All County Football League Division
St Comgalls 1-9 Rasharkin 4-14
St. Mary’s Rasharkin travelled to Dunsilly on Sunday knowing that a win would secure them a top six place in the final game before the league cut off and despite a battling performance by St. Comgall’s the visitors had too much in their armoury and eventually ran out winners by 14 points.
It took the visitors a time to settle with a couple of early attacks coming to nothing and it was Quinn for the home side who opened the scoring with three minutes gone. Rasharkin continued to create and waste chances before Ryan Lynch brought the sides level from a free.
Lynch and Johnny McAleese both squandered chances and they were nearly punished for their wastefulness when Paddy Quinn broke through at the other end but shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
The visitors regrouped and Cathal Mooney claimed a mark before passing to Ryan Lynch who fired over to put his side one ahead and when James Scally claimed the resulting kick-out and was fouled, Lynch split the posts once more to edge his side two in front.
Ryan Lynch continued to impress for the visitors who were now starting to dictate and the big full-forward added a couple more before Johnny McAleese got his first of the day to put the Dreen side 0-6 to 0-1 ahead after 20 minutes.
For the second game in succession St. Comgall’s started with four minors in their side and it was one of them, Conor McAuley who replied with a point but just when it looked like they were enjoying a bit of success Johnny McAleese replied after being placed by Shane Hasson with five minutes remaining to the break.
Hasson got in on the scoring act with a point himself and he exchanged further points with Conor McAuley to leave the score 1-8 to 0-3 in favour of the visitors. The Antrim men tried to respond as the clock ticked down to the interval and it took a great save from Ryan Doherty in the Rasharkin goal to deny Colm Griffin at the expense of a ‘45’ which came to nothing.
The home side opened on the offensive once more but were off target and from the resulting Kick out Cathal Mooney fielded and played a long ball into Lynch who broke it down to Shane ‘Deadly Doug’ Hasson who excellently lobbed the keeper from 20metres and put his side 11 in front with only three minutes gone.
Antrim replied with a pointed free from Paddy Quinn before Declan McKay responded with a Rasharkin point in the 7th minute and at the other end a powerful run from midfielder, Quinn sent Peter McAuley clear but his rasping shot brought a fingertip save from Ryan Doherty at the expense of a point.
Once again the Dreen side were able to respond through Ryan Lynch and after Paddy Quinn responded with a St. Comgall’s point McMullan hit back with a similar score at the other end and as the visitors continued to dominate Ryan Lynch fired home a penalty following a foul on Andrew Hasson in the 17th minute.
From the resulting kick out Cathal Mooney won possession and placed Thomas Doherty for a point with Andrew Hasson adding another as the St. Mary’s pressure increased. To their credit St. Comgall’s kept battling away and responded with a couple of points, the second an excellent effort from Conor McAuley from 45 meters.
Paddy Quinn added another but again Rasharkin were able to respond and an excellent build up culminated with a goal from substitute Gerard O’Hagan and this score more or less ended any lingering doubts regarding the outcome.
A late push from the Antrim town men saw Barney Williamson fouled and from the resulting penalty Conor McAuley expertly tucked it away in the 28th minute but it only served to put a better look on the scoreline. The last score like the first of the game fell to the excellent Ryan Lynch who brought his personal tally to 1-7 with a point in injury time.
This win secures Rasharkin a top six place when the leagues resume and it has been a good season to date for a side who struggled for a time last season to stay in Division 2. They had excellent performers on the day in Ryan Doherty who produced a couple of fine stops while Conor Hasson, Declan McKay, Fearghal Kennedy, Cathal Mooney, Johnny McAleese, Shane Hasson and the excellent Ryan Lynch were all to the fore.
St Comgalls battled hard to the end and showed glimpses of their potential scoring 1-3 in the closing stages. They have a good mixture of experience with Paddy Quinn who scored 0-3 and youth in Conor McAuley who scored 1-4 really catching the eye. McAuley was among 4 minors playing for St Comgalls today which bodes well for them in the future.
Ryan Doherty, Donagh Quigg, Conor Hasson, Dominic McFerran, Declan McKay 0-1, Thomas Doherty 0-1, Fearghal Kennedy, Brendan Etherson, Thomas McMullan 0-1, James Scally, Cathal Mooney, Andrew Hasson 0-1, Johnny McAleese 1-1, Ryan Lynch 1-7 & Shane Hasson 1-2.
Subs – Conor McKeever, Conor Doherty, Pearce Kelly, Gerard O’Hagan 1-0, Conor Gribben
Referee – Sean Laverty, Moneyglass