A DOGGED relegation contest produced a hard fought one-point win for Agyharan against Pomeroy.
A first half penalty from Paddy McNulty proved crucial in the end for the visitors to Plunkett Park, but the home side’s reluctance to have a go for points in the latter stages also contributed to their defeat. This loss now leaves Pomeroy level on points with the St Davog’s in the bottom three of the top flight.
Both teams dug deep and referee Micheal McCarron had his hands full as tempers frayed on more than one occasion, several yellow and black cards handed out over the hour.
Both teams find themselves in the drop zone but this will be a massive confidence booster for Martin Greene and Aghyaran who got off to a bright start. They never allowed the hosts to draw level and they held out in the end for the narrowest of wins.
Within 10 minutes, Aghyaran led by five points. Sean Byrne landed a massive long-range point with goalkeeper Benny Gallen dropping over a free from distance before McNulty slotted home a penalty on nine minutes, all this before Pomeroy even carved out an opening.
Gavin Goodfellow’s excellent point after 11 minutes got them off the mark with Oliver McCreesh and Sean Quinn adding to their tally before the 20-minute mark.
In that time they also created several other scoreable chances but failed to have the end product, the best of those chances coming from Damien Woods when his goalbound effort skidded wide of the target.
Ronan Loughran and Ryan Hilley exchanged late first half points before the match official ended the half issuing yellow cards to Aghyaran’s Cahir Moss and the Plunkett’s Goodfellow for their involvement in a sideline coming together that involved players and officials alike.
In the second half and both teams struggled for superiority. It was first blood to Pomeroy when the well-marshalled Jude Campbell broke clear of Hilley to land a fine point, the visitors responding again with an Ethan McHugh minor moments ahead of the St Davog’s losing Gary Leonard to the day’s first black card.
Pomeroy upped the tempo as the game swung towards the final quarter.
John Loughran swung over a beautiful long-range point after a fine run and still the gap was back to one. Pomeroy could not level matters though and that became a thing of frustration for manager Brian McGuckian who continued to urge his players to have a go.
Malachy Martin flashed over a good point for the St Davog’s, Goodfellow was on target for the Plunkett’s and Aghyaran ’keeper Gallen kept his cool to land a mammoth free after missing an easier chance a moment earlier.
That left the away side two ahead with nine minutes left, and a home onslaught was expected.
Pomeroy worked hard for scores, Loughran again accurate from distance, but they lost Aidan Murphy to a black card seconds after he was introduced.
Still, they maintained their push for the equaliser and should have got it. Twice they closed in and twice they went for the killer goal when a point would have been a good score, McCreesh and Ryan Loughran going close.
Aghyaran were happy to keep the ball and they were determined to hold on to the lead in the latter stages.
Gallen eased the pressure when he landed another free from distance to leave it a two-point game again. Then, deep into injury time, Justin McCaffrey lashed over a point with a defender getting the final touch as the effort looked goalbound. That meant a point separated the sides at the end, a result that secured a massive two league points for Aghyaran.
Posted: 9:58 am July 3, 2018
THE annual Aghyaran 10k attracted more than 400 runners and walkers to the border village on Friday evening last.