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Laragh pay the penalty for profigacy

posted 13 Aug 2011, 14:15 by Unknown user   [ updated 13 Aug 2011, 14:27 ]
Ballymachugh 1-9
Laragh Utd 0-7

A tale of two penalties formed the centrepiece of the story detailing Ballymachugh's second round IFC victory in Crosskeys.

Underpinning the Ballyheelan-based squad's collection of their first points in the competition was the team's success in converting their spot-kick early in the second half which compounded Laragh's woe in spurning a similar opportunity before the interval.

Both teams were at a crossroads going into last week's contest having lost their opening round games but, in what was the proverbial game of two halves, it was Ballymachugh who demonstrated a more eagle eye and the bigger heart.

Laragh are doubtless still kicking themselves as to how they let Ballymachugh off the hook after a first half in which they had things very much their own way.

Seven damning wides, three shots into the Ballymachugh 'keeper's chest and a missed penalty was not what the doctor ordered though for the Stradone-based crew and that profligacy now leaves the threat of relegation hanging over their heads.

Laragh started on the front foot and midfielder Enda Cullivan had them ahead with a point from play after just four minutes.

A series of wides stymied their immediate progress thereafter though as did a fine save from Ballymachugh 'keeper Baxter when a goal chance beckoned for Paddy Rudden in the 9th minute.
Killian Smith had the winners-elect belatedly up and running with a point on the quarter hour mark before Laragh were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute.

The award came after a high delivery into the Ballymachugh square caused panic which ultimately translated into a foul on Paddy Rudden.

Sadly for United, Seamus Cooney's subsequent penalty was well saved by 'keeper Baxter in what would become a defining moment in the game.

Two minutes later Barry Kiernan rubbed further salt into Laragh's wound by putting his side ahead by the odd point in three.

To their credit, Laragh rose to the challenge and four unanswered points - including a gem from Declan King (29th) - helped leave Ballymachugh trailing by 0-3 to 0-5 despite a late first half reposte from Richie Fitzsimons.

With the wind at their backs on the restart, Ballymachugh had a spring in their step and three points inside the opening seven minutes of the second half (two from play) from James Kiernan left Laragh trailing (0-5 to 0-6) for the first time since the 20th minute of the game.

Ballymachugh continued to force the pace and their place in the box seat was well and truly cemented in the 41st minute when James Kiernan fired home a penalty after a foul on Aodhain Kiernan.
Laragh again responded to the gauntlet laid down before them and a point apiece by Darragh Brady and Paddy Rudden (free) cut Ballymachugh's lead to a more manageable 1-6 to 0-7 with 48 minutes on the clock.

Amazingly, Laragh failed to score for the remainder of the match with the third quarter and the final quarter building the gallows and tying the noose respectively on United's championship hopes.
As things panned out, an inspirational long-range point from Barry Kiernan nine minutes from time and a further brace from the in-form James Kiernan in the run-in was all that was required to resurrect Ballymachugh's championship challenge.

Ballymachugh: Paddy Baxter: Michael Halton, Gavin Smith, Brendan McLarney; Anthony Baxter, Brian Donohoe, Finbar Sheridan; Philip Donohoe (0-1), Padraig Sheridan; James Kiernan (1-5), Richard Fitzsimons (0-1), Christopher Rooney; Barry Kiernan (0-1), Aodhain Kiernan, Killian Smith (0-1).
Sub: Stephen Baxter for A Kiernan.

Laragh Utd: Martin Smith; Barry Cullivan, Shane O'Rourke, Enda Clarke; Philip Fitzsimons, Colm McKenna, Paddy King; Enda Cullivan (0-2), Colin Oates; Declan King (0-1), Darragh Brady (0-2), Martin Joe Smith (0-1); Seamus Cooney, Paddy Rudden (0-1), Conal Donoghue.
Subs: Liam Brady for C Donoghue; Adrian Cooney for S Cooney; Declan Brady for D King.
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