Saint-sational Ballymena win Breslin Shield

Breslin Shield final

All Saints 2-19 Portglenone 0-7

A well organised All Saints proved too strong for a battling Casement’s in this Breslin Shield final at Quinn Park Ballymena today. The sides had tossed for venue with the Ballymena side winning the toss to gain home advantage and they took control of the contest right from the off.

Only a point separated these sides when they met earlier in the season but this one appeared to be swinging in the direction of the home side as early as the first water break when they led 1-4 to 0-1. Their goal came from corner forward Conan McKeown who drilled a first time ground shot to the net after Casement’s keeper, Johnny McAtamney made a good save to deny Lewis Devlin.

Pearse McAuley had opened the scoring with a point in the third minute and points from Conan McKeown, Lewis Devlin and Pearse McAuley in reply to one from an Odhran Doherty free put the home side in a fairly commanding position.

After the break All Saints extended their lead with points from Lewis Devlin and Fiontan Bradley with Ryan Mckeever replying with a good individual point for the Portglenone side but it provided only brief respite.

The home side were moving the ball around with great confidence and precision and supporting the player in possession and they hit six points without reply by the 28th minute with the impressive Fiontan Bradley scoring 0-03 and Corey McKillop, Lewis Devlin and Pearse McAuley getting the other three.

Casement’s kept battling away and Ryan McKeever was denied after a great run at the expense of a ‘45’ before Odhran Doherty pointed from a free in the 33d minute to leave his side trailing by 0-3 to 1-12 as Joe McCavana sounded his half time whistle.

All Saints continued to dictate matters on the restart as Pearse McAuley (0-2) and Ryan Laverty extended their lead with early points before the accurate Odhran Doherty replied from his fourth free and his side’s fifth point of the game to give the visitors some encouragement.

Edward McKendry entered the contest to replace Liam Heggarty in the All Saints side, young McKendry’s first appearance since breaking a leg in a North Antrim hurling game during the Summer and he received a rousing cheer from the home support.

Portglenone never dropped the head despite being under almost constant pressure and were rewarded with a great point from Frank McAleese in the 10th minute but again it brought about an immediate response from the eventual winners.

Fiontan Bradley pointed a free and Conan McKeown added another from play to put the Ballymena boys in almost total control at the second water break when they led 1-17 to 0-6 and there would be no way back for the visitors.

All Saints added 1-2 to their total during the closing quarter without reply with the goal coming from Paddy Murphy and Pearse McAuley and Lewis Devlin getting the points and it was a delighted Harry Connon who stepped forward to collect the Breslin Shield from Colum Walsh as the young Ports and their management remained sportingly on the field to applaud the winners.

All Saints: 1 Caelyn Clarke, 2 Ciaran Logan, 3 Connor O’Hara, 4 Liam Heggarty, 5 Sean McDedrmott, 6 Harry Connon, 7 Corey McKillop, 8 Pearse Martin, 9 Lewis Devlin, 10 Ryan Laverty, 11 Pearse McAuley, 12 Fiontan Bradley, 13 Conan McKeown, 14 Patrick Murphy, 15 Finn Connon, 16 Rory Dunne, 17 Edward McKendry, 18 Euan Anderson, 19 Michael Connolly, 20 Matthew Watt, 21 Nicholas Agnew, 22 James Anderson, 23 Orran Mayo, 24 Oliver McGlone,

Roger Casements: 1 John McAtamney, 2 Oisin Kelly, 3 James McAleese, 4 Ruairi McGarry, 5 Feargus McCormack, 6 Tom Duffin, 7 Christy McDonnell, 8 Ryan McKeever, 9 Ryan Addison, 10 Ryan McAllister, 11 Jason Kelly, 12 Odhran Doherty, 13 Conor McCann, 14 John Paul Payne, 15 Frank McAleese, 16 Oisin Porter, 17 Eoin Porter, 18 Eoghan McErlean, 19 Eoin Carey, 20 Oliver Brookman, 21 Cathal McFerran,

Referee: Joe McCavana (Naomh Comhghall)

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