All County Football League Div 2
Glenavy: 2.13 (19) Tír na nÓg 1.08 (11)
By Aimee McAtamney
Glenavy took a step nearer the Division 2 Football title when a strong second half performance saw them see off the challenge of Tír na nÓg at Chapel Hill. The Randalstown men led by one point at half time but Glenavy came out and made their mark on the game and claimed an 8 point victory at Chapel Hill to secure promotion into the top division in 2018.
Owen Gallagher got the first two points of the game after six minutes before Christy Sheerin pulled one back for the blues. Gallagher struck again after ten minute to put his team two clear but Christy Sheerin kept the visitors in the game with a free after Chris Scullion handled the ball on the ground. Tír na nÓg continuously tried long balls into the full forward line however with Sean Duffin dropping back into the defence the Glenavy men mopped up everything that was fired at them.
A Christy Sheerin point from 40 metres out with the outside of his left foot spilt the Glenavy posts, an excellent points and his third of the game and Darren McCormick was fouled going forward Pearse Sheerin added to his team’s total with a pointed free. After 20mins Glenavy keeper Gerard Hamilton pulled off a wonderful save to deny wing forward Sean Redmond and after Sheeren hit the resultant 45 short, Darragh Fegan got the last score of the half to leave the visitors leading by one point (0-5 to 0-4)
Fergus Cunningham got the home side off the mark with two points in as many minutes at the start of the second half and to take the lead once again. Alex Gallagher added one from a free before Christy Sheerin got one back for the Ógs. The home side then took a firm grip of the game when Ryan Phillips and Owen Gallagher combined to place Alex Gallagher for the first goal of the game. The Randalstown men responded well with a point from Ciaran Logan followed by a goal from Ciaran McKeown following a brilliant mark from Caoimhin Duffin. Malachy Doherty who had just been introduced for Eoin Henry made and quick impression as he slotted over two minutes after coming on the field.
With 20 minutes remaining, torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning made conditions extremely difficult, but Conor Hamill battled through it all to take a point from centre half back to increase the Glenavy lead. Both teams rang the changes with Glenavy introducing Peter Trainor for Alex Gallagher while Tir na nÓg brought on Darren O’Kane and Declan Mallon. A twenty free for the home side saw Trainor hit a short ball to Owen Gallagher who was dragged down by the visitors defence and from the resultant award Gallagher spilt the posts for his fourth point of the game. Michael McCourt got the next point of the game to leave the score 1.11 to 1.07 and in the next play McCourt was back in his own full back line to make an interception to set up an attack which seen Cunningham kick his third point. Niall McCann was introduced into the game with five minutes to go and to play his first game of the year after a shoulder injury and he showed no ill effects of the lay-off as he pointed with his first touch of the ball. Christy Sheerin pulled one back as he pointed for the blues but the last score of the game went to the homes side when a Hamill interception put Malachy Doherty clear for a goal to wrap up a convincing win.
This 8 point victory sees Glenavy earn 2 more points and a total of 23 after 11 wins, which will secure their promotion into the top division in 2018.
- G. Hamilton 2. M. Nelson 3. C. Scullion 4. M. Hamill 17. R. Philips 6. C. Hamill 7. J. Philips 8. T. Gallagher 9. C. Lonely 10. E. Henry 11. O. Gallagher 12. M. McCourt 13. Fergus Cunningham 14. D. Gallagher 15. A. Gallagher 18. N. McCann 19. S. McGirr 20. Peter Trainor 21. Malachy Doherty 22. Fra McMullan
Scorers: O. Gallagher (0.4- 1 free/1 45), M. Doherty (1.1) A. Gallagher (1.1- 1free), F. Cunningham (0.3), C. Hamill (0.2), M. McCourt (0.1), N. McCann (0.1)
Subs: S. McGirr for C. Scullion (15mins), M. Doherty for E. Henry (40mins), P. Trainor for A. Gallagher (46mins), N. McCann for F. Cunningham (56mins), F. McMullan for M. Nelson (62mins)
Tír na nÓg
- SP McAtamney 2. B. Magee 3. Colm Duffin 4. D. Martin 5. C. Logan 6. Caoimhin Duffin 7. D. McCormick 8. R. O’Neill 9. P. Sheerin 10. S. Duffin 11. R. Fitzgerald 12. C. Sheerin 13. K. Sheerin 14. S. Duffin 15. D. Fegan 20. C. Mckeown 22. M. Duffin 23. D. Mallon 24. C. Montgomery 25. D. O’Kane
Scorers: C. Sheerin (0.5- 3 frees), C. McKeown (1.0), P. Sheerin 0.1- 1free), D. Fegan (0.1), C. Logan (0.1)
Subs: C. McKeown for R. O’Neill (33mins), M. Duffin for R. Fitzgerald (42mins), D. O’Kane for P. Sheerin (47mins), D. Mallon for C. Logan (50mins), C. Montgomery for B. Magee (53mins)