The Heath scored a crucial win over Courtwood last Thursday night in this ACFL Division 2 clash, in Courtwood, as they put some daylight between themselves and bottom teams with their third win of the campaign.
Having seen off local rivals Park-Ratheniska in their previous outing, The Heath have now given themselves some breathing space from the relegation battle, but for Courtwood, their disappointing season continues.
Missing a host of players through injury and emigration, things didn’t get a whole lot better for them here either when they lost their centre-forward, Ross Doyle, and full-forward, Colm Wilson, to injury by half time. In spite of that they still had plenty of chances to either win or at least get a draw from the game, but poor shooting in the closing stages of the game would cost them dearly.
The Heath had started brightly, but it would be five minutes before either side registered a score, with the visitors drawing first blood. Conor Bergin was fouled 30 yards out, and Barry Whelan swung over the resulting free to get the scoring underway.
The Heath’s lead lasted less than a minute, as Colm Wilson then raced clear and placed a sweetly struck shot past James Farrell into the bottom corner of the net. Undeterred, The Heath responded well and were back level within four minutes, as a point from Padraig Whelan was quickly followed by a long range effort from Barry Whelan.
The score of the game arrived soon after, as a lovely move by The Heath involving five players saw them set up Luke Hyland in front of goals, and he popped the ball over the bar to once again give The Heath a one point lead. History would repeat itself, however, as again Courtwood responded with a goal. A shot for a point from Conor Hogan hit the post and rebounded to Anton Ryan, who duly fired to the net to hand Courtwood the lead.
This time The Heath’s response was more clinical, with Padraig Whelan playing a good one-two with Luke Hyland on the right wing before cutting in and sending a low shot past Damien Behan. Three more points for the visitors before half time drew two responses from Courtwood, and so The Heath lead by two at half time, 1-7 to 2-2.
The second half produced just five points, with Courtwood getting the first two to level the game with a little under 20 minutes to go. The Heath began to panic a little, and withdrew into their own half, allowing Courtwood to come at them time and again.
Poor shooting would cost Wourtwood dearly, and they had enough chances to score another five or six points, but wasted them all. The Heath eventually went back in front through two Alan Bell frees, before Barry Whelan’s late effort finally secured an important win for them, and left Courtwood in even greater fear of relegation.
SCORERS - The Heath: Barry Whelan 0-4 (two frees), Padraig Whelan 1-1, Alan Bell 0-3 (two frees), Luke Hyland 0-2; Courtwood: Anton Ryan 1-1, Colm Wilson 1-0, Robert Boland 0-2 (both frees), Mick Hogan 0-1
THE HEATH: James Farrell; Eoin Keane, David Bergin, Billy Hennessy; Conor Bergin, Bob Delaney, Brian Ging; Enda Norton, Shane Carroll; Alan Bell, Barry Whelan, Donal Bigley; Padraig Whelan, Mick Clancy, Luke Hyland.
COURTWOOD: Damien Behan; Liam Duffy, Robert Wilson, Kevin Flynn; Michael O’Connell, Mark O’Halloran, Robert Flynn; Paddy Wilson, Andrew Mulhare; Brian Hogan, Ross Doyle, Conor Hogan; Anton Ryan, Colm Wilson, Robert Boland. Subs: Mick Hogan for Doyle (inj), Shane Donoher for C Wilson (inj), Darren Fowler for B Hogan, Brian Hogan for Flynn
Referee: Eamon Strong (Emo)