On Friday evening the Desertmartin reserve team travelled to
Limavady where they aimed to retain the title they had won less than 8 months ago.
This year’s final paired them with a Foreglen team who themselves had picked up
the league title the previous year.
Having lost only one Championship game in the past 5 years,
that being the final two years ago, Desertmartin went into this game as strong
favourites, and led by their captain JP Higgins the victory never really looked
Aided by a slight breeze the Martin’s started the game
strongest and a pointed free from John Paul Higgins steadied any early nerves.
Further points from Enda McGuckin and Ryan O’Kane saw the double seeking Martin’s
move into a three point lead.
As the game looked to be heading in a one sided way,
Foreglen mounted their first attack of the game, which turned out to be a
fruitful one. Their attempt at a fisted point rebounded back off the bar before
finding the back of the net off the head of Walker in the Desertmartin net.
Walker has been receiving great reviews this season for using his head when
between the sticks, however on this occasion he could have put it to better use.
This score only seemed to spur the Martin’s on and they too
would soon find the net themselves. A long distance effort from a Desertmartin
forward looked to be going wide only for Rayn O’Kane to somehow keep it in play
along the end line, before feeding Aidy McGuigan who dived into the box to fist
the ball into the back of the net. This score gave the Desertmartin forwards
more confidence in front of goal and the remainder of the half would see them
extend their lead to 4 points by half time.
The defence shouldn’t go without mention for their efforts
in the first half with special mention to the fullback line of Ciaran Burns,
Shane O’Neill and Ryan Murray outstanding in keeping things tight at the back.
Although Desertmatin looked the strongest in the opening
half the first score of the second half was always going to play a big factor
in the outcome of the game. Step up to the mark Aidy McGuigan, cutting in from
the right to unleash an unstoppable effort and set the lads in yellow on their way.
With a bit of breathing space between the teams the Martin’s started to gain
even more confidence and added further points and another goal for hatrick hero
McGuigan before the end.
Final score Desertmartin 3.10 Foreglen 1.04