AUL 1 07.01.2006
Ballyphehane Celtic 1 Douglas Hall 2
Douglas Hall won the match of the weekend in Murphy’s Stout AUL 1 when the Joe Harris managed side retained their second place in the rankings with a hard earned 2-1 away win over third placed Ballyphehane Celtic at Pfizer’s Park.
The Hall were under pressure for much of the game but made better use of their chances and took all three points with a late winner. Dave O’Mahony’s Celtic had opportunities enough to win the tie but wasted them and will also bemoan a big offside division that went against them in the final quarter.
Ballyphehane started well enough and, in the fifth minute, Hall keeper James O’Brien saved well from Trevor Dunlea and was then relieved to see an Alan O’Mahony shot flash just wide.
The home side had a great chance in the 12th minute. Then Johnny Towler played Danny Long into the box but his attempted lob wasn't high enough and the isolated O'Brien pulled it down.
Douglas settled down and had their first decent chance in the 25th minute when Brendan Crowne’s header from a corner was whipped off the line by Danny Long.
The opening goal came at the other end two minutes later. Danny Long split the defence and Damien Farrelly’s shot was blocked but full back Joe Ryan was raiding and he ran the rebound into the empty net.
It could well have been 2-0 on the half-hour. Then Danny Long played Alan O’Mahony clear but again O’Brien came to the rescue with a very good save.
The evergreen Martin Davies was beginning to pull the string for Douglas in midfield and his 35th minute through ball led to the equaliser. It tempted keeper Alan Crowley to the edge of his box where he clashed with both Ciaran Oliver and Crowne and it was the latter who swept the loose ball in.
The second half was a major disappointment, especially from a Ballyphehane point of view. They contained a good re-start by the Hall before again taking the initiative. But, in the 57th and 60th minutes, they wasted two 19-yard free kicks, the first after a handball by Hall keeper O’Brien.
They did better with a free from longer range in the 62nd minute. Dunlea floated it in but Ryan's header was a few feet too high.
Celtic thought they’d re-taken the lead in the 75th minute. Again Danny Long split the visiting defence and freed Alan O'Mahony on the right and his cross was turned in by the unmarked Dunlea but referee O'Mahony signalled offside and cut short the celebrations.
More frustration for Ballyphehane three minutes later. Then Farrelly got in an inviting cross from the right and it had the Douglas defence struggling and only a terrific six yard line tackle by Diarmuid Moynihan on Ryan prevented a goal.
The sucker punch came from an 82nd minute corner. The Celtic defence struggled to clear it off the line but Oliver latched on to the rebound and drilled in the winner.
Ballyphehane probably deserved a point from the game but the Hall closed ranks and held on for the win. Substitute Alan Eaton was particularly effective in the closing minutes. He forced two corners and that did much to keep the ball in the Ballyphehane half.
Ballyphehane Celtic: Alan Crowley, Joe Ryan, Wayne Hogan, Philip Long, David Bennett, Trevor Dunlea, David O’Mahony, Johnny Towler, Alan O’Mahony, Damien Farrelly and Danny Long. Sub used: Davy Caulfield for D. O’Mahony (76th minute).
Douglas Hall: James O’Brien, Diarmuid Moynihan, Shane Kennedy, Gary Maguire, Mark Hackett, Aidan Fitzgerald, Martin Davies, Rory O’Sullivan, Brendan Crowne, Ciaran Oliver and Alan Carroll. Sub used: Alan Eaton for Fitzgerald (61st minute).
Referee: Damien O’Mahony.