Ahoghill on top in the battle of the St. Mary’s

Homefit ACFL Div 1.      Sun 15.05.22

St Marys Aghagallon 1-10  St Mary Agohghill 2-12.

Report and Photographs: Gerard Lenehan

St. Mary’s Ahoghill travelled to St. Mary’s Aghagallon on Sunday and came away with two Valuable points as they strive to climb out of the division 1 basement. With both teams having mixed league performances St Marys Aghagallon probably targeted this game as one they could win but it didn’t quite work out that way.

Both teams made changes due to injuries and St Marys had to introduce a number of their younger players during the game. In a strange first half which the Aghagallon St Marys dominated for the first 20 minutes and had the majority of good scoring chances in this period the score was four points each. The visitors hit for sucker punches in the last period of the half to score two goals and led 2.05 to 0-5 at half time.

During the second half and like previous games Aghagallon put in a great shift and reduced the arrears to three points with ten minutes left on the clock after Eunan Walsh found the net but the reds had other ideas and withstood the pressure and tagged on a couple of points to run out winners by five points.

The first five minutes was evenly contested and both teams recorded two points each with Eunan Walsh running the ball and cutting in off the wing to slot over for a great score and James O’Connell on target for the visitors.

St Marys picked up the attacking pace and first Adam Loughran was in for goal only for keeper Crossey to parry. In another great attacking move Oisin Lenehan was similarly denied by the visiting keeper. Despite these misses St Marys still applied the pressure but with some wayward shooting numerous chances went abegging.

The visitors replied with points from Conor Crossey and Dan O’Neill and a Ronan Graham free to lead 0-6 to 0-4 after 26 minutes before striking decisively in the period leading up to half time.

Aghoghill were proving very effective on the break and a solo run up the left wing was fed inside to Conor Crossey and he finished to the net for a well worked goal on 26 minutes. Adam Loughran replied from play after some good approach work to keep his side in touch but the game turned decisively towards the visitors when they were awarded a penalty.

The Aghagallon keeper brought down Paddy Dougan as he raced clear on goal and Donal Graham finished clinically on 32 minutes to leave the home side plenty to do in the second half.

Could Aghagallon pull it back, they certainly threatened and had a point and a goal in the opening minutes of the second half when Eunan Walsh weaved into the scoring area with a great run and he planted the ball under the keeper for a great goal.

Aghoghill kept the heads down and picked off a few points on the break with Ronan Graham, Paddy Dougan and James O’Connell on target and Aghagallon replying after some sustained pressure on the visitors defence with Johnny Hannon pointing on 18 minute. Eunan Walsh was again on target as he breached a highly congested Aghoghill defence and the deficit now was only three and St Marys had built some momentum.

However Aghoghill with the breeze were able to break out at pace and exploit a stretched home defence and pick off a number of crucial scores through Neil O’Connell and Dan O’Neill by the 26th minute.

St Marys came back again and applied pressure on the packed visitors defence and Paudie Gowdy scored a great point from play but this was to be the last score of the game as Ahoghill ran out winners by five points to secure a valuable win.  

St Marys Aghagallon; Damian O’Hagan, Ciaran Hamill, Aaron Doherty, Aidan Mulholland, Pat Branagan, Steven Devlin, Paul Mulholland, Paudie Gowdy, Oisin Lenehan, Davy Mc Alernon, Mark Mc Afee, Johnny Hannon, Adam Loughran, Eunan Walsh, Hugh Hannon. Subs used; Jack Hannon, Niall McShane, Daryl Mc Alernon, Niall Patterson.

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