Homefit Antrim All County Football League Division 2
St Paul’s 2-10 Moneyglass 1-15
Paul McIntyre reports from Pairc Naomh Pól
A Colum Duffin inspired Moneyglass clinched the division two league title and promotion back to the top flight of Antrim football after they saw off St Paul’s in a thriller on Wednesday evening.
Duffin landed eleven points over the sixty plus minutes of action as Hugh Carey’s outfit wrapped up the league title with two games to spare.
The midfielder could do no wrong on a night where he was head and shoulders above any other player on the park.
A fast start coupled with a dominant spell midway through the second half contributed majorly to their win but Tyler Cassidy’s goal in the 35th minute also proved vital.
It came just minutes after Eugene Reid netted St Paul’s second goal in the first attack of the second half and it helped to fire the visitors to victory.
But St Paul’s gave as good as they got and more than played their part in an exciting game that hung in the balance until Brendan Toland’s final whistle.
They did have a greater spread of scorers, but a few poor shot selections which resulted in a number of second half wides proved to be their undoing.
The Shaw’s Road side still have a slim chance of promotion through a play-off but they must win their final two games and hope other results go their way.
St Paul’s Micéal Duffy tripped Seanchann Duffin in the third minute and received a black card for his troubles and Moneyglass took full advantage.
Duffy returned to see his side were trailing 0-5 to 0-2, and when Colum Duffin kicked his fifth point of the night in the 22nd minute the gap was extended to five.
Half backs Jack McCoy and Patrick McCormick were continuingly bombing forward and with Colum Duffin effortlessly kicking the ball over the bar from every angle, Moneyglass were looking at a comfortable victory.
But St Paul’s rallied and two points from Liam McLarnon and one from Patrick Doyle cut the gap to three before an injury time goal from McLarnon saw the sides go in at the break all square, 1-5 to 0-8.
They second half was only 20 seconds young when Cormac O’Hanlon’s long ball was gathered by Reid, and ‘Gino’ showed great composure to place the ball beyond the reach of Gary Murray, and from five down, St Paul’s were now three up.
But the reply was swift.
Colum Duffin quickly added a point from a free before Connlaodh McCann set up Cassidy for a well taken goal and the pendulum had now swung back in Moneyglass’ favour.
It was all part of a hectic third quarter and when Liam McLarnon pointed in the 41st minute it left just one point between the sides, 2-8 to 1-12.
Colum Duffin then kicked the next three points as Moneyglass again threatened to run away with the game, but again St Paul’s fought back and points from Stephen O’Brien and Liam McLarnon set up a grandstand finish.
But the St Ergnats held on for the win to confirm their seat at the top table of Antrim club football for next year.
Teams & Scorers:
St Paul’s: Jack McAufield, Niall Ward, Conall Finnegan, Micéal Duffy, Aodhan Kavanagh, Don Burns, Caoimhín killyleagh, Cormac O’Hanlon, Stephen O’Brien (0-1f), Paul O’Hanlon, Colm McLarnon (0-1), Padraic Lowe (0-1), Eugene Reid (1-0), Liam McLarnon (1-3), Patrick Doyle (0-4 1f).
Replacements: Caoimhín Duffy for O’Brien (48).
Moneyglass: Gary Duffin, Callum McStocker, Tiernan Duffin, James McCormick, Jack McCoy, Conor Boyd, Patrick McCormick, Colum Duffin (0-11 5f), Seanchann Duffin, Fearghal Duffin, Dermott McErlain, Conor O’Kane (0-1), Connlaodh McCann, Conaill Prenter (0-1), Tyler Cassidy (1-2).
Replacements: Aidan McErlain for Prenter (35), Eoin McErlain for McCann (50).
Referee: Mr Brendan Toland (Lamh Dhearg).