Sean Stinsons midfielder Connor Marron who was instrumental for his side as they progressed to the Breslin Cup Final at Ahoghill on Thursday evening.
Breslin Cup Semi-Final
Thursday June 15
Sean Stinsons 0-14 St James, Aldergrove 0-11
Sean Stinsons qualified for the Breslin Cup Final on Thursday night after a pulsating and enthralling semi-final with Aldergrove. Three points separated the sides after the hour but both these teams threw everything they had in their armoury in a ding dong battle.
The scores were tied on eight separate occasions in an intense but highly skilful game of football. In a tight match it was always going to come down to fine margins and unfortunately for the ‘Grove the match and momentum swung heavily in Sean Stinsons favour after influential half forward Fionn McDonagh was sent off for a second yellow card. Aldergrove were leading but one point when McDonagh was dismissed but with ten minutes remaining Sean Stinsons went for the jugular. Aldergrove battled superbly in the closing stages and had chances at the death to draw the match but Stinsons and midfielder Oisin Doherty in particular turned the screw when it mattered the most. Aldergrove only managed one more score when they were reduced to 14 men but it was only in the last five minutes that Stinsons opened any sort of meaningful advantage and scored five of the last six points to seal their spot in the Breslin Cup Final.
Playing into a strong wind in the first half, Sean Stinsons came out of the blocks fastest and could have scored a goal with their first meaningful attack. John O’Kane with the chance but Oisin McGarry was equal to his effort. They didn’t have long to wait for their first score, Conor Crossey splitting the posts in the second minute.
Aldergrove had an early goal chance themselves, Kian Jones with the effort but David McNicholl saved superbly to deny the St James man. A free from Jones followed to tie the sides before a brace of points from Doherty and Crossey opened gave Sean Stinsons a deserving early advantage. Points from both ‘Grove corner forwards, Jones and Michael Blaney tied the sides mid-way through the half but again Stinsons hit back with two points in the 22nd minute to open a two point lead again.
The home side were well on top and but for the brilliance of Aldergrove ‘keeper McGarry they would have been further ahead. McGarry denied Jack McAleese and Ruairi Hagan with point blank saves and his side reacted by ending the first half superbly. Points from Conor Morris, Blaney and Jones gave Aldergrove a slender one point advantage at the short whistle. The half time score was Aldergrove 0-6 Sean Stinsons 0-5.
Surprisingly, the strong wind had little effect in the first half and it was much the same in the second half. Sean Stinsons restored parity soon after the restart and Doherty’s first free of the match gave them the lead but the lead was to change hands twice more before with Oisin Graham and Ryan McCarthy in superb form for Aldergrove. They had upped their intensity levels in the second half and were giving the Stinsons defence insurmountable problems with their ingenuity and direct running.
Leading by one point mid-way through the second half, substitute Aidan Donnell had a superb goal chance but again McNicholl was Sean Stinsons savour, spreading himself and narrowing the target for Donnell to aim for.
The undoubted turning point came with ten minutes to go when referee Kevin Parke sent off Fionn McDonagh for a second yellow card. Sean Stinsons had control of the game and with Doherty instrumental, rallied in the final quarter to run out deserving three point winners.
Oisin McGarry; Sean Bradley; Corey Fogarty; Declan Gough; Lee McCusker; Emmett Irvine; David Aitken; Oisin Graham (0-2); Aaron O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh; Conor Morris (0-2); Conall Quinn; Michael Blaney (0-3); Ryan McCarthy; Kian Jones (0-4, 1 free)
Subs: Aidan Donnell for A O’Connor (37 mins)
David McNicholl; James Lennon; Kevin O’Kane; Shane McGuigan; Ruairi McAleese; Ruairi McGuigan; Patrick Dougan; Oisin Doherty (0-6, 4 frees); Connor Marron; Conor Paul Crossey (0-4, 1 free); Ruairi Hagan (0-1); Dylan Hawksford; Aidan McAleese (0-1); John O’Kane (0-2); Jack McAleese
Referee: Kevin Parke (St Enda’s)
Senior Camogie League Division 2
Tir na nOg 2-20 Creggan 2-8
By Brendan McTaggart
Tir na nOg maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 12 point victory over local rivals Creggan on Tuesday evening. This fixture was brought forward from the scheduled date and the Randalstown ladies were in dominant mood, outplaying their opponents for large periods of the match with Aine Devlin, Caitlin Devine and Emily Fallon to the fore. McGaughey and Emma McAreavey scored goals in either half for the home side but the major plus for Tir na nOg was the return of Aimee McAtamney who had been out for over a year with a cruciate injury. McAtamney showed no signs of rustiness by sending over three points in a 10 minute cameo while creating plenty for her team mates.
Creggan showed plenty of fight and in Fiona Maguire and Captain Ruby Rice they have two special camogs. Ciara McCollum scored two majors at the end of each half but ultimately Tir na nOg proved too strong for the Kickhams who still search for a second league victory to add to their earlier win over St John’s.
Tir na nOg held a three point lead when they scored their first goal of the match in the ninth minute. Emily Fallon sent a long ball into the edge of the square with Caitlin McGaughey applying the finish beyond Una McKeown in the Creggan goals. The visitors responded well and cut the gap to five point’s mid-way through the half but four unanswered points put Tir na nOg in the driving seat. Creggan were their own worst enemies in the first half with their lack of accuracy and composure in front of the target letting them down when it mattered most but they did finish the half strongly. Ciara McCollum and Emma McAreavey exchanged scored before McCollum was on hand to score Creggan’s first goal of the contest. The Creggan forward was first to react to a loose sliotar that cannoned back off the woodwork and made no mistake with a strong effort leaving Ciara Devine no chance in the Tir na nOg goals. At half time the home side led 1-9 to 1-5.
A run of four unanswered points after the restart put Tir na nOg back in control, Caitlin McGaughey adding to her first half goal (two) with Shauna O’Neill and Aine Devlin also splitting the uprights before Laura McCann got the Creggan scoreboard ticking again in the second half in the 43rd minute.
With Rice and McCollum always looking dangerous in the Creggan full forward line, the visitors always felt like they had a chance of getting back into the game and were rewarded for their endeavours with a second goal. McCollum applied the finish but the chance was created by a superb pass and smart piece of play from Alicia McAuley but time was running out for the visitors with nine points between the sides.
Tir na nOg’s second goal came under fortuitous circumstances with Creggan ‘keeper misjudging the flight of a long effort from Ciara McCollum, the sliotar dropping behind the Kickhams shot stopper but it just added further gloss to the score line in injury time.
The two points keeps Tir na nOg level at the top of the league with Loughgiel also on ten points while Creggan remain on two points, one point ahead of Portglenone but having played one game more than the Geraldine’s.
Tir na nOg:
Ciara Devine; Aine Dobbin; Caitlin McAreavey; Jennifer McLoughlin; Cameron McGaughey; Caoimhe Crossey; Caitlin Martin; Shauna O’Neill (0-1); Hannah Crilly; Emily Fallon (0-4); Katie McGuckian; Aine Devlin (0-7, 4 frees); Dervla O’Neill; Caitlin McGaughey (1-3); Emma McAreavey (1-1)
Subs: Aimee McAtamney (0-3) for D O’Neill; Naimh Callan (0-1) for K McGuckian; Lauren McAreavey for S O’Neill
Una McKeown; Ciara McAuley; Laura McCann; Anita McAuley; Caoimhe McAteer; Fiona Maguire; Eleanor Shivers; Martina McCann; Laura McCann (0-2, 1 ’45); Bronagh Maguire; Alicia McAuley (0-1); Ruby Marie Rice (0-3); Ciara McCollum (2-1); Susan McIlwee (0-1, 1 free); Megan Nelson
Referee: Ryan O’Reilly (Glenravel)
By Saffron Gael
ACHL Division 3/4
Cushendun 3-14 Naomh Colum Cille 4-7
Robert Emmets Cushendun made it four wins on the bounce on Sunday afternoon as they saw off the spirited challenge of Naomh Colum Cille.
With less than 10 minutes left to play, the home side were winning by 12 points but three late goals by the Tyrone men gave the Emmets food for thought in the closing stages but ultimately they had done enough throughout the hour to ensure the two points on offer stayed in North Antrim.
Playing with the aid of the breeze in the first half, the home side tallied nine points with the highlight coming from the hurl of Connlaoth McNeill, the Cushendun man sending a side line over the bar from fully 50 yards. Naomh Colum Cille did manage the first goal of the match after ten minutes but they only raised one white flag in a first half that Cushendun dominated. The half time score gave the home side a deserving five point advantage, 0-9 to 1-1.
Naomh Colum Cille opened the scoring after the interval with a free from fully 70 yards but the home side got their first goal of the match moments later. Jack McKay was dragged down with his sights set on the Naomh Colum Cille goal and Connlaoth McNeill despatched the resulting 21 yard free to the back of the net.
The second Cushendun goal came just three minutes later, this time McKay applying the finishing touch to open a ten point lead for the home side with Harry Kilgore and McNeill also raising white flags for the Emmets.
They Tyrone men showed plenty of character in the second half, three unanswered points ensured Cushendun weren’t getting everything their own way and a brace of goals in the 53rd and 54th minutes was enough to renew their hopes of getting something out of the game but substitute Stephen McNeill scored Cushendun’s third major after superb work from Eoghan McQuillan to extinguish any hopes of the visitors making a dramatic comeback.
Naomh Colum Cille did manage a fourth goal in injury time, meaning the last four scores of the match were all majors but it was too little, too late as the Emmets made it five wins from seven with a four point victory.
Next up for the Emmets is a mid-week trip to Na Magha on Wednesday night while Naomh Colum Cille are scheduled to travel to the Bear Pitt and a match against Sarsfields on the same night.
Scorers: Connlaoth McNeill 1-4 (1-3 frees); Harry Kilgore 0-4; Jack McKay 1-1; Dominic McQuillan 0-3; Stephen McNeill 1-00; Rory McQuillan 0-1; James Morgan 0-1
Pics by Michael Morgan
By Brendan McTaggart
All County Football League Division 1
Roger Casements, Portglenone 1-12 St Pauls 1-6
St Pauls travelled to Portglenone to take on Roger Casements on Wednesday evening but left O’Cahan Park empty handed as the home side recorded a six point victory. In truth the score line didn’t do the Shaws Road side any justice as they matched their South West opponents for the majority of the match but Portglenone had more of an edge in attack and fully deserved their win after the hour.
St Pauls will look at their first half performance with rueful glare, although scoring 1-3 in the opening 30 minutes the City men only managed to score one point from play and that with the last kick of the half while the Casements managed to tally 1-7 with just one free.
It was the home side who made the better start but it was last week’s hat-trick hero Billy Joe Burns who opened the scoring, converting a free in the fourth minute. It would be another ten minutes before the visitors would raise a further white flag though as Portglenone took control. Niall McKeever was dominating the midfield exchanges while Corey McLaughlin and Paddy Kelly were on hand to maintain the home sides dominance from kick outs. Kelly scored his first of two first half points to restore parity to the score line in the ninth minute and from the resulting kick out the Casements scored the opening goal of the match. Patrick Crawford’s kick out went astray and Dermot McAleese was punished the visitors to O’Cahan Park fully. He gathered the loose ball and made a bee line straight for the St Pauls net before unleashing a powerful effort beyond Crawford. McAleese’s goal was backed up by Paddy Kelly’s second point of the match as the Casement’s threatened to run riot.
Conor McCarton’s first free of the match doubled the City sides score but Portglenone were beginning to turn the screw and scored five unanswered points to open an eight point lead. The scores coming from Corey McLaughlin (two), Gerard McAleese (two) and Michael Hagan (free), McAleese’s second score a delightful effort with the outside of his boot judging the element to perfection.
St Pauls hit back in the closing stages of the first half to give them hope. They were rewarded a penalty when Liam McLarnon was hauled to the ground with a sight of the Casement’s goal. Referee Paul Hanna had no option but to award the spot kick which Billy Joe Burns dispatched with consummate class, top right hand corner and in off the angle. If the home side had two keepers on the line wouldn’t have saved it.
McLarnon scored with the last kick of the half to cut the Casements lead to four points at the short whistle. Half time score Casements 1-7 St Pauls 1-3.
The home side were forced into an early change with goal keeper Ryan O’Neill suffering an arm injury during the first half, Brian McManus replacing the Casement’s shot stopper for the second half. St Pauls looked more threatening in attack with Billy Joe Burns and McLarnon giving the Portglenone defence plenty to think about while Conor McCartan winning his share of possession around the middle of the pitch.
Both sides registered frees in the opening exchanges but the visitors hopes were dealt a blow when Billy Joe Burns had to come off injured, replaced by Aaron Treanor.
St Pauls were more competitive in the middle third and had plenty of possession but the home side were content to sit back and hit St Pauls on the counter. Back to back points form Kelly and Hagan was met with a brace of points from Michael Connolly and McCartan reducing the Casements lead to four points going into the final ten minutes. It would be as close as St Pauls would get to Portglenone though as Portglenone sat back and soaked up all the St Pauls pressure. As the time ran out, St Pauls resorted to landing high ball to the edge of the Portglenone square but the home side never truly looked like conceding another major and points from Paddy Kelly and a free from Niall McKeever with the last kick of the game gave the home side a six point victory.
Portglenone did all the damage in the first half of this game and while the second half had more of a competitive nature, it was the differing attacking threats posed by the home side that proved to be the difference.
Ryan O’Neill; Johnny Convery; Ronan Delargy; Shane Delargy; Niall Delargy; Mark McAleese; Kieran McKenna; Corey McLaughlin (0-2); Patrick Kelly (0-5, 2 frees); Gerard McAleese (0-2); Michael Kelly; Ryan Convery; Michael Kelly (0-2, 2 frees); Niall McKeever (0-1, 1 free); Dermot McAleese (1-00)
SUBS: Brian McManus for R O’Neill (HT); Niall Kelly for D McAleese (54 mins); Caolan Tierney for M Hagan (58 mins)
Patrick Crawford; Aidan Kavanagh; Conor Hughes; Patrick Copeland; Damien Duffy; Don Burns; Padraic Lowe; Michael Connolly (0-1); Liam Carland; Johnny Flynn; Conor McCartan (0-2, 2 frees); Joe Duffy; Billy Joe Burns (1-2, 1-00 pen, 2 frees); Liam McLarnon (0-1); Sean Bradley
SUBS: Niall Peoples for P Lowe (B/C 25 mins); Aaron Treanor for BJ Burns (38 mins); Tiernan Rea for J Flynn (44 mins); Liam McKenna for C McCartan (55 mins)
Referee: Paul Hanna (Glenavy)