Saints gain the points but Tir na nOg claim the title

ACFL Division 2

All Saints 1-12 Moneyglass 0-6

All Saints overcame the challenge of a depleted Moneyglass at Slemish Park tonight but the final score-line somewhat flattered the home side. They laboured for long periods of the game to reproduce the form they had displayed at Aldergrove on Wednesday night but never really looked like losing this one.

However they had to thank their young keeper, Rory Brennan who brought off a great blocking save to deny Ryan Doyle in the first half and he was again in top form when he saved a Seanchann Duffin penalty in the second when the visitors briefly looked like staging a comeback.

The elusive Benny McDonnell got All Saints on their way with points in the opening four minutes and the flying number 14 might have had a goal but blazed wide when well placed to score. Michael McCarry added an 11th minute point to open up a three point lead and it all seemed to be going to plan at this stage.

The visitors were battling hard to get into contention and a well struck 40 meter free from Aidan McErlain and another from 20 meters by the same player closed the gap to the minimum after 15 minutes and that was how it stood at the first water break

All Saints had struggled up to this point with too many cross-field passes going astray but on the restart they began to find their feet with Michael McCarry (Free), Ronan McKillop (0-2) and Kavan Keenan moving the five ahead after 25 minutes.

Benny McDonnell shot wide from close range as All Saints continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges before Michael McCarry for All Saints and Seanchann Duffin exchanged late points to leave the half time score 0-8 to 0-3 for the Slemish Park side.

The visitors opened up the home defence as the game moved into first half injury time and Ryan Doyle found himself on a one to one with Rory Brennan but the All Saints keeper came off his line to make a good save and the ball was cleared to safety.

Moneyglass pressed forward on the restart but Aidan McErlain fired wide from a close range free before Connell Lemon extended the All Saints lead with a point at the other end. Seanchann Duffin was then off target as he took over the free taking duties but was afforded an opportunity to redeem himself when referee Eamon Hamill pointed to the penalty spot.

Duffin struck his shot firmly but Conor Brennan  got down to push his shot away and it was cleared to safety and at the second water break the home side held a fairly comfortable 0-9 to 0-3 lead but it looked far from over at this stage.

On the restart the pacey Joe Rafferty sped through to fire over and Oisin Connolly followed with another as All Saints took the opportunity to empty their bench. Tiernan Duffin moved forward from defence to pull one back for the Marian Hill side but when Kavan Keenan got through for the game’s only goal with six minutes remaining it was as good as over.

Moneyglass battled to the end but their only reward was a late point from Patrick McCormick and it was All Saints who take the points but there celebrations were somewhat muted when the news filtered through that Tir na nOg had won at Glenravel to take the division 2 title.

All Saints: Rory Brennan, Matty Downey, Peter McNicholl, James Gillan, Joe Rafferty, Ciaran McGarry, Connell Lemon, Sean McVeigh, Kavan Keenan, Shea O’Brien, Emmet Killough, Michael McCarry, Ronan McKillop, Brtendan McDonnell, Rory McVeigh, Subs: Michael Reed, Oisin Connolly, Eoin Daly, Joe Rocks

Moneyglass: Danny McErlain, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Luke O’Donnell, Miran Neeson, Feargal Duffin, Jervis Weir, Patrick McCormick, Niall Boyd, Kevin McPeake, Seanchann Duffin, Sean Kelly, Connor O’Kane, Ryan Doyle, Aidan McErlain. Subs: Diarmuid Scullin, James McCormick, Conal Prenter, Charlie McCormick, Tyler Cassidy

Referee: Eamon Hamill

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