ACFL Division 1
Portglenone 0 – 14 St Johns 1 – 05
Photographs: Colleen Webb
St Johns were the visitors to Kelly Park for this round ten league encounter and despite showing glimpses of form it was the hosts who did enough to claim the brace of points on offer.
The Johnnies have been picking up points recently and fielded a mixture of youth and experience in their selection, and they got off to a dream start when impressive Conchur Adams sent a speculative lob in the direction of Lochlainn Mc Curdy in the second minute of the match, and the big forward got a fist on it to send into the Casements net for a dream start.
Conor Hand added a point a few minutes later to bolster the excellent start made by the visitors, as the hosts took a long time to settle into this contest. When they got their first score in the twelfth minute it came from a long range Ronan Kelly effort after a patient build up involving a dozen players.
The youthful duo of Hand and Adams were prominent throughout the opening half and their constant movement of Simon McDonagh between midfield and full forward was causing problems, and when St Johns extended their gap with Conall Gough slotted over on twenty minutes, the home supporters were wondering when their team was going to start stepping up.
A little flourish before half time saw the hosts raise a series of white flags, with scores from Paddy and Ronan Kelly, Niall Delargy and Michael Hagan. The Johnnies still led, but by the minimum margin and as the teams settled down to commence the second half there was all to play for.
Whatever John McKeever said to his team at half time worked, as they hit the ground running. The very impressive Niall Delargy started the rout as Casements eased into a comfortable lead that they would not relinquish. Conall Delargy Niall McKeever and Ronan Kelly added another trio in quick succession as the scoreboard began to open up in favour of the bannsider’s.
St Johns to their credit battled gamely to the end, and it took a last ditch tackle from Niall Delargy to foil a likely goal opportunity that Stephen Tierney had crafted for himself with only five minutes to go.
As the game fizzled out to its inevitable conclusion Casements were six points to the good on the scoreboard, and John McKeever would be a lot happier with his sides second half showing.
Best for St Johns were Conor Hand, Conall Mc Glade Conchur Adams and hard-working Stephen Tierney who had a good joist with Paddy Kelly from the first whistle. For the hosts Niall Delargy stood out on a night where he seemed to be everywhere, aided by the returning Niall McKeever and hard working Ruairi Hagan, and Ryan Convery.
Casements – Ryan O Neill Conor McGee Shane Delargy Jonny Convery Ryan Convery Ruairi Hagan Caolan Tierney Niall Delargy Niall McKeever Stephen Kelly Paddy Kelly Ciaran McKenna Ronan Kelly Michael Hagan Conall Delargy. Sub Used Oran McGarry.
St Johns – Padraig Nugent Ciaran Garland Adrian Oliver Conor Dyson Sean Wilson Ciaran Johnston Luke Peden Fra Mc Caffrey Simon Mc Donagh Conal McGlade Conal Gough Conor Hand Lochlainn McCurdy Conchur Adams Andy McGowan. Subs Used Pearse Donnelly Stephen Magennis Matthew Mallon.
Referee: Dareen McKeown (St. Gall’s)