All County Football League Division 2B
Glenravel 1-10 Lisburn 1-1
Report by Aodh OLoan – Pics Neal OBoyle
St Patrick’s Lisburn recorded their first league points of the season in a facile victory over an understrength Glenravel team in Fr Maginn Park on Wednesday evening. These teams have seen a lot of each other in the past two years with both securing promotion from Division 3 last year and meeting in the Junior Championship final in 2018. Their journey in Division 2 however has been very different as the Glensmen have secured their place in this Division next year whilst their Lisburn opponents look doomed to drop back to Division 3 when the books close on this season. So the result was a bit of a surprise when referee Vincent Boyle called time on this one amidst the balmy heat of a mid-summer evening in the tenth Glen.
Niall Ward opened for the visitors with a neat score from play and three minutes later Aidan O’Donnell levelled from a free. Glenravel were seeing plenty of the ball at this stage but weren’t troubling the score keeper as they recorded three wides in as many minutes before Conor Dixon nudged Lisburn ahead again only to be pegged back on level terms when Conor Carey levelled for the locals. Glenravel would rue those missed chances as Lisburn started to dictate the play. They were going short on their kickouts and enjoying a wealth of possession which they converted into four consecutive scores without reply to open up a four point gap. Francis McMeel (2), Niall Ward and Conor Dixon providing the points. Aiden O’Donnell reduced the gap from a free but in the 32nd minute Lisburn carved open Glenravel’s defence and Josh McMullan finished to the net to put them 1-06 to 0-03 ahead. The alarm bells were ringing for the local lads and not even a well taken free from Aiden O’Donnell on the stroke of half time could reduce their tension as they went in five points behind having been well and truly over turned in the first half.
Stern words I’m sure from the Glenravel mentors seemed to have stirred their charges into action as they opened the second half with a superbly taken goal after twenty three seconds. Suddenly we had a game on our hands with only two points separating the teams. That however proved to be a false dawn for the home team who would not close the gap any further throughout the following thirty minutes. Lisburn were winning a lot of the midfield battles and would nullify that goal with four unanswered points in a six minute spell. Conor Dixon getting three in succession and Aaron McDonald the other. Eamon Fyfe pointed for Glenravel but Josh McMullan and Francis McMeel extended the Lisburn lead to seven points and the home supporters could see the writing on the wall. Aiden O’Donnell (free) and Niall Ward exchanged points half way through the second half to maintain the seven point gap but there then followed a five minute period of local dominance with the home team scoring four in quick succession through Conor Carey, David Higgins, Aiden McCafferty and Aiden O’Donnell. Now trailing by three points and six minutes at least left on the clock could Glenravel push on and steal an unlikely victory? Lisburn slowed the game down and clawed their way back in to it; when Conor Dixon and Francis McMell extended their lead to five points Glenravel knew their race was run. Vincent Boyle called for the ball after four minutes of added time and Lisburn had won by a margin of five points on a 1-15 to 1-10 scoreline.
A disappointing evening for the home fans who would have had expectations of victory given the league positions of these teams. Glenravel fielded a very experimental side due to injury and holiday and they never quite got into the game. Both teams have two games left to rescue something from the season but as it stands it looks like only Glenravel will be in the same Division next year.
Glenravel: Conleth O’Loan, Aiden McCafferty (0-1), Michael Laverty, Christopher Laverty, Ruari Lennon, Niall Swann, Jonathan Fyfe, Martin McCarry, David Higgins (0-1), Conor Carey (0-2), Kieran McKeown, Aiden O’Donnell (0-5f), Josh McKeown (1-0), Eammon Fyfe (0-1), Caolan Mullan
Subs: Declan McAuley for Christopher Laverty, Gareth McKeown for Eammon Fyfe
Lisburn: Peter O’Neill, Shane McEvoy, Thomas Burns, Mark Torbitt, Sean Casey, Aaron McDonald (0-1), Ben McMullan, Niall Ward (0-3), Eoin Fay, Josh McMullan (1-01), Declan Burns, Conor Dixon (0-6 1f), Mark Chemek, Francis McMeel (0-4 2f)