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Under-Strength Minors Win Derby
Jun. 2, 2017
MINOR Div. 3 Belcoo 4-11 Devenish 4-8 – Under-strength Belcoo win Derby!
Belcoo Minors made it seven consecutive wins to go top of the league table with one game remaining. Belcoo were sitting joint top of the table whilst Devenish were going into this game pointless. However, to be honest this was a below par performance by the young McNean team. The game failed to serve up the free flowing, well disciplined, exciting, high quality, competitive and sporting encounter unlike the recent Belcoo games played against Irvinestown, Maguiresbridge and Erne Gaels. In fairness the game lacked any real fluency and quality and at best can only be described as an ill tempered affair. Belcoo will be most disappointed to have dominated this game and still only win by a 3 points margin.
In their defence, Belcoo’s preparation was badly hampered by injuries and until 5 minutes before throw-in were unclear what team would start. Eoin Shiels, James McAloon, Colm Furey and Lawrence McKeown all carrying injuries.
A minute silence was held prior to Tuesday evenings game for the late Hugh McCabe - Pic John Flanagan
The visitors had the wind advantage in the first half and were first to settle. Belcoo had 4 good early chances falling to 4 different players but failed to convert any of these opportunities against the strong wind. In fact on 2 occasions where Belcoo missed, Devenish came up the field and scored two goals. After 10 minutes it was Devenish leading by 2.02 to Belcoo’s no score. Slow starting Belcoo converted a free via Ciaran Flanagan on 13 minutes for their first score of the evening. Devenish hit another point before a sublime pass from Flanagan found Shane Doherty and he scored Belcoo’s first point from play.
Belcoo began to vary their play and a Conor McAloon’s long range shot for a point came back of the crossbar and excellently slotted to the net by the alert Colm Furey. However the next attack was by Devenish and they easily pierced the Belcoo defence and their pile driver shot on goal was brilliantly saved and turned over the bar by the in-form Oran McCann in nets. McCann went on to make two other fine saves later in the game. Colum Furey added another point from play before the arrival of a third goal from Devenish.
The Belcoo defence were improving and James McAloon was having a fabulous match at full back and was being well supported by Oisin Leonard and Ronan Maguire. Belcoo players were starting to win all the key battles over the field including the midfield sector and a further attack from Conor McAloon seen his long pass find Mark Ferguson who calmly slotted the ball over the bar. Luka Gribbin was putting pressure on the Devenish half back line and when he found Conor McAloon free 30 metres from goals, McAloon scored a point from long range.
Shane Doherty hit what seemed like an excellent shot which appeared to have split the posts but to Belcoo’s dismay was waved wide by the Devenish umpire and referee. Michael McGourty was working hard and he got forward to score the final chance of the first half. The advantage at half time with Devenish as they led by two points 3.05 to 1.09.
Belcoo started the second half very well and within 3 minutes of the restart had taken the lead with a great individual goal from Shane Doherty. Shane’s powerful shot on goal would not have been stopped by even Fudge or Stephen Cluxton. Belcoo piled on the pressure and were now starting to slow glimpses of their quality and a fine ball from McKeown found the hard working Gerard McHugh and he made no mistake with a shot into the high left hand corner of the net. McHugh was one of the few Belcoo players who was afforded space by Devenish and he certainly availed of it and produced a man of the match display.
Lawrence McKeown turned from provider to scorer with a further well taken goal and point. Belcoo then had some glorious opportunities to kill off the match as a contest but failed to convert several real good chances. Fiachra McAloon confidently collected a ball close to goal but could not get a real chance at goal as he was quickly swarmed by three defenders. Devenish came back at Belcoo and scored a goal and two points without reply. Eoin Shiels came on for the final ten minutes and he scored an excellent point soon after his introduction. In injury time Devenish got the final point of the game to reduce the deficit to 3 points.
Despite the performance Belcoo now sit proudly top of the table and the defeat keeps Devenish at the bottom of the league table. Belcoo are very aware that they will need to significantly improve to be competitive in the top of the table clash against Tempo next week. The final score Belcoo 4.11 Devenish 4.08.
The Belcoo Panel - Oran McCann, Oisin Leonard, James McAloon, Gerard McHugh, Lawrence McKeown, Eoin Shiels, Ciaran Flanagan, Colm Furey, Shane Doherty, Conor McAloon, Mark Ferguson, Michael McGourty, Luka Gribbin, Fiachra McAloon, Usna MacErlane and Ronan Maguire. Matthew Mulvey and Dermot Burns were unavailable for the game.
Report by Gerry McAloon.
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