04)
  9. Keelan Molloy (0-05)
  10. Liam McCann
  11. Frankie Cochrane
  12. Seaan Elliott (0-01)
  13. Fergal Dillon
  14. Eoin O’Neill (1-01)
  15. Anthony Smith


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