ACFL; Division 2
St James’ Aldergrove 0-13 Glenravel 1-7
In a game between two of the teams vying for promotion, Aldergrove looked like they would run away with this game in the first half but the strong wind and a resolute Glenravel team dragged themselves back into the game to make them work hard for the two points in the second half.
Aldergrove were first out of the blocks in this game with Seamus McGarry in seemingly unstoppable form scoring 5 points in the first 5 minutes of the game and a real intensity in the tackle from the home side.
This intensity stopped a well fancied Glenravel team from getting into their stride and they struggled throughout the first half to get into their rhythm. Aldergrove tapped over further points from McGarry, Ryan Owens and a 45 from Gerard Mallon before Glenravel registered their first point of the night through Callum Higgins.
Glenravel would have been forgiven for reaching for the white towel at this stage but they came back with a couple of points late in the half and the teams would retire to the changing rooms with Aldergrove ahead by 0-11 to 0-03.
Playing with the breeze at their backs in the second half, Glenravel came out of the blocks fastest with two nice scores from Eoin Hynds and Eamon Fyfe and they looked like they could pull themselves back into this tie.
Aldergrove replied through another McGarry point before the game was brought back to a 4 point margin with another Eoin Hynds point just after S O’Neill made a great one on one save.
Glenravel aided by a combination of wind, slope and dogged determination were in total control of the game at this stage. They were awarded a penalty on ten minutes which Eamon Fyfe dispatched to the net reducing the gap to four points and it was definitely “game on”
However, the game was won and lost in a two minute spell midway through the second half when Con Magee’s put three very scoreable efforts wide of the mark.
Ryan McQuillan and Cathal Hynds would reduce the gap to two points but in the ninth minute of extra time and in semi darkness, McGarry pointed from a breakawy upfield to secure victory.
That point drew the loudest cheer of the evening as the home supporters realised they were home and hosed.
This win leave Aldergrove unbeaten and they sit in second place in the league, two points behind All Saints but with two games in hand and they are likely to amongst the candidates for promotion come seasons end.
Con Magee’s took a time to get going but showed throughout the second half that they too can be serious contenders for honours this year.