Cuchulainns claimed their first win of the ACFL with a 0-16 to 0-09 victory over 14-man Gowna at Edwin Carolan Community Park, Mullagh.
Six points from the boot of Evan Doughty was the main difference in the end of this entertaining match played in good weather on Friday last. The losers will rue the fact that they had to play the most of the second half with 14 men after their corner back had been lined after an off the ball incident while awaiting a penalty to be taken.
The away team came out of the blocks flying and were 4 points to no score up after 5 mins with two frees from the boot of David Hyland, one from Mark Mckeever and from play from Conor Madden.
Cuchulainns finally got on the scoreboard with a well taken Evan Doughty free kick after good work from Conor Smith and Adam O’ Reilly. This seemed to ignite the home team and leveled things up with 3 more unanswered points from Doughty, Brian McGee and Adam O’ Reilly.
Gowna responded well with two identical points from Conor Madden and Shane Briody which were taken expertly with the outside of their right boot.
The home team ended the half with a flutter of points, first from Seamus Clarke after a good move involving Gavin Daly, another from Brian McGee with a good turn and finish. Two more frees from Doughty left the score 0-8 to 0-6 in favour of the home team at half time.
The second half started the same as the first ended with the home team on top. From the throw-in Aoghan Daly worked the ball into the forward line Doughty popped over to get things going again but Gowna responded well with a fine free from Hyland.
A fantastic run from Conor smith in the 40th minute saw him hauled to the ground just inside the square. Gary Daly took the resultant penalty but slid it just right of the post. As he took the penalty an off the ball incident occurred that saw the Gowna corner back receive his marching orders. The penalty had to be retaken; however the outcome was the same. Daly put this one to the left and outside the post.
This miss spurred on Gowna who reduced the deficit to a single point with another free from David Hyland.
Cuchulainns from then on completely dominated in all areas of the field. Seven points followed without response as the home team ran riot. Firstly a monster point from Seamus Clarke from all of 40 yards sailed over; this was followed by Shane Smith tapping over just before a pair of Evan Doughty points. Conor smith got his name on the score sheet with a fisted point and a pile driver from Adrian Taite also followed. Adam O’ Reilly finished of the scoring for the home teams purple patch to all but confirm victory.
Mark Mckeever slotted over a beautiful point late on but it was too late for the Gowna men as the Cucu’s took the points with seven to spare.
Cuchulainns – Mark Clarke; John Flanagan, Conor Flanagan, Shane Murphy; Adrian Taite (0-1), Gary Daly; Diarmuid Foxe; Seamus Clarke (0-2), Aoghan Daly; Gavin Daly; Conor Smith (0-1); Brian McGee (0-3), Evan Doughty (0-6), Shane Smith (0-1), Adam O’ Reilly (0-2). Subs: Rory O’ Connell for Diarmuid Foxe (BC), Christopher Tully for Gavin Daly, Paul Taite for Seamus Clarke ,
Gowna – Steven Leddy, David Philips, Ryan McGahern, Peter Madden, William Stephens, James Madden, Shane Harten, David Hyland, Raymond Keogh, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Mark McKeever, Ronan Sheils, Ronan Bannon, Conor Madden, Shane Briody.
Referee – Tony Gregory.