Posts by thesaffrongael

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

Loughgiel top Under 16 table

All County Under 16 Hurling League – Division 1

Loughgiel maintained their unbeaten start in Division 1 of the All County Under16 Hurling League when they beat Dungiven by 2-12 to 2-2 at Fr Healy Park on Sunday afternoon and now sit top of the table. A goal from Conor O’Mullan and some excellent points from Enda Og McGarry and Rian McMullan helped the wind assisted Shamrocks to a 1-10 to 0-0 half time lead.

Dungiven fared better in the second half and grabbed a couple of goals of their own, but a second goal from Ronan McCollum and further points from McMullan, McGarry and Damian Quinn saw Loughgiel safely through to a convincing win.

As the saying goes, goals win matches and the goals did the damage as Cushendall hosted Dunloy in the U16 League in Cushendall on Monday evening, the Ruairis running out winners by 7-13 to 1-9. Playing with what breeze there was blowing across the pitch, Cushendall got off to a strong start with the defence standing strong and the foundation for the midfield and forwards to drive forward and dominate the first half going in 3-7 to 0-5.         31195452_1844570418896913_1714141720079237120_o                                                                                                                                              The second half started like the first but 10 minutes in Dunloy started to find their feet and started to win the breaking ball and drive forward and picked up a few good scores, however some more excellent goal scoring by Cushendall meant there was only going to be one winner. Most observers who braved the cold and wind will probably agree that it was a good all round performance by Cushendall but to Dunloy’s credit they never gave up and fought for every ball right to the final whistle.

Cushendall scorers on the night were Fionntan McQuillan 0-5, Colum McKeegan 5-3, Conlith McKinley 2-1, Conal McGlynn 0-1 and Padraig McKillop 0-3, but the management will be most pleased with the all-round performance given last week’s slow start.

Ballycastle got their season up and running when they beat Ballinascreen by 3-13 to 1-10 at Pairc MacUillin while Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon laid down a marker when they beat Rossa by 4-15 to 1-12 in a high scoring game in Dungannon.

Under 16 League table

DIVISION 2

It was a busy night in Division 2 of the Under 16 Hurling League where St Paul’s beat Glenravel by 3-9 to 1-6, while St Gall’s got the better of Glenarm in a high scoring game at Milltown, running out winners by 9-10 to 2-13. Lamh Dhearg travelled to St Enda’s and won by 3-15 to 0-6. Clooney Gaels had a 8-10 to 4-7 win over South West Antrim neighbours Tir na nÓg while Na Magha ran up a massive 9-29 when beating St Olcan’s

 

 

 

High scoring Brídíní Óga stay unbeaten

Under 16A Camogie League
Brídíní Óga 6-22 Loughgiel 5-2
Despite conceding a goal inside the opening 20 seconds, Brídíní Óga powered back to take control of this Under 16A league game in Fr Maginn Park, pulling away from Loughgiel for a comfortable victory.
Within three minutes a goal and a point from Aimee Traynor had nudged the home side ahead and they picked off some excellent points throughout the opening half to lead by 4-10 to 1-1 at the break.
Niamh Donnelly’s goal from a penalty made it 2-7 to 1-0, while Aimee Traynor completed her hat-trick with goals just before the turnover.
There were some more excellent points at the start of the second half from Shauna McDonnell, Niamh Donnelly and Niamh McKay as the Glenravel girls pinned Loughgiel back into their own half.
When they did manage to break, usually with Mary McKillen and Orla Laverty carried ball through midfield, they did present danger for the Glenravel defence who had been pulled out of position with the sliotar at the other end.
Anna McKillop, Mary McKillen and Catherine Kelly all picked off goals but those were never going to trouble the locals for whom Niamh Mckay (hand-pass) and Aimee Traynor brought the goal tally to half a dozen, and that despite some great saves from Suzannah Mullan in the Shamrocks’ goals.
The Shamrocks are at home to Portglenone in the next round, while Brídíní Óga will attempt to keep their unbeaten start to the season up in Ballycastle.
Brídíní Óga : Orla Donnelly, Ellie McKinley, Jaime Woulahan, Rachel Coulter, Maria McKenna, Beth McAuley, Ciara McCormick, Alisha McPeake, Brónagh Laverty 0-2, Shauna McDonnell 0-6, Maeve Mulholland, Niamh Donnelly 1-6, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees, Aimee Traynor 4-4, Orla Fyfe, Niamh McKay 1-4.
Subs used: Fionnuala Kerr, Cassie McQuillan, Eibhlín Gould, Sarah Fyfe
Loughgiel : Suzannah Mullan, Caitlin Hargan, Ellie Glackin, Ella Sullivan, Niamh McCaughan, Maeve Henry, Erin McMullan, Mary McKillen 1-0, Orla Laverty 0-1, Carleena Sullivan, Ciara Connolly, Annie Lynn 0-1, Anna McKillop 2-0, Catherine Kelly 1-0, Lauren O’Boyle.
Sub used : Anna McKillen
Referee : Ryan O’Reilly

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Tower lose out in Nolan Cup final

Danske Bank Nolan Cup final

St Joseph’s Newry 4-6 St Killian’s Garron Tower 3-6

By Seamus McAleenan

SIX FOOTER Adam Travers made the difference in this exciting Danske Bank Nolan Cup final in Woodlands today firing home a first half hat-trick of goals to keep a struggling St Joseph’s Newry in touch on the score-board. Then he delivered the cross for substitute Callum Bradley to score the key fourth goal ten minutes from time.

But St Killian’s contributed fully to a fine decider by producing passages of excellent football in both halves and with four minutes to the break they had built up a 2-6 to 1-0 lead with the McSparran brothers, Cormac McKeown and Joseph McLoughlin prominent.

However they lacked players to cope with the aerial presence of Travers, Ross Burns and Dara óg McCoy who all had the pace to break and cause problems to the Garron Tower rear-guard.

Although Eamon Ward tapped over an early free, Travers fired home the opening goal in the third minute after a penetrating run from Ross Burns.

St Killian’s however worked themselves back into the game with patience and five unanswered points including two from Mark McSparran and two frees from Ward.

Ward fed John V Morgan for a goal in the 20th minute and then, when Jospeh McLoughlin’s shot came back off a post, Ward took possession and crashed home a second goal for a 2-6 to 1-0 lead.

However Adam Travers mounted a great fight-back in the last few minutes of the half, shooting a point, then punching his second goal and driving home a third all in a three minute spell. With Tiernan Burns tapping over just on the whistle, the score-board now read St Killain’s 2-6 St Joseph’s 3-2.

Facing the breeze St Killian’s defended well, but their attacks were not as frequent as during the opening half.

Points from Tiernan Burns and sub Conor Osbourne edged St Joseph’s ahead, but Peadar McDonnell’s goal effort for St Killian’s was ruled out as a “square ball” before burly full-forward John V Morgan was hauled down for a penalty which Eamon Ward coolly converted.

However St Joseph’s hit back within 60 seconds, Travers going on a right wing run and his low cross was fumbled a couple of times before falling into the hands of sub Callum Bradley who blasted to the net.

St Killian’s had a lot of pressure in the time remaining, but the Newry school were tight at the back and quick on the break with Travers and Ross Burns adding insurance points.

St Joseph’s : C Higgins, J McKay, R Loughran, A Poacher, A Downey capt, D óg McCoy, R Harte, R Burns 0-1, J McGuinness, E Campbell, J Casey, R McKevitt, T Burns 0-2, D Shields, A Travers 3-2, 0-1 free.

Subs : C Bradley 1-0 for D Shields (HT), C Osbourne 0-1 for R Harte (HT).

St Killian’s : J Mitchell, C Graham, N Hynds, K McNaughton, J McNaughton, M McSparron 0-2, M Black, A McSparron, C McKeown, J McLaughlin, P McIlwaine, B O’Connor, E Ward 2-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees, JV Morgan 1-0, P McDonnell 0-1.

Referee : B Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

 

 

Two out of two for Pearses

O’Neill’s All County Football League – Division 3thumbnail (3)

Starting young! Pearses  full forward Daniel Magee meeting young Iarlaith Ó Néill (held by his father Tomás) who was attending his first GAA game at 11 days old.

Na Piarsaigh 0-12 St. Comgall’s 1-6

Michael O’Neill reports from the Cricky

Pearses made it two wins out of two in Division 3 of the All County Football League when they beat St Comgall’s in Sunday’s game at the Cricky.

The sun was trying to break through the clouds as the teams took to the field for this Division 3 football clash. The men from Antrim town arrived after a convincing win over Eire Óg midweek whilst new manger Jamie Curran was hoping his charges could build on the derby victory against Ardoyne the previous week.

One enforced change was made by the home side as Ciaran McCavana came in at corner-back to replace Naoise Ó Cuilín who was unavailable due to transport issues.

Playing into a stiff breeze, Liam Deegan got the North Belfast men first off the mark as he struck over a free from distance after Piaras Donaghy was fouled in possession. This woke up the opposition as St.Comgall’s took early control of the game, three quick points in succession putting them in the lead and a great block from Darren O’Neill saving his side from conceding a more costly score. Curran’s men regrouped and gradually worked their way into the game; with Donaghy and Ciaran Magee starting to dominate midfield it give Cormac O’Neill a platform to carry out his quarterback role as they searched a way through the away defence.

Forcing fouls from the opposition was the order of the day for Na Piarsaigh as Deegan stuck over another couple of frees from distance with seemingly effortless ease, these sandwiched by one from him from play as Nolan and Donaghy combined to create the opening. Donaghy doubled the home side’s as he got himself on the scoresheet before Deegan stretched the lead to three with a well struck ’45. At this stage the North Belfast men seemed completely in control with McCavana, Gianetto and McFarlane holding firm at the back; the tremendous work rate of O’Neill and Aidan Bannon was enabling Nolan and the elder McCavana to manoeuvre up the wings.

 

Five minutes from the half the game was turned on it’s head. A speculative shot from wide out right by the away side drifted wide and seemingly out of play; with no whistle coming from the referee, St.Comgall’s played on, and McKenna had no chance when the ball was smashed past him from barely six yards out. This levelled the game, and the Antrim men actually took a one point lead into the break with the last score of the half. The half-time whistle also came at the right time for Aodhán McCavana who took a dangerous hit shortly before it and thankfully got the all clear to continue after the break.

Half-time Na Piarsaigh 0-6 St.Comgall’s 1-4

A change at the break saw Eamonn Connor come in for Conall Hughes as the home side looked to utilise the wind advantage in the second half. It didn’t take long for them to level the game as they conjured up a superb point; O’Neill and McCavana conspired to give Donaghy the opportunity to do what he does best and split the posts. Antrim nudged themselves two points ahead with a quickfire double as the game ebbed and flowed but, not to be outdone, Na Piarsaigh re-gathered themselves and stepped it up a gear. With Oisín Grew now in for Conal Campbell the home side took the game to their opponents; young Grew was a thorn in the side of St.Comgall’s and two successive fouls on him allowed Deegan to show his free-taking prowess again, the long range being made that little bit easier with the breeze at his back.

It was Deegan who put his side ahead for the third time with a point from play, using his blistering pace to get past his marker and smartly finding the target. By now the home side were firmly in control; defensively they couldn’t be breached with McCavana and McFarlane both making timely interceptions and indeed McFarlane at one stage turned defence into attack with a searing 50 yard run up the right flank. Curran switched Daniel Magee from full-forward to just in front of the midfield and this only increased their dominance as the Magee twins lorded it over their opponents.

A further free from the boot of Deegan doubled the lead as Na Piarsaigh entered the last ten minutes with their noses in front. All credit to Antrim as they continued to try to press though the smart possession game of the home side continued to be effective. With the game still in the melting pot it was Cormac O’Neill who took it by the scruff of the neck; slipping past two men before casually dropping the ball onto his toe and dinking it over the bar it put some daylight between the sides.

The tension amongst the home support was palpable as the final minutes were played out; a fantastic block by Ciaran McCavana late on stopped the game being levelled up whilst Daniel Magee deflected a dangerous ball played towards the square out of play.

No more scores were to come and the home side eventually emerged relieved, exhausted but most importantly, victorious.

So two league games and two victories for Jamie Curran and his men, with both teams that were in Division 2 last season now accounted for. A run of 5 games in 15 days should give a strong indication of how their season will go and the first of these is a trip to Ballycastle next Sunday (29th April) to face a McQuillan’s side that has also recorded two victories.

Man of the Match: Liam Deegan – This isn’t really a discussion that needs to be had. There were a number of standout performances from the home side with strong showings from Cormac and Darren O’Neill, Thomas McFarlane and the McCavana   brothers. However Deegan’s kicking exhibition was a sight to behold even allowing himself a scuffed free in the second half. Throw in a couple of stylish points from play and you have the difference between the two sides.

Na Piarsaigh: E.McKenna, L.Gianetto, T.McFarlane, C.McCavana, P.Nolan, A.Bannon, A.McCavana, C.Magee, P.Donaghy (0-2), L.Deegan (0-9, 0-6f, 0-1 45’), C.O’Neill (0-1), C.Hughes, C.Campbell, D.Magee, D.O’Neill.

Subs: E.Connor for C.Hughes, C.Gillespie for L.Gianetto, O.Grew for C.Campbell.

 

South West Antrim Results & Fixtures

 

30South West Juvenile Leagues (results 19th 20th April)

Thursday 19th April

Ciaran Doherty & Co Accountants (under-16 leagues)

Section 1

All Saint’s 2-15 Tir na Nog 2-11

Cuchullian’s Dunloy 3-08 St Mary’s Aghagallon 2-05

St James’s Aldergrove 10-08 Erin’s Own Cargin 2-09

Casement’s Portglenone 10-14 Con Magee’s Glenravel 2-08

Section 2

St Mary’s Rasharkin 1-05 St Enda’s 5-13

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 9-13 Kickham’s Creggan 1-12

Clann na Gael 10-17 St Comgall’s Antrim 1-07

Friday 20th April

Thomas Devlin Car Sales (under-12/14 leagues)

Under-12

Section 1

All Saint’s Ballymena 1-05 Cuchullian’s Dunloy 3-05

St Joseph’s Glenavy 2-04 Erin’s Own Cargin 4-10

St James’s Aldergrove 0-02 St Mary’s Aghagallon 5-08

Section 2

Kickham’s Creggan defeated Tir na Nog

Con Magee’s Glenravel defeated St Mary’s Rasharkin

Casement’s 3-13 St Comgall’s Antrim 0-03)

Under-14

Section 1

All Saint’s Ballymena 1-06 Cuchullian’s Dunloy 1-04

St Joseph’s Glenavy 1-02 Erin’s Own Cargin 6-09

St James’s Aldergrove 2-04 St Mary’s Aghagallon 0-12

Section 2

Tir na Nog defeated Kickham’s Creggan

St Mary’s Rasharkin 2-03 Con Magee’s Glenravel 3-10

Casement’s Portglenone 9-06 St Comgall’s Antrim 4-03

 

 

This week’s South West Juvenile League Fixtures

Thursday 26th/Friday 27th April

Ciaran Doherty & Co Accountants under-16 league

Thursday 26th April

Section 1

St Mary’s Aghagallon v All Saint’s Ballymena

Tir na Nog Randalstown v Cuchullian’s Dunloy

Con Magee’s Glenravel v St James’s Aldergrove

Erin’s Own Cargin v Casement’s Portglenone

Section 2

St Enda’s v St Joseph’s Glenavy

St Comgall’s Antrim v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass

Kickham’s Creggan v Clann na Gael

 

Friday 27th April

Thomas Devlin Car Sales Under-12/14 leagues

Under-12

Section 1

Cuchullian’s Dunloy v St Joseph’s Glenavy

Erin’s Own Cargin v All Saint’s Ballymena

St Mary’s Aghagallon v St Enda’s

Section 2

St Comgall’s Antrim v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass

Con Magee’s Glenravel v Kickham’s Creggan

Tir na Nog Randalstown v St Mary’s Rasharkin