Last year’s Junior B champions Latharna Og were the visitors to Davitt Park for the first game in this season’s Junior Hurling Championship and came away with the points in what eventually turned out to be an enthralling contest.
The first half was a very cagey affair, dominated by pointed frees and missed opportunities. In fact, it took until the 25th minute before a point was scored from open play. Larne were first to register a score after 3 minutes. A further two pointed frees were added after the Davitt’s had levelled the opening score, through a well taken free from Christopher Gallagher, to lead by 2 points after 10,ins.
A great save from the Davitt’s net minder Joe McCaff gave Larne the opportunity to increase their lead from the resulting 65 which was duly converted. Both teams were unable to settle and traded further frees before Stephen McGivern (Davitt’s) registered the first score from play to reduce the gap to 3. This was quickly followed by a penalty award to the Davitt’s which was put wide and the chance for the game to be levelled was squandered. A further point from Stephen McGivern, following a great save from the Larne net minder, was answered with yet another pointed free from Larne to leave the half-time score Davitt’s 0-4 Larne 0-7.
The 2nd half was just a few minutes old when a point from Don Whelan (Davitt’s) reduced the deficient to two points but Larne hit back immediately with a goal, followed by another pointed free to extended their lead over the host club. Two further converted frees from Don Whelan reduced the visitors lead to 4 points heading into the water break. The Davitt’s management team used this break to fire up their players and this had immediate effect with the Davitt’s pointing four in a row (3 Don Whelan frees and Christopher Gallagher point) in a blistering 4 minute spell to bring the game level. Roared on by a large home support the hosts had the wind in their sails and took the lead a few minutes later through a wonderful goal from Anthony Rowntree following great work from the scorer and Christopher Gallagher. Larne registered another point from play, quickly followed up with two converted frees to once again level the game.
We were in to the last few minutes of the game with both teams now pressing hard to gain the advantage and it was Larne that that struck the killer blow. A well taken goal was quickly followed by a point and the advantage was truly with Larne now. A final score for Davitt’s from Don Whelan’s 65 brought Davitt’s to within one score but this was short lived as the visitors caught the hosts on the break to score the final and decisive score with another goal on the final whistle which gave them a six point victory.
Click here for photos of the game.