All county Minor football League Division 1
All Saints 4.8 St Galls 2.9
All Saints travelled to Milltown on Tuesday evening in the Minor League to face a St Galls team who beat Aghagallon in the opening game of this year’s league campaign.
All Saints impressed on their first outing away to Cargin and thus travelled with a degree of confidence.
The game started with St Galls adopting a defensive set up with 13 men behind the ball and All Saints struggled initially to win primary possession and were guilty of a number of misplaced passes into their forward line and erratic shots at goal added to their early frustration.
St Galls led by 2 points early in first half and the visitors were struggling to get their own game going. All Saints defence gradually got to grips with the St Galls inside forward line and their cause was helped by the dismissal of St Gall’s player midway through the first half.
The Ballymena side began to take the game to St Galls and Patrick Ferris, playing a roving role from the full forward line, hit two spectacular goals in the first half with an Oisin Connolly point giving them a five point lead.
St Galls gradually got back on track and scored a goal from a 14 metre free after an initial save by All Saints keeper, Conor Brennan. They followed this with a further 3 points with full forward Niall Burns in impressive form they went in at the break leading by a point.
Whatever was said at the break it was All Saints who started the second half in impressive fashion and their numerical advantage began to count. They started with an excellent score from Conor Stewart to bring the scores level.
Stewart and Matthew Corr began to edge the midfield battle and some good interchange forward play saw a further goal well finished by Conor O’Rawe.
All Saints were now on top and moved into a four point lead with an excellent free from Aidan Scullion.
The Slemish Park side extended their lead to seven points midway through the second half with Aidan Scullion and Oisin Scullion kicking some fine scores with St Galls only registering a further point during this period of All Saints dominance.
All Saints were also reduced to fourteen men when a player received a second yellow card with 10 minutes remaining and their numerical advantage ended and this looked a serious blow to the Ballymena lads but they refused to panic and Kieron O’Boyle eased the pressure when he scored a well taken goal to leave All Saints with a commanding lead.
St Galls continued to push forward and tagged on a couple of late points followed by a consolation goal as the game drew to a close but it was a case of too little, too late for the home side and it was the Slemish Park side who claimed both points.
Conor Brennan, Angus Steele, Jack Agnew, Conall O’Neill, Conal Killough, Shaun O’Callaghan, Kevin Brady, Matthew Corr, Conor O’Rawe (1-0), Ronan McKillop, Oisin Connolly (0-3), Ciaran O’Boyle (1-0), Patrick Ferris (2-0), Conor Stewart (0-1), Aidan Scullion (0-4 1F)
Jake White for Ronan McKillop (51)
John Brady for Aidan Scullion (55