Homefit ACFL Division 1
Portglenone 1-15 St Galls 1-10
‘Scotchy’ points Casements to victory over St Galls
Brendan McTaggart reports from Pairc Ui Cheallagh
Portglenone restarted their season on Sunday afternoon with a comprehensive five point victory over a much changed St Galls side. A fast start and a dominant first half laid the foundations for the Casements and despite an improved second half from the Milltown Row men, the home side run out comfortable winners.
It was an impressive attacking performance from the Bannsiders with seven different scorers over the hour. Michael ‘Scotchy’ Hagan the pick of the bunch with two points of his seven coming from frees in a top performance while Ronan Kelly got their goal.
Brendan Bradley top scored for St Galls, all his four points coming from placed ball while Eoghan McCurdy’s goal finished the move of the game in response to the Casement’s major. Their second half renaissance saw them whittle Portglenone’s eight point half time lead to five by the final whistle but the home side never looked ruffled, seeing out the result with ease.
The home side came out of the traps fastest and had five points from five different scorers in the opening 10 minutes. Oisin Doherty, Caolan Tierney, Niall McKeever, Michael Hagan and Johnny Convery. The Casements were leaving McKeever in attack but they rotated with regularity and were creating chances at will. St Galls dropped Cathal O’Kane into a sweeping role to try and curtail the home sides attacking play but Portglenone pushed up and continued to dominate.
Mark McKenna opened St Galls account in the 11th minute before Hagan’s second of the game. The home side should have hit the opening goal moments later but Doherty’s shot flashed wide of Chris Kerr’s goals. Another McKenna point doubled the Galls score and they too had a big goal chance in the 18th minute, Conn Doherty breaking the ball into the path of Cormac Bradley but his shot was well saved by Ryan O’Neill from a tight angle.
After the first water break, the Casement’s hit another gear and another run of five points unanswered. Ronan Kelly, Ryan Convery and a trio from Hagan (two frees) opened a nine point lead. St Galls responded with a free from substitute Niall Burns in injury time but the first half belonged to the home side with the score line 0-11 to 0-3 at the short whistle.
Half Time: Portglenone 0-11 St Galls 0-3
Michael Hagan opened the scoring in the second half but a trio of points from Brendan Bradley breathed fresh impetus into St Galls as they looked to eat into the Portglenone lead and cut the deficit to six after ten minutes of the second half.
Any thoughts of a St Galls comeback were dispelled moments later as Ronan Kelly scored the opening goal of the game. Collecting a superb ball from Michael Hagan, Kelly was faced with a narrow angle. Kerr bravely stopped his shot from close range but the ball squeezed over the line despite the best efforts of the St Galls net minder.
St Galls responded with the move of the game. Burns with the break down the middle with Aodhan Gallagher, Conn Doherty all involved before Eoghan McCurdy finished from close range. A flowing move and more like the St Galls we have become accustomed to watching.
It could and should have been better with the next St Galls attack but Gallagher’s pass gave O’Neill too much to do and his shot was well saved by Portglenone ‘keeper O’Neill. Brendan Bradley pointed the resulting ’45 with further scores coming from Burns and Bradley (free) in response to Oisin Doherty’s second of the game, Portglenone lead by four going into the final ten minutes.
The home side staved off the St Galls challenge once again with Hagan and Ronan Kelly finding the accuracy required and while McKenna added a further point for the visitors late on, it was too little too late for the Milltown Row side.
Portglenone: Ryan O’Neill; Johnny Convery, Shane Delary, Ronan Delargy; Ryan Convery, Dermot McAleese, Connor McGhee; Niall McKeever, Ciaran Lynch; Caolan Tierney, Ruairi Hagan, Oisin Doherty; Michael Hagan, Ronan Kelly, Paddy Kelly
Scorers: Michael Hagan 0-7 (2 f); Ronan Kelly 1-2; Oisin Doherty 0-2; Caolan Tierney 0-1; Niall McKeever 0-1; Johnny Convery 0-1; Ryan Convery 0-1
St Galls: Chris Kerr, Conor Ryan, Ryan Irvine, Shane O’Hagan; Cormac Bradley, Caolan Chada, John McCaffrey; Niall O’Neill, Aodhan Gallagher; Eoghan McCurdy, Mark McKenna, Brendan Bradley; Conn Doherty, Kevin Bradley, Cathal O’Kane
Scorers: Brendan Bradley 0-5 (4 f’s, 1 ’45); Mark McKenna 0-3 (1 f); Eoghan McCurdy 1-00; Niall Burns 0-2
Referee: Sean Laverty (Moneyglass)