Friday 19 January 2018

Duffry back in hunt

Realt na Mara gradually reeled in

Dean Goodison in Ballygarrett

The Duffry Rovers squad before their success in Ballygarrett
The Duffry Rovers squad before their success in Ballygarrett
John Dunne (Duffry Rovers) is chased by Dylan Fleming (Realt na Mara)
Cian Fitzhenry (Duffry Rovers) looks on as Liam Molloy sets up a Realt na Mara attack

Duffry Rovers leaped back into contention for a place in the quarter-finals of the Gorey Guardian Juvenile football championship with victory over Réalt na Mara in Ballygarrett on Monday of last week.

Duffry Rovers 2-13 Realt Na Mara 4-4

The Coolree boys came into the game with just one win in their opening three in Group A and looked like a side lacking a little confidence as they slipped 2-3 to 0-3 behind after 22 minutes despite playing with a strong breeze.

Yet, Rovers don't really produce teams without fight and they slowly clawed their way back into the game to lead at half-time, and later at the final whistle, to take a vital two points back home with them.

Réalt na Mara were exceptional in defence in the early stages and soaked up plenty of pressure. Their blocking, tackling and harrying limited the visitors to points from Jack Bates, Barry Redmond and John Dunne in that opening spell.

At the other end James Fleming, Tom Hobbs and Brendan Corcoran were on target with points but it was the two clinically-taken soccer-style goals by lively attacker Conor O'Toole that gave the Ballygarrett boys a six-point lead.

A pair of frees from Bates and Cian Fitzhenry edged Duffry Rovers back into the game before the former flew a perfect shot on the breeze, from 30 metres out, into the roof of Barry Adamson's net to give the hosts' goalkeeper no chance.

Points in the last few seconds of the period from Redmond and Fitzhenry edged Rovers into the lead for the first time (1-7 to 2-3). Things got even better for the Enniscorthy District side after Fitzhenry's 31st-minute point as Gearóid Doyle latched onto Cathal Whelan's pass and drilled to the Réalt na Mara rigging.

James Fleming's long-range goal brought the home side back within two (2-8 to 3-3), but as the breeze dropped the Duffry continued to boss proceedings and added four consecutive points from Bates, Stephen Kearns, Cathal Whelan and Fitzhenry.

Réalt na Mara refused to throw in the towel and a brilliantly-taken goal by substitute Billy Dunne, and a point by Reece Smith, narrowed the gap to two heading into added time. The home side never really created the goal chance they needed in injury time and a Bates free put the seal on victory for his side.

Duffry Rovers: Jamie Tyrell; Jamie Roban, Gearóid Doyle (1-0), Dylan Tyrell; Cian Cowman, Eric Nolan (capt.), Alan Doyle; John Dunne (0-1), Stephen Kearns (0-1); Barry Redmond (0-2), Jack Bates (1-4, 0-2 frees), Cathal Whelan (0-1); Nick Doyle, Conor Coleman, Cian Fitzhenry (0-4, 1 free). Subs. - Peter Kavanagh for N. Doyle (51), also Eddie Wilson, Seán Cushen, Seán Atkinson, Robbie Tyrell.

Réalt Na Mara: Barry Adamson; Johnny Sinnott, Liam Molloy, Brian Lee; Adam Fleming, Seán Weafer, Conor Doyle; Dylan Fleming, Jordan Goff; Conor O'Toole (2-0), Brendan Corcoran (0-1), John Higgins; James Fleming (capt., 1-1), Jack Mahony, Tom Hobbs (0-1). Subs. - Reece Smith (0-1) for O'Toole (37), Billy Dunne (1-0) for D. Fleming, black card (42), Tom Higgins for Hobbs (46), Seán Newens for Sinnott (53), Conor Wheaton for Lee (53), O'Toole for J. Higgins (55).

Referee: David Owens (Kilrush).

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