This round of the league was to take place on Sunday the 19th of August, but was changed due to the hurling fixtures.
Desertmartin will be disappointed that they could not have done more against a strong Dawsonâ€™ team. Castledawson missed many chances but were clinical in their counter attacks, while Desertmartin found it hard to get by the Malachyâ€™s stubborn blanket defence. Overall Dawsonâ€™ were deserved winners on the day winning by 8 points. The Yellasâ€™ will look forward to attempt to redeem against Limavady next day out.
The game started slowly, with tit for tat football being played. Castledawson took up a defensive formation as expected, which caused problems for Desertmartin from the start. Castledawson however looked the more dangerous up front in the early stages, as a clever diagonal ball was played to the back post which was flicked across goal by Ruari Shivers but was snuffed off the line by Ryan Kidd who cleared. Martin Breen certainly had a promising first ten minutes as he was out in front of his man every time. On the 7th minute Dermot Breen cleaned up a break ball and passed the ball to Aidy Mc Guigan who roofed the back off the net. A dream start for Desertmartin which was to be short lived as they were exposed time and time again on the Castledawson counter attack. Dawsonâ€™ could have found themselves level as they missed free kick after another in the opening ten minutes. However, a great score from play came on the 13th minute as the young Aidan Keenan ambitiously took a swing for a point from the 20 yard sideline and his attempt proved to successful as the ball sailed over the bar to bring the score to a minimum. Danny Murray then received a slipped ball from Aidy Mc Guigan and had no problem blasting the ball high and over the bar from 45 yards to put two between the sides. The Desertmartin full back line was doing very well, but gave the ball away after the hard work had been done. A loose ball was picked up by Dawsonâ€™ full forward Barry Oâ€™Kane and he slotted the ball over the bar from twenty yards. Coming close to the 17th minute mark Desertmartin were looking more dangerous as Marty Breen ran at the Castledawson defence but was unfortunately turned over. Paddy Mc Cann then brilliantly intercepted Shivers who was looking dangerous at this stage. The enthusiastic Aidy Mc Guigan then won another ball but was fouled by his man. Up stepped Gregory Mc Govern who stroked the ball over with ease. The Yellasâ€™ forward line was working really hard, especially Aidy Mc Guigan who was getting in front of his man time and time again. This time however Danny Murray miss-kicked the ball left and wide. What seemed like disciplined tacking from James Breen was deemed otherwise by referee Gavin Dixon, however Castledawson could not capitalise on the gift of a free kick as it was hit wide. At the latter stages of the first half, the Malachyâ€™s were looking more sharp. Aidan Keenan was then fouled but the Dawsonâ€™ could not take advantage of the free as the hit another free wide. Another wasted chance. In the 30th minute the towering Niall Mc Nicholl caught a loose ball and cooly chipped the ball over the bar from 40 yards. Castledawson then caught the resulting kickout and a clever through ball was played but was bravely intercepted by the sharp James Breen who was then dragged down for a free. The last piece of action seen a ball passed to Gerard Murray who hit wide, but was under pressure from his marker. Desertmartin were the happier of the two sides at the interval as they led 1-2 to 0-4 at half time.
The interval then saw Conor Murray replace the impressive Paddy Mc Cann who had a leg injury. Castledawson looked very dangerous from the throw in of the second half. A shot blocked down fell to Ruari Shivers who was through on goal but his shot was saved from the great reflexes of Brian Mc Elhennon between the sticks. A minute later however Castledawson drilled a long ball in and the Malachyâ€™s number 13 slotted the ball into the corner. In the 5th and 6th minute Aidan Keenan scored a point, and Aidrian Bradley blasted over the bar to leave the Dawson in a comfortable position. A few moments later, the young Dermot Breen received a ball near the sideline but was dragged around the neck for a free. He then played a tricky ball into the square from the free kick which was broke down by Gerard Murray and picked up by Ryan Kidd who stroked the ball over his shoulders over the bar. The 10th minute of the second half saw two subs from Desertmartin. Paul Mc Govern made a welcome appearance after a long 3 months out on injury as he replaced Donal Murray at centre half forward and the young Dermot Mc Guigan replaced Cormac Mc Guckin at wing half forward. This move seemed to work quite well as Desertmartin dominated possession for the next 5 minutes but could not get by the Dawsonsâ€™ thick defence. The inspirational Gregory Mc Govern picked up a ball from his own 20 yard line and ran the pitch dodging tackles to score a thunderous point from 40 yards. Another high ball then was blasted in as Castledawson won the kickout. The ball was cooly finished to the bottom right hand corner of the net to put the home team 6 points up. Two minutes later and Dermot Breen was dangerously tackled by his marker, but the free kick fell short. Castledawson then went six points ahead again as Niall Mc Nicholl converted a free and then another point from play. With only five minutes to play Castledawson were dominating possession. However Desertmartin scored a well worked consolation point as a clever cross field ball from Declan Murray went into Paul Mc Governs chest who stroked the ball over the bar before he was blocked down. The game was then blew up and Castledawson were deserved winners with a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-5.
Desertmartin team and scorers: Brian Mc Elhennon, Marty Breen, Paddy Mc Cann, James Breen, Ryan Kidd (0-1), Mark Madden, Connor Monaghan, Gerard Murray, Danny Murray(0-1), Gregory Mc Govern (0-2, 1f), Donal Murray, Cormac Mc Guckin, Dermot Breen, Aidy Mc Guigan (1-0), Enda Mc Guckin.
Subs: Conor Murray for Paddy Mc Cann. Paul Mc Govern (0-1) for Donal Murray. Dermot Mc Guigan for Cormac Mc Guckin. Declan Murray for Enda Mc Guckin.