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Substitutes Make Their Mark as Juniors Open With A Win

Box Score

Apr. 14, 2012

JUNIOR LEAGUE DIVISION 1 : Belcoo 2-11 v 1-5 Irvinestown

The Belcoo Juniors began their defence of the Division 1 league with a 9point victory over newly promoted Irvinestown. Second half goals from substitutes Ryan McGovern and Eunan Mullally proved vital as a strong finishing Belcoo side hit 1-3 without reply over the closing 10minutes to pick up the two points on offer in this season opener.

Scores were scarce in the opening half as Belcoo held a 0-4 to 0-2 lead at the interval. Despite dominating proceedings Belcoo failed to convert possession into scores with some wayward shooting.

Belcoo’s wing back Declan Leonard who impressed throughout upon his return fromAustraliaregistered the first score of the game after a great catch and pass from Gerard Mellor in midfield, Leonard raced down the middle and slotted over a neat score.

A close range free from James Duffy leveled matters on 13minutes before Ciaran McGoldrick joined an attack to fire over a second score for Irvinestown moments later. Belcoo responded immediately as Aaron Dolan picked out Seamus Conlon from a free kick and Conlon split the posts from 30yards.

The Belcoo defence was solid during the remainder of the half as the visitors struggled to create any openings. Having squandered a few half chances Belcoo eventually got a third score, this time Gerard Mellor found himself on the end of a sweeping more to clip over from close range while an Aaron Dolan free kick signaled the end of the half with Belcoo two points to the good.

Within two minutes of the restart Belcoo had extended their advantage as Stephen Nolan pointed after some good play by Shain Gallagher. Points from Darren Byrne and James Duffy left the minimum between the sides, 0-5 to 0-4 in Belcoo’s favour after 40minutes.

Stephen Nolan and Aaron Dolan added good points from play for Belcoo before Belcoo were forced to replace Aidan Leonard who had took a heavy knock in the opening half with Ryan McGovern who is returning from injury.

McGovern made his mark quickly as he fisted the games first goal on 44minutes. A move down the right wing involving Aaron Dolan and Nevan Higgins seen the latter beat his man on the endline and fire the ball across for McGovern to fist to the net.

Shain Gallagher was on target to push Belcoo into a 1-8 to 0-4 lead and as Belcoo looked all set for a comfortable victory Irvinestown rallied with a quickfire goal and point. Francis Ward collected a high ball on the edge of the area before swiveling and firing past Paddy Sweeney. From the kickout Peter Gormley gathered the loose ball and knocked over a great score from distance. 50minutes gone and Belcoo led 1-8 to 1-5.

Belcoo introduced Eunan Mullally into the full forward line and Mullally found the net with his first touch. Nevan Higgins was again the provider as his pass was gathered by Mullally who rounded Niall Maguire in the visiting goals before firing into the roof of the net from close range. This goal from the substitute put the game beyond Irvinestown and Belcoo continued to chip over a trio of scores from Seamus Conlon, Aaron Dolan and Eunan Mullally to run out comfortable winners in the end.

For Belcoo the six backs were in control of matters throughout while Mellor and Conlon worked well in midfield, up front Damian Holleran, Aaron Dolan and Nevan Higgins were heavily involved in all the best moves. For Irvinestown James Donnelly had a good hour at full back while James Duffy was their liveliest attacker.

TEAM: Paddy Sweeney, Michael Leonard, Shane McAloon, James Stewart, Stephen Nolan (0-2), Eoin Leonard, Declan Leonard (0-1), Seamus Conlon (0-2), Gerard Mellor (0-1), Damian Holleran, Shain Gallagher (0-1), Aidan Leonard, Aaron Dolan (0-3) Aidan McGrath, Nevan Higgins. Subs Used. Ryan McGovern (1-0), Eunan Mullally (1-1).




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