Michael McCarry who scored 13 points as All Saints defeated Gort Na Mona at Slemish Park
ACFL Division 2
All Saints 0-20 Gort Na Mona 2-12
All Saints made it three wins on the spin in the Second Phase of Division Two with this narrow win over Gort Na Mona thanks mainly to a 13 point haul from Michael McCarry who once again gave a fine exhibition of score taking both from play and from the placed ball.
Little separated the two sides in the opening stages as Michael McCarry for Saints and McVeigh for Gort split the post on three occasions each in the first 10 minutes. Gort then took a slender lead half way through the half when Christopher Carson broke clear to score. Michael McCarry soon levelled the game with a free from close range after Patrick McAleer was hauled down, before Sean McVeigh curled over a long range effort to put his side in front. This game was flowing from end to end now with both sides proving very clinical in attack as Niall Melaney wriggled free to put his side within a point. The only goal of the first half came soon after and it came from the Turf Lodge men when a speculative ball into the area from Christopher Carson beat everyone and found McVeigh unmarked and he poked the ball home from close range to give his side a two point lead. The elusive McVeigh was proving a thorn in Saints side now as he split the posts with a free to open up a three point advantage and this was closely followed by a 45 from goalkeeper Dermot McCafferty. That man McCarry was keeping his side in the game though as he hit two frees and a point from play to bring the Belfast’s side’s lead back to the minimum. Gort Na Mona were causing Saints problem now and regained a two point advantage through their full-forward but Saints Joe Raffery broke free to fire over the final score of the half to cut Saints deficit to the minimum at the break.
Gort Na Mona took the game to the opposition right from the throw in but found the All Saints defence in a more ruthless mood as they got turned over on a number of occasions before Patrick McAleer gathered the ball and swung over a brilliant point to level the game. This was then followed by a point for Gort Na Mona as they regained the lead but the Slemish Park side started to take the game by the scruff of the neck after this and levelled when Connell Lemon slipped in Damian Gillan and he slotted over to level once again. Michael McCarry and McVeigh exchanged frees at either end as the game went into the last 20 minutes in the balance. The home side’s intensity was proving too much for the Belfast men now as they turned over numerous attacks round the middle which resulted in Joe Rafferty and Connell Lemon getting on the score sheet to open up a two point advantage. Frees were once again exchanged at either end with McCarry and McVeigh having a shootout as All Saints two point advantage remained in tack. The Slemish Park side were guilty of being wasteful in attack as the game entered its final stages but Michael McCarry took his personal toll to 13 points on the day when he hit two more points from play and a free to open up a five point lead. With two minutes on the clock a brilliantly worked score for Eoin Campbell gave the Ballymena men a six point lead, but the visitors did not give up and got a point back from a free and then soon after they brought the deficit back to two when the ball found the net via a deflection from a Saints defender after good work from by their full-forward. Time had run out for the Belfast men though as Saints held on for a hard fought two points in a game in which they looked back to their best at times.