A BAD DAY at the office for Dunlavin as their Junior B side shipped their second setback at the hands of Rathnew in the curtain raiser at Aughrim on Saturday.
In a strange sort of match Rathnew totally dominated the first half when playing against the wind but then went over 20 minutes of the second half without scoring with the wind behind them.
The three Graham brothers played a big part in this latest Rathnew team and together with Brian Murphy wrecked the Dunlavin defence early on. Points by Jordan Graham, Brian Murphy and Josh Graham got Rathnew off to a great start. Timmie Metcalfe, another of the Minors that made St Nicholas great, had a point for Dunlavin but that failed to stem the tide. When the young 'Bomber' scored the first of his two goals in the 12th minute, Rathnew were on their way. Brian Murphy's second goal came just before half time and left Rathnew leading by 2-6 to 0-3 at the break.
Dunlavin upped their game in the second half and outscored their opponents 0-4 to 0-3 - Rathnew's first point coming in the 23rd minute of the half.
Two possible reasons for the turnaround; first Dunlavin switched Mick Murtagh to midfield and the oldest man on the field brought a big improvement in his team's display. Another possible reason was that Rathnew emptied their bench in the second half and may have upset the balance of their team somewhat.
Rathnew remain unbeaten and almost certainly through to the knock-out stages while Dunlavin are now under pressure to stay afloat.
Rathnew: James Hunter; Eric Doyle, Martin O'Connor, Tom Kehoe; Breffini Doyle, Alan Hubbert, Mark Murphy; Jason Stafford, Jonah Graham; Josh Graham, Robert Doyle, Jordan Graham; Brian Murphy, Willie Jameson, Robert Byrne. Subs: Kevin Doyle for R. Byrne; Michael Doyle for Jameson; Patrick Byrne for Hunter; Patrick Kehoe for Murphy; Richard O'Sullivan for Josh Graham.
Dunlavin: Colm Wright; Kevin Scanlon, Joey Deering, Kevin Sinnott; Nicky Donovan, Ronan Byrne, Dean O'Rourke; Barry Miley, Michael Phelan; Keith Farrell, Mick Murtagh, Alan Swaine; Timmy Metcalfe, Fion Deering, Daragh Huntley. Subs: Peter Brennan for Scanlon; Conor Hammond for Swaine. Referee: Pat Hickey, AGB