Posts by thesaffrongael

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

South West Juvenile Fixtures Fri 23rd/Sun25th August

Thomas Devlin Car Sales u-12/14 Leagues

Friday 23rd August

Under-12 League

Play Off (Round One) at 7.00pm

St James Aldergrove v All Saint’s Ballymena

Under-12 Shield

Play Off (Round One) at 7.00pm

St Comgall’s Antrim v St Mary’s Rasharkin

Sunday 25th August

Under-14 League

Play Off (Round One) at 12 noon

St James Aldergrove v Con Magees Glenravel

Under-14 Shield

Play Off (Round One) at 12 noon

Casement’s Portglenone v St Comgall’s Antrim

Laverty Cup (semi finals) at 7.00pm

Sunday 25th August

Con Magees Glenravel v Tir na Nog Randalstown

Erin’s Own Cargin v St James Aldergrove

Big day at Kickham’s Creggan

On Saturday 24th August 2019, with a 5.00pm throw-in time, the Antrim select v Derry select teams will play against each other at Kickhams GAC Creggan.

The game will last 15 to 20 minutes with full GAA rules and an official referee.

As you will know already, the event is a “non-competitive” Gaelic Football match between players from Antrim and Derry. The players have learning disabilities or down syndrome and can be male, female, young and old and the focus of the entire day and event is to give these players their chance to shine and enjoy playing our games and GAA in front of a large crowd of supporters and family, which doesn’t happen often and possibly ever unfortunately. We want to make as big a deal of the event as we can as a result of this.

It’s one of the best events that we have ever been part of in previous years and it’s a really good sports news story that can be quite rare especially recently.

If you know someone that would like to take part can you forward their names onto us by email to or by phone to 07752700309.
Thanks and good luck to both teams!

Aldergrove spoil the Tir na nÓg party

Antrim Minor Football League – Division 1

Tír na nÓg 2.11 (17) Aldergrove 3.13 (22)

Aldergrove ended Tír na nÓg’s unbeaten run in Division 1 of the All County Minor Football League when they travelled to Whitehill on Tuesday evening  and recorded a win which prevented the home side from securing the League title. Despite leading at half time Tír na nÓg couldn’t hold on to secure the win they needed as Aldergrove came out in the second half very organised and prevented the blues key men running at them, while at the other end they kept the score board ticking with Kian Jones in fine form and substitute Daniel Shields making an instant impact.

Eamon Óg McAllister opened the scoring from a free for the home side after they kicked three wide balls, Conor Morris equalised 5 minutes later after an extremely slow and patient build up. Tír na nÓg were then put on the back foot when Shane Hinfey was forced to get back and cover Adam Reid and make a goal line save from Aaron O’Connors effort after he was left alone and unmarked in the full forward line. O’Connor followed up and pointed before Oisin Graham turned over the kick out to put his side 2 points up. Kian Jones got his first score of the game before Conor Crossey pulled one back for the blues after fine work out of defence from Rory Mullan. Sean Grant and Eamon Óg McAllister got the next two scores to draw the game once again after 15 minutes of play.

Colla McDonald put the Whitehill side one ahead from a free kick before Oliver McAtamney played a cross field ball to the previous scorer who found Ciaran O’Neill who in turn placed Ethan Higgins through for a well taken point. Ethan Higgins was having a huge influence on the game and in the next phase of play he set up Colla McDonald for the first goal of the game. Tír na nÓg pushed on with further points from McAllister and Sean Grant and looked comfortable, before Kian Jones made his mark on the game when he easily turned the full back and slotted the ball to the back of the net to bring the Grove back into contention. Sean Grant got the last point of the half to leave the home side with a five point advantage.

The rain settled for the beginning of the second half and Eoin Hamill set up Jones for another point before Aldergrove were forced to clear two balls off the line when Emmet Irvine eventually kicked the ball out for a 45. Aldergrove substitute Daniel Shields made an immediate impact when he entered the field and scored a point, this was followed up with a point from Conor Morris after an excellent through ball from Fionn McDonagh. Jones brought the difference to the minimum with another free kick before Shields kicked a rebounded save from Adam Reid over the bar to level the game half way through the second half.

In the last quarter Aldergrove dominated and set themselves up very well whilst still attacking and creating scores. Conor Fogarty worked the ball out of defence and set Kian Jones up for his second goal to take the lead by three. O’Connor and Morris spilt the posts before McAllister pulled one back for the home side. Man of the match Kian Jones got his fourth point of the game and Shields put the game to bed with Aldergrove’s third goal.

The game was to finish on a knife edge when Ciaran O’Neill found the top corner of the net after a quick free from Murray. Conor Morris and Colla McDonnell traded scores before the final whistle which saw Aldergrove run out 5 point winners after a 10 point turn around.

Tír na nÓg
1. A. Reid 2. S. Hinfey 3. C. Devlin 4. R. Mullan 5. R. Crilly 6. O. McAtamney 7. E. Higgins 8. J. Higgins 9. C. O’Neill 10. C. Crossey 11. E. Murray 12. E. Óg McAllister 13. C. McDonald 14. P. Dougan 15. S. Grant 17. R.R. McDonnell 18. C. Hastings 19. B. Fitzgerald 20. D. O’Neill

Scorers: E. Óg McAllister (0.4- 1 free), C. Crossey (0.1), S. Grant (0.3), C. McDonald (1.2- 2 frees), E. Higgins (0.1), C. O’Neill (1.0)

Aldergrove scorers: C. Morris (0.4), A. O’Connor (0.2), O. Graham (0.1), K. Jones (2.4- 1 free), D. Shields (1.2)

Shamrocks stroll while Castle made to work

Antrim Senior Camogie Championship – Round Robin

Portglenone 0-5 Loughgiel 5-25

Four goals in the opening 15 minutes of Tuesday evening’s Senior Camogie Championship round-robin killed off the challenge of Portglenone as champions Loughgiel powered their way to a 4-14 to 0-2 half time lead. Two of the goals came from corner forward Ciara Laverty, while Roisin McCormick and Laverty’s sister Christine also hit the net.

The Shamrocks had it all wrapped up from early on as the home side struggled to get out of their own half, and with half forwards Caitrin Dobbin and Emma McMullan, plus midfielder Amy Boyle in dominant form the chances kept on coming for a very potent full-forward line.

After the break the champions eased their foot off the throttle a litte as a gallant Portglenone side pulled back a few scores but as the game entered the final ten minutes the Shamrocks took off again and hit a series of excellent points.

Their fifth goal didn’t come until the last few minutes when Emma McMullan hand-passed to the Portglenone net to complete the rout and seal their semi-final place.

Loughgiel : Ciara Laverty 2-3, Roisin McCormick 1-7, Emma McMullan 1-4, Christine Laverty 1-3, Caitrin Dobbin 0-3, Lucia McNaughton 0-2, Anna Connolly 0-2, Amy Boyle 0-1.

Portglenone : Katie McAleese 0-5 frees

Ballycastle made to work for win

Rossa 0-6 Ballycastle 0-14

After last week’s win over Dunloy Ballycastle were expected to stroll to victory over Rossa at Shaw’s Road but the former All Ireland champions made the ‘Town’ girls work hard for the win.

Indeed Rossa put it up to the visitors during the opening half and actually led by 0-5 to 0-4 after 24 minutes with two points from Orlagh McCaul and three from Bronagh Orchin.

However late points from Áine Donnelly and Caoimhe Wright (her third of the half) left Ballycastle a point ahead at the break.

Rossa lost Orlagh McCaul to injury at the break and their challenge suffered from that with three points from Wright and two long frees from Niamh Donnelly in the opening ten minutes of the second half putting the game beyond them.

Maeve Kelly dominated midfield with the Ballycastle half-back line shutting out Rossa’s attack.

Ballycastle : Caoimhe Wright 0-6, 0-2 frees, Maeve Kelly 0-3, Niamh Donnelly 0-2 frees, Áine Donnelly 0-1, Tara O’Neill 0-1, Niamh O’Neill 0-1.

Rossa : Bronagh Orchin 0-4, 0-3 frees, Orlagh McCaul 0-2, 0-1 free

In the last round of group matches next week, Loughgiel are at home to Cushendall with both already assured of semi-final spots, while the fourth semi-finalist will come from the winner of Dunloy v Rossa.

Champions start their title defence tonight

Antrim Camogie championship

THERE are two more group games tonight in the the Antrim senior camogie championship and, if league form is any kind of guidance, the outcomes are quite predictable.

Ballycastle seemed to be heading to a repeat of last year’s championship defeat to Dunloy last Tuesday evening but somehow scored 1-1 in injury time to snatch a 1-11 to 0-13 victory.

The key players for them in that game were Catherine McShane in her new role as full-back, the impressive Niamh Donnelly at the centre of defence and scoring aces Caoimhe Wright and Maeve Kelly with Danielle McMichael pulling off a couple of key saves to keep her team in contention.

Opponents tonight are Rossa who haven’t won a league game all season. That was the same as last year – yet the Shaw’s Road outfit came within a couple of points of reaching the county final.

Bronagh Orchin is back from injury sustained early in the season to support experienced players such as Natalie McGuinness and Muireann Quinn who were key elements in the club’s All-Ireland success over a decade ago.

Ballycastle will have been lifted by last week’s result and should book a semi-final spot with a victory tonight.

In the other group champions Loughgiel make their first appearance and will visit Portglenone who lost last week to Cushendall despite another mercurial effort from Katie McAleese.

Katie hit 1-7 in that game with goalie Patricia McCarry, Una and Niamh Doherty and Eimear McKee all stepping up to the mark for Portglenone particularly during the second half.

It wasn’t enough to get them over the line however and it is difficult seeing them make much impact on the Shamrocks tonight. Loughgiel have cantered to another league title and edged out Dunloy in the Feis final for a 16th consecutive title.

Most of last year’s team that lost to Slaughtneil in the Ulster final are back again and their forward line in particular is very effective with the introduction of Anna Connolly, Ciara and Orla Laverty.

This should be another Loughgiel win with the half-backs, Emma McFadden, Maeve Connolly and Shauna Devlin the dominant line in the team.

The Antrim Intermediate championship is at the semi-final stage on Thursday evening and a repeat of the past two finals looks a distinct possibility.

Loughgiel are going for three in a row at this level and they easily saw off Naomh Eoin Belfast last week, while opponents Tír na nÓg were impressive in a 4-10 to 0-4 win in Dunloy where the goals came from Niamh Martin, Aimee McAtamney and Áine Devlin (2).

Áine’s twin Brónagh dominated in defence, while the McGaughey sister also did well.

This is the Randalstown club’s Centenary Celelbration weekend and Loughgiel have agreed to play the tie in Randalstown, but even then it is difficult to see them losing although two or three of the quarter-final team could be promoted to first team action tonight leaving Charley McCarry, Katie Lynn, Ciara Dobbin and Meadhbh McCormick to take leading roles against Tír na nÓg.

In the other semi-final Brídíní Óga Glenravel are tipped to beat Cargin who had a very good performance last week in beating Ballycastle.

Katie McAnenley, Eleanor Mallon and Aileen McGoldrick were the experienced players who led from the front with younger players such as Colleen Traynor prominent as well.

However the Glenravel outfit have been a couple of years in Division 1 gaining experience and players such as Laoise McKenna, Ellen Hynds, Victoria Edgar and the Laverty and McAleenan sisters should be too strong for the Toome girls.

Later in the week there are three quarter-final ties in the Junior championship. Loughgiel and Glenravel were in that final last year, but their chances of progress this weekend against Ahoghill and Creggan respectively will hinge on how deep they have to dig into their resources earlier in the week. The other tie in Armoy with Rasharkin could go the way of the visitors.


Round 2                     Tuesday 20th August 7.15pm

Rossa              v          Ballycastle

Portglenone     v          Loughgiel



Thursday 22nd August, 7pm

Replays Saturday 24th August or Sunday 25th August

Ahoghill : Brídíní Óga Glenravel v Cargin                

Randalstown : Tír na nÓg v Loughgiel                     

Shield Semi-final

Thursday 22nd August, 7pm

Replays Saturday 24th August or Sunday 25th August