Tuesday 17 July 2018

Extra-time fails to separate Ulster sides in dour struggle

Cavan Gaels 0-12 Derrygonnelly Harps 0-12

Conal Jones(l): scored vital point Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Conal Jones(l): scored vital point Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Orla Bannon

It was a huge opportunity for one of these sides to come through the weaker side of the draw in Ulster and reach the final, but both teams struggled under the weight of expectation in Clones yesterday.

Neither side did themselves justice over the 80 minutes, though at least they played with a lot more urgency in the second-half.

Gary McKenna of Derrygonnelly Harps in action against Barry Fortune of Cavan Gaels Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Gary McKenna of Derrygonnelly Harps in action against Barry Fortune of Cavan Gaels Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Extra-time was low on entertainment value, but they will both hope for better in the replay this weekend.

It finished 0-10 each after normal time, with Conall Jones' injury-time free levelling it.

Derrygonnelly had come from four points down, Cavan Gaels falling apart after Levi Murphy's red card as they failed to score in the last 24 minutes of normal time.

Paul Ward missed two frees towards the end of normal time and another free to win it for Derrygonnelly at the end of extra-time, meaning champions Slaughtneil will have to wait to see who they'll face in the final on November 26.

Barry Fortune of Cavan Gaels in action against Michael Jones of Derrygonnelly Harps Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Barry Fortune of Cavan Gaels in action against Michael Jones of Derrygonnelly Harps Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

The sides were level three times in a competitive first-half which was low on drama.

Cavan Gaels were 0-03 to 0-01 ahead after 13 minutes, but after a slow start Derrygonnelly settled, with the three Jones brothers - Ryan, Conall and Garvan -all to the fore.

The Fermanagh champions reeled off four unanswered points in a nine-minute spell.

Ward's tap-over free then nudged Derrygonnelly in front at 0-06 to 0-05 at the break.

Both teams got their scores in flurries.

Cavan Gaels flew out of the traps and hit five in-a-row in the opening nine minutes of the second half to lead 0-10 to 0-06.

Seanie Johnston pulled the strings from a deep-lying role and Murphy (two), Martin Dunne and Paul O'Connor all scored from play.

It looked ominous for Harps, but they hit back, with Garvan Jones getting the pick of their scores and Conall Jones' free levelling it in the first minute of injury-time.

The pace was upped significantly in the last quarter of normal time, with both teams moving the ball quicker and starting to play with far more urgency.

Derrygonnelly twice took the lead in extra-time and twice Gaels drew level, with sub Darragh Sexton hitting the last point in the 77th minute to set up a replay.

Scorers - Cavan Gaels: M Dunne 0-4 (2f), L Murphy 0-2, N Smith, D Meehan, A Graham, P O'Connor, D Sexton, S Johnson (1f) 0-1 each. Derrygonnelly: P Ward 0-5 (3f), G Jones, G McKenna (1f) 0-2 each, R Jones, D Cassidy, C Jones (1f) 0-1 each.
Cavan Gaels: C Flynn; L Fortune, N Murray, K Meehan; S Murray, B Fortune, L Murphy; P Graham, P Maloney-Derham; N Smith, D Meehan, A Graham; P O'Connor, S Johnston, M Dunne. Subs: V Coyle for P Graham (BC, 36), S Higgins for A Graham (53), D Sexton for S Murray (BC, 60), S Fitzsimons for Smith (68), M Lyng for O'Connor (76).
Derrygonnelly Harps: D Feely; Shane McGullion, Lee Jones, M Jones; N Gallagher, E McHugh, G McGinley; R Jones, G Jones; K Cassidy, P Ward, D Cassidy; G McKenna, Leigh Jones, C Jones. Subs: Stephen McGullion for Cassidy (31), A Gallagher for Lee Jones (42), K Cassidy for Leigh Jones (51), Lee Jones for N Gallagher (63), Leigh Jones for Stephen McGullion (71), Stephen McGullion for A Gallagher (78).
REF - P Hughes (Armagh).

 

Irish Independent

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