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ACFL Div 2: Munterconnacht 1-11 Laragh Utd 0-10

posted 1 Mar 2013, 11:36 by Unknown user   [ updated 1 Mar 2013, 11:38 ]
Munterconnaugh kicked off their ACFL Division Two campaign with a workmanlike 1-11 to 0-10  victory over visitors Laragh Utd in what was a fine contest that went right to the wire at St Bartholomew’s Park.
The home team had the bit between their teeth from the get-go and emerged as worthy winners after putting in a strong finish on the final straight.
Ironically, it was Laragh who got off to the more promising start, posting two points within the opening three minutes of the match when Patrick Rudden converted a long free and followed it up with a good point from play.
Munterconnaught responded quickly with the only goal of the game after five minutes when Sean Nolan collected a fine through ball from Shane O’Reilly before blasting the ball into the net. 
Munterconnacht took great heart from what turned out to be the only major of a well-contested game and Jack Lawless followed up with a well worked point from play to leave the home team ahead by 1-1 to 0-2 with just seven minutes on the clock. 
Laragh travelled with ambition and they responded with a fine long range point courtesy of Colm McKenna just shy of the 11th minute.
In what turned out to be a typical see-saw encounter, Munterconnaught upped the ante though with three quick-fire scores.
In what was a real tour de force, all three points were converted by Stephen Sheridan, the first two both expertly converted frees and the third a well taken point when collecting another Shane O’ Reilly through pass.
Sheridan's splendid hat-trick had Laragh back up against the ropes and facing into a 0-3 to 1-4 deficit with just over 17 miunutes played in the first half. 
Laragh kept nipping away at their hosts' heels and Colm McKenna scored a fine solo point on 20 minutes but Brendan O’Shea pointed for Munterconnaught just four minutes later.
Once again the focus of the action swung almost immediately to the opposite end of the pitch and Declan Brady converted Laragh’s fifth point of the match after 25 minutes to leave just a goal between the teams. 
Both sides enjoyed a decent dividend in the ensuing minutes, notching a further point apiece in the run-up to half time with Shane O’Reilly (Munterconnacht) scoring a fine point from the left side before a Patrick Rudden free (Laragh) reduced the home side's lead by 1-6 to 0-6 at the short whistle. 
The aforementioned Rudden scored with another free two minutes into the second half to further reduce Laragh's deficit to a much more manageable two points. 
Moments later though, Stephen Sheridan replied in kind for Munterconnaught after 35 minutes but Laragh worked overtime to get on top and were level by the 42nd minute through points from Patrick Rudden (free), Darragh Brady and Declan King to leave the match evenly poised.
Munterconnaught responded with gusto though with Sean Nolan scoring a fine point following a good solo run after 46 minutes.
The home side kept up the pressure with Stephen Sheridan converting another free kick on 50 minutes as time began to run out on Laragh.
The pressure was further increased on Laragh when Padraig O’Dwyer scored a fine point from play two minutes later and Stephen Sheridan underlined the strong finish by Munterconnaught when he converted another free with just under five minutes to play.
The home team came under some consistent pressure thereafter but they remained in control until the final whistle to leave them home and hosed on the back of a none-too flattering four point winning margin.
Munterconnaught: Shane Roche; Tommy Brady, Terry McCabe, James Hetherton; Mark Flynn, Paddy Shortt, Sean Meehan; Brendan O’Shea (0-1), Danny Nolan; Stephen Sheridan (0-6), Sean Nolan (1-1), Jack Lawless (0-1); Shane O’Reilly (0-1), Padraig O’Dwyer (0-1), Niall McHugo.
Subs used: Sean Hendricks; Brendan Plunkett.
Laragh Utd: Martin Smith: Philip Fitzsimons, Shane O’Rourke, Enda Clarke; Declan King, Seamus Cooney, Liam Brady; Darragh Brady (0-1), Declan Brady (0-1); Adrian Cooney, Colm McKenna (0-3), Cian O’Rourke; Gerry Murray, Ruairi Power, Patrick Rudden (0-5).
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