Saints win with something to spare

ACFL Division 2

All Saints 1-16 Davitt’s 1-3

All Saints strengthened their chances of a play-off place following this facile victory over an under strength Davitt’s at Slemish Park tonight. Sean McKenna’s side briefly threatened to make a game of it when Christopher Rafferty finished to the net in the 4th minute of the second half to close the gap to three but it would prove to be the visitors final score as the home side came roaring back.

Davitt’s arrived in Ballymena with just 15 players to face an All Saints team aiming for their 8th consecutive victory and chasing a playoff spot in the race for promotion.

The home side dominated from the throw in and Benny McDonnell should have had a goal in the 9th minute but fluffed his lines to fire over from close range before Conor Stewart added a second with 11 minutes gone.

Cormac Lemon moved forward from defence to add a fine point and two more from the impressive Stewart had All Saints five in front by the 23d minute with the visitors yet to register. Christopher Rafferty finally got the visitors off the mark when he pointed a 30 meter free and keeper, Aaron Slane added another as Davitt’s threatened to get themselves back into the game.

It brought another response from the Slemish park side however with Paddy McAleer and Cavan Keenan splitting the posts at the other end before Gerard Slane struck Davitt’s first point from play in the 29th minute, an excellent long range effort.

All Saints had kicked away a lot of possession in the closing stages of the first half but were fast out of the starting blocks as the second half action got under way with Brendan McDonnell point a free after 30 seconds and Conor Stewart adding another from play with only a minute gone.

Aaron Slane in the Davitt’s goals then pulled off a good double save to deny McDonnell and Eoin Campbell before the visitors struck at the other end and Christopher Rafferty got the final touch to finish to the net after the All Saints defence failed to deal with a long searching delivery into their goal area.

Suddenly there was only three points between the sides but that was as close as Davitt’s got as things started to swing in favour of Liam Bradley’s side. Ryan Park was side-lined following a second yellow card in the 8th minute as Benny McDonnell and Shaun O’Callaghan replied with points for the home side.

Aron Slane then received a black card in the 12th minute to leave the visitors down to 13 men and a task that already looked difficult had become impossible and the home side took the opportunity to empty their bench.

It didn’t disrupt the All Saints rhythm however as Michael McCarry announced his introduction by pointing a free before firing an unstoppable shot to the Davitt’s net as All Saints pushed on to win with something to spare and they will now look forward to the visit of St. Paul’s who lost narrowly to St. Ergnat’s at Shaw’s Road tonight to wrap up the division 2 league title.

All Saints: 1 Connor Brennan, 2 Matty Downey, 3 James McDonnell, 4 James Gillan, 5 Ciaran McGarry, 6 Paddy McAleer, 7 Cormac Lemon, 8 Cavan Keenan, 9 Emmet Killough, 10 Conor Stewart, 11 Ciaran Campbell, 12 Shaun O’Callaghan, 13 Brendan McDonnell, 14 Eoin Campbell, 15 Shea O’Brien.Subs: Peter McNicholl for Cavan Keenan, Oisin Connolly for Ciaran Campbell, Michael McCarry for Benny McDonnell, Diarmuid McNally for Eoin Campbell, Michael Read for Emmet Killough

Davitt’s: 1 Aaron Slane, 2 Conor Toner, 3 Jason Park, 4 Nathan Maginn, 5 Gerard Slane, 7 James Lindsay, 8 Anthony Rowntree, 9 Paul McKinney, 10 Marcas Toner, 11 Ryan Park, 12 Oskar Deevy, 13 Anton McLaughlin, 14 Christopher Rafferty, 15 Tony McGrattan, 17 Ryan McAuley

Referee: Karol Dohertry (Rasharkin)

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