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Burren Edge Dungiven In Thriller.

Monday 10.11.2014
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

Burren 2-13 v Dungiven 3-07

A large crowd in Gardrum Park in Dromore on Saturday was treated to one of the best underage games of football witnessed in the province in many years as Burren upset the odds to defeat a highly rated and previously unbeaten Dungiven side to become the first team to reach this year’s Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament final. It was a victory they thoroughly deserved with a superb display of skill and determination seeing them over the line in a tense finale and they will enter the final as strong favourites having emerged from what seemingly was the strongest side of the draw.

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From the early stages of the game it was clear that Burren were not going to be in awe of their opponents as their defence brilliantly marshalled by man of the match and team captain Conor Cox smothered their opponents, Liam Kerr in midfield continuously penetrating the Dungiven rearguard with defence splitting runs and full forward Declan Murdock displaying unerring accuracy in a game where he finished with an eight point tally to his name. Early scores from Murdock, Kerr and one in reply from Dungiven wing back Pauric McNicholl were a sign of the quality of the fare that was in store for the large attendance. Dungiven keeper Patrick Murphy displayed tremendous bravery to pull off a great save to deny Thomas Travers but unfortunately he suffered a bad concussion and had to be replaced by Niall McNicholl. Four points in a row from Murdock, Kerr and wing forward Ronan Fegan gave Burren a five point lead and this really shook the pre-game favourites into action with their management springing the talented Fergal Higgins from the bench, but even Higgins was struggling to make an impression against the masterful Cox. Two points from Conor Kelly and midfielder Seamus Higgins reduced the deficit before Conor McCartan got the first of his two goals for Burren with a tidy finish to the bottom corner. As the action really began to heat up, the intensity of the game was upped another notch as Kelly added two more to his tally and Murdock got one in reply for Burren. Just before half time the pendulum swung in the Derry boys favour when Conor McCartney hit the back of the net, fisting home a quickly taken 13 metre free and then immediately on the resumption it was McCartney again with his second goal, getting a flick to a long ball to put Dungiven into the lead for the first time. When Richard Mullan added a point it really looked like Dungiven were going to take control.

Sub keeper McNicholl pulled off a great point blank save to deny substitute Sean O’Connor a goal with his first touch but Burren for whom Thomas Travers was winning a mountain of possession rattled off 1-06 without response to put themselves into a commanding lead, three from Murdock and McCartan with his second goal much to the delight of the large Burren contingent. However, Dungiven were never going to give up without a fight and a goal and point from Fergal Higgins cut the lead back to two with time running out. The eighth point for Murdock provided a bit of security for Burren but as Dungiven went in search of an equalising goal captain Conor Cox was the man on the spot to deny them and secure a memorable victory. While understandably disappointed with losing out on a final place, Dungiven can console themselves with the fact they were part of a magnificent game of football, Burren meanwhile will be anxiously awaiting their opponents in the 23rd November final.

Burren: Jack Brady, Shea Fitzpatrick, Conor Cox (Capt), Shane O’Hare, Ardan McAvoy, Peter Fagan, Darragh Murdock, Liam Kerr (0-2), Aidan Fitzpartrick, Ronan Fegan (0-1), Shea Murdock (0-1), Ciaran McAdam, Thomas Travers, Declan Murdock (0-8 5f), Conor McCartan (2-0)

Subs: Sean O’Connor (0-1) for McAdam

Dungiven: Patrick Murphy, Fergal O’Kane, Niall Smyth, Shane McNicholl, Pauric McNicholl (Capt) (0-1), Odhran McKeever, Sean Quinn, Seamus Higgins (0-1 1f), Mark Cassidy, Conan Feeney, John Mullan, Kevin Quinn, Richard Mullan (0-1), Conor Kelly (0-3 1f), Cormac McCartney (2-0)

Subs: Niall McNicholl for Murphy (inj), Fergal Higgins (1-1) for S McNicholl, Ronan Mullan for Quinn

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