Posts by thesaffrongael

Photographer and GAA writer who has been covering hurling, football and camogie for almost forty years

McNeilly looking forward as Moneyglass hit the Ulster trail

Ladies Ulster championship

Moneyglass v Armagh Harps

Having collected the Antrim senior title for the first time for nearly a decade the ladies of Moneyglass now hit the Ulster train when they play Armagh Harps in this Sunday’s quarter-final and manager Odhran McNeilly is looking forward to the game and the opportunity to test his side against the best in Ulster.

The Randalstown native said “The players can’t wait for throw in on Sunday at this stage.

We were very disappointed not get to compete in the Ulster campaign last year with covid so to finally get the chance to represent the county and compete against the best teams in Ulster is something we are keen to embrace. 

I’ve been very impressed how the girls have regrouped since the county final 3 weeks ago, the sole focus is now on Armagh Harps and the job we need to do in order to get over the line at the weekend.

There is huge ambition within the panel and they want to push themselves to see exactly how far that can take us. 

Our preparations have been good and we owe a great deal of thanks to our neighbouring clubs who have supported us with pitches and lights” McNeilly concluded.

The Saffron Gael wishes St. Ergnat’s all the best against the Armagh champions and we will carry a report and photographs from the game next week.

Cathy proud of her side’s performance

Photographs: Elaine Kelly

Antrim U14A Ladies championship final

Moneyglass 2-15 St. Gall’s 2-2

It was a busy day for Moneyglass ladies manager, Cathy Carey on Sunday. While the St. Ergnat’s minors were lift the B football title at Dunsilly, Cathy was part of the Erin’s own side who were involved in an epic battle with Rossa in the Antrim Camogie semi-final at Slemish Park.

That game ended in disappointment for Cathy and her Cargin colleagues when they lost by two points in a marathon that went to two periods of extra time but the Erin’s Own mid-fielder had little time to dwell on that loss as she quickly got changed to take charge of the St. Ergnat’s U14’s who were playing St. Gall’s in the county final at the same venue.

Moneyglass turned in another sparkling performance to lead the Milltown girls by 0-6 tyo 0-2 at half time before pushing on to run out convincing winners against a St. Gall’s side who gave it everything and certainly played their part in making this an excellent final.

Moneyglass’ first half scores came from Ruby McErlain who opened the scoring after 30 seconds and Molly Gribben followed with another with five minutes gone.

Leah Stewart added another with Joe Joe Darragh hitting a hat trick of points before the interval with Erin Stewart and Corra Bellew replying with points for St. Gall’s to give her side some hope for the second half.

Those hopes suffered a blow when Maria McNally hit the net for the St. Ergnat’s girls in the third minute of the second half but when Chloe Marley and Abbey Browning replied with goals for the Milltown Row side by the 8th minute we looked like having a game on our hands.

St. Ergnat’s recovered from this early setback and replied with a flurry of points with Molly Gribbon getting them on their way and Ruby McErlain 0-3, Joe Joe Darragh 0-2, Leah Stewart 0-2 and Annie Griffin all on target with St. Gall’s unable to respond.

Cathy Carey put the disappointment of the Camogie defeat behind her when she spoke to us after the game about her side’s performance against St. Gall’s. “The girls have an exceptional attitude and worked extremely hard to win the championship. They have been brilliant to work with and I’m delighted to see them get over the line” the manager said.

Moneyglass: Georgia Kearney, Mia McLarnon, Aoife Griffin, Katie O’Boyle, Ailbhe O’Boyle, Katie McCloskey, Aoife McGrogan, Maria McNally, Leah Cassidy, Orlaith McAteer, Annie Griffin, Molly Gribbon, Ruby McErlain, Leah Stewart, Joe joe Darragh, Subs: Olivia Marron, Nicole Graham, Siobhan Magee, Aoibhinn McKeefrey,  Meghan McCann, Lile McErlain, Katie McAllister, Aedin Vallely, Eve Bradley, Alicia Hamill, Niamh Brookman, Eva O’Kane

Con Magees held off Sarsfields challenge


Padraig Sarsfields 1-10 Con Magees Glenravel 5-6
It was a cracking game played out at the Bear Pit on Sunday past, as two determined skillful squads battled it out to see who would reach the 2021 Minor final.
Sarsfields settled quickly and pointed within the opening minute, though by the 1st water break the Glenravel team, taking a lead from captain Caoimhe Higgins who palmed the ball into the home goal, had settled well & were starting to make an impression on the scoreboard. 
Just as the country girls threatened to pull away with the game they were reigned back in by County Senior player, Duana Coleman, after one of her typical probing runs which ended with a well taken goal. This was a score that kept Sarsfields in the game as at the short whistle the score sat 1-6 to 4-4, with advantage to the travelling Glenravel girls.

Team captains with match referee Ray Matthews before the game

A determined Sarsfields team came out with intent in the second half. Aoife Crothers was beginning to clear a lot of ball from her defence and up front Ferris, Meenan, McKernan & Kennedy clicked into action. They were met however with an equally determined, disciplined defence and although Sarsfields dominated the 3rd quarter only 2 further points were registered on the scoreboard. The 4th quarter started as the previous had finished. Orla Donnelly in the Glenravel goal picked of a seris of impressive saves and with 2 more Sarsfields white flags, there was now only 1 goal between the teams. Sarsfields pressure resulted in a penalty awarded to the Stewartstown Road team. The placed ball however drifted beyond the right hand post and the Con Magees knew they’d dodged a bullet. This seemed to spur the green & white on to attack and with Caitlin McKeown & Eimear Butler scoring 1-2 in counter attacking moves in the last 5 mins, this was enough to see the visitors claim safe passage through to the final.
Well played by both squads who between them served up some cracking entertaining football kept flowing by referee Ray Matthews.

Hard luck to Sarsfields who never gave up & with most players available next year will be competing in 2022. Coleman and full back Crothers were particularly impressive. 
It was a busy couple of days for the Con Magees girls, given that 10 of their squad had both played & were central in Junior Camogie championship quarter finals over the weekend, which given the heavy pitches at this time of the year, takes some stamina. Glenravel will now meet the winners between Lamh Dhearg & St Endas who play their semi final at Hannahstown this Sunday at 3.30.

Sarsfields: Niamh McNally, Tammylee Taggart, Aoife Crothers, Casey Largey, Renad Soda, Orla McNulty, Francesca Quattromano, Dúana Coleman (C), Aimee Ferris, Aimee Meenan, Laura McKernan, Leona Mitchell, Aoife Kennedy, Niamh McNally, Ellie Kearns, Katie Walsh, Darcy Ward, Orlaith Crothers

Con Magees: Orla Donnelly, Roisin Mulholland, Ellie Jo Butler, Clodagh McCusker, Emily Sharpe, Erin Coulter, Eibhlin Gould, Caitlin Law, Toni Kerr, Eimear Butler, Sarah Fyfe, Aisling Donnelly, Caiomhe Higgins (C), Caitlin McKeown, Megan Law, Aisling Mulholland. Éabha McMullan, Annie Higgins. Clodagh McPeake 
Referee: Ray Matthews 

Glenavy triumph in Shield final

Pics: Bert Trowlen

U13 Football Shield Final

Glenavy 3-8 St. Enda’s 2-9

St. Joseph’s Glenavy edged out St. Enda’s in an exciting U13 Football Shield final on Sunday at Aghagallon. Glenavy opened with a point but the Glengormley side hit three unanswered points to put themselves 0-3 to 0-1 ahead. Glenavy settled into their rhythm however with some excellent defensive work and counter attacks, causing a lot of turn over ball and interceptions which saw the Chapel Hill youngster hit 1-5 before St. Enda’s relied with a goal just before half time.

Half Time Score: Glenavy 1-6 St. Enda’s 1-3

St. Enda’s were first out of the blocks in the second half and hit the first two points to close the gap to the minimum with both sides then trading further points. St. Joseph’s began to get on top at thios stage and a period of sustained pressure saw them score two goals which has been a feature of their play throughout the league.

The Glengormley side weren’t finished however and they hit back with three points and added a goal to put the game right back in the melting pot but that was as close as they got and in the end Glenavy’s stronger defence and ability to hit on the counter-attack proved the difference between the sides.

Referee: C Mallon Aghagallon

Lamh Dhearg advance to final

Report: Terry Agnew

Pics: Bert Trowlen

Girls U14 football semi-final

The Glenavy u14s lost out in their semi-final v Lamh Dhearg to suffer only their second loss in a very successful season for the girls. After going through the league campaign without a loss, they ran into a well drilled & talented bunch of girls from Hannahstown this afternoon. After a very even start the tone was set for a goal-fest in the misly conditions in Hannahstown. The girls from Chapel Hill, took the lead for the first time with a well taken goal to put the score 2-0 to 1-2 in Glenavy’s favour.
This would be the only time the Glenavy girls would be in front, as the team from 2 divisions above began to find their scoring touch. Trying as hard as they could to match their opponents, the scoreline began to increase & at the half-time interval it was double scores in favour of LD, 6-4 to 3-2.Shooting into the wind and chasing an 11 point deficit was aways going to be a tall order for the Glenavy girls, and so it proved. The scores began to come much easier for the Hannahstown girls, and the fight had been truly knocked out of the girls in orange. In a last quarter, with a glut of substitutions, Glenavy gained a well earned lift with a few late goals & finished the game, and the season with their heads held high.