Posts by thesaffrongael

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

Cushendall come out tops

Antrim Camogie League – Division 1

Brídíní Óga Glenravel 0-12 Ruairí Óg Cushendall 1-16

Seamus McAleenan reports from Fr Maginn Park

This Division 1 game in Glenravel on Tuesday evening may have been competitive from start to finish, but the points always looked to be heading towards the coast, with Ruairí Óg managing to keep just ahead and then seal the deal with a goal in the 51st minute from Orlagh O’Hara that had a touch of luck attached to it.

However overall it was a tough enough battle with probably the difference between the teams the fact that the home team hadn’t as wide a range of scorers as the visitors, who could move players around to effect.

Cushendall got the better start with points from Orlagh O’Hara (free) and Sinéad Cosgrove, but by the end of the opening quarter it was 0-4 each with two Kirsten Edgar frees and singles from Shauna McDonnell and Megan McKillop matched by another O’hara free and a long range point from Dervla Cosgrove.

However over the next five minutes, Cushendall opened a three point gap and, although Glenravel brought it back to 0-8 to 0-7, Naomi McCurry and Orlagh O’Hara (free) closed the first half scoring at 0-10 to 0-7.

GlenravelCushendallCamogie012There was however a goal chance when Ashling Millar broke loose and fired a bullet from 25 metres, but Tierna Carson stood up to it and cleared well.

Cushendall opened the second half strongly with points from O’Hara and Colleen Patterson in the first minute, but Brídíní Óga settled and frees from Kirsten Edgar narrowed the gap to 0-12 to 0-10.

Dervla Cosgrove shot a long range free before the match winning goal arrived, a long punt from the back of midfield deceiving the home ‘keeper and ending in the back of the net.

At the other end, there were a couple of goal chances for the home side, but the defence closed them out and Ruairí Óg took the league points.

It means that they move ahead of the Glenravel girls in the league table with a couple of games still to play, while Brídíní Óga have completed their programme and sit mid-table.

Ruairí Óg: Tierna Carson, Caoimhe McNaughton, Clare Kearney, Aoife McClafferty, Nuala McQuillan, Laura McMullan, Caoimhe O’Hara, Dervla Cosgrove (0-3, 0-2 frees), Sinead Cosgrove (0-1), Ellen Leech (0-1), Colleen Patterson (0-1), Naomi McCurry (0-1), Gemma Black (0-3), Orlagh O’Hara (1-4, 0-3 frees), Brogan Abram ((0-2).

Sub : Meabh Allen for D Cosgrove

Brídíní Óga : Rachael McBride capt., Bern Convery, Laoise McKenna, Sian McNeill, Lianne Kerr, Ellen Hynds, Joanne McKeown, Kirsten Edgar (0-8 frees), Kirsty Laverty (0-1), Bronagh Laverty, Shauna Kelly (0-1), Shauna McDonnell (0-1), Ashling Millar, Oonagh Ward, Megan McKillop (0-1).

Subs : Maria McKenna for M McKillop, Leona Traynor for J McKeown.

Referee : Darren Mullan

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Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Saints hold on to take the points

O’Neill’s All County Minor Football League – Division 1

Creggan 3-6 All Saints 2-11

By John McIlwaine

Fourteen man All Saints were left clinging on at the end of Tuesday evening’s Minor Football League game in Creggan but they withstood the Creggan pressure to seal a two point win. When full-forward Jake White finished to the net less than a minute into the second half to put All Saints seven clear it like plain sailing for the visitors, but in an incident packed second half they lost their focus and in the end could easily have lost the game had it not been for Creggan’s inaccuracy in from frees.

An early goal from top scorer Dominic McAteer helped Creggan to a 1-3 to 0-4 lead, but All Saints came back strongly with two points from Aidan Scullion frees, one from Conor Stewart and a cracking goal from Scullion to help his team to a 1-9 to 1-5 half time lead.3All Saints Ronnie Marshall in action against Creggan’s Shane Young.

When Jake White finished off great approach work by Ronnie Marhall by firing home a cracking goal the Ballymena boys appeared to have an iron grip on the game. However less than a minute later Dominic McAteer had the ball in the net at the other end, and when he won the kick out to return the ball over the bar seconds later the gap was suddenly down to four. Powerful midfielder Conor Stewart broke through to fire the ball inches over the bar to increase the All Saints lead to five the pressure appeared to have eased, but they lost their way badly when they had a man sent off in a case of mistaken identity soon afterwards. Creggan got back into the game when they were awarded a penalty as Sean Duffin was pulled down in the ‘large square’ and McAteer finished expertly to the net and when he won the kick out and returned the ball over the bar there was just a single point between the sides.

Creggan missed a great chance to hit the front when a misplaced pass to McAteer, alone on the edge of the square, went badly astray and when Oisin Connolly increased the All Saints lead to two again the win seemed assured. However in the five minutes of injury time Creggan had some great chances to gain at least a draw but three missed frees from inside thirty metres told its tale as the Saints went home with the points


Joel Dudley, Conn McGee, Aaron Hughes, Shane Young, Dylan Hinfey, Eunan McAteer, Odhran Hampsey, Lee Johnston, Diarmuid Mulholland, Joe McAteer, Morgan Nelson, Sean Duffin, Ethan Carey-Small, Dominic McAteer, Aaron Herbison.

All Saints

Brandon Reid, Rian McCann, Matthew Corr, Conal O’Neill, Matthew Downey, Cory Lyttle, Cormac Magill, Conor Stewart, Ronnie Marshall, Oisin Connolly, James McDonnell, Aidan Scullion, Kieran O’Boyle, Jake White, Ruairi Campbell.

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Pics by John McIlwaine

St Brigid’s secure narrow win in Toome


All County Minor Football League (Division One)

Erin’s Own Cargin 3-09 St Brigid’s 1-16

A late point secured in the 57th minute by the impressive Tom Dunford was enough to secure the points as St Brigid’s crossed the line with the minimum to spare in a win secured over Cargin on Tuesday evening.

A hugely enjoyable game which had ebbed and flowed throughout had looked likely to end all square until the full forward retained his aim to secure victory in the closing minutes.

Cargin had galloped out of the start traps and absolutely dominated the early stages and an excellent 10th minute goal supplemented by four early points had hinted at a win for the home side.

Shay Bovill had opened the account with a point less than a minute into proceedings and after Paudie McLaughlin and PJ Quinn followed suit Sean Og O’Neill bagged the well delivered goal.

Sean Mc Auley, Paudie Mc Laughlin and Shay Bovill all had a hand in the buildup before the center-forward fired to the back of the net and when an indiscretion on the advancing O’Neill was punished when Shay Bovill claimed his second point the Cargin boys had amassed a healthy 1-04 without reply from their guests.

St Brigid’s took some time to acclimatize but after remaining without a mark on the board for the opening quarter a fine point from Tom Dunford kick started the South Belfast side into action and they were fully in tune when Ben Doherty and Thomas McCarney followed suit.

Shay Bovill collected his third score of the game when he steered a 40 meter free kick between the posts following a foul on Paudie McLaughlin to see the home side return to the positive again but in the event they were not to make another mark for the remainder of the opening period as the city boys took over.

Marcus Lynch added back to back points to the St Brigid’s total delivered in the 21st and 22nd minutes and when Tom Dunford rose to fist an Eoin Brown cross to the back of the net the visitors were on par at 1-05 apiece.

The home side may well have returned to the lead again  in the 25th minute when only the cross bar denied the lively Sean O’ Neill from adding a second goal, and gaining inspiration from the good fortune the St Brigid’s lads returned to the offensive with some purpose to dominate the remainder of the half.

Back to back Eoin Brown points saw the South Belfast lads a couple ahead and when both Henry McGuigan and Peter Henvey raised further white flags in the last minute St Brigid’s had turned matters around to lead 1-09 to 1-05 at the break.

A hugely enjoyable opening period ensured the attendance looked forward to similar in the second and as events were to unfold they were not to be disappointed.

The sides swapped scores at either end in the opening couple of minutes before a superb approach and an 80 meter solo approach led to a splendid point collected by the home side’s corner back Sean og Quinn which was to precede a Pat Shivers 35th minute goal.

The mid fielder having made stylish approach with full assistance from his central partner Eunan Quinn really made the net bulge with his thundering finish.

A fisted point at the other end saw St Brigid’s regain advantage but such was to prove short lived as back came Cargin again and when the lively Sean Og O’ Neill concluded a right sided stylish approach by firing directly to the corner of the net the Toome boys were back in the vanguard, leading 3-07 to 1-11.

Cargin seemed to have regained control with Pat Shivers and Eunan Quinn on top in the central zone but in a game of fluctuating fortunes St Brigid’s responded and Cargin were dealt a real body blow as the hugely influential Paudie McLaughlin was shown a black card.

The next phase saw St Brigid’s take the initiative and lay siege to the Cargin posts as Peter Henvey (2), Tom Dunford and Thomas McCarney hoisted white flags in turn to give them a four point lead.

Cargin responded however and back they came in search of scores with a foul on the approaching Mark Keegan fully punished when Shay Bovill dispatched the 40 meter free kick between the posts and when a similar fate befell Sean Og O’ Neill the result was the same and the game was tied at 3-09 to 1-15.

A draw and a share of the points seemed in prospect but the visitors were not about to settle for such and in the event that late point from Tom Dunford was to ensure victory for the visitors as they crossed the winning line at 1-16 to 3-09.

Cargin: Oran Molloy, Oran Lynn, Orrin Johnston, Sean og Quinn (0-01), Malachai Johnston, Mark Keegan, Ben Dobbin, Pat Shivers (1-01), Eunan Quinn, Conor Kelly, Sean og O’ Neill (2-00), Paudie Mc Laughlin, PJ Quinn (0-01), Shay Bovill (0-05), Sean Mc Auley.


Benen Kelly for P Mc Laughlin (black card)

St Brigid’s: James McKenna, Ruairi McDonnell, Peter King, Reuben Carleton, Thomas McCarney (0-02), Callum Webb, Brian McCarthy , Henry McGuigan (0-01), Conor Slevin, Shay Campbell, Peter Henvey (0-03), Marcus Lynch (0-02), Ben Doherty (0-02), Tom Dunford (1-04), Eoin Brown (0-02).

Referee P Hanna (St Joseph’s)



Feis Na nGleann another great success


Mairead McMullan, Chairperson of Feis Na nGleann Arts & Crafts exhibition presents a prize to Anne McCormick who received it on behalf of her school, St. Brtigid’s Ballymoney who won first prize in the calligraphy & illustration competition.

Feis Na nGleann was held for the second time in Ballymena at the weekend and despite the many events taking place elsewhere it would be safe to say it was a great success. Matters got under way on Friday evening with an Irish language class and traditional music workshop and continued over the weekend with hurling, camogie and football finals.

Glenarm took the U16B hurling cup with victory over Glenravel while Dunloy defeated Glenravel in the U16 camogie final. We had an U16 county football game on the Saturday as well with Kildare proving too strong for Antrim while Carey defeated old rivals, Glen Rovers in the Countess of Antrim final.

Saturday night provided one of the most entertaining finals of the weekend when Rasharkin came from behind to defeat Con Magee’s, Glenravel in the Junior Cup final by 1-17 to 1-16 in a game that ebbed and flowed through out.

Despite the worst day’s weather for over a month and the counter attractions of the World Cup final and a full programme of All Ireland hurling and football being televised a descent crowd made their way to Slemish Park to watch the four finals taking place.

The Junior and Senior camogie finals turned out rather one sided affairs as Loughgiel demonstrated the current rude health of the game in the parish with convincing wins over Tir na nOg and Cuchullain’s Dunloy respectively.

Indeed the Shamrocks were represented in all four of Sunday’s final but their U16 hurlers, despite a strong second half comeback lost out by four points to Ruairi Og, Cushendall in the McMullan Cup final.

The same clubs faced up in the Senior Hurling final and any notion or suggestion that the Feis Na nGleann is no longer treated seriously were soon dispelled as these fierce rivals produced a full blooded hours entertainment with a Fergus McCambridge inspired Ruairi Ogs taking the coveted trophy.


While all this was going on outside on the playing field there was an excellent Arts & Crafts exhibition taking place in the All Saints clubrooms organised by Mairead McMullan and her team of volunteers and over the weekend many called to see the exhibits on display.

The exhibition included work by North Antrim schools including art, calligraphy, ceramics, textiles and carvings and I have included a selection of photographs from this excellent event which truly complements the spirit of Feis Na nGleann.

Congratulations to the All Saints club on their efficient running of the event and a big thank you to the many volunteers who gave of their time over the weekend to direct traffic, steward the car parks, provide food and oversee the smooth running of the Feis that ran like clockwork.

Clockwise: 1) Mary Burke, Collette Walsh, Rosie McQuillan, Eilish McQuillan Marianne gallagher and Nuala McSparran in front of one of the Art exhibitions.

2) Eilish Emerson, Clodagh McKay, Cara McKay and Maeve Graham view a ceramic exhibition by St. Benedict’s College, Randalstown.

3) Maire McCormick, Colette Walsh, Rosemary Allen and Mary Burke.

4) An exhibition of Crocheting by Mary Queen of peace, Glenravel

5) Mary Burke from ‘MARyDOLLS’ beside her stall at Feis Na nGleann on Sunday

Clinical Shamrock’s too powerful for Dunloy


Loughgiel celebrate after defeating Dunloy in the Senior Feis Camogie final in Ballymena on Sunday.

Senior Feis Camogie Final

Loughgiel Shamrocks  2-19 Dunloy 0-4

Loughgiel turned in another clinical performance to defeat Cuchullain’s Dunloy in a one side Senior Feis Camogie final at Slemish Park on Sunday evening. It didn’t look like it was going to be that way during the early exchanges and it was Dunloy who opened the scoring through a pointed free from Nicole O’Neill after six minutes but that was as good as it got for the Dunloy girls.

From the puck out Loughgiel attacked and Aisling McFadden equalised and Lucia McNaughton put them ahead before Roisin McCormick increased that lead to two direct from a ‘45’ after ten minutes play.

Despite playing into the breeze Caitrin Dobbin increased their lead to three but at this stage Dunloy were enjoying plenty of possession but had recorded four wides as they battled to get back into contention.

There was no such wastefulness from a very focused and determined Loughgiel as Emma McFadden added another in the 15th minute and Racquel Murphy,  Caitrin Dobbin, Aisling McFadden 0-2, Roisin McCormick and Lucia McNaughton had the Shamrock’s 0-11 to 0-1 ahead by the 26th minute.

Loughgiel continued to press but had a goal disallowed and then the Dunloy net minder brought off a good save to deny Racquel Murphy as play continued to flow in the direction of the Cuchullains goal. Aisling McFadden put Loughgiel firmly in control as she fired to the Dunloy net at the end of the half and as the half time whistle sounded the Shamrocks led 1-11 to 0-1.


Loughgiel’s Caitrin Dobbin goes past Lissa McConville of Dunloy

It was more of the same after the break as Amy Boyle pointed to open Loughgiel’s second half account and when Roisin McCormick fired home their second goal from a difficult angle in the 6th minute it was as good as over.

Dunloy had switched Chloe Drain from attack to defence at the start of the second half in an effort to stem the tide and while she certainly improved things in this department her influence in attack was missing.

The Cuchullain’s girls kept battling however and were rewarded with a point from a couple of Aileen McManus frees by the 14th minute but Loughgiel responded again through two quick points from Emma McMullan to leave it 2-14 t0 0-4 .

Loughgiel emptied their bench at this stage but it failed to disrupt their rhythm and the continued to press in the closing stages with Racquel Murphy 0-2, Aisling McFadden, Charley McCarry and Christine Laverty all on target.

This was another convincing performance by the Loughgiel side and captain Maeve Connolly alluded to that in her acceptance speech, stating that she hoped this was the first of many trophies this season.

Connolly gave a polished performance at centre-half but hers was only one of many strong performances from a Loughgiel side who are going to take a lot of beating come championship time. Dunloy opened promisingly but just couldn’t get the early scores that their approach play deserved. They too will now go away and regroup with the championship in mind and are capable of much better than they showed on the day.

Loughgiel Panel: Megan Coyle, Charlene Campbell, Laura Connolly, Maria Lynn, Aine Doran, Maeve Connolly, Amy Boyle, Emma McFadden, Eimear McGarry, Roisin McCormick, Lucia McNaughton, Emma McMullan, Caitrin Dobbin, Racquel Murphy, Aisling McFadden, Charley McCarry, Christine Laverty, Clare McKillop, Eimear Boyle, Finvola McVeigh, Katie Lynn, Katie McKillop, Kirsty McKendry, Louise McKillop.

Dunloy Panel: Annie Laverty, Eilish Kearns, Leanne Reid, Aileen McManus, Caoimhe Conlon, Clare McGuckian, Sinead Martin, Dearbhail Magill, Mary Martin, Lauren Elliott, Nicole O’Neill, Erin Elliott, Chloe Drain, Michaela Elliott, Kirsty McFerran, Catriona Maybin, Erin Traynor, Lisa McConville, Fiona Hills, Katie Laverty, Eimer McMullan

Referee: Darren McMullan (Carey)

Catherine Bradley, Antrim Camogie Board treasurer presents thew Senior Feis Cup to Loughgiel captain Maeve Connolly and the player of the match award to Aisling McFadden.

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