Injury mars Duffry win
Duffry Rovers may well have booked their last eight spot in the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship, but their Group A win over Réalt na Mara was overshadowed by two horrific injuries sustained by experienced defender Donie Doyle.
Duffry Rovers 0-17 Realt na Mara 1-8
Full-back Doyle landed awkwardly and crumpled to the floor, roaring in excruciating pain, suffering from serious knee and collar bone injuries after just four minutes of his side's third consecutive comfortable victory in Bellefield on Saturday.
While the prone Doyle lay on a stretcher pitch-side until the ambulance arrived at half-time, his team-mates kicked-on and put in a solid performance in their talisman's absence.
The Coolree side were already well on their way when the injury occurred. They were, remarkably, 0-2 to nil up after 27 seconds following points from Stephen Watchorn and Johnny Flynn-O'Connor, and four up after three minutes when Eamonn Doyle and Joe Coleman followed with scores.
Understandably, the fate of their comrade stunned Rovers and Réalt na Mara took advantage by halving the deficit by the 14th minute. Yet the Duffry re-established their rhythm with Matty Flynn-O'Connor hitting his stride with two first period points.
In fact, the first seven Rovers points were scored by different players as they eased into a 0-10 to 0-2 lead. The Ballygarrett-based club responded in injury time when Jack Hobbs punched Cathal Dunbar's searching ball to the net but they still trailed by six at the break (0-11 to 1-2).
Réalt na Mara got as close as four midway through the second period after points from Kevin Jordan, Seán O'Brien and Hobbs (0-12 to 1-5). However, two quick scores from Watchorn and Eamonn Doyle stalled their opponents' momentum.
Hobbs had a second goal disallowed in the final five minutes but the Duffry were comfortable as they rounded out a six-point win. While the victors are through to the quarters, Réalt na Mara will follow them with a win against either Kilanerin or Naomh Eanna in their final two games.
Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; James Nolan, Donie Doyle, Conor Jordan; Craig Casey, Feargal Kenny, Thomas Dunne; Donie O'Connor, Eamonn Doyle (0-2); Aidan Byrne (0-1), Johnny Flynn-O'Connor (0-5, 1 free), Stephen Watchorn (capt., 0-2); Robert Frayne (0-2 frees), Joe Coleman (0-1), Alan O'Neill. Subs. - Matty Flynn-O'Connor (0-4) for D. Doyle, inj. (4), Tim Bowler for D. O'Connor, black card (42).
Réalt Na Mara: Colm O'Loughlin; Aidan Murphy, Eddie Redmond, Evan Dunbar; Colm Cosgrave, Tom Sinnott, David Doran; Darren Morris (capt., 0-1), Shane Quinn; Seán O'Brien (0-1), Kevin Jordan (0-2 frees), Eoin Corcoran; Cathal Dunbar, Cormac Moore (0-1), Jack Hobbs (1-3, 0-2 frees). Subs. - Jack Doyle for Quinn (30+2), Gavin Walker for Cosgrave (31), Jimmy Murphy for Corcoran (42), Brian O'Connor for Jordan (52).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).