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Rousing Second Half Sees Reserves Beat Harps
Apr. 20, 2019
ERNE CUP DIVISION 1: Belcoo 4-8 v 0-15 Derrygonnelly Harps
A rousing second half display from the sky blue O’Rahilly’s on a glorious evening seen them come from four points down at the interval to win by five by the finish, outscoring their purple and gold opponents 2-7 to 0-4 in the second half. For a change, there wasn’t a wind, it was a perfect night for football on the shores of Lough MacNean as the sun set behind the far goals.
There was a large crowd in attendance and by the end of the first quarter, not many if any would have foreseen a Belcoo victory. Derrygonnelly had been completely dominant, they moved into a 0-5 to no score lead and looked like it was going to be a very comfortable night for the Harps.
From nowhere Belcoo hit three of the next four scores, two of these were goals and with 21minutes played, the hosts somehow lead by one, 2-1 to 0-6. Goalkeeper Gary Doherty had pinged a 45 on 17minutes to get his side on the scoreboard before Matthew McAloon cut in from the left wing and squeezed the ball into the net at the near post. The Harps responded with a point but McAloon soon went on another run, this time he was upended inside the box and Ronan Meehan coolly dispatched the penalty kick.
Now, it was as good as it got for Belcoo in the half, normal service was resumed as an impressive Harps side rattled off five unanswered points to lead 0-11 to 2-1 by half time.
The O’Rahilly’s emerged from the break much better, first to all balls, tenacious in the tackle and they began to turn the tide. Ronan Meehan popped over an early free with McAloon and Meehan registering neat points from play as their side now started to find gaps in the Harps defence. The visitors did knock over a free but the turning point was a loose pass in the middle sector by the Harps, Declan Leonard, who rolled back the years on Friday night, made the interception, raced forward 45yards and slipped the ball across to Matthew McAloon who palmed it into the net. 3-4 to 0-12 with 39minutes on the clock.
Buoyed by leading again Belcoo kept the foot down, around the middle Leonard, Brian Lyndsky and Barry McGovern were going well, Matthew McAloon and Ian Corrigan inside were causing plenty of bother and the swagger which the Harps had started the game with had faded. It was game on, and it was the Belcoo men who had the better appetite for it.
Gary McGovern made a great turnover and found Ian Corrigan who in turn fed Ronan Meehan for an excellently crafted score. Corrigan then had a glorious opportunity for a goal, it was arguably the move of the night as Belcoo cut open the defence but Corrigan slide the ball narrowly wide when looking for the bottom right corner of the net. It remained 3-5 to 0-12.
The miss stalled the momentum the O’Rahilly’s had built up, Derrygonnelly had been thrown a lifeline and they had a few minutes on the ball, registering just the one score against a dogged home defence to half the deficit. Matthew McAloon landed a fine score from the left wing after taking a great pass from Daire Keaney on 53minutes before the result was secured five minutes from time.
Brendan McPartland was alert to a loose ball and found substitute James Gillespie, he fed McAloon who popped the ball to another substitute Aaron Dolan who drove in along the byline and fisted the ball across the goalmouth for Gerard McHugh, another substitute, to palm into the net, 4-6 to 0-13.
James Gillespie added a left footed point following good work from McHugh while Matthew McAloon popped over another. Derrygonnelly could only match these two points late on as Belcoo finished up deserving winners after an excellent second half.
Team: Gary Doherty (0-1), Anthony Kerrigan, Shane McAloon, Brendan McPartland, Michael McGourty, Brian Lyndskey, Gary McGovern, James McGourty, Declan Leonard, Barry McGovern, Ronan Meehan (1-3), John Scott, Matthew McAloon (2-3), Ian Corrigan, Daire Keaney. Subs Gerard McHugh (1-0), Dean McDermott, James Gillespie (0-1), Aaron Dolan.
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