Posts by thesaffrongael

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

Early goals give Lámh Dhearg a platform for victory

Homefit ACFL Division One

Lámh Dhearg 3-14-0-07 Gort na Mona

Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown

Declan Dunne and Terry McCrudden goals within the first quarter of the game set Lámh Dhearg up well for a 3-14-0-07 win over Gort na Mona at Hannashtown on Wednesday evening.

Ahead through two early converted frees from Terry McCrudden, McCrudden would add another point from play following Eoin Matassa breaking the ball down to Pearse Fitzsimons and the corner forward swung it over the bar.

The opening goal arrived after five minutes when Cormac Hannan reached a kick-out ahead of James Connolly and Terry McCrudden picked up the reins and slipped it into the path of Paddy Mervyn who unselfishly laid it on a plate for Declan Dunne to palm to the net.

Darren Boyd responded with a point for Gort na Mona and the Turf Lodge outfit pulled another score back when Dermot McVeigh claimed an advanced mark and shot between the posts.

The hosts would extend their lead before the first water-break as Pearse Fitzsimons popped the ball to Paddy Mervyn to steer the ball over and after Declan Dunne was felled- Terry McCrudden converted a free to make it 1-05-0-02.

Upon the game’s resumption things got better for Lámh Dhearg, Paddy Mervyn was alert and cut-out Niall Mooney’s kick and immediately released Terry McCrudden who swept the ball to the net.

McCrudden added to his tally with an angled point after a patient passing move with Kevin Quinn playing the providers role on his return from an injury layoff.

Gort na Mona tried their best to remain in touch with a further score from Sean Campbell before the break and things might have been even better after Dermot McVeigh claimed a through pass and bore down on goal, but the underside of the bar denied McVeigh with Mark McIlvenny beaten.

Another high ball into the square gave McVeigh a chance and this time Mark McIlvenny spread himself and steered away the danger as his side were 2-06-0-03 ahead at the break.

Lámh Dhearg sprung an immediate attack at the beginning of the second half as Pearse Fitzsimons knocked the break down for Michael Herron whose quick ball released Declan Straney, he found Declan Dunne who slipped the ball to Cormac Hannan for a point.

Hannan would conjure up a quick second point from Michael Herron pass that the Gort defence failed to deal with.

A third score arrived shortly after as Declan Straney fed Terry McCrudden for his third point from play of the evening.

Substitute Francis Dugan got in on the act with a point following Declan Dunne opting to play the ball short from a free and possession being recycled well from the hosts.

Declan Straney and Terry McCrudden would add further scores and McCrudden almost found his second goal of the evening from a delicate dink that Niall Mooney would turn onto the bar and out to safety.

Another goal chance went abegging after forcing a turnover, Daniel Murray slipped the ball to Cormac Hannan who released Terry McCrudden, he found Declan Dunne as the willing runner and Dunne spotted Michael Herron free in the area – but Herron was unable to turn it home to the net.

A mini Gort na Mona revival yielded four scores in succession, Tim Scannell was felled by Eoin Matassa and Dermot McVeigh converted the resulting free.

McVeigh made it back-to-back points after blasting over from a high ball to the square and Aidan McDonagh swung over another shortly after as Niall Ward’s charges were ending the game positively.

Dermot McVeigh should have found the net after Shea McStravick released him with a through pass that Marc McGarry was unable to cut-out and John Finucane turned his shot over the bar.

At the other end Terry McCrudden claimed his second goal of the night, Declan Straney and Pearse Fitzsimons played a one-two and McCrudden was picked out by Straney with his driven shot proving too hard to handle as he put his side 3-12-0-07 ahead.

Terry McCrudden converted a free in the closing stages and Daniel Murray would provide the evenings final score for the Hannahstown side who made it three victories on the bounce.

Lámh Dhearg: M McIlvenny, M McGarry, C McVarnock, D Smith, E Matassa, P Mervyn (0-01), R Diamond, M Herron, P Fitzsimons, K Quinn, D Straney (0-01), D Larkin, T McCrudden (2-08, 0-04f), D Dunne (1-00), C Hannan (0-02). Subs: F Dugan (0-01) for D Larkin (HT), D Murray (0-01) for K Quinn (33), C Nolan for C McVarnock (33), J Finucane for M McIlvenny (42), C McIlvenny for P Mervyn (49).

Gort na Mona: N Mooney, B Burns, T Keenan, C Healy, J Connolly, N Henry, P Gournane, M Savage, T Morton, C Donnelly, D Boyd (0-01), S Campbell (0-01), A McDonagh (0-01), D McVeigh (0-04, 0-02 advanced marks), N Melaney. Subs: S McStravick for P Gournane (39), M Rea for C Healy (39), T Scannell for N Melaney (47), A Dempster for N Henry (52), P Mulvenna for D Boyd (53).

Referee: Paul Burns (St Comgalls)

Maguire goal seals Creggan victory

HomeFit ACFL Division 1

Kickham’s 3-8 St. John’s 1-13

A late goal from Creggan’s Aidan Maguire fired his side to victory in a tight contest on the Staffordstown Road last night. In a very entertaining game with some great scores from both teams it was Kickham’s who came out on top with a one point win over St John’s on Wednesday night. 

St John’s started the game strongly with the opening 2 points, one each from Conor Hand and Andy McGowan then Tiernan McAteer sprung into life with a well taken point and put his side ahead for the first time with a great goal.

Conal Quinn and Conal McGlade replied with points for St John’s and wing back Cillian Burke responded with a point for the home side to leave it 1-02 to 0-04 at the water break. Mathew Fitzpatrick scored for St John’s to level matters on the restart with Jake McAteer and Sean Duffin replying for Kickhams but it was St John’s who finished the half stronger.

 A great move involving several players saw Conor Hand finish to the net and this was followed by points from Conal McGlade and Andy McGowan to leave St John’s leading at half time by 1-07 to 1-04.

St John’s began the second half the same way they had finished the first with Mathew Fitzpatrick in top form scoring 2 points and Ross Hannigan added another to move St John’s 6 ahead and threatening to run away with it.

The home side had other ideas however as they replied with a points from Mathew Rogers and Tiernan Burke before Conor Hand hit another point for the Whiterock side. Kickham’s needed something special and pressed hard but two excellent saves from the St John’s keeper Kickham’s thwarted their efforts before the breakthrough came when Sean Duffin fired to the roof of the net.

Oisin Kerr then strolled up the field and kicked a 45to close the gap further but Matthew Fitzpatrick replied with another excellent point for the visitors and Sean Duffin responded with another Kickham’s point as the pace of the game stepped up another notch.

Creggan had the bit now firmly between their teeth however and with two minutes remaining a great move up the field and an astute pass found Aiden Maguire who fired to the net to put Kickham’s two ahead.

 Stephen Tierney kicked the last point of an exciting game that both teams will have taken something out of by giving fringe players plenty of game time. In an interview after the game Aiden Maguire said he dedicated his goal to all the new babies born in the last week to senior players Odhran & Sam. Congrats lads and you got your priorities right by playing tonight! 

Goals give Glenravel the win

Antrim Football League Division 2

Con Magees 3-11 Moneyglass 1-8

Glenravel scored a rare victory over Moneyglass in Division 2 of the Antrim League when they beat the St Ergnat’s outfit by 3-11 to 1-8 in Wednesday evening’s game at Fr Maginn Park.

Three goals in a ten minute spell that straddled half time were the key scores for the Glenravel men, two of them from man of the match Eoin Hynds and the other from corner forward Conor McNeill.

Early points from Calum Higgins and his uncle Ronan Higgins (2) had the home team three clear before Seanachann Duffin got Moneyglass on the scoreboard on the eleventh minutes. Eoin Hynds pointed to put three between them again and though Aidan McErlain cut it back to two for the visitors with a point in the 15th minute, Calum Higgins made it three again when he came from half back to send over an excellent point.

Seanachann Duffin pointed to cut it back to two and it looked like it was going to be a close affair all through, but a minute before half time a great move by Glenravel involving Declan Traynor, Conor McNeill and Niall Swann was finished brilliantly to the net by Eoin Hynds, and when the same player added a point from a free in injury time the gap was out to 1-6 to 0-4 at half time.

Glenravel’s second goal came two minutes after the restart when Conor McNeill cut through and blasted home from close range and four minutes later that man Hynds was there again when he soloed through to grab his team’s third. An understrength Moneyglass kept battling away and points from Feargal Duffin, Seanachann Duffin, James Weir and Tyler Cassidy closed the gap. Glenravel hit back with points from Conor McNeill and Eoin McCusker before substitute James McCormick fired home a late consolation goal for Moneyglass.

The win moves Glenravel above their opponents in the league table and into fourth place but thought it is mathematically possible for them to catch leaders Tir na nÓg with three games still to play, it is in truth highly unlikely and the Randalstown men’s only valid challengers appears to be All Saints, Ballymena.

CON MAGEES

Shaun O’Boyle, Jonathan Fyfe, Conor Carey, Sean Higgins, Calum Higgins, Niall Swann, Cathal Hynds, David Higgins, Eoin McCusker, Eoin Hynds, Rian Lennon, Daragh Donaghy, Conor McNeill, Ronan Higgins, Declan Traynor.

ST ERGNATS

Gary Murray, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Dairmuid Scullion, Miran Neeson, Feargal Duffin, Janis Weir, Ciaran Kelly, Niall Boyd, Kevin McPeake, Seanachann Duffin, Sean Kelly, Conor O’Kane, Ryan Doyle, Aidan McErlain

Referee – Fionntan McCotter

Tir na nÓg take another step towards promotion

Antrim Football League Division 2

Tir na nÓg 1-15  St Teresa’s 1-9

Tir na nÓg took another stride towards winning the Division 2 Football League when they beat St Teresa’s in Wednesday evening’s league tie at Whitehill. This puts the Randaltown men on 16 points with eight wins from eight and they now hold a three point lead on All Saints with just three games left to play. The men in blue travel to Ardoyne next Wednesday evening, and if they collect full points there they can seal promotion two nights later when they visit Glenravel on Friday 2nd July.

Tir na nÓg made a dream start when centre back Barry McCormick soloed through to blast the ball to the St Teresa’s net in the opening minute and when Darragh Fegan added a point a minute later they were four to the good. Paul Curran opened the visitors account in the eighth minute with a fines strike from out on the left wing, and though Fegan answered it a minute later left-half-back Conor O’Rawe breathed new life into the St Teresa’s challenge in the 12th minute when he drilled a low shot to the net.

The home team responded well as they hit three points on the trot to lead by 1-15 to 1-1 at the first half water break and when full forward Kevin Sheerin got the first point after the resumption the gap was out to five.

However St Teresa’s found their touch again and hit three in a row through John Mallon, Niall McCann (2) to cut the gap back to just two, though a strong finish to the half by the home team saw Aaron McNeilly, Sean Duffin and Daniel Martin all find the target to pull their team 1-9 to 1-4 clear by half time.

When Sheerin, McCormick and McNeilly pointed early in the second half the home side were eight clear and cruising, but St Teresa’s are dogged competitors and four excellent points from the sweet left foot of John Mallon cut the deficit in half, and they had a great chance of a goal when a high ball dropped in front of full forward Sean Maguire on the edge of the ‘square’. However the spin of the ball took it away from the number 14 and the chance was gone.

Darragh Fagan settled any nerves the home team  may have had with a point on 60 minutes and Christy Sheerin added another in injury time to wrap it all up.

All Saints keep pressure on league leaders with win over Glenavy

ACFL Div.2

All Saints 2.15 Glenavy 1.14.

Despite an outstanding performance from Glenavy’s Fergal Henry All Saints did just enough to collect both points on the this evening at Slemish Park against a Glenavy side who have only won 1 league game this season.

The first score of the game came after 7 minutes of play with Rory McVeigh finishing to the net following a soccer style run by Kavan Keenan.  This goal was followed by points from McDonnell (0.2) and McReynolds (0.1) as the home side took a 1.3 to 0.0 lead after 12 minutes.  Fergal Henry, who was the dominant forward on show, got Glenavy’s 1st score in the 12th minute, followed by another score by McDonnell and a point in response from Fergus Cunningham as the water break approached.  At the water break, All Saints lead by 5 points on a score line of 1.4 to 0.2.

After the water break, both sides traded points with All Saints scores from McDonnell & Keenan and Henry again with a further 2 points leaving 5 between the teams.  In the 23rd minute, Saints then extended their lead to 6 points with a free from McDonnell following a strong run by McKillop.  This was to be their last score of the half however with Glenavy then narrowing the gap with 3 unanswered scores from Henry (0.2) and Fergal Green. The visitors then lost a player to a black card for 10 minutes with 3 minutes remaining to the half time break with All  Saints leading 1.7 – 0.7 at half time.

Sean McVeigh scored the first point of the 2nd half to extend the lead to 4 points but Glenavy despite being a man down reduced the gap to a point with scores coming from Henry (0.2) and Thoma Gallagher following a Mark.  The home side replied with 2 good scores from McKillop and another from McVeigh before another reply from a Henry free on the 2nd water break left the score 1.10 to 0.11 in favour of All Saints.

Saints management introduced the experienced McCarry to the game as the final quarter approached to stem the influence of Gallagher.  On the restart, Saints picked off 3 quick scores from Keenan, McCarry (free) and Lemon with a good score from play.  The visitors replied from another mark by Thomas Gallagher but 2 further points from McCarry and McLarnon left All Saints 6 points up after 52nd minutes. 

The visitors refused to give up however and reduced the gap to 3 following another good piece of play by Henry to put Gallagher through to finish to the net.  This left the game back in the melting pot with 5 minutes remaining and the home side were looking decidedly shakey at this point.

However, the hard running Conal Lemon capped a good display with a superb individual goal to put the Saints 6 ahead as the full time whistle neared and settle his side again.  The final 2 scores of the game came from that man Henry who finished with 2 frees and 0.10 for the evening. 

 This was a keenly contested game and All Saints were worthy of their 4 point win and keep the pressure on league leaders Tir na nOg with 3 games remaining.  Glenavy showed in patches the football they are capable off and in Henry, they had the best player on view.

All Saints: Conor Brennan, Matt Downey, James Gillan, Michael Read, Kavan Keenan (0.2), Peter Mc Nicholl, Conal Lemon (1.1),Sean McVeigh (0.2), Emmet Killough, Shea O Brien, Peter McReynolds (0.1), Ronan McKillop (0.1), Oisin Connolly, Rory McVeigh (1.0), Brendan McDonnell (0.5)

Subs:

Joe Rafferty for Matt Downey (HT)

Michael McCarry (0.2) for Oisin Connolly (40 mins)

Aidan Scullion for Michael Read (40 mins)

Ciaran McLarnon (0.1) for Peter McReynolds (48 mins)

Glenavy: Lorcan Murphy, Jonathan Phillips, Ciaran Loney, Liam Henry, Sean McGirr, Patrick Gallagher, Ruairi Forester, Peter Treanor, Stephen Doone, Rian Phillips, Charles Gallagher, Fergal|Green, Fergal Henry, Fergus Cunningham, Thomas Gallagher. Subs: Michael McCourt, Jake Nelson, Declan Doone, Chris Grant, Oisin Hamill

 Glenavy Scores:

F Henry 0.10 (0.4F)

Fergal Green 0.1

Fergus Cunningham 0.1

Thomas Gallagher 1.2

Referee: Jarlath O’Donnell (Glenravel)