ACFL Div. 2
Ardoyne 0-11 All Saints 0-12
On a balmy evening at Fennell Park, All Saints were made to work hard to seal the 2 points with an injury time winner from Brendan McDonnell.
The game started with All Saints dominating possession but they struggled to break down the blanket Ardoyne defence.
Ardoyne playing with 13 men behind the ball always looked threatening on the counter attack.
The first quarter began with a fine score from Conal Lemon after 5 minutes but Ardoyne replied from a free following a well taken mark from Kevin Lynch. Both teams exchanged frees before a fine score from Sean McVeigh followed by another All Saints free by Michael McCarry to leave the Ballymena men leading 0-4 to 0-2 at the first water break.
All Saints continued to dominate possession after the break with Joe Rafferty showing his attacking instincts from half back to put them three ahead.
Ardoyne’s Cormac Mullan continued to prove a thorn in the All Saints defence and he struck a fantastic point to narrow the gap to 2 points.
The visitors continued to press and stretched their lead to 5 points as the interval approached with scores from McCarry (free), McDonnell and McKillop from play, but Ardoyne’s Cormac Mullan had the final score of the half from a free on the stroke of half time.
Half time score 0.8 to 0.4 in favour of All Saints.
After the break, both teams traded scores from play with a fine score by Ardoyne’s Aidan McNeill followed by a point from Shea O’Brien. Ardoyne responded with a point from Gary McKernan but the visitors hit back again through Keenan and McDonnell.
Ardoyne were coming more and more into the game however and hit back again through Aidan McNeill from a mark and a score on the stroke of the water break by substitute Brendan O’Neill which narrowed the gap to 3 points on a score line of 0.11 to 0.8.
The final quarter was dominated by Ardoyne as they clawed their way back into the game with a point from a free by McNeill followed by a fine score by Cormac Mullan and a further McNeill free to level the game as it neared the full time whistle.
At this stage the game could have gone either way but significantly the Kickham’s shot two wides as they pushed for a winner and in the final attack of the game, All Saints had the chance to secure the points with a mark by Reece O Mullan, only for the ball to come off the post but Benny McDonnell rescued the points for All Saints with a well taken score on the stroke of full time.
Ardoyne will have been disappointed not to have taken something from the game and All Saints will consider themselves fortunate to take 2 points back up the road after another disjointed performance.
Ardoyne: Tiernan Hughes, Pearse Marley, Sean Joe Rooney, Padraig Montgomery, Kevin Lynch, Kaolan McCallan, Eoghan Corrigan, Gary McKernan, Oisin McVicker, Daniel Moore, Aidan McNeill, Charlie McCormick, Conor McDowell, Cormac Mullan, Patrick Lynch. Subs: Brendan O’Neill,
All Saints: Joe Rocks, Matt Downey, James Gillan, Reece O Mullen, Joe Rafferty(0.1), Peter McNicholl, Ciaran McGarry, Sean McVeigh (0.1), Shea O Brien (0.1), Conal Lemon (0.1), Kavan Keenan (0.1), Ronan McKillop (0.1), Michael McCarry (0.3F), Oisin Connolly, Brendan McDonnell (0.3)
Michael Read for Joe Rafferty (15 minutes)
Ciaran McLarnon for Oisin Connolly (40 minutes)
Emmet Killough for Kieran McGarry (40 minutes)
Aidan Scullion for Peter McNicholl (45 minutes)
Kevin Lynch 0.1
Brendan O’Neill 0.1
Cormac Mullan 0.5 (2F)
Gary McKernan 0.1
Aidan McNeill 0.3 (2F)
Referee: Charlie Hemsworth