Ardoyne beat Ballycastle to quailify for Junior final

GYMCO Junior Football Championship Semi Final 

Ardoyne 2-12 Ballycastle 0-7

Report by Caoimhe McShane

Ardoyne qualified for the final of the Antrim Junior Football Championship when they beat McQuillan’s Ballycastle in Saturday’s semi-final at Dunsilly. A closely contested game in the first half saw the sides level on three points apiece at the first half water break, scores for Ardoyne from Cormac Mullan from two placed balls and danger man Conor Mc Laughlin from play. 

Mac Uilins matched this when Stephen Mc Gill got the first score for Ballycastle in the 7th minute and Diarmaid Mc Shane adding to the tally with two points from frees just before the first half water break. 

Scores followed in the first half for Mac Uilins from Tiarnan Butler & Conleth McCaughan, both scoring great points from play to put them two ahead and the men in black & amber seemed like they had the makings of the Ardoyne team. However a foul in the Mac Uilins defence allowed Ardoyne to add a point from a free in, soon after Conor McLaughlin struck a decisive score when he found the net for Kickhams, and when he won the subsequent kick-out he returned it over the bar to put Ardoyne three ahead at the half time break. 

Ard Eoin 1-05 Mac Uilins 0-5 

There was plenty of endeavour from both side as play resumed in  the second half, but both were finding it difficult to turn it into scores, and there were only two points apiece exchanged in the first 20 minutes of play. However with just ten minutes still to play the game was still in the balance but Ardoyne took a massive stride towards the final when Aidan McNeill blasted a penalty to the ‘castle’ net in the 53rd minute. That score was to prove decisive and the Belfast men began to edge away.

Connor Boyd, who was impressive all over the pitch, was penalised with a Black Card early in the second half, leaving a big gap in the Mac Uilins defence. In the last quarter of the game Ardoyne began to dominate with five unanswered points, and with Ballycastle continuing to miss chances from play and frees it was clear it was going to be Ardoyne’s day. 

ARDOYNE

Ard Eoin Team: 

  1. Paul Fisher 
  2. Niall Bradley 
  3. Gerard Óg Mc Farlane 
  4. Sean Joe Rooney 
  5. Kevin Lynch 
  6. Patrick Lynch 
  7. Conor Carter 
  8. Joe Mc Neill 
  9. Kevin Mc Laughlin 
  10. Declan Mc Cormick 
  11. Gary Mc Kernan 
  12. Cormac Mullan 
  13. Conor Mc Laughlin 
  14. Aidan Mc Neill 
  15. Conor Mc Dowell 
  16. Jim Og Mc Auley 
  17. Conor Magee 
  18. Enda Slattery 
  19. Nicholas Mills 
  20. Finta Campbell 
  21. Fintan Marley 
  22. Joseph Gibson 
  23. Pearse Marley 

BALLYCASTLE

1. Brendan Connor

2. Oisin Donnelly

3. Thomas McIlroy

4. Daniel Laverty

5. Sean Kelly

6. Darren McKillion

7. Conor Boyd

8. Conleth McCaughan (0-2 1 free) 

9. Stephen McGill (0-01) 

10. Conor Donnelly

11. Ronan Paul McCarry

12. Sean McCleave

13. Tiarnan Butler (0-01) 

14. Mark Higgins

15. Diarmaid McShane (0-03) 

Subs Used: 

Caolan McCaughan for Stephen McGill

Ciaran Butler on for Thomas McIlroy

Oran Kearney on for Sean McCleave

Rory Magee for Ciaran Butler

Zach McCaughan for TT Butler

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