A good week for All Saints as they move out of the relegation zone

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Shane McBride turns away after scoring All Saints second goal as his colleague, Shea O’Brien joins in the celebration and Rasharkins Ryan Doherty and Conor Hasson look back in despair

ACFL Division 2

All Saints 3-18 Rasharkin 1-7

It’s been a good week for All Saints with a win over Davitt’s at Falls Park on Wednesday night and a win over visitors Rasharkin was badly needed if they were to continue their climb away from the relegation zone. On the night that was just what they achieved but few could have predicted just how comprehensive that victory was going to be.

St. Mary’s arrived with a depleted squad and their cause wasn’t helped by a rather stupid sending off when Conor McKeever received Red for striking in the 20th minute and after that the Ballymena side took advantage of the extra space to romp home with something to spare.

It was the visitors who made a promising start however and after Eoin Campbell pointed All Saints ahead, Brian Og O’Neill got in for a 3d minute goal to give his side the lead. The early exchanges were end to end with Campbell for All Saints and Andrew Hasson for Rasharkin exchanging points before the game took a dramatic swing in favour of the home side.

A strong run from Ciaran McGarry from deep in defence set up Paddy McAleer and the county man finished low to Ryan Doherty’s right and give his side a lead they were never to lose. Points from Eoin Campbell and Benny McDonnell extended their lead before Eamon McNeill replied with a Rasharkin point to leave just two between the sides with 17 minutes gone.

Michael McCarry increased that lead to three before McKeever’s rush of blood saw his side reduced to 14 men and on the expansive spaces of Slemish Park the pace and movement of the home side began to exploit gaps in the St. Mary’s defence.

Paddy McAleer and Eamon McNeill exchanged further points before a good move by the Slemish Park side saw Shane McBride steal in for a second goal and points from Ciaran McLarnon and Michael McCarry saw them move seven ahead with 27 minutes gone.

Enda McFerran and Michael McCarry traded points and Benny McDonnell finished to the net for the Ballymena side from close range but the score was ruled out, the referee deeming that Sean McVeigh’s pass was a throw with the big mid-fielder shown yellow for his protests.

It proved a minor setback however with All Saints finishing on the offensive and Michael McCarry and Paddy McAleer added late points to leave the half time score 2-11 to 1-5 in favour of the Ballymena side.

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     Michael McCarry fires over an All Saints point despite the efforts of Rasharkin’s Donagh Quigg.

MORE OF THE SAME

It was more of the same after the break as the superb McAleer soloed through for a point in the opening minute and at this stage Rasharkin introduced Cathal Mooney for Tomas Doherty and Enda Kennedy for Pearse Kelly in an effort to resurrect their fortunes.

It seemed to stem the tide for a time and there was 15 minutes gone before Michael McCarry pointed from a free and Eoin Campbell added another from play and a further four minutes had elapsed before Eamon McNeill opened the visitors second half account.

It failed to lift the men from Dreen however and direct from the kick-out the ball was moved down field and the lively Eoin Campbell finished to the Rasharkin net to more or less finish the game as a contest.

All Saints emptied their bench at this stage as we saw Emmet McAllister replace Niall Shannon in goals and the return to action of Rory McVeigh who was making his return after being out for more than a year with a career threatening injury.

McCarry pointed another three frees as quite a number of Rasharkin efforts sailed wide of the uprights but the visitors were handed an opportunity to put a better look on the scoreline when they were awarded a penalty with time almost up.

Up stepped Eamon McNeill but Emmet McAllister dived to his left to make an excellent save at the expense of a point. Michael McCarry concluded the scoring with his ninth point of the game as the Slemish Park side secured a couple of badly needed points to move out of the relegation zone.

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All Saints: Niall Killough: James McDonnell, Damian Gillan, Joe Rafferty, Ciaran McGarry, Emmet Killough, Kavan Keenan, Sean McVeigh, Paddy McAleer, Shane McBride, Michael McCarry, Ciaran McLarnon, Shea O’Brien, Eoin Campbell, Brendan McDonnell. Subs: Joe Rocks, Emmet McAllister, Eoin Walsh, Mark Murchin, Rory McVeigh.

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Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Donal Donerty, Conor Hasson, Pearse Kelly,Conor Gallagher, Donagh Quigg, Fergus Quigg, Andrew Hasson, Thomas McMullan, Conor McKeever, Enda McFerran, Gerard O’Hagan, Tomas Doherty, Eamon McNeill, Brian Og O’Neill. Subs:Cathal Mooney, Enda Kennedy, Johnny McAleese.

Referee: Cathal McDermott (Tir na nOg)

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