Johnnies take the points in low scoring affair

ACFL Division 1

St. John’s 0-8 Aghagallon 0-5

St. John’s came out top in a low scoring encounter in perfect conditions at Corrigan Park tonight. The heat had dropped off and the rain stayed away – however both teams struggled to take control of this game and in the end St John’s performance in the second quarter was enough to claim the honours in this clash with St Mary’s Aghagallon.

The visitors took an early two point lead with Ryan O Neill stepping up to hit a 20 metre free and then Jamie Lamont hit a quick free to find Conor McKavanagh who split the posts. Despite both teams kicking a lot of wides St John’s had restored parity by the water break with Ryan Mc Nulty and Jack Hannigan scoring from play.

Upon the restart St John’s got the better of things, they moved the ball about retaining possession and picked off four unanswered frees – Conal McGlade with a free and a forty-five and Ross and Jack Hannigan from play. During this period of dominance they used their experience to win a lot of frees frustrating the visitors and probably felt they should have chalked up more than the four points. Just on the half time whistle Jack Lenehan closed the gap, with options moving around him space opened up and he composed himself to halve the scores.

Half time St John’s 0:06 St Mary’s 0:03

St Mary’s already depleted, were forced to change their whole back line with Dessie Marshall, Jack Hannon and Steven Devlin replacing Stephen Branagan, Senan Donnelly and Aidan Mulholland forcing a few positional changes throughout the team. The second half of the game could best be described as “tetchy”, broken up by a lot of fouls as the hosts tried to manage the game. With so many fouls it was inevitable that the cards would flow and referee Eamonn McAuley was kept busy with a hand full of “yellows” and “blacks” for Stephen Tierney and Andy McGowan for the Johnnies and Conor McKavanagh for St Mary’s and right at the end Marc Mc Afee picked up a second yellow for dissent and was dismissed.

Between the fouls the sides shared four points with Oisin Donnelly opening the second half scoring ten minutes in before Adam Loughran and Naill McShane reduced the deficit to two before Conal McGlade concluded the scoring from a free.

Both teams had chances for goals at the end in fact Padraig Nugent did find the net but it was rightly ruled out when for some reason he fist passed it for goal, then right at the end Adam Loughran forced a point blank save from Eoghan Rua Lambert and the net minder got lucky when his fisted clearance skewed agonisingly away from Liam Russell with the net gaping.

Not the game the conditions deserved but the hosts will be glad to emerge with the points, St Mary’s gained game time for some of their younger players that should stand them in good stead as the season continues.

Full Time St John’s 0:08 St Mary’s 0:05

St John’s

E R Lambert, C Galand, J Bohill, C Carson, R Hannigan (0:01), S Tierney, O Donnelly (0:01), R Mc Nulty (0:01), R Mc Cafferty, D Bellew, A Mc Gowan, J Hannigan (0:02), C Quinn, C Mc Glade (0:03 2f 1 45), P Nugent, P Donnelly for D Bellew

St Mary’s

D O Hagan, S Branagan, S Donnelly, A Mulholland, J Crossey, J Lenehan (0:01), R O Neill (0:01 f), M Mc Afee, J Lamont, N Mc Shane (0:01), L Russell

P Maginness, C Mc Kavanagh (0:01), R Loughran, D Mc Alernon

D Marshall for S Branagan, S Devlin for S Donnelly, J Hannon for A Mulholland, A Loughran (0:01 f) for P Maginness

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