ACFL Division 2
Moneyglass 3-13 Aldergrove 1-8
Moneyglass prevailed in this clash of two previously unbeaten sides at Marian Hill on Wednesday evening. The game was a repeat of the 2019 Intermediate Championship decider, in which Aldergrove prevailed in a thunderstorm. This time conditions couldn’t have been any more different on what was a perfect evening for football, with only a slight breeze blowing down the field.
Moneyglass were first out of the blocks with a point from centre-forward Seanchan Duffin. Aldergrove replied with a score from big midfielder Conor Browning, before Colum Duffin put the home side back in front from a free.
Aldergrove then hit the front with two in a row from James Trowlen, with one score coming from a free. However, this was the last they would lead the game. Moneyglass knocked over two scores before the water break to hit the front. Firstly Paddy McCormick clipped one over, before Colum Duffin, who has stepped away from county duties this season due to work commitments, tapped over a free.
On the resumption, Moneyglass hit a purple patch, playing some superb football in the process. Ryan Doyle hit a lovely score out on the right after a pass from Colum Duffin, before returning the favour for Duffin to score his first from play. Veteran Doyle then showed his experience, calling the ‘mark’ before slotting over.
Aldergrove replied in kind with a free from James Trowlen, but the Moneyglass onslaught continued. Firstly Niall Boyd hit a great score from all of 50 yards, before the first goal of the evening arrived. It was a brilliant team move, the ball eventually worked to flying half-back Paddy McCormick to finish to the net. The shell-shocked visitors replied with a Trowlen free to leave the half-time score 1-8 to 0-5 for Moneyglass.
Aldergrove were playing down the hill and with the aid of the breeze in the second half, and they’d have been confident of turning the deficit around. They attempted to up the ante physically, but this seemed to disrupt their own game while spurring Moneyglass on to a higher level.
They started with a Colum Duffin free after brother Seanchan had been fouled. Five minutes in to the half the same player was fouled again, this time the referee adjudged the offence to have taken place in the large rectangle. Seanchan Duffin himself took the kick, confidently sending Shane O’Neill the wrong way with an excellent penalty.
Moneyglass stretched their lead with another point from half back McCormick, this time after a brilliant back-heel by Doyle in the build-up. Aldergrove responded with a bit of genius of their own, midfielder Ryan Owens rifling in to the top corner from 20 yards out to give them some hope of a comeback. At the second half interval, Moneyglass led by double scores, 2-10 to 1-5.
The Moneyglass defence was standing tall to everything Aldergrove could throw at them. Conor Boyd turned the ball over and set up Jimmy McMeel for a fine score. Aldergrove top scorer Trowlen responded with a free, before Boyd tapped over a free of his own. Trowlen responded again, tapping over after he himself was fouled. The same player added another minutes later, this time from play, though a goal may have been his intention.
This was to be the visitors last score, as the home side rang the changes. Conor O’Kane was introduced, and he combined with another youngster, Aidan McErlain to put the icing on the cake for Moneyglass. McErlain beat his man and fisted to the back post with O’Kane on hand to bundle the ball home.
Moneyglass will be delighted at this display after dropping a point at Glenavy on Sunday. It was a superb team effort, and although the forwards will take most of the plaudits, the back line deserves a mention for an excellent evening’s work. Aldergrove will hope to bounce back in their next game, at home to St Teresa’s.
Moneyglass – Gary Murray, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Jervis Weir, Paddy McCormick (1-2), Conor Boyd (0-1free), Sean Kelly, Ciaran Kelly, Colum Duffin (0-4, 3frees), Jack McCoy, Seanchan Duffin (1-1, 1-0 pen), Jimmy McMeel (0-1), Niall Boyd (0-1), Ryan Doyle (0-3), Aidan McErlain
Subs used – Conaill Prenter, Conor O’Kane (1-0), Kevin McPeake
Aldergrove – Shane O’Neill, Emmett Irvine, Corey Fogarty, Tomas O Callaghan, Eoin Gough, Chris McVeigh, Logan Fleming, Conor Browning (0-1), Ryan Owens(1-0), Conor Morris, Eoin Masterson, James Trowlen (0-7, 0-5frees), Glenn Dunham, Ronan Hanna, Chris O’Kane