Senior Reserve Football Shield
All Saints 2-6 Dunloy 2-7
Kevin ‘Rev’ McAllister fired over an excellent free from a difficult angle in the 60th minute to earn Dunloy a one point win over Ballymena in a sometimes tempestuous encounter at Quinn Park tonight.
In the battle of the ‘evergreens’ Dunloy’s Adrian Scullion excelled in the visitors defence while Kevin McAllister was the conductor in chief in the visitors attack and proved the difference between the sides in the end.
The home side made the brighter opening and Cormac Magill rifled over from Five yards with the goal at his mercy in the opening minute before Kevin McAllister brought matters all square from a pointed free.
McAllister struck a fine point from play and Eoghan McGrath soloed through for another and as the visitors began to get on top ‘Rev’ increased their advantage to three with 11 minutes gone.
All Saints should have been back on terms a couple of minutes later when Diarmuid McNally found himself in the clear after a quickly taken free but he was much too casual with his attempt at goal and Conor McGillagan turned his shot around the post for a ‘45’.
It was a costly miss as Kevin McAllister rounded his marker at the other end and his astute pass across goal was side-footed home by an alert Anthony Smith to put the visitors six in front at the first water break.
On the restart the home side began to play with a bit more passion and Richard O’Rawe fired over a 40 meter free and Diarmuid McNally followed with another from play and when McNally pointed a close range free just before half time the gap had been cut to three.
On the restart All Saints continued to take the game to the opposition and when a Niall Walsh attempted point dropped over the head of Conor McGilligan the sides were all square and it looked as if the home side might push on for a much needed win.
Once again it was the excellent Kevin McAllister who put the Cuchullains back in pole position after being placed clear following a strong run from Eoghan McGrath and when Anthony Doran added a point the momentum was back with the Group leaders.
A running feud between All Saints Vinny Esler and Dunloy’s Anthony Doran then boiled over with several player getting involved and after the dust settled Peter McQuillan of Dunloy saw red while Esler received a yellow card for his troubles.
Doran added a Dunloy point to edge his side five in front but All Saints had a bit of wind in their sales and replied through Conall Killough who send over from 30 meters. The Quinn Park side then suffered a blow when Cormac Magill was black carded and Sean McCambridge was shown Red after retaliating when he appeared to have been struck himself.
McCambridge had been the driving force in the All Saints mid-field and now a man down and with the game going into the final ten minutes it wasn’t looking good for the Quinn Park side but they dug deep with substitute Peter McCann pointing a free and when another substitute, Michael Sloan got in for a goal it was all square and a draw looked eminent.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and when Kevin McAllister received the ball to the right of goal he looked to have nowhere to go but was fouled with referee Stephen Higgins indicating that time was almost up.
A pressure kick but no better man for the occasion and ‘Rev’ sent his award inside the near post and that was that with the whistle sounding from the kick-out and Dunloy now move three clear of the Ballymena side at the top of the group table.
Dunloy are now very much in pole position with home games against Glenravel and Moneyglass still to play while All Saints face away games against the same two sides but on tonight’s performance can still qualify.
All Saints: Emmet McAllister, Vinny Esler, Ronan Ward, Phelim Killough, Darragh Mussen Joe Rocks, Ciaran Ferris, Sean McCambridge, Luke O’Rawe, Cormac Magill, Conall Killough, Niall Walsh, Diarmuid McNally, Declan Hasson, Lee Kirk Subs: Peter McCann for Lee Kirk, Michael Sloan for Niall Walsh, Damian Casey, Kevin Brady
Dunloy: Conor McGilligan, Oisin McErlaine, Adrian Scullion, Sean Scullion, Daithi McGuigan, Callum Scullion, Ciaran McQuillan, Peter McQuillan, Ryan McFarlane, Anthony Doran, Eoghan McGrath, Padraig McGilligan, Anthony Smith, Kevin McAllister, Stephen McIlroy. Subs: Daithi Cree for Callum Scullion, Oisin McPoland, Frankie Cochrane, Sean Og McErlaine
Refreree: Stephen Higgins (Tir na nOg)