By Brendan McTaggart
All County Football League Division 2
St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 1-12 All Saints, Ballymena 0-13
St Ergnat’s made it three wins on the bounce this afternoon with a two point victory over All Saints at the Taylorstown Road venue. Midfielder Colm Duffin scored the crucial goal for the Moneyglass men in first half injury time but the home side had Danny McErlain to thank for keeping the two points on offer. The Moneyglass ‘keeper produced a goal keeping clinic throughout the hour to frustrate the Ballymena men and leave them wondering what they had to do to breach his line.
All Saints had come into the match on the back of four straight victories after an indifferent start to the season but despite dominating the midfield and possession, the Ballymena men couldn’t get over the line as Moneyglass clung on for victory.
All Saint’s made a blistering start and raised two white flags before the match was barely one minute old. Michael McCarry with his first of two first half points, half back Joe Rafferty with the other. Moneyglass midfielder Colm Duffin got the home side off and running with composed finish from 40 yards in the fourth minute as the St Ergnat’s finally got to grips with their Ballymena opponents.
Both sides were guilty of losing their radar and composure in front of goals for the majority of the first half, none more so than Moneyglass half forward Seanchann Duffin who skewed his shot wide when presented with a glorious goal chance after just ten minutes.
All Saint’s hit two quick fire points, McCarry and Sean McVeigh with the scores barely 60 second apart in the 18th minute but that was their last scores of the first half as Moneyglass began to turn the screw. Paddy McCormick and Seanchann Duffin reduced the arrears to the minimum when All Saint’s carved out their best goal chance. McVeigh found McAleer in space down the right and the county man managed to skew his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
A Liam Brady free restored parity to the score line with a minute of the first half remaining but there was still time for action at both ends of the pitch. Another All Saints goal chance, this time Eoin Campbell but this time it was McErlain who thwarted the visitors. The Moneyglass ‘keeper managed to tip Campbell’s rasping drive onto the post after the Ballymena men carved their way through the home sides defence with fast flowing, counter attacking football.
Moneyglass made them pay at the other end though with Brady scoring his second point of the match before being heavily involved in creating the St Ergnat’s goal. Connail Prenter passed inside to Brady who shaped to shoot but found Colm Duffin in space. The Moneyglass man showed great composure in a crowded area to find the bottom corner of Emmet McAllister’s net with the last kick of the first half.
Both sides recorded points early in the first half as the All Saints began to dominate the midfield. With McVeigh dropping into the middle third, the All Saints men began to impose their game and wasted no time in creating yet another goal chance. Emmet Killough this time testing McErlain, the Moneyglass ‘keeper at full stretch denying the Ballymena forward.
Just two minutes later All Saints had another goal chance but Connell Lemon lost his footing when going to receive a pass with the goal at his mercy. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before the visitors breached the Moneyglass defence but with a quarter of the match remaining the home side opened their lead to five points thanks to Colm Duffin’s second point of the match.
Moneyglass were content to pack their defence and use the attacking prowess of Colm Duffin and Brady on the counter. All Saints pushed forward and left spaces in defence but they couldn’t get on terms with the home side. On three occasions the lead was reduced to the minimum in the last ten minutes, thanks largely to the free taking of Michael McCarry but Moneyglass had the final say when Colm Duffin took his tally to 1-3 for the hour and seal victory for the home side.
Both sides have just a three day turnaround to their next match with St Ergnat’s travelling to north Belfast for a clash with Ardoyne while All Saints welcome Glenavy to the Woodside Road.
Danny McErlain; Kevin McPeake; Donal Laverty; Michael McLaughlin; Sean Kelly; Miran Neeson; Paddy McCormick (0-2); Colm Duffin (1-3); Ryan Doyle; Gavin Murray; Seanchann Duffin (0-1); Conor Boyd (0-1, 1 free); Conaill Prenter; Liam Brady (0-4, 2 frees); Paddy Mackle
SUBS: Paul Tohill for R Doyle (24 mins); Seamus Devlin for K McPeake (55 mins)
Emmet McAllister; Ronan Ward; Peter McNicholl; Phelim Killough; Joe Rocks; Andy Kelly; Joe Rafferty (0-2); Paddy McAleer; Barney Logan; Eoin Campbell; Michael McCarry (0-8, 5 fress); Connell Lemon; Emmet Killough (0-2, 1 free); Sean McVeigh (0-1); Ciaran McLarnon
SUBS: Ciaran McGarry for R Ward (42 mins); Ciaran Shannon for C McLarnon (56 mins)
Referee – Thomas McGilligan (Dunloy)