ACFL Division 2
St. Comgall’s 2-4 All Saints 0-16
All Saints continued to pick up points in Division two after a good win against St. Comgall’s Antrim in the new Dunsilly playing grounds on a fine August summer’s evening. The Antrim side gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation with an away win at Dunloy last time out but this defeat has dropped them back into the bottom two and their fight for survival looks like going down to the wire.
Antrim and Ballymena played earlier in the season where the Ballymena side came out dominant winners but this game saw Antrim continue to grow in confidence since their win against Dunloy.
Ballymena dominated the opening 10minutes but failed to convert on their shot attempts. Their early two point lead was cancelled out as a vibrant Antrim forward line slotted home a goal to put St. Comgall’s one ahead
The two sides traded end to end counter attacks. Points from Ballymena’s McVeigh, McCarry and McGarry helped Saints regain their lead, but Antrim’s skilful attackers were unlucky not to have scored more going into half time just a point behind.
Antrim’s midfield and half-backs worked tirelessly in defence and attack, however, their passes into the forward lines was spoiled and intercepted by Ballymena’s impressive fullback line of Phelim Killough, Andy Kelly and James Gillan.
Sean McVeigh and Barney Logan started to dominate midfield and set up points for McGarry, Killough and McCarry. Ballymena extended their lead going into the final quarter of the game.
The home side did not drop the heads and continued to push the Slemish Park men in the final quarter. Their hard work paid off as they finally broke through Ballymena’s defence and scored a bottom corner goal with 10 minutes to go in the match
Ballymena strength in depth started to show as they brought on Rocks, McLarnon, O’Mullan and Campbell to pull away from the Dunsilly side. Flying runs from the left by Rafferty and Lemon along with strong ball winning by Ciaran Shannon, led to points for McLarnon and O’Mullan.
Ballymena will be satisfied with the scoreline and newly promoted Antrim can take consolation from another fighting performance and how they have improved as the year has progressed but results elsewhere on the night have done them little favour.
Michael Davitt’s move above them after a good home win over Gort Na Mona while bottom club Ardoyne, who were narrowly defeated at All Saints a few weeks ago, recorded a resounding victory over Dunloy at Fennell Park.
Naomh Comghgall travel to Ardoyne on Sunday week and it would appear nothing less than a win will suffice if they are to hold onto their Division 2 status. On the same day Davitt’s travel to Cuchullian’s Dunloy and following a couple of disastrous results for the North Antrim side they will fancy their chances of getting something from that game.
Davitt’s, who have a game in hand over St. Comgall’s, then entertain All Saints in the final game of their campaign and look slight favourites to avoid the drop at this stage but their battle with the Antrim Town side might well go down to the last game of the season.
Ardoyne appear to have left it too let and look set to make the drop back to Division 3 following one season in Division 2 but have shown enough in their last two outings to suggest they could be serious contenders for the Junior Championship.