Dunderry 0-6 Dunshaughlin 1-9 A FL Division 1B (Round 8)
In the penultimate league game Dunshaughlin gave their hopes of clinching 2nd spot, promotion and a place in the league final a big boost with an away win to Dunderry. It was a must win game for Dunshaughlin as had Dunderry won, they would have secured 2nd spot. Both teams lined out slightly understrength and Dunshaughlin looked smart in their new away red jerseys. Both teams observed a minute’s silence prior to the game in memory of Richie O’ Brien and Dunderry’s Jimmy Gough.
Dunderry in their last game had conceded 3-12 to league leaders Trim in their only previous defeat. The hosts were determined there was to be no repeat of that and set up very defensively with plenty of men behind the ball which made for a very low scoring first half with Dunshaughlin going in at the break holding a double score lead 0-4 to 0-2. The visitors had twice as many shots on goal as Dunderry in the opening half and should have been further ahead. Dunderry opened the scoring with a point from play within 20 seconds of the throw-in but only managed to score one more point for the remainder of the first half. Dunshaughlin’s first point came from a Luke Mitchell free in the 12th minute and he added another from a free three minutes later to give Dunshaughlin the lead for the first time. Just before that score one of Dunshaughlin’s top scorers in the league, corner forward Cathal McCormack had to go off with an injury and was replaced by another player returning from injury Cian Gallogly. That second Dunderry point in the twentieth minute tied the game but shortly after Dunshaughlin were in the lead again when Charlie O’ Connor broke through the Dunderry defence and got their first point from play. John McDonagh also penetrated the blanket defence with a point from play a few minutes before the half time break.
The 2nd half fare was an improvement on the first half hour and like the first Dunshaughlin scored double that of their hosts (1-5 to 0-4). Having said that this game was anybody’s up until five minutes from the end when Conor Duke struck a goal from close in to give Dunshaughlin a six-point lead and what turned out to be the last score of the game. Dunderry restarted the better after the break and tied the game with two pointed frees by the 35th minute. The visitors went ahead again within a minute with another point from Mitchell and further ahead with a close in free from McDonagh in the 42nd minute. David Fildes made a welcome return when introduced as a substitute in the 38th minute having missed all bar one of Dunshauglin’s league games through an injury which kept him side-lined since early March. With just over ten minutes to go Dunderry had levelled the game again with two points (one free) but within a minute the boys in Black & Amber were back in front with a well taken Conor Gray point from play. Dunshaughlin introduced Ronan Geraghty & Alastar Doyle for Gallogly and Niall Byrne who had picked up knocks. Geraghty made an immediate impact kicking accurately twice into Mitchell, who fielded well, won marks and scored from both.
The six point winning margin may have flattered Dunshaughlin but they were deserving winners and had arrived knowing the battle for 2nd place was never going to be easy. The six Dunshaughlin backs have to be commended for their display and holding Dunderry to only 6 points with none better than Dunshaughlin’s oldest player Niall Murphy who had an outstanding display. One positive to take away from the game was Gray and O’ Connor putting over their first scores of the league campaign.
Dunshaughlin’s last league game is at home to Curraha on June 14th and if they can win that game, it will guarantee them a place in the final against Trim and promotion.
Dunshaughlin Scorers: Luke Mitchell 0-5 (2m, 2f), Conor Duke 1-0, John McDonagh 0-2, Charlie O’ Connor 0-1, Conor Gray 0-1
Dunshaughlin: Adam McDermott, Oisin Foley, Daniel Quinn, Niall Byrne, Ciaran McCarrick, Niall Murphy, Charlie O’ Connor, Ben Duggan, Conor Gray, John McDonagh, Ruairi Kinsella, Fursey Blake, Cathal McCormack Conor Duke, Luke Mitchell. Subs used: Cian Gallogly for Cathal McCormack (12th), David Fildes for Fursey Blake (38th), Ronan Geraghty for Cian Gallogly (47th), Alastar Doyle for Niall Byrne (54th) & Marc Leddy for Conor Duke (58th)