Aldergrove fight back to win basement battle

By John McIlwaine

All County Football League Division 1

Aldergrove 1-10 St Teresa’s 2-5

Going into today’s game between bottom of the table St James and St Teresa’s the Aldergrove men had only one win to their name and when they fell 2-2 to 0-1 behind after fifteen minutes it looked like things would stay that way. They had been outplayed and outscored by a sharp looking St Teresa’s side who were playing a brand of football that belied their league position. The home side needed a lift from somewhere and it came in the form of a superbly taken goal from corner-forward Ronan Hanna a score that lifted his team’s spirit considerably as they fought back to close to within three at the break They took control in the second half despite being reduced to ten men but despite creating an abundance of chances their accuracy let them down time after time. However they kept on battling, even when things weren’t going their way and in the end got their rewards with a very welcome two league points.

Playing up the slope St Teresa’s looked assured in the early stages and they hit the front on four minutes when full forward Anton Taylor finished off a good move with a well taken goal. Centre back Conor O’Rawe broke forward to add a point before Seamus McGarry grabbed Aldergrove’s opening score from a thirty metre free. Back came St Teresa’s and after a free flowing move up the left wing right half forward Liam Gault found space in front of goal and drilled the ball low to the net to put his team six clear, and it was soon seven when wing half back Colm McGoldrick foraged forward to send over a point.

Aldergrove were in deep trouble but Hanna’s goal on sixteen minutes turned the tide and when McGarry added a point soon afterwards things began to change

St Teresa’s came close to grabbing their third goal when centre back O’Rawe broke through on the right wing only to see his shot turned over by the home side’s keeper Shane O’Neill and when Hanna struck a fantastic point from a free sixty metres out on the right wing the home side went in at the break in a much healthier position.

The early stages of the second half saw Aldergrove squander a series of chances to close the gap and when John Mallon increased St Teresa’s lead to four the home fans must have felt it was going to be the same old story. However and excellent point from play within thirty seconds from right half forward Eoin Gault settled the nerves again and Ronan Hanna brought the deficit back to just two with a neat finish. There was a further setback for the home side when Gault received a straight red card on forty minutes, and when Mallon pointed again for the visitors the gap was back at three.

The Aldergrove management then threw caution to the wind and introduced three substitutes at the one time and suddenly the tide turned. Two quick points from Fergal Burke and Seamus McGarry ( a magnificent score on the turn) had them back on terms and though Mallon levelled matters yet again for the visitors two late points from Burke and full forward Ryan Gorman sealed the win.

ST JAMES ALDERGROVE

Shane O’Neill, Stephen Gorman, Ferdia Carson, Christopher McVeigh, Christopher Browning, Chris O’Kane, Michael Sheridan, Ryan Owens, Conor Browning, Ryan McCourty, Seamus McGarry, Brian McQuillan, Ronan Hanna, Ryan Gorman, Gerard Mallon.

Subs Conor Totten, Fearghal Burke, Conleth Hendron, Tomas O’Callaghan

ST TERESA’S

Conal Hamill, Ryan Mallon, Sean Devine, Matthew Mallon, Darren McCann, Conor O’Rawe, Colm McGoldrick, Philly Maguire, Brendan Bennett, Liam Gault, John Mallon, Eoin Gault, Niall McCann, Anton Taylor, Eoghan Hamill.

Subs – Robert Gallagher and Aaron Thompson

Referee – Mark McDonald (St Gall’s)

After the game I had sought the views of Aldergrove manager James Fraser

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