All Saints continue in a rich vein of form

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors IFC

Group 2

All Saints 3-14 St. Teresa’s 2-8

All Saints continued with their recent rich vein of form when they proved to have too much fire power for visitors St. Teresa’s at Slemish Park today. The visitors were never able to match the pace and movement of the home team for whom Sean McVeigh was superb as sweeper.

The big number 8 broke up and instigated attacks in equal measures in a side who have benefited from the coaching of Damian Hagan since his arrival this year. The ex-Tyrone man and manager, Sean O’Brien will be disappointed in the manner they conceded two second half goals however but certainly not by their team’s performance.

All Saints kicked two wides in the opening two minutes, before Paddy McAleer made a great catch and then sent over with five minutes on the clock before Shea Mallon hit back with a St. Teresa’s point to tie the contest. Almost immediately Michael McCarry pointed to restore the home side’s lead but Niall McCann brought his side level once more with 8 minutes on the clock.

The sides looked evenly matched during the opening stages but slowly the Ballymena side began to get on top and a good move involving several saw Eoin Campbell break free but his well struck shot sailed over Jarlath Patterson’s crossbar when a goal looked eminent.

The home side were gaining in confidence and moving the ball well with always a player available and once again they opened up the visitors defence with Kavan Keenan up from defence finishing with a fine point to leave them 0-5 to 0-2 in front at the first water break.

On the restart Anto Taylor fired over a good point for the Glen Road side to reduce the deficit to two but once again All Saints found a quick reply and Michael McCarry punished a foul on Peter McReynolds to restore his side’s three point advantage with 19 minutes gone.

All Saints then received a setback when Ciaran McGarry went down following a challenge holding his ankle and after a lengthy stoppage he was replaced by Reece O’Mullan but it failed to disrupt their play as Michael McCarry extended their lead from another well struck free.

The home side were dominating at this stage and the visitors were caught cold when referee, Kevin Parke blew for a mark and Connell Lemon took advantage as he stepped forward to send between the sticks.

The visitors were doing everything in their power to stifle the movement of the home side but with only limited success and Peter ’Pizza’ McReynolds fired over the final point of the half to leave his side in a fairly comfortable 0-9 to 0-3 half-time lead.

PENALTY

The home side got off to a great start right from the second half throw in with Sean McVeigh breaking the throw in to Paddy McAleer and his sublime pass from just inside the halfway line found Peter McReynolds in full flight. Pizza but just as he was about to pull the trigger he was unceremoniously bundled over and referee, Kevin Parke pointed to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Kavan Keenan to stroke the resulting award to the net but the cheers had hardly died when St. Teresa’s hit back decisively and a teasing delivery from Conor O’Rawe dipped over the heads of the All Saints defence and Dominic Adams was on hand to finish to the net from the edge of the small square with only four minutes.

Things were moving at a fast pace and from the kick-out Brendan McDonnell replied with a point at the other end and from the resulting kick-out Peter McReynolds intercepted and sent Paddy McAleer in on goal but his rasping shot sailed over via the crossbar when a second goal looked on.

St. Teresa’s were still contesting every ball and a flowing move from deep in defence involving several players saw Sean Maguire on the end of the best point in the game but it failed to inspire his side and again the home side made deadly reply.

St. Teresa’s were relying heavily on the short kick-out but the home side were pushing up on it and for the second time in the half Peter McReynolds made a vital interception and he again combined with Paddy McAleer and this time the mid-fielder drilled his shot low to the net.

Jay Mallon pulled one back from a close range free going into the final quarter and when Sean Devine flicked a high ball to the All Saints net it looked like we might at last have a game on our hand.

It failed to bring the needed response from the visitors however with McAleer placing Conor Stewart for a 17th minute point with Darren McCann replying in kind at the other end to leave it 2-12 to 2-6 at the second water break.

On the restart Sean McVeigh hoisted a mighty point but Dominic Adams replied again for the visitors but it was the Ballymena side who continued to create the better openings and Conor Stewart fired home goal number three from close range.

It looked well and truly over at this stage but the visitors were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty but for the second time in a week Niall Shannon dived to his left to push away Niall McCann’s spot kick.

Jay Mallon fired over from a close range free with the last kick of the game but it is the Ballymena side who now have three wins from three starts to go joint top of group 2 with unbeaten St. Paul’s and these two are due to meet on the final day of the Group section on the 19th August.

All Saints: Niall Shannon, Mattie Downey, James Gillan, James McDonnell, Kavan Keenan, Ciaran McGarry, Connell Lemon, Sean McVeigh, Paddy McAleer, Peter McReynolds, Michael McCarry, Emmet Killough, Benny McDonnell, Eoin Campbell, Conor Stewart. Subs: Reece O’Mullan for Ciaran McGarry, Caolan Loughran for Eoin Campbell, Cormac Lemon for Kavan Keenan, Aidan Scullion for Brendan McDonnell, Joe Rafferty for Peter McReynolds

St. Teresa’s: Jarlath Patterson, Ryan Mallon, Anthony Vardell, Sean Maguire, Conor O’Rawe, Colm McGoldrick, Eoghan Hamill, Niall McCann, Darren McCann, Philip Maguire, John Mallon, Pierce O’Rawe, Paul Curran, Anton Taylor, Paul Johnston. Subs: Dominic Adams, Odhran O’Neill, Sean Devine, Philip Glennon.

Referee: Kevin Parke (St. Enda’s)

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