Lahardane take their chances
Saturday, 8th June
Football is a simple game, the primary objective being, to put the ball between the posts whenever the chance presents itself. On Saturday evening Lahardane followed this objective to the letter. Kilmaine didn’t, Lahardane won.
The contest, played in bright evening sunshine was full of championship vigour, no quarter was asked for, or given. It was survival of the fittest. Kilmaine entered the arena carrying the favourites tag, but they were lining out without a collection of stars, David O’ Loughlin, Pat Kelly and Alan Burke being chief among them. Lahardane arrived in the south mayo venue in the midst of a disappointing season, with little to show for their exploits thus far. things were about to change.
The visitors were full of passion, Kilmaine were full of running but sometimes lacked direction. A weaving run by Brian Maloney, after seven minutes ended with a smartly taken goal but his colleagues failed to follow his example and squandered a host of chances. Conor Maloney did fire over two well taken points midway through the first half but Kilmaine’s short passing game was meat and drink to their opponents and Lahardane prospered on limited possession.
John Rowland tore up and down the wing like a greyhound, James Gillespie orchestrated everything from centre-half forward, Christy Syron and Anthony McDermott were solid at the back while Damien Kelly worked hard in the middle. The quick transfer of the ball into the Kilmaine danger area began to pay dividends and the economical use of the ball by their forwards kept Lahardane in touch as half-time approached. Andrew Casey had a wonderful chance to put Kilmaine in control two minutes before the break but he saw his goalbound shot turned around the post by the impressive Lahardane custodian, Colm McAndrew, to leave the score 1-5 to 0-6, in favour of Kilmaine at the break.
Ronan Shaughnessy fired over a beautiful point two minutes into the second period to stretch the lead but his side would not score for another 28 minutes and there-in lay their problem. They kicked some very bad wides at vital times, when a point would have changed the complexion of the game.
Lahardane got the boost they needed after 37 minutes when Gillespie tore through the opposition. his shot was expertly saved by Norman O’ Brien but Michael Lynn reacted quickest to the loose ball and found the net. The visitors had their tails up, they were full of running and three pointed frees from Cormac Rowland eased them clear.
Kilmaine never stopped trying but the absence of O’Loughlin from the midfield sector in the rough and tumble of a championship encounter was massive. Tackles flew in from all angles as the game turned for home, Referee Martin Corcora, was busy, trying to keep an eye on everything, but at no stage did emotions boil over.
The verdict was still in the balance as the game entered its final minutes and then a mistake in the Kilmaine defence presented the ball to young midfielder Chris Barrett and he goaled from close range.
The introduction of Pat Kelly came too late for the home side and even though Brian Maloney did rattle the underside of the crossbar in injury time there would be no way back for Kilmaine.
Lahardane took their chances and took the spoils. Simple really.
Lahardane: C. Barrett and M. Lynn 1-0 each, C. Rowland 0-3 (0-3f), T. Cawley 0-2 (0-1f), J. Gillespie 0-2, J. McDonnell 0-1, J. Rowland 0-1.
Kilmaine: B. Maloney 1-0, C. Maloney 0-3, P. Doherty 0-1(0-1f), J. Maloney, A. Casey and R. Shaughnessy 0-1 each.
Lahardane: C. McAndrew, C. Coughlan, C. Syron, A. Irwin, R. McDonnell, A. McDermott, J. McDonnell, D. Kelly, C. Barrett, C. Rowland, J. Gillespie, N. Garrett, J. Rowland, M. Lynn, T. Cawley.
Subs: D. Reilly for Irwin (30), D. Water for J McDonnell (52).
Kilmaine: N. O’ Brien, J. McDonagh, D. O’ Dea, D. McDonagh, M. O’ Brien, K. Coyne, J. McDonagh, B. Maloney, C. Maloney, J. Maloney, D. Burke, A. Coyne, P. Doherty, A. Casey, R. Shaughnessy.
Sub: P. Kelly for A. Coyne 52.
Referee: M. Corcoran (Islandeady)
Report by the Western People
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