Aldergrove Move Ahead in Their Efforts to Avoid Relegation

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Aldergrove’s Paul Hanna raises his arms in celebration after scoring the second of his two goals in last night’s win over Casement’s in Portglenone

ACF League Division One B (second phase)

Casement’s Portglenone 1-13 St James Aldergrove 3-12

Two back to back goals from ace full forward Paul Hanna despatched in the 49th and 50th minutes proved decisive as Aldergrove came from behind to gain what may well prove to be a most valuable two points at Portglenone on Monday evening.

The victory ensures that the Crumlin men pull a couple of points ahead of Ahoghill as they look to retain status and they do look to have gained a big advantage.

The home side had had cause to thank their young net minder Ryan O’ Neill who pulled off a couple of superb saves in the opening period to deny the ever dangerous Ronan Hanna and Seamus Mc Garry for the lead at the end of the opening period.

The keeper stood tall to deny corner forward Mc Garry at the end of the opening quarter, and he was seen at his best again ten minutes later as full forward Hanna rose highest to collect a lofted delivery before having his point blank blaster pushed aside by the net minder.

The sides had exchanged points in tit for tat fashion for much of the first period with the home side’s Niall Kelly very productive whilst Fergal Burke was most accurate for the visitors.

The game was tied at 0-05 apiece as last minutes progressed but the home side did finish the better and a well worked approach involving Niall Mc Keever and Niall Delargy opened the way for Eoin Doherty to find the net after Niall Kelly had supplied another point and the Bannsider’s were 1-06 to 0-05 at the short blast.

Doherty1 (1)

If the home side had finished the stronger it was to be the Aldergrove men who were quicker out of the start traps in the second portion and as Ryan Gorman, Seamus Mc Garry, and Ronan Hanna raised white flags apiece in the opening few minutes the early strikes on target had reduced the deficit to the minimum.

 

The home side having proved slow to get away in the second period soon regained composure on terrain which was proving sodden after the week-end rainfall and a couple of points provided by the ever accurate Niall Kelly saw them move three points ahead again.

Ronan Hanna  reduced such again when he sent a 40th minute ‘45’ directly over the black spot but after the towering Niall Mc Keever rose to collect the resultant kick out he sent Aiden Kearney away on the left wing to drive firmly over the bar.

A fine score from the wing half forward and although Ryan Owens delivered quick reply from long range within a couple of minutes a slick interchange between Niall Mc Keever and Paddy Kelly opened the way for Niall Kelly to split the posts again at the other end again and the home side looked in charge a couple of minutes into the last quarter.

Aldergrove were three points in arrears but not about to lose focus and indeed the favoured long ball delivery into the full forward line was continued as policy and in the event was about to pay rich dividend.

A lofted ball into the danger area did cause problems as the Casement’s net minder and corner back seemed in a tangle and the leather fell kindly for the ever vigilant Ronan Hanna to poke to the back of the net.

Casement’s had been reeled in and when still with heads down in frustration after lady luck had conspired against to see the major concession, a poor clearance only seconds thereafter saw the visitors and the excellent Hanna grab another goal.

The full forward’s finish was exemplary when opportunity presented and the Crumlin men had come from three points in arrears to three in front at 2-12 to 1-12.

The gallant Casement’s  tried to reclaim what had been lost as they looked to regroup and return to the coal face with Gerard Mc Aleese, Niall Mc Keever, and late replacement Paddy Kelly leading the way,

Paddy Kelly, fellow replacement Michael Hagan, and Gerard Mc Aleese each claimed late points in reply to similar scores from the irrepressible Ronan Hanna and Fergal Burke and as the clock ticked down only a couple of points separated the sides.

Aldergrove were not for catching however and although the Crumlin men were forced into change in the latter stages as the hero of the day, Ronan Hanna saw black for a ‘stop him at all costs’ foul on the inrushing Niall Mc Keever the St James’s men were to have the last say.

The home side had eyes fixed firmly on comeback but another offensive was halted on the opposition’s ‘40’ and a well organised counter spearheaded by wing half forward Ryan Gorman saw the latter’s sweetly delivered finish planted into the corner of the net to ensure the die was cast.

The long blast followed shortly thereafter and crossing the line with a winning scoreline of 3-12 to 1-13 the Aldergrove men returned to base, job done and the precious points secured.

Teams

Casement’s: Ryan O’ Neill, Conor Magee, Aidan Mc Kee, Declan Doherty, Stephen Kelly (0-01), Paddy Carey, John Lewis, Niall Mc Keever, Niall Delargy, Gerard Mc Aleese (0-02), Eoin Doherty (1-00), Aiden Kearney (0-01), Conal Delargy, Dermot Mc Aleese (0-01), Niall Kelly (0-07)

Subs

Jonny Convery for C Magee

Michael Kelly for J Lewis

Paddy Kelly for E Doherty

Michael Hagan (0-01) for C Delargy

Aldergrove: Shane O’ Neill, Ferdia Carson, Stephen Gorman, Chris Mc Vey, Chris Browning, Chris O’ Kane, Andy Flood, Ryan Owens (0-01), Conor Browning, Feargal Burke (0-05), Ryan Gorman (1-00), Seamus Mc Garry (0-02), Ronan Hanna (2-03), Brendan Mallon.

Subs

Paul Cushley for R Hanna (black card)

James Trolan for C Browning (black card)

 

Referee Sean Laverty (St Ergnat’s)

 

 

 

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