Hunterstown Rovers overcame St Fechins for the second time in 2017 to start their CTI Business Solutions Intermediate Football Championship campaign with a win – but it wasn’t nearly as comfortable as their league win back in May.
It took a flurry of late points in Stabannon to ensure victory for Jim Mathews’ men. They were helped in part by the replacement of Louth’s Bevan Duffy with a black card with ten minutes remaining. The 1-10 to 0-09 win indicates Hunterstown were afforded a little breathing space by the end – but the teams were level beyond the half point point of the second period.
Once again, the Pairc Baile Fiach men may come away from the match bemoaning their inability to notch up an even bigger score to make things more comfortable for themselves. However, in the Championship, it’s wins that matter. This victory sees Rovers take a significant step towards the last eight.
The first half was a low scoring affair but Hunterstown did get off to the best possible start. They lead through Glen Mathews goal, after the forward was put through by Alan Landy.
Tony McKenna extended that lead with a free before points form Eoghan Duffy and Brian Devlin (2) brought the Termonfeckin men into things. Landy scored his first point of the game to send Hunterstown in 1-02 to 0-03 up at at the interval.
Both sides were guilty of wastefulness in front of goal but it was to be the Hoops’ undoing. When they did carve out chances, a resolute Rovers back line were there to deny them.
Landy, their club’s league top scorer with Ryan Burns absent for much of the year and still due to his summer ban, then was first off the mark in the second half to put his team three ahead. Danny Burnell and Brendan Lennon swapped scores before St Fechins enjoyed their most fruitful spell of the match.
Joe Corrigan kicked three free points in the space of five minutes to level matters. Either side of two Paul Carrie efforts, Devlin again notched as Rovers lead 1-06 to 0-08. They were capable of their own splurge in front of the posts in all fairness – Glen Mathews, Paddy Mooney and Landy all on the mark again.
By that stage, Bevan Duffy had been ordered to leave the field by referee Anthony Briscoe. Corrigan and Padraig Mathews’s late points cancelled eachother out. The job was done. Next up for Hunterstown is St Mochtas – one which shouldn’t hold much fear for them.
HUNTERSTOWN ROVERS: Niall Carrie, Martin Lennon, Brian Matthews, Paul Taaffe. Patrick Taaffe, Paul Carrie (0-2, both frees), Richard Taaffe; Tony McKenna (0-01), David Finn; Ryan Ward, Brendan Lennon (0-01), Paddy Mooney (0-01), Alan Landy (0-03), Padraig Matthews (0-1), Glen Matthews (1-01).
Subs: Robbie McNeice for Ryan Ward
ST FECHINS: Paul King, Niall Carolan, David Collier, Niall McCabe, Niall Devlin, Tom Burke, Ryan Sheridan, Bevan Duffy, Dermot McConnell, Colm O’Neill, Eoghan Duffy (0-01), Brian Devlin (0-03), Joe Corrigan (0-04), Jamie King, Danny Burnell (0-01).
Subs: Harry McArdle for Bevan Duffy (black card), Derek Younger for Carolan, Brendan Fanning for O’Neill, Karl McDonnell for Burnell
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