Ports edge battle of neighbours

ACFL Division 1

Portglenone 0-11 Ahoghill 0-9

For the second game in succession Ahoghill came close to breaking their 2021 duck before losing out by two in the end to closets rivals, Casement’s Portglenone at Kelly Park today. It was the home side who got off to a flying start to lead 0-4 to 0-0 after six minutes but as the half progressed the visitors reeled them in to trail by the minimum at the break.

During the second half it was nip and tuck once again with the Casements again out scoring their visitors 0-5 to 0-4 to run out winners by two points.

It was Portglenone who made the early running as they hit the first four points of the game in the opening six minutes and it looked at this early juncture like it was going to be another tuff day for the Ahoghill side.

Oisin Doherty, Paddy Kelly (0-2) and Doherty again were the men on target for Portglenone before Francis Neeson got the visitors off the mark with a point from a ‘45’ in the 12th minute. Kelly replied with his third of the game to move the home side four in front once more but Ahoghill began to play their way into the game and James O’Connell and Martin Graham fired over to close the gap to two by the 19th Minute.

Michael Hagan made quick reply to move his side three in front once more but the final two points off the half fell the way of the St. Mary’s side with  Martin Graham and James O’Connell on target to leave it finely balanced 0-6 to 0-5 in favour of the home side.

After the break the exchanges continued in a similar vein to the first half with Gerard McAleese and the impressive Paddy Kelly splitting the posts to move Portglenone three in front once more by the 9th minute and a further four minutes had elapsed before PJ O’Connell got the Cloney men off the mark again with a good point.

The exchanges were becoming more intense with both side battling for the local derby bragging rights as Gerard McAleese and Paddy Kelly for Casements and James O’Connell 0-2 for Ahoghill exchanged further scores to leave it 0-9 to 0-8 with 8 minutes remaining and it still looked anybody’s game at this stage.

Ahoghill had their chances to take something from the game in a frantic finish but it was Paddy Kelly who stepped up to score his 5th of the game and Aidan McAleese added another before Owen Neeson had the final score for the visitors as the clock ticked down but it proved too little, too late.

Ryan O’Neill, Johnny Convery, Shane Delargy, Ronan Delargy, Ryan Convery, Michael Kelly, Connor McGhee, Ciaran Lynch, Fergal O’Kane, Aidan McAleese, Gerard McAleese, Oisin Doherty, Michael; Hagan, Patrick Kelly, Caolan Tierney

Ahoghill: Francis Neeson, Paddy Dougan, James Magee, Eamon Brady, Eoin Graham, Fionnbar O’Neill, Ronan Graham, Neil O’Connell, Tomas McGlone, James O’Connell, Bernard Graham, Michael O’Connell, Conor Crossey, Donal Graham, Martin Graham, PJ O’Connell

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lamh Dhearg

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