Ahoghill on top in battle of St. Mary’s

ACFL Division 1B

St. Mary’s Ahoghill 1-12 St. Mary’s 2-6

St. Mary’s Ahoghill finished their division 1 football league campaign with a win over their namesakes, St. Mary’s Aghagallon at Clooney last night. The Clooney men had three points to spare over the visitors in an end of season game that had little more than pride at stake.

It was the visitors who got off to the better start and moved into a two point lead after five minutes through Ruairi Loughran and Ciaran Brady but Ahoghill were back on level terms by the 6th minute through two quick fire points from James O’Connell and Dan O‘Neill.

St. Mary’s Aghagallon moved ahead once more with a point from Loughran in the 9th minute but the Clooney side were beginning to get their game together and hit three point on the trot through Donal Graham 0-2 and Diarmuid Graham to lead 0-5 to 0-3 after 13 minutes.

Once again the visitors were able to respond and a good move finished with Ruairi McCann firing to the net to restore their lead as things began to warm up and play swung from end to end.

This goal brought an immediate response from the home side, obviously intent on continuing their recent good run of league results and they replied with points from James O’Connell, Donal Graham and Patrick Graham and again appeared to be taking control.

Once again they were opened up however by another slick Aghagallon counter which resulted in the visitor’s second goal from mid-fielder Eunan Walsh as they hit the front  once more and the brave souls who had turned up to support their sides on the night were being entertained to some fine passages of football.

Just when it seemed that Aghagallon would carry their lead into the half time break St. Mary’s Ahoghill put another good move together which ended with Patrick Graham firing to the visitors net and it was they who held a slender two point lead at the short whistle.

The second half didn’t quite live up to the excitement of the first with both defences well on top and scores at a premium  but it was Ahoghill who made the early running and points from Donal Graham and Owen Neeson saw them move four ahead with only a couple of minutes of the new half gone.

Seven minutes into the half the visitors closed the gap to three with a point from Ciaran Brady but two pointed frees from Donal Graham had the Clooney men in the driving seat with 12 minutes remaining as they moved five clear and seemingly in a place of safety.

Aghagallon made a late push but could only manage a couple of points from Eunan Walsh and his mid-field partner, Jack Lenehan for their efforts as the Ahoghill defence stood strong and this win leaves last night’s opponents on equal points at the top of division 1B with both side having already been assured of division 1 football next season.

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