Aldergrove keep promotion hopes alive

O’Neill’s Sportswear Football League Division 2

Aldergrove 0-11 Davitt’s 0-7

Aldergrove kept their promotion hopes firmly on track when they beat Davitt’s in Crumlin on Wednesday evening in Division 2 of the Antrim Football League. Leading by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of a low scoring first half they pushed on after the break, and with Seamus McGarry picking off the points they sealed the win, despite a late charge by the visitors.

The first half was not one that will be remembered for its flowing football but Aldergrove started well and were two up after six minutes as James Trowlen and Seamus McGarry sent over points. Davitt’s did have their opportunities but they were off the mark with three scorable frees in the opening quarter. Full forward Gerard Slane opened his team’s account on fifteen minutes, but that was to be the only flag they raised, and though Aldergrove were not exactly proficient either, they did add points from midfielder Ryan Owens and full forward Seamus McGarry to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 at the short whistle.

A well worked length of the field move early in the second half was finished with a point from corner back Andy Irvine to increase the home side’s lead to four, but an excellent finish from long range by Davitt’s centre forward Padraig McPartland closed the gap back to three.

Aldergrove took a firm grip of the game when Seamus McGarry added the next three points, two of them from frees, before Gerard Slane pulled one back for the Falls Road men.  Two more from McGarry stretched the Aldergrove lead to 0-10 to 0-3 and it looked to be all over, but Davitt’s dug in and two points from Gerard Slane, one from Michael Connolly and one from Anthony Rowntree had the gap back to just three, with four minutes of normal time still to play. The Aldergrove fans must have been a little apprehensive at this stage but Andy Irvine settled those nerves when he pointed in the 60th minute to seal the win.

The win keeps the Crumlin men on course for the Division 2 title, though they are dependent on other results to get there. They play their game in hand on Friday evening at home to Sarsfields before taking on All Saints in the final game next Wednesday in Ballymena. A win against Sarsfields would put them ahead of All Saints going into that final game, where a win would give them the title, if Davitt’s can beat or draw with Con Magees Glenravel in their final game in Belfast. All Saints can also win the title of course, even they are point behind Glenravel and if they beat Aldergrove in that final game and Davitt’s beat Con Magees then it will be them who will be celebrating promotion.

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