St.Enda’s ease relegation worries but not safe yet

ACFL Division One B

St Mary’s Ahoghill 1-14 St Enda’s Glengormley 4-17

St Enda’s secured the points in this relegation battle when they proved too good for their hosts St. Mary’s in Ahoghill today. Goals from  Michael Morgan, Ruairi Scott, Peter Healey and Stephen O’Connor and half a dozen points from the excellent Odhran Eastwood saw the  visitors emerge with something to spare over an Ahoghill side depleted by injuries.

In what was a fiercely contested affair, the Hightown side had too much pace and firepower for an Ahoghill side who battled all the way but were always second best to a St. Enda’s team who have run into a bit of form at the cutting edge of the season.

having struggled to get it together this term following their triumphant march through the 2018 season, the recent return to the ranks of more than a few regulars from their travels has seen them turn the proverbial corner and this latest collection of points sees them move out of the bottom two but they are not safe yet.

The visitors signaled their intentions right from the outset and an early goal by Stephen O’ Connor edged the Glengormley men into a 1-04 to 0-03 advantage with the clock at twelve minutes.

Michael Morgan had claimed back to back points in the opening minute and although PJ O’ Connell opened account for the home side, Odhran Eastwood split the posts before O’Connor found the net.

The Cloney men were forced into an early change as mid-fielder Martin Graham was shown a black card just at the end of the opening quarter and although centre forward Tom Mc Glone soloed through the middle to raise a white flag shortly after St Enda’s were bossing the central zone.

 The visitors dominated the broken ball and continued to call the tune and a trio of unanswered points from Odhran Eastwood, James Mc Auley and Joe Maskey were followed by a Michael Morgan goal.

Ethan Gibson had claimed the kick out to initiate an attack and  a Peter Healey lob presented the wing half forward with opportunity to palm the leather to the net and open up a 2-08 to 0-04 lead at the 23rd minute.

The home side struggled to get it together in the opening phase but started to enjoy a bit of success of their own and when Eamon Brady went forward to split the posts the score signalled a call to arms with PJ O’ Connell following with a couple more points.

The Cloney side were back firing on all cylinders and when Donal Graham came in front again to collect from Tom Mc Glone and forward between the posts quickly followed by another from McGlone, the deficit was reduced to five.

St Enda’s had the final say in the scoring stakes and an unforced error was to cost the home side as James Mc Auley’s sent Oran Eastwood away on the left to see the Hightown men at 2-09 to 0-09 as the short whistle.

St Enda’s having concluded the opening period on the positive started the second in a similar mode and an early Oran Eastwood point was to be followed by a Peter Healey goal.

A precision based approach saw the corner man nip clear to collect and finish to the net and a Stephen O’ Connor point saw the visitors move 3-11 to 0-09 clear after 33rd minutes.

The home side responded however and back they came with an Eoin Graham point before corner back Gerard Graham came striding forward to link stylishly with Donal Graham and PJ O’ Connell before firing to the back of the net.

Donal Graham followed with a point and the Cloney men looked on the come-back trail.

St Enda’s had other ideas however and after Ryan Kennedy and the ever industrious Donal Graham traded points, Ruairi Scott made progress through the middle to blast the ball to the back of the net.

The visitors were in control and the final nail was about to be driven into the home side’s come back ambitions as their full back Stephen O’ Connell was to be shown a red card and that was that.

Eamon Brady and Donal Graham added late points for the home side but the Glengormley side had the final say as late whites raised in turn by Stephen O’ Connor, Conor Maxwell, and Odhran Eastwood saw them cross the finish line, valuable points secured at 4-17 to 1-14.

The situation at the foot of the table following Sunday’s results means St Teresa’s are relegated to the second division in 2020 whilst with one round remaining Ahoghill are on 9 points while St Enda’s and St Brigid’s on 10 apiece.

St. Enda’s face a difficult away game to Aghagallon in their final game while Ahoghill travel to Gort na Mona and St. Brigid’s make the trip to already relegated St. Teresa’s

Ahoghill: Frankie Neeson, Bernard Graham, Stephen O’ Connell, Gerard Graham (1-00), Eamon Brady (0-02), Sean Mc Mahon, Fionbarr O’ Neill, Martin Graham, Neil O’ Connell, Danny O’ Neill, Tom Mc Glone (0-02), Eoin Graham (0-02), PJ O’ Connell (0-03), Donal Graham (0-05), James Magee

Subs

Joe Downey for M Graham

Diarmuid Graham for T Mc Glone

Ronan Graham for J Magee

St Enda’s: Donal Walsh, Conan Lyttle, Michael Mc Namee, Conor Mc Auley, Killian Jennings, James Mc Auley (0-01), Ciaran Thompson, Ethan Gibson, Niall Mc Keown, Michael Morgan (1-02), Ruairi Scott (1-02), Odhran Eastwood (0-06), Peter Healey (1-00), Joe Maskey (0-01), Stephen O’ Connor (1-04)

Subs

Padraig Hamilton for C Mc Auley

Ciaran O’ Neill for N Mc Keown

Ryan Kennedy (0-01)

Conor Maxwell (0-01) for M Morgan

 Referee K Doherty (Rasharkin)

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