ACFL Division 2a
St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 2-14 Tír na nÓg 1-12
Sunday August 4
Brendan McTaggart reports from Moneyglass
An opening scoring burst of 1-6 in 14 minutes from Moneyglass paved the way for the St Ergnat’s men to a five point victory over Tír na nÓg. Colum Duffin top scored for the Marion Hill side, finishing the hour with 0-7 while Conaill Prenter and Dermott McErlain scored the majors before the half time whistle.
Tír na nÓg were slow in starting and didn’t record their first score until the 19th minute but the introduction of Christy Sheerin midway through the first half gave the Randalstown side more impetus in midfield. The home side controlled the contest after their early scoring blitz and Sean Redmond’s late major did little but put some respectability on the score board.
Despite their control, the Moneyglass men were left to thank the brilliance of Mark Carey between the sticks to keep Tír na nÓg at bay. Two outstanding saves and two further major chances came and went for the visitors to Marion Hill before Redmond finally hit the back of the net but Moneyglass were worthy of their margin of victory.
The opening exchanges were not so much a game of chess but a masterclass in counter attacking from the home side. Tír na nÓg had possession but a mix of poor shooting and the Moneyglass defence turning them over allowed the home side to build a commanding lead. Dermot McErlain pulling the strings in midfield and found Colum Duffin on the inside forward line on numerous occasions. Duffin with four points in the opening quarter along with Niall Boyd and Sean Kelly raising white flags.
The opening goal came in the 10th minute and it was McErlain who started and finished the move. Claiming the ball in midfield, ‘Bugsy’ sped through the heart of the Tír na nÓg defence, playing a one-two with Patrick McCormick before finding the back of the net.
When Kelly split the posts in the 14th minute for the St Ergnat’s to put nine between the sides, they were dominant and gave the visitors very little in the way of chances. Ryan O’Neill opened their account with a point from distance with the outside of his boot and would signal the start of a mini revival by the visitors. They went onto score a further three points unanswered from Christy Sheerin (two) and Ciaran Dobbin.
Moneyglass finished the first half on top however and despite the loss of McErlain to injury and Jack McCoy to a black card, they opened a nine point lead by the interval. Colum Duffin with his fifth point of the half before Prenter scored their second major with the last action of the half. Patrick McCormick and Tiernan Duffin involved in the build-up before the flying Moneyglass forward applied the finish.
Half time: Moneyglass 2-7 Tír na nÓg 0-4
Prenter’s goal on the stroke of half time was a blow for the visitors who had done well to turn the game around. They were more competitive after the restart but Moneyglass always retained an element of control. Colum Duffin’s second free and sixth white flag of the match opened the scoring four minutes after the restart. Caoimhin Duffin got the visitors going moments later but the Randalstown side couldn’t gather any momentum that would see them eat into the Moneyglass lead.
Points from Prenter (free), Kevin Marron and Colum Duffin were answered by white flags from Aaron McNeilly and two from Leigh Martin (one free) but Carey had denied Tír na nÓg twice in the opening quarter of the second half that retained a substantial lead for Moneyglass.
Darren McCormick and McNeilly fired over for the Whitehill side before a brace of frees from Prenter and Liam Brady left nine points between the sides with just over five minutes remaining. Tír na nÓg continued to push however and after Martin’s second free of the match, they finally scored the goal their efforts deserved. Leigh Martin with the long ball to Kevin Sheerin on the edge of the square and while the Tír na nÓg sub managed to get his shot away, Carey pulled off another outstanding save only for the ball to fall to Redmond on the rebound. The Tír na nÓg half back showed composure to finish well but time was against the visitors.
Christy Sheerin fired over his third point of the match to cut the gap to four points but the home side managed the time remaining by keeping hold of the ball and not giving Tír na nÓg a sniff. Conaill Prenter took his tally to 1-3 for the game with the last kick of the game as the home side celebrated a comfortable victory. The two points ensure the Marion Hill side are now guaranteed second place and a two-legged promotion/relegation play off with whoever finished second bottom in Division One.
St Ergnat’s: Mark Carey; Miran Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Peter McCormick; Jack McCoy, Kevin Marron, Eamonn Kelly; Niall Boyd, Dermott McErlain; Sean Kelly, Paul Tohill, Patrick McCormick; Conaill Prenter, Colum Duffin, James McMeel.
Scorers: Colum Duffin 0-7 (2 f’s); Conaill Prenter 1-3 (2 f’s); Dermott McErlain 1-00; Kevin Marron 0-1; Niall Boyd 0-1; Sean Kelly 0-1; Liam Brady 0-1 (1f).
Tír na nÓg: Sean Paul McAtamney; Caoimhin Duffin, Niall Cassidy, Ciaran Logan; Darren McCormick, Barry McCormick, Sean Redmond; Malachy Og Duffin, Ryan O’Neill; Ciaran O’Neill, Aaron McNeilly; Darragh Fegan, Leigh Martin, Jack O’Mahoney.
Scorers: Christy Sheerin 0-3; Leigh Martin 0-3 (2 f’s); Sean Redmond 1-00; Aaron McNeilly 0-2; Ciaran Dobbin 0-1; Ryan O’Neill 0-1; Darren McCormick 0-1; Caoimhin Duffin 0-1.
Referee: Vincent Boyle (Cuchullains, Dunloy)