Posts by thesaffrongael

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

Lámhs move into mid-table with victory at Gort

ACHL Division 3 

Gort na Mona 0-15-2-20 Lámh Dhearg 

Kevin Herron reports from Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh

Goals from Gerard Smyth and Sean-Paul Gibson proved the difference as Lámh Dhearg completed a league double over Gort na Mona and moved into midtable with a 2-20-0-15 win at Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh on Wednesday evening.

The Lámhs got off to the perfect start when Gerard Smyth latched onto a long ball down the channel and cut in towards goal before dispatching his low shot to the net. 

Gort responded through a converted Michael Carlin free, though Adam Murray opened his account from the same scenario. 

Fionn Mervyn then dropped a high shot over the bar, Murray doubled his account from Smyth lay-off and Aidan McCague popped a shot over to give their side a 1-04-0-01 lead. 

A fantastic Neil Henry score from distance yielded the hosts second point of the evening, but they would find themselves a further point in arrears with Adam Murray sending over back-to-back points. 

The first after Daire Cunningham was felled and Murray converted his second free of the evening, the 18-year-old then chalked up his second from play within 60-seconds. 

Gort na Mona had their best spell of the opening half thereafter. Nathan Gibson slipped a pass to James Connolly to land a terrific score from distance. 

Despite Gerard Smyth swinging over a reply after Murray’s free dropped short, the hosts claimed back-to-back scores courtesy of a converted Michael Carlin free and David Dixon point from play. 

The visitors hit back with successive scores of their own through talisman Adam Murray and an angled Sean-Paul Gibson point. 

Five minutes before break both sides were reduced to 14-men when Gavin McKenna and Conor McConville were dismissed. 

In the aftermath frees were traded between Murray and Neil Henry, and two further Murray points before the break would ensure his side were 1-13-0-06 ahead at the interval. 

Lámh Dhearg extended their lead upon the resumption through a fine Fionn Mervyn point from range. 

Neil Henry responded, sending over a free from distance and in-between a further Adam Murray point- Henry would drop a 65’ over the bar as the duo evenly matched each other score for score. 

The Gort’s closed the deficit through a Emmet Loughran point and Michael Carlin free and although Adam Murray converted his fifth free of the evening, Loughran doubled his account to ensure that the hosts were still within touch, trailing 1-16-0-11. 

A 48th minute goal would give Lámh Dhearg a bit more breathing space. Odrán Waldron slipped a pass to Sean-Paul Gibson- who burst forward and sent in a shot that dropped and was spilled to the net by John Kelly in the Gort na Mona goal. 

The last ten minutes saw the sides evenly share the last eight scores. Adam Murray helped himself to his sides last four scores, two from play and two from frees to finish with a tally of 0-14 for the evening. 

Michael Carlin would convert his fourth free before the conclusion, James Connolly doubled his tally and Ryan Cahill and Noah McGivern would chip in also for the hosts who despite a spirited display- remain bottom of the table. 

Gort na Mona: J Kelly, L Dixon, C Devlin, C Healy, D Dixon (0-01), G McKenna, N Gibson, J Connolly (0-02), N McGivern (0-01), R Cahill (0-01), E Loughran (0-02), M MacMaoláin, J Monaghan, N Henry (0-04, 0-02f, 0-01 65’), M Carlin (0-04f). Subs: T O’Cadhlaigh for J Monaghan (HT). 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, SP Gibson (1-02), O Waldron, F Mervyn (0-02), A Ferris, E Stanley, C McConville, A Murray (0-14, 0-07f), M McGuigan, D Cunningham, G Smyth (1-01), A McCague (0-01). Subs: C Megraw for A McCague (55). 

Referee: Piarais McCaffrey (Naomh Gall)

Six goal Ardoyne win top of the table clash

Antrim Hurling League – Division 4

Ardoyne 6-15 Belfast Saints 1-15

Early summer sunshine, two unbeaten records to maintain and an increasingly tight finish to Div 4 of the ACHL saw a large crowd gather at Fennell Park to witness this top of the table encounter between previously unbeaten Ardoyne Kickhams and Belfast Saints.

Ardoyne got off to a quick start with 2 early points coming from Dan Moore and a further point from Pearse Hull. Kevin Grieve then took advantage of a mix up in the Ardoyne defence and rifled over Saints opening score. Further attempts at goal by Saints were met with a solid back line led by Baker and Clarke. A pointed free from Maguire left a point between the sides. A further exchange of two points from both sides included a beautiful individual point from Maguire for Belfast Saints.

At this stage the game was nip and tuck, but this dramatically changed with two quick goals from Ardoyne. Baker sent a long free towards the Saints posts and to the surprise of everyone the sliothar went straight into the net. The second goal came from a precision point ball from Hull in the middle of the field to Moore who rifled it to the net.

While Ardoyne were largely in control of the opening half, they were unable to shake off a dogged response from Saints for whom Maguire was inspirational with his energy and accuracy from frees. Three points from frees in succession clearly unsettled Ardoyne as the second quarter unfolded and although they responded with two points of their own from play before the half-time whistle through Keown and McVicker, it was clear that they were feeling the pressure.

Half-Time: Ardoyne 2-11  Belfast Saints 0-8

As the second half began it was Saints turn to assert their authority on the game. A disjointed display from Ardoyne saw Saints narrow the gap between the sides with a goal and three points to a two point reply from Ardoyne. A tussle in the midfield area saw the sliothar land inside the shorts of Keating of Belfast Saints. He was greatly relieved when the Ardoyne players decided not to play the ball where it landed.

Ardoyne supporters were rightly concerned as their team was starting to lose shape and this was exploited to the full by a Saints side now growing in confidence. Something was needed to stop the decline for Ardoyne. On to the pitch comes McKillen, and he instantly responded by two goals in quick succession. His first was one for the collection. A long range free from Baker from the Ardoyne full back line was superbly fielded by McKillen on the 21 yard line, who then turned his man before firing it to the back of the net. A further goal from Pat McGreevy turned the screws further on Saints and the Ardoyne lead was starting to look insurmountable.

As the game moved to its conclusion, Slattery provided an inch perfect pass for McGreevy, who added a further goal to his tally on the night to leave a five goal deficit between the sides. Ardoyne will be particularly pleased that 10 players contributed to their total score against 4 for Belfast Saints.

While Belfast Saints and Loch Mór will not give up at this stage, this league is increasingly looking like a straight shoot-out between Ardoyne Kickhams and Davitts. This Sunday’s encounter between the two sides at Davitt Park should be very interesting!

Ardoyne: 1 JP Agnew, 2 Pascal Clarke, 3 Paul Baker (1-1) 1f, 4 Paul O’Halloran, 5 Sean Searle, 6 Cathal Clarke, 7 Christopher McShane (0-1), 8 Dean Goodall (0-1), 9 Paul McGuigan (0-1), 10 Dan Moore (1-5), 11 Cahal Keown (0-2), 12 Pearse Hull (0-1), 13 Patrick McGreevy (2-2), 14 Oisin Mac An Bhiocaire (0-2) 1f, 15 Kealan McCallan, Matt McKillen(2-0)), Diarmuid Martin, Cormac Barnes, Joe McDowell, Piarais O’Neill, Conor Flannery, Stephen Hill, Eoghain Mac An tSearraig, Eamon Mac Lochlainn, Matthew Crommie, Padraig O Deorain Cormac Curran, Caolan Wallace, Enda Slattery, Aran Stewart

Belfast Saints: 1 Stephen O’Hara, 2 Jason Kennedy, 3 Stephen Carey, 4 Philip Glennon, 5 Matt Carlin, 6 Aodhan Dugan, 7 Brian Keatings, 8 Paul McClenaghan, 9 Ronan Carroll, 10 Nial McGettigan (0-1), 11 Mark Caldwell, 12 Conor O’Rawe (0-1), 13 Ryan Brammeld, 14 Phil Maguire (0-12) 8f, 1 ‘65, 15 16 Michael Kewley 17 Kevin Grieve (1-1) 19 Sean Quirk, Caolan McCool

Referee: Chris Brown

Doran’s late point earns Portaferry a draw

Antrim Hurling League – Division 1

Cushendall 0-19 Portaferry 0-19

When Joseph McLaughlin scored his 12th point of the game in the second minute of injury time to put Cushendall 0-19 to 0-18 ahead it looked like the Ruairis had sealed the win, but they tried to work the ball out from defence with a short poc out, and the move broke down resulting in a Portaferry free which gave their marksman Paudie Doran the chance to fire over the equaliser and the young corner forward made no mistake.

Jospeh McLaughlin who scored 12 points for the Ruairi Ogs

This was a highly entertaining game, in which both teams had chances to seal the win, but in the end they had to settle for a draw which leaves the Down men on nine points with all their games played and they will hope that Sundays final round of games go their way to keep them in the top half of the table.

Portaferry started well and were 0-3 to 0-0 ahead after seven minutes, Matthe Conlan getting the opener and free take Paudie Doran getting the other two.

Joseph McLaughlin had been off target with a couple of early frees for Cushendall but once he hit his first in the ninth minute it settled the nerves of the young corner forward and he added two more in the next five minutes, which, with the aid of one from play by Alex Delargy, put the home side ahead. It was score for score for the remainder of the first half and the sides were level at the end of normal time, but the men from the Ards finished strongly and points from Finn Turpin, Ciaran Milligan and Caolan Taggart in added time gave them a 0-11 to 0-8 lead at the interval.

Cushendall’s Andrew Delargy in action against Portaferry

McLaughlin got the first point of the second half to cut the gap to two, but Portaferry stretched their lead to four as Finn Turpin and Paudie Dorran found the target. McLaughlin and Alex Delargy brought the gap back to two, but Doran stretched the lead to three again by the 43rd minute. Cushendall got back on level terms when the hit four of the next five points but with ten minutes left to play two Caolan Taggart points put the Down men back on top. McLaughlin and Dominic Delargy hit the target to bring the Ruairis level going down the home straight, and when McLaughlin edged them ahead in injury time it seemed the had done enough. However Portaferry was given the chance to earn a share of the spoils from a 63rd minute free and he again found the target to gives his team a precious league point to take with them on the long journey home.

Ryan McCambridge in action against Portaferry’s Eoghan Sands


Eoin Gillan, Michael Quinn, Paddy Burke, Martin Burke, Scott Walsh, Ryan McCambridge, Stephen Walsh, Alex Delargy, Martin McClafferty, Andrew Delargy, Dominic Delargy, Ed McQuillan, Paddy McGill, Emmet Laverty, Joe McLaughlin


Pearce Smyth, Darragh Mallon, Caolan Taggart, Tom Murray, Barry Trainor, Conor O’Neill,  Ciaran Milligan, Matthew Conlan, Conor O’Prey, Finn Turpin, Eoghan Sands, Conor Fay, Noah Rodgers, Daithi Sands, Paudie Doran

Referee – Mark O’Neill

St. Patrick’s edge high scoring thriller

Danske Bank Corn Cúchulainn final

St Patrick’s Lisburn 5-8 Sperrin Integrated Magherafelt 3-11

ST PATRICK’S Lisburn are first time winners of the Danske Bank Corn Cúchulainn after an intriguing final in Dunsilly with Sperrin Intergrated College who also featured players from clubs in south west Antrim.

All eight goals came in the opening half at the end of which Lisburn led Sperrin by 5-3 to 3-6. The heat and both teams tightening up defensively slowed the flow of scores during the second half, but the game remained exciting for the sizeable crowd of supporters attending.

It was an explosive opening 11 minutes from Lisburn and in particular from Owen Mahoney. The full-forward banged home a hat-trick of goals during that period to put Sperrin on the back foot.

The Magherafelt school recovered during the second quarter with a goal from Jacob Painter and two from star man Matthew McCrellis. Despite two further Lisburn goals from Eoin Morris, there were just three points between the sides at the break.

While the scoring eased a little in the second half, the pace of the game was maintained with play quickly switching from end to end.

Although Sperrin lost a player to a black card after 40 minutes, McCrellis, Luca O’Neill and Tiernan Floyd kept the pressure on Lisburn and it took a couple of frees from Morris and Dara Campbell to keep them in front going into the final few minutes when the south Derry side created a couple of clear goal chances.

In the end time ran out on Sperrin and Lisburn were celebrating a famous first win with Luke Delaney, Owen Mahoney, Christopher McGarr and Eoin Morris contributing most to the success.

St Patrick’s: Owen Mahoney 3-0, Eoin Morris 2-5 (0-4 frees), Dara Campbell 0-2 (frees), Dominic Doherty 0-1

Sperrin: Matthew McCrellis 2-3, Luca O’Neil 0-4, Tiernan Floyd 0-3, Fintan Kelly 0-1 

St Patrick’s: Sean Prabucki, Sean O’Toole, Dominik Burawa, Gavin McAuley,Joseph McMahon, Tom Kearney, Callum Dean, Luke Delaney, Dominic Doherty, Dara Campbell, Christopher McGarry, Cormac Morris, Callum McKillion, Owen Mahoney, Eoin Morris

Subs: Caleb Turley for Gavin McAuley, Charlie McGrandles for Callum McKillion, James Barrett for Tom Kearney

Sperrin: David Skelly, Joseph Murray, Joey Mullan, Daniel McCrellis, Dylan McIlroy, Fintan Kelly, Jacob Ennis-McManus, Daragh Shannon, Thomas Mulholland, Cayden Cummings, Tiernan Floyd, Arden Goldridge, Jacob Painter, Luca O’Neil, Matthew McCrellis

Sub: Luke Bayne for Jacob Painter 

McBride on target as Carey bridge a 62 year gap

O’Neill Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Carey Faughs 0-22 Ballycastle McQuillan’s 1-11

Carey Faughs bridged a 62 year gap when they beat their neighbours Ballycastle in Division 1 of the Antrim Hurling League at Ballyvoy on Wednesday evening. Leading by three points at half time the Carey men took complete control in the second half, outscoring their opponents by nine points to four, all nine of them coming from corner forward Conor McBride, and all nine of them from frees.

James Black in action in Carey’s win over Ballycastle in Division 1 of the All County Hurling League.

McBride was in tremendous form for the home team, hitting six in the first half, to help his team to 0-13 to 0-7 lead at the break. He actually missed a couple early in the second half but soon regained his composure to add nine more. However it was more than a one man show by the Faughs, who had stars all over the field, like James Rocket Black who played in a sweeper’s role and Shea Hunter who starred at centre back

The early stages of the game saw Carey get the upper hand as they went 0-5 to 0-2 ahead, but Ballycastle got back on level terms when ‘Rambo’ McCarry fired home a goal on twelve minutes. McBride sent over a point to put Carey back ahead, but three points without reply from Tiernan Smyth gave the Ballycastle a two point lead by the 17th minute. However Carey dominated the remainder of the first half and two neatly taken points from corner forward Paddy Gillan, two by McBride and one from James Rocket Black saw them go in at the break with a three point cushion.

Tiernan Smyth who was Ballycastle’s top scorer.

The pace of the game died a little early in the second half but McBride’s stretched the home team’s lead even further with three points from frees. Seamus McAuley pulled one back for Ballycastle but two more by McBride opened the gap still further. When McBride tagged on a couple more it was clear there was no way back for Ballycastle and though Tiernan Smyth did manage to send over two more points, McBride ended the half with three in a row to wrap up a six point winning margin.


Daniel McBride, Somhairle Matthew, Colm McBride, Daniel Hill, Michael McVeigh, Shea Hunter, Zach McCaughan, Caolán McCaughan,  Conlith McKinley, Fiachra McVeigh, John McBride, James McCouaig, Patrick Gillan, Seamus Black, Conor McBride.


Craoistai McAuley, Oran Kearney, James McShane, Jack McGowan, James McLister, Conor Boyd, Eoin McAlonan, Ronan McCarry, Ryan McCook, Cain Waldron, Seamus McAuley, Cathal Conor, Tiernan Smyth, Orann Donnelly, Lorcan Donnelly.

Referee – Colum Cunning