ACFL DIVISION 3
St Malachy’s 1-6 – 1-11 Na Piarsaigh
A sunny but cold night over at Cherryvale saw St Malachys host Pearses, with both
clubs needing a win to keep their chances of a top 5 finish alive before the league
St Malachy’s were looking to get back to winning form after disappointing results
against Naomh Padraig and Laochra Loch Lao in previous weeks, whereas Pearses
were looking to make it 4 wins on the bounce.
The game started with St Malachys winning the throw in, controlling the ball early
before lumping the ball forward to try and grab an early score but Ciaran McCavana
done well to get the ball and play it out of defence.
The first real chance of the game went to Pearses where the St Malachy’s keeper
made a great save to deny Fionn Grew, and St Malachys themselves drove up the
pitch with a chance of their own but denied by some great defending from the
Pearses back line.
The first score of the game went to Oisin Grew after some great play from Piaras
Donaghy, driving the ball forward and passing it off to Oisin. 0-0 to 0-1. The score
was soon 1-0 to 0-2 after Naoise Ó Cuilín scored immediately after the first score of
the game, before St Malachy’s #13 played a great ball into his forward line for the
first goal of the game, all within the first 5 minutes.
The game was very back and forward in the first 10 minutes, with St Mals working
the ball forward from midfield, with their #11 winning and scoring a free to make it
1-1 to 0-2 before some great from Pearses from the resulting kickout to grab the
second goal of the night. Naoise Ó Cuilín done well to hold a pass from Barry Harper,
then from a few nice passes between Sean Moreland and Piaras Donaghy, Piaras
plays a brilliant pass through to Naoise who smashes the ball home.
The next 10 minutes was very much in Pearses favour with scores from Piaras
Donaghy, Naoise Ó Cuilín & Phil Murray extending the lead to 5 points, with the St
Malachy’s keeper making another good save to deny Sean Moreland during this time.
St Malachy’s reacted to this pressure by breaking down a good attack from Pearses,
running the ball through the middle of the pitch to grab their third, then fourth
scores of the game, to make it 1-3 to 1-6 close to half time.
Pearses fail to capitalise on some sloppy passes and kickouts from St Malachys right
before half time to extend the lead going into the break.
Half time Score:
St Malachy’s 1-3 to 1-6 Na Piarsaigh
St Malachy’s win the throw in and immediately try and get a score immediately but
the ball falls to a pearses man and the North Belfast men win a free from a great
turnover from Phil Murray, which allows Fionn Grew to get his first score of the game
to make it 1-3 to 1-7.
Another turnover in the middle allows Conall Hughes to get in on the action to make
it 5 in Pearse’s favour, with St Malachy’s then missing a good chance themselves
putting the ball wide from within the 21 immediately after this score.
Both teams driving forward and missing chances themselves was the story for both
teams over the next 5 minutes with St Malachys with some sloppy passing and
Pearses hitting the post from a high free. St Mals then drove forward themselves,
with their #20 scoring a free off the deck just inside the 45 to reduce Pearse’s lead
back to 4. 1-4 to 1-8.
Some more St Malachy’s pressure led to some attacks into the pearses defence,
driving forward to reduce the difference to 3 from a score from St Malachy’s #13
halfway through the second half, with some good defending after thus denying St
Malachys a second goal, before #13 puts the ball wide.
A bad challenge from St Malachy’s #7 gave Pearses the opportunity to get back on
the scoresheet with a quick free played between Piaras Donaghy and Liam Deegan to
allow Piaras to get his second of the evening, making the score 1-5 to 1-9 in Pearse’s
favour with 10 mins to go.
Another long ball into the box from St Malachy’s finally results in another goal, but
the referee rules the goal out due to a square ball and pearses capitalise immediately
after this by winning a free up the pitch to allow Naoise Ó Cuilín to restore Pearse’s 5
point lead. 1-5 to 1-10.
St Malachy’s continue their pursuit of a goal during the last 5 or so minutes but some
brilliant defending from the likes of Aodhan McCavana and James Smyth help
pearses hold out the St Malachy’s attack. The threat from St Malachys resulted in a
point scored to bring this back to a 4 point game with only a few minutes remaining.
Pearses finished the game with a score from Liam Deegan to take the game to 1-6 to
1-11 in Pearses favour and help secure a 4th win on the bounce.
Full time Score:
St Malachy’s 1-6 to 1-11 Na Piarsaigh
N’Largey, D’O’Neill, A’McCavana, C’McCavana, C’O’Neill, B’Harper, N’Gorman,
P’Murray (0-1), J’Smyth, S’Moreland, P’Donaghy (0-2), C’Hughes(0-1), N’Ó’Cuilín (1-4),
L’Deegan (0-1) for S’Moreland
F’McCallan for J’Smyth