Report Terry Cormican/Photographs Bert Trowlen
ACFL Division 2
St.Enda’s 2.11 v 2.08 St. Joseph’s
St. Enda’s gained promotion to division one with victory over already promoted St. Joseph’s Glenavy at Hightown on Monday night. A point behind St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass but with a game in hand, this was a must win game for the Glengormley men but they were facing a Glenavy side who had lost only once in the league prior to Monday’s Encounter. The large crowd present, including several Moneyglass members hoping for a Glenavy win which would have given St. Ergnat’s promotion, were entertained to an exciting game played on a slippery pitch.
James Gallagher for the visitors and Michael Morgan for St. Enda’s exchanged early points to get the scoreboard ticking over. Michael McCourt pointed to put St. Joseph’s in front but Ciaran Thompson and Donal Walsh replied before Ronan Scott had the game’s first goal to put the home side in the driver’s seat. Glenavy responded and even though the visitors fielded without several first team players the lads that came in were gelling well and were rewarded with a Niall McCann goal to bring the sides level. The Chapel Hill side then missed an excellent opportunity of going in front when they wasted an excellent goaling opportunity.
Donal Walsh, playing at full forward was giving his marker a hard time and got in for a very well worked second goal for the home side and the same player pointed a 45 to put his side two up. The Glengormley men were in control at this stage and when Oran Eastwood pointed quickly followed by a Ciaran Thompson goal, things looked bleak for the visitors
Halftime score St.Enda’s 2.06 St.Joseph’s 1.02
Whatever the management said at halftime the Glenavy lads came out a much more focused side and quickly added five unanswered points from Niall McCann, Michael McCourt with two (one a 45 and one a free), and James Gallagher but the visitors missed an opportunity of drawing level when another gaoling chance went a begging. Ryan Kennedy steadied his side with an excellent point but Oran Eastwood responded with a similar score for the Hightown side to keep their noses in front.
County player Patrick Gallagher started a move from midfield which involved several players and the same player got on the end of the move to finish with a goal and bring Glenavy to within a point. St. Enda’s were giving it everything with promotion in sight and Michael Morgan pointed a 45 to put more daylight between the sides. Once again Michael McCourt was on hand with a point for the Hightown side to put the minimum between the sides and this one looked like going right down to the wire. However it was St. Enda’s who found that extra gear as the clock ticked down and Michael Morgan put the game beyond the visitors with two points from play to ensure promotion to Division 1 next season and leave the final score St.Enda’s 2.11, St.Joseph’s 2.08.
There were great celebrations at the end from the home support with the knowledge that division one football would be played at Hightown in 2018. It has been a good season for the Hightown men and they put the disappointment of Saturday night’s defeat to Sarsfield’s in the Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-final firmly behind them to claim a very important victory.
They will now join Glenavy in Division 1 next season and both sides look capable of giving a good account of themselves in the higher grade.
St.Enda’s: B. Morgan; K. Jennings; M. McNamee, D. McAnulty, J. McAuley; C. Little, N. McKeown, P. Curran (E. Gibson), C. Thompson, O. Eastwood, K. Healey, D. Walsh, R, Scott, M. Morgan.
St. Joseph’s: G. Hamilton, M. Nelson, J. Phillips, N. McLaughlin, M. Hamill, S. McGirr (F. McMullan), R. Phillips, P. Gallagher (N. McCann), P. Traynor, N. McCann (E. Henry) (T. Gallagher for E. Henry), M. McCourt (L. Hennan), N. Scullion (Alex. Gallagher), J. Gallagher, M. Doherty.
Referee C. Hemsworth St. Paul’s