Tir na nOg off to winning start

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

ACFL Division 2- Round 1

Ardoyne Kickham’s 0.6 (6)
Tír na nÓg 1.13 (16)

A one sided affair today in Fennall Park saw Tír na nÓg capture their first two points of the league with a 10 point victory over home side Ardoyne Kickham’s. For 30 minutes of the game Ardoyne were forced to play with 14 men due to receiving three black cards. Tír na nÓg capitalised on this advantage and kept the score board ticking. Ardoyne failed to score from play, they were fortunate that Cormac Mullan was very accurate from free kicks (6) to put scores on the board.  This was a comfortable win for the Whitehill side, who could have been further ahead but missed a penalty at the latter stages of the game.

The first score of the game came early on from Ciaran O’Neill who lined out in the middle of the field. From the resultant kick out the visitors turned the ball, Kevin Sheerin fed Ciaran McKeown through to double the scores. Ardoyne had their chances but Joe McNeill saw two of his efforts sail wide of the target after good defending from Brandon McLarnon. With a wind blowing across the field mid-fielder Christy Sheerin kicked the ball high to the edge of the square where brother Pearse was awaiting to punch to the back of the net, after 10 minutes. Darren McCormick, as he did throughout the 60 minutes penetrated the Ardoyne defence and with momentum on his side he spilt the posts to put the visitors 6 points in front early on.

Cormac Mullan finally broke the dead lock and struck his first dead ball of the day to get Kickham’s off the mark. Tír na nÓg were patient in their build up, the ball went into Pearse Sheerin who was fouled and Darragh Fagan duly pointed the free. With half-time nearing, the score of the game came from Caoimhin Duffin. To spectators his effort looked like it was veering wide of the far post. Duffin measured the wind perfectly, the wind caught his shot and brought it between the sticks. Ardoyne picked up their first black card of the game after 26 minutes. Before the whistle sounded for half-time Darragh Fagan pointed from play and a 21m free after a foul on Pearse Sheerin to leave 9 points between the sides at the break.

Ardoyne’s second half started very poorly when Kevin McLaughlin picked up their second black card and McNeill was still serving his time on the side line. Mullan slotted his second free of the game over the black spot. With 10 minutes played the home side were struggling to return to scoring ways, Conor McLaughlin recieved a long kick out and broke away from the Tír na nÓg defence. He was quickly supported in attack by Gary McKernan who looked sure to get a shot on goal. Darren McCormick came in from the side and fairly hit him shoulder to shoulder to spoil his chance. McKeown and Mullan both exchanged scores with 15 minutes to play.

Pearse Sheerin hit his second point of the game before Mullan nailed his fourth free kick. Kevin Sheerin put his side 10 points clear but Paul Fisher then stood up and denied Fagan a sure chance. With 5 minutes remaining the home side picked up their third black card. Fagan converted the resultant free. Mullan had two more chances in front of the posts and he made no mistake when cvonverting them. Prior to Pearse Sheerin winning a penalty, which the visitors missed, 2 minutes over time, brother Christy finished a score with a fisted effort after another patient team build up.

Tír na nÓg
1. SP McAtamney 2. N. Cassidy 3. C. Mac Raillias 4. B. McLarnon 5. D. Mallon 6. C. Duffin 7. D. McCormick 8. C. Sheerin 9. C. O’Neill 10. B. McCormick 11. A. McNeilly 12. D. Fagan 13. C. Mckeown 14. K. Sheerin 15. P. Sheerin 17. B. Magee 18. O. McAtamney 19. K. Kerr 20. E. Murray 21. P. Cullen 22. D. O’Kane

Subs: B. Magee for B. McLarnon (35mins), P. Cullen for B. McCormick (43mins)

Scorers: C. O’Neill (0.1), C. McKeown (0.2), P. Sheerin (1.3), D. McCormick (0.1), C. Duffin (0.1), D. Fagan (0.3- 3 frees), K. Sheerin (0.1), C. Sheerin (0.1)

1. P. Fisher 2. P. Marley 3. SJ. Rooney 4. N. Bradley 5. K. Lynch 6. K. McCallan 7. J. McNeill 8. G. McKernan 9. D. McCormick 10. C. Mullan 11. A. McNeil 22. N. Mills 24. C. McLaughlin 14. K. McLaughlin 15. C. McDowell 16. P. McCullough 18. C. Carter 20. F. Marley 21. J. Rodgers 23. E. Slattery

Subs: 20. F. Marley for C.McLaughlin  (47mins)

Scorers: C. Mullan 0.6 (5 frees, 1 45m)

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