Glenravel into minor B final

Glenravel 5-21   Ardoyne 1-04
Glenravel qualified for the final of the Minor B Football Championship when they beat Ardoyne in Sunday’s semi-final at Dunsilly. The Con Magees had just too much scoring power for their north Belfast opponents and were 1-8 to 0-2 in front by half time.

Con Magees full forward Rian Lennon goes high to win the ball during his team’s semi-final win over Ardoyne.

After the break Glenravel continued to dominate and added scores at regular intervals. To their credit, Ardoyne kept going right to the end and their efforts were rewarded with a fine goal late in the second half. But by that stage the game was long over as a contest. Glenravel were on top in most positions and had many fine individual performances, too numerous to list here.

Ardoyne corner forward Odharan Mullan in action against Glenravel’s Cormac McKeown

One of the highlights of the game was an unbelievable save by Glenravel’s keeper Jude Scullion in the first half when he dived at full stretch to push an Ardoyne pile driver round the post and out for a 45. Glenravel’s goals came from Rian Lennon (2), Ryan McQuillan, Eamon Ward and James Davies all of whom contributed along with the rest of the panel to produce some fine flowing football in excellent early Autumn sunshine. Incidently Eamon Ward only came on as a sub because of his later arrival as he was part of the Oisins Glenariffe team who won the McMullan Cup earlier in the day, beating St Enda’s in the final in Cushendun.

Eamon Ward celebrates after scoring a Glenravel goal

They Con Magees now go on now to face Creggan in the final, date & location to be decided. 

Shamrocks in seventh heaven

Antrim senior camogie final :

Loughgiel 3-11 Ballycastle 2-5

LOUGHGIEL Shamrocks made it seven titles on the trot when they beat Ballycastle in Sunday’s Antrim Senior Camogie final in perfect conditions at Kelly Park, Portglenone on Sunday evening, a win that stretches their title haul to 23, well ahead of Dunloy and Portglenone who 11 each.

The Shamrocks were in control from the start as player of the match Roisin McCormick struck early and often as she guided her team to a 1-4 to 0-0 lead, 1-3 of it from her own stick. Ballycastle took a while to get going and when Maeve Kelly scored a great individaul goal they were back in contention. However they Town could not maintain their pressure and Loughgiel regained control to go on record a nine point win.

Loughgiel full forward Christine Laverty jumps for joy after Roisin McComrick (out of picture) scores the Shamrocks opening goal.

McCormick opened the scoring when she raced clear to point after 25 seconds and she had opened up a 1-3 lead after eight minutes, Clare McKillop and Christine Laverty combining to set her up for the goal.

A minute later Caitrin Dobbin extended the Loughgiel lead and it looked ominous for Ballycastle.

However Maeve Kelly eventually won and converted a free in the 11th minute and Ballycastle were back in business when the same player cut in along the end line and forced the sliotar over the line. With Niamh O’Neill adding a point, Ballycastle were now just two in arrears at 1-4 to 1-2.

The Town kept pace with the Shamrocks for the second quarter and were 1-7 to 1-4 down at the break with McCormick scoring 1-6 for the holders.

Caitrin Dobbin scores Loughgiel’s third goal

In almost an identical passage of play to the Kelly goal in the first half, Róisín McCormick picked up a long free into the corner from Maeve Connolly, bounced off a couple of tackles and fired home a second Loughgiel goal in the 34th minute.

When Dobbin cut in from the other wing to score a third goal, the result was more or less in the bag. It was just a case of cutting out Ballycastle’s route to goal.

That was capably achieved by their excellent half-back line and midfield, allied to the clever work of Ciara Laverty as sweeper, and they pinned Ballycastle into their own half forcing Maeve Kelly their main scoring threat to come very deep to forage and then attempt to solo through looking for scores.

Ballycastle’s Maeve Kelly in action during the county camogie final against champions Loughgiel.

The Town defence found the threat of McCormick and Dobbin very difficult to handle, but Enya McShane, Emma Laverty and Niamh Donnelly worked well to hold the line, although the Ballycastle attack could get little space at the other end.

Nuala Devlin managed to fire home a consolation goal near the end after several shots in the same attack had been parried by Eimear Boyle on the goal-line.

The star turn was Róisín McCormick who threatened the goal every time she gained possession with Caitrin Dobbin an excellent foil. The only pity is that the provincial final against the Derry champions will not take place until early January. In this sort of form, McCormick, Dobbin and Loughgiel were more impressive than what was on offer from either Swatragh or Slaughtneil who won their Derry semi-finals on Friday evening.

Roisin McComrick who was again the stand out player on show at the Antrim camogie final as she scored 2-9 as her Loughgiel team beat Ballycastle to take their seventh title on the trot.

Loughgiel : Eimear Boyle, Megan McGarry, Chloe Higgins, Ciara Laverty, Emma McFadden, Maeve Connolly, Shauna Devlin, Amy Boyle, Lucia McNaughton, Roisin McCormick 2-9, 0-4 frees, Anna Connolly, Emma McMullan, Caitrin Dobbin 1-1, Christine Laverty, Clare McKillop.

Subs : Katie McKillop for A Connolly (43), Racquel Murphy for L McNaughton (50), Orlagh Laverty 0-1 for S Devlin (59)

Ballycastle : Becky Ellis, Niamh Ann Donnelly, Catherine McShane, Enya McShane, Bronagh McCaughan, Kathryn Donnelly, Emma Laverty, Meabh O’Neill, Niamh Donnelly 0-2 frees, Aine Donnelly, Caoimhe Wright 0-1 free, Nuala Devlin 1-0, Maeve Kelly 1-1, 0-1 free, Emma Connor, Niamh O’Neill 0-1

Subs : Riana McBride for N O’Neill (44), Tara O’Neill for E Connor (50), Orla Donnelly for C McShane (50).

Referee : Joe Baldwin

County chairperson Imelda McCloud presents the cup to Loughgiel captain Maeve Connolly.

A ‘Close’ call as Cargin make it three in a row

Northern Switchgear

Antrim Senior Football Championship (final)

Erin’s Own Cargin 1-22 Kickham’s Creggan 1-19 (aet)

‘The old dog for the hard road’, is the old adage and it certainly rang true in the final of a thrill a minute Antrim senior football championship decider at Kelly Park today as  a 72nd minute goal from Kieran Close proved the turning point in an absorbing contest

The nimble 36 year old fired home from close range after being placed in the clear by Jimmy Gribbin to put a bit of daylight between the sides for the first time since the 7th minute.

Nothing had separated the near neighbours in an absorbing sixty minutes of football which thrilled the restricted attendance with the side’s level on six occasions.

A Tomas McCann point near the end of normal time looked to have ensured another title for the Toome men but Ruairi McCann replied at the other end to make it 0-16 to 0-16 and send the game into extra time.

Creggan led at the end of the first extra ten minutes as points from replacements, Paddy Coey and David Mc Guckin ensured a one point advantage but Mark Kelly and Jamie Gribbin combined to set up Kieran Close who finished to the net in style to put his side in the driving seat.

Further scores from Close, Pat Shivers, and Kevin ‘Kobo’ O’ Boyle saw Cargin move five in front but the Kickham’s replied with a late goal from replacement Odhran McLarnon to keep their fading hopes alive.

Michael McCann rose to collect the resultant kick out and send Kevin O’ Boyle on his way to raise white at the other end to ensure that there would be no way back for the gallant Creggan.

Keen rivals Erin’s Own Cargin and Kickham’s Creggan lined out in perfect conditions in the first ever senior championship final played at the splendid Kelly Park, Portglenone today.

The weather man had played his part to the full on this occasion and those in attendance were treated to one of the best finals in recent times.

Cargin, in search of a first ever ‘three in a row’ began in the manner of defending champions with an early score from Tomas McCann with only 30 seconds on the clock.

The same player went on to add a further three points in the opening six minutes to ensure a 0-04 to 0-00 advantage and his side threatened to run away with it at this stage.

Creggan in contrast were having difficulty in settling as the usually reliable Ruairi McCann missed a couple of opportunities to get his side’s opening score.

Slowly the challengers settled however and McCann got them on their way with a point in the 11th minute as he converted a 30 metre free and this score seemed to settle the Kickham’s.

Jamie McCann followed with back to back points in the 12th and 13th minutes and Creggan were on their way and further points from Conor Small and the resurgent Ruairi McCann saw them 0-05 to 0-04 ahead at the first water break.

Creggan were well on top at this stage and extended their lead to three with points from Tiernan Mc Ateer, and Conor McCann, their seventh point without reply. The corner forward’s strike was artistic in the extreme whilst the mid fielder followed a strong approach with an eye catching finish.

Cargin looked to have lost their way but they were back on track again when a James Laverty clearance and a heavy challenge on Jamie Gribbin allowed Pat Shivers to despatch the resultant free between the posts.

Gribbin then combined with Kevin McShane to open the way for Ciaran Bradley who raced away on the left before sending over.

The Erin’s Own men were now back on the ascendancy after a spell in the doldrums and a super Pat Shivers point was followed by another from Paul McCann.

Kevin Rice replied with a Creggan point to edge his side back ahead but another foul on the advancing Gribbin saw Pat Shivers level the contest again to ensure parity at the half way stage at 0-09 apiece.

Creggan were first to register at the start of the second half as replacement Matthew Rogers announced his arrival with a point but Michael McCann replied to level matters again before Brendan Laverty came forward to follow suit.

Cargin’s lead was short lived as Ruairi McCann raced forward to split the posts in the 36th minute and he followed suit from a free a couple of minutes later to edge his side ahead again.

It was end to end to end stuff as a Ciaran Bradley score brought the Toome side level once more before a slick combination involving the McCann’s, Paul Michael and Gerard opened the way for the former to edge his side 0-13 to 0-12 ahead at the end of the third quarter.

Creggan were back on terms once more through a Ruairi Mc Cann pointed free in the 46th minute and Jamie McCann followed with another to edge the Kickham’s ahead once more.

Cargin were soon back on terms again as Pat Shivers fired and then a foul on Kieran Close was duly punished when Tomas McCann deliver between the posts and the lead had changed hands once again as spectators from both sides roared their approval.

It looked anybody’s game as play continued to swing from end to end and Ruairi Mc Cann held his nerve to send between the posts to leave it 0-16 to 0-16 at the end of an absorbing sixty minutes to send the game into extra time.

It was the reigning champions who were first off the mark at the start of extra time as Tomas McCann raised an early white following a foul on the impressive Michael McCann but back came the challengers with back to back points from Ruairi McCann and substitute Paddy Coey to hit the front again.

A great Jamie Gribbin point ensured parity once more but a point from substitute David Mc Guckin ensured Creggan enjoyed a slender one point lead at the end of the first period of extra time.

The second half commenced in dramatic fashion as Mark Kelly sent Jamie Gribbin away on the left and he found Kieran Close Kieran Close who fired past Oisin Kerr to give his side a two point lead.

Gribbin was injured shortly after following a heavy challenge and forced to retire with Close following with a point to edge the champions three in front and when Pat Shivers followed with another they had opened up a four point gap.

Cargin were well on the way but Creggan kept battling on and were rewarded when Odhran McLarnon grabbed a late goal but time was against them and Kevin O’ Boyle responded with a late point to ensure there would be no way back for the gallant losers.

Cargin had completed a first ever three in a row and their 10th title in all while Creggan will have to wait another year as they attempt to put a long drought behind them but on the evidence of today that is not beyond them in the not too distant future.

Cargin captain Michael McCann who won his sixth senior championship medal in Sunday’s win over Creggan.

Cargin: John Mc Nabb, Kevin O’ Boyle (0-02), Justin Crozier, Brendan Laverty (0-01), David Johnston, James Laverty, Paul Mc Cann (0-01), Kevin Mc Shane, Michael Mc Cann (0-01), Ciaran Bradley (0-03), Pat Shivers (0-05), John Carron, Jamie Gribbin (0-01), Tomas Mc Cann (0-07), Enda Mc Grogan 

Subs

Gerard Mc Cann for E Mc Grogan

Marty Kane for D Johnston

Kieran Close (1-01) for J Carron

Sean og O’ Neill for

Mark Kelly for G Mc Cann

Michael Clarke for Kieran Close

Creggan: Oisin Kerr, Aiden Maguire, Ricky Johnston, Eunan Mc Ateer, Sam Maguire, Martin Johnston, Jamie Mc Cann (0-03), Kevin Rice (0-01), Conor Mc Cann (0-01), Ruairi Mc Cann (0-07), Kevin Small, Fiontan Burke, Tiernan Mc Ateer (0-01), Conor Small (0-01), Conor Og McCann

Matthew Rogers (0-01) for F Burke

Liam Quinn for T Mc Ateer

Tommy Mc Cann for A Maguire

Paddy Cory (0-01) for S Maguire

David Mc Guckin (0-01) for K Small

Odhran Mc Larnon (1-00) for E Mc Ateer

Referee B Toland (Lamh Dhearg)

Cathal McOscar Photography

Close goal seals 3-in a row for Cargin

A summary of today’s SFC Final T Kelly Park, Portglenone. Afull report and photographs will appear on the site later tonight

Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Final 

Cargin 1-22-1-19 Creggan (AET)

Kevin Herron reports from Kelly Park 

A goal from Kieran Close three minutes into the second period of extra-time sealed a 3rd successive Championship triumph for Cargin after they saw off neighbours Creggan 1-22-1-19 at Kelly Park this afternoon. 

The champions made a rip-roaring start and established a 0-04 lead inside of seven minutes. 

All coming courtesy of Tomas McCann, the lively full-forward hit the opener inside of 20 seconds from Pat Shivers pass, converted two frees and added an advanced mark. 

Ruairi McCann missed two early frees but was successful in getting his side off the mark at the third time of asking. 

Jamie and Conor McCann landed further scores and Conor Small levelled the scores on 16 minutes. 

Momentum was with the Staffordstown Road outfit as Tiernan McAteer hit back to back scores to edge his side ahead for the first time and a further score from Conor McCann was his side’s seventh on the trot to open up a 0-07-0-04 lead. 

Pat Shivers and Ruairi McCann traded points before Cargin levelled with three successive points through Ciaran Bradley and curling scores from Pat Shivers and Paul McCann. 

Kevin Rice and Shivers were on target before the break and in injury-time Ciaran Bradley was denied by a terrific Oisin Kerr save with the follow-up blasted wide as the sides were level 0-09 apiece.

 Creggan regained the lead early in the second half through substitute Fintan Burke but Cargin hit the front for the first time since the 7th minute through points from Mick McCann and Brendan Lavery. 

Ruairi McCann levelled with a fine point from play and then converted his second free of the game to give his side a 0-12-0-11 lead. 

The pendulum swung back in Cargin’s direction with successive Ciaran Bradley points although Ruairi McCann converted a straight forward free to level once more. 

Creggan opened up a two point advantage through a converted Jamie McCann free and McCann would land a second on the bounce after weaving away from Pat Shivers. 

Cargin spurned a second goal chance as Kerr denied Tomas McCann but Shivers floated over a point from the follow-up. 

Tomas McCann then drew the sides level with a free and 60-seconds later converted another to give the Champions a 0-16-0-15 lead in injury-time. 

There was to be late drama though as Creggan were afforded the opportunity pull level and Ruairi McCann dually took the chance as extra-time was required for the second year running. 

Extra-time: 

Cargin drew first blood in injury-time through another McCann free but Ruairi McCann landed the equaliser and substitute Paddy Coey edged his side ahead. 

They were dealt a blow however as Eunan McAteer was black carded for a trip and Jamie Gribbin landed an equaliser. 

But at the midway point it was 14-man Creggan who had their noses in front as David McGuckin popped over a late point to make it 0-19-0-18. 

The turning point in the game arrived three minutes into the second period as Jamie Gribbin picked out Kieran Close who shot low into the corner of the net. 

Close could have profited from a poor kick-out moments later but ended up grabbing a point and Kevin O’Boyle looked to have added the insurance point. 

But Creggan threw themselves a lifeline when Aidan McKeown shot through a crowded goalmouth to the net to put the game in the melting pot again at 1-21-1-19. 

O’Boyle would have the final say though and grabbed the games final score as Cargin held-on to win 1-22-1-19 at the end of an absorbing encounter. 

Con Magees win N Antrim U16 B title

North Antrim Under 16 B Hurling final

Con Magees 7-6 All Saints 1-8

Con Magees Glenravel won the Under 16B Hurling Championship when they beat All Saints in Saturday morning’s final at Ahoghill. In perfect conditions the Glenravel boys were on top for most of the first half but a strong finish to that first period by All Saints saw them close to within 8 by the break.

When the Ballymena boys opened the second half with three points from Aodhan McGarry to close the gap to five they appeared to be in a strong position, but two quick goals from the Con Magees swung the game back in their favour and they went on to win convincingly.

Daire Higgins got Glenravel off to a flyer with a goal inside three minutes, but Joseph O’Rawe pointed at the other end to cut the gap back to two. The winners were missing a good few chances and had only two more points from Deaglan Carey and Conor Duffin between then and the first half water break, while Aodhan McGarry pulled one back for All Saints to leave just three between the sides.

The second quarter saw Con Magees begin to get a grip on the game and after Conor McKeown grabbed a goal and a point, Conor Laverty took advantage of a defensive slip to grab his team’s third goal. All Saints responded with points from Aodhan McGarry and TP McGurk but when Joe McKay grabbed a Glenravel goal just before the break they were eleven clear. However there was still time for All Saints to respond and a goal from Fintan Brady just before the short whistle left just eight between them at the interval.

Playing ‘down the slope’ and with a fresh breeze at their backs, All Saints started the new half with promise and three points from Aodhan McGarry cut the gap back to five. However two quick goals from Conor Laverty and Joe McKay, the latter finished superbly after a good flowing move, pulled the Glenravel side clear of the danger.

From here on it was plain sailing for the winners and though All Saints pulled a couple back from frees, a late goal from Deaghan Carey put the icing on the Con Magees cake.

Team captain Caolan Lennon with the cup which he received from Jarlath O’Donnell