In near perfect conditions at Pairc Naomh Una the home side started brightly with two fine points from Cormac McBride and Kevin Grieve. .Laochra Loch Lao replied with a long distance point from Sean MacCorraidh.The Aggies we’re stamping their authority on the game at this stage and forged into an 0-8 to 0-4 lead but Laochra got a fortuitous goal when a speculative shot came back if the bar and was finished to the net by Aaron Strain. Declan McLarnon completed a fine penetrating move with a nice point to leave the half time score
StAgnes 0-9 Laochra Loch Lao 1-4.The third quarter started with the Andytown men rattling of six points to Laochra’s two.The home side ran the bench making five substitutions with both sides scoring 0-2 each in the closing stages.
StAgnes ran out comfortable winners on a final score line of 0-17 to 1-8. The home team know that harder and more challenging tasks lie ahead but good to get the win in this novel championship.
Ciceam Artd Eoin went into this game as firm favourites to retain their unbeaten run in the GYMCO Junior Football Championship and on this performance remain the team that others will have to beat if they are to take the title.
Naomh comhghall started this match as underdogs and played like it for most of the first half, displaying a lack of belief and inviting the opposition onto them. It started well enough for the Antrim men with Miles Devine converting a third minute free minutes but that was as good as it got. Ardoyne, with Aidan McNeill prominent took control and the scores came thick and fast.
By half time they had matters more or less sorted as they struck some excellent points from play and from the placed ball and a somewhat fortune goal saw them lead by 1-10 to 0-1 at the short whistle.
Ardoyne got the first score of the second half and this seemed to finally waken Naomh Comhghall from their slumber and for the next 20 minutes it was the Antrim side who dominated with Miles Devine adding to their solitary first half point with two well taken goals. Joe Webb 0-2, Tom Patchett, C McCabe K Walker and C Griffen all got their name on the scoresheet for the Antrim town side as they outscored their hosts scoring 2.07 to 1.03 in the second half
The damage had all been done however in the opening half and while Ardoyne were good value for the win Naomh Comhghall will be thinking what it would have been like if they had played the opening 40 minutes like they did the last 20.
Kicking 14 wides in a match won’t win them games.but hopefully Naomh Comhghall will have learned a lot from this game and will still be hoping to qualify in second place in their group.
Scorers M.Devine 2.02 Joe Webb 0.02 Tom Patchett 0.01, C.McCabe 0.01, K.Walker 0.01, C.Griffen 0.01
GYMCO JFC Round-up
Following their win over Naomh Comghall, Ardoyne are top of Group 2 on 6 points with O’Donnell’s, Eire Og and Naomh Comghall sitting behind them on two points each from two games and all three will be hoping to gain second spot in the group. The meeting of Naomh Comhgall and Eire Og at Dunsilly on Wednesday the 12th August could decide second place with O’Donnell’s facing Ardoyne on the same night. Eire Og certainly improved their score difference yesterday with 7-27 to 0-1 win over Mitchell’s
Results Group 2
Ardoyne 2-16 Naomh Comghall 2-5
Eire Og 7-27 Mitchell’s 0-1.
St. Agnes got their first win in Group one when the defeated Laochra Loch Lao while Pearses had a good win over St. Malachy’s and top the group with 4 points from 2 starts. Naomh Una, St. Malachy’s, Ballycastle and Laochra Loch Lao have 2 points each from two start so its all to play for yet in this group
A fine exhibition of point taking saw Na Piarsaigh outscore St. Malachy’s to go top of the GYMCO Group 1 yesterday and on this form they look likely to qualify for the play-offs.
The North Belfast men made the short trip across the city today for a Belfast derby against St Malachys at Cherryvale. Coach Conor Henry made 2 changes to his starting line up from last week with Stephen Fitzsimons and Luca Gianetto both doing enough when they came on against Ballycastle to earn a starting place this week.
Pearses started quickly running at speed at the Malachy’s defence which gave them no option but to foul leading to Liam Deegan raising the first white flag of the day with a great strike from the floor. The open start presented St Malachy’s with opportunities and they pointed a good long range score soon after to level up. Pearses kept their composure though and continued to work the ball through the hands to find openings with full forward Daniel Magee putting them back in front. Penalty hero from last time Fionn Grew was having a lot of joy in the top left corner and soon looked like he was certain to score a goal after great work from Dan Magee but instead of punching into an empty net he tried to meet it with and acrobatic volley that looked better than the result with the keeper making an easy save. Two minutes later he looked certain to make amends as he bore down on goal only to be crowded out by the keeper and 2 defenders. This was to be his last involvement as a late challenge from one of the defenders left a lasting mark that led to him being substituted for his older brother Oisín.
This led to Pearses taking their eye of the ball for a moment and a long hopeful ball into the box by St Malachy’s led to confusion between Eamon McKenna & James Smith and Malachy’s were able to tap into an open net. Pearses struck back with another Deegan free and 2 points from Oisín Grew putting them back in front before lightning struck for a second time with another hopeful ball into the square causing panic again and another poor goal given away. Both teams struck 2 more points before the break with Deegan scoring 1 free and 1 from play for Pearses. The away side had been the better side in the first half but despite scoring 7 times they had kicked 6 wides and were 2 behind.
HT St Malachy’s 2-03 Na Piarsaigh 0-07
Henry made one change at half time bringing on Frankie Davison for his first game of the season trying to bring a more calming influence to his defence.
The second half started well for the North Belfast men with Dan Magee and Sean Moreland scoring quick points to level the game up. Momentum was in their favour but this quickly disappeared when a penalty was conceded and converted giving St Malachy’s a 3pt lead.
Pearses captain Piaras Donaghy started to exert more influence in the middle of the park as he started to run the hand passing game as Pearses tried to keep possession and work their openings Deegan scored another from play and a free to cut the deficit to 1 before Malachy’s raised 2,white flags themselves. Pearses did not panic though and stuck to their game. Oisín Grew and Sean Morland scored great points before Luca Gianetto finished a great team play with the corner back scoring a fine point from 40 yards for the score of the day to level the game again.
With 15 minutes left Pearses stuck to their guns and moved the b all around with St Malachy’s chasing shadows at times. Oisín Grew pointed again to give Pearses the lead before Phil Davison was brought on for Stephen Fitzsimons. Davison nearly scored with his first touch kicking narrowly wide but made up for it straight away to give his side the lead. This was a lead Pearses were not again to lose as they scored 9 of the last 10 points with the last 6 points coming 3 a piece from Deegan and Davison.
This was an excellent win for the North Belfast men and at half way in the group stage puts them 2 points clear at the top. The coaching team will be pleased to see only 1 wide kicked in the 2nd half but the soft goals will have to be stopped if they are to contend at the business end of the season. Next up is the visit of St Agnes to the Cricky on the 12th August
1) E McKenna 2) L Gianetto (0-01) 3) J Smyth 4) A McCavana 5) D O’Neill 6) A Bannon 7) P Nolan 8) C O’Neill 9) T McFarlane 10) S Moreland (0-02) 11) P Donaghy 12) L Deegan (0-09 7f) 13) F Grew 14) D Magee (0-02) 15) S Fitzsimons
Subs O Grew (0-04) for F Grew. F Davison for J Smith. P Davison (0-03) for S Fitzsimons
St. Mary’s Rasharkin recorded their first win in this year’s Intermediate Championship Group 2 when they edged out a spirited Naom Padraig Lisburn at Dreen today.
Little separated these two sides when they met at the same venue on the opening day of the league division 3 before the lockdown and it took two late points to edge the home side over the line today.
The sides were level at half time with a Donagh Quigg goal in the 28th minute getting St. Mary’s back on terms when Naomh Padraig looked to be heading into a half time lead.
Quigg added a point with Ruairi O’Boyle, Cahir Henderson and Shane Hasson 0-2 the other first half scorers for the home side. Francis McMeel 0-3, Ben McMullan 0-2, Conor Dixon 0-2 and Aaron Thompson were on the mark for the visitors and there was nothing between the sides at this stage.
Dylan O’Doherty edged Rasharkin ahead with a 7th minute point on the restart but Conor Dixon levelled matters once more as he replied for the Lisburn men.
Shane Hasson edged his side two in front but Conor Dixon responded again before the Dreen side were awarded a penalty.
Peter O’Neill in the Naomh Padraig goal got down to make a good save but Cahir Henderson reacted quickest and returned the rebound to the net and at this stage Rasharkin appeared to be taking control.
The visitors had other ideas however and they came back strongly to take the lead with Ben McMullan, Francis McMeel and Conor Dixon prominent and McMullan’s 57th minute point looked to have given them their first win in the championship.
Rasharkin were not yet finished and, not for the first time, Ryan Lynch became their saviour with two late points to give his side victory and consign the Lisburn men to a cruel defeat
Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship Group 4
St Galls 1-8 Naomh Eánna 1-10
Paul McIntyre reports from the Bog Meadows
Glengormley’s Naomh Eánna caused the first major shock of this year’s Northern Switchgear sponsored Antrim Senior Football Championship. Trailing by six points at the second half water break, St Galls looked to be a good bet to make it two wins from two and top group 4 at the midway point. However, a red card to St Galls Jackson McGreevy turned the game on its head and Naomh Eanna dug deep to record a richly deserved two-point win.
Speaking after the game Naomh Eanna manager Frank Fitzsimmons praised his side’s character and work ethic. ‘There was big questions asked there in the second half and to come from six points down at Miltown, and to come back and win by two, but it was the character they showed’ that pleased Fitzsimmons. The former Antrim manager also refused to get carried away, and not rule out St Galls from still making an impact in this year’s championship. ‘St Galls are still in transition but I watched them last week against Gort na Mona and they are still a tasty outfit and they could put you to the sword very easy, but it’s another win in the group for us which is big for us to beat St Galls in any day, but in a championship group stage it’s massive.’
Both sides started with two inside forwards as Mark Kelly dropped back to the middle third for St Galls while Eoin Nagle dropped a little deeper for Naomh Eánna as the set up to limit supply to CJ McGourty. It was a slow start to the game as both sides found it rather difficult to find their range, with St Galls going closest by twice hitting the frame of Declan Breen’s post.
Odhran Eastwood kicked Naomh Eánna into the lead on 6 minutes from a free only for CJ McGourty to reply in kind for St Galls. Both place kickers exchanged frees again before Kevin Niblock scored from a ‘Mark’ to edge St Galls into the lead after 11 minutes. Eastwood landed another free before Ruirai Scott converted a ‘45’ to give Naomh Eanna a slender one-point lead, 0-4 to 0-3 at the first half water break. On the resumption Stephen O’Connor finished a flowing team move which also involved Nagle and Peter Healy, for a two-point lead, but it was St Galls who saw out the half the stronger.
CJ McGourty kicked a ‘45’ after seeing his quickly taken free being pushed away by Breen in the Naomh Eánna goal before Eoghan McCabe’s score saw the sides turn around at 0-05 each.
St Galls called for reinforcements at the break and introduced Terry O’Neill and Aodhan Gallagher to the action. And the changes did initially breathe new life into their attacking game and on 34 minutes Niall Burns palmed the ball to the net after being set up Conor Stinton. McGourty added his sixth score of the day for a six-point lead on 38 minutes, but remarkably this was to be their final score. Four minutes later came McGreevy’s dismissal, both cards for dissent, which was quickly followed by the second half water break.
At this point Naomh Eánna introduced Ethan Gibson and his first cut of the action was to punch the ball into the St Galls net. Kristian Healy ran along the end line before picking out the replacement unmarked at the back post.
All the momentum was with the Enda’s now and Eastwood kicked two further frees to level it as the clock turned red. Scott then showed class to kick the score of the day with the outside of his right foot before the Healy brothers combined for Kristian to seal a famous win for the men from Hightown.
St Galls: Louis McCormick, Conor Burke, Ryan Irvine, Marcus Donnelly, Shane O’Hagan, Jackson McGreevy, John McCaffrey, Sean Burke, Thomas Bunting, Eoghan McCabe (0-1), Kevin Niblock (0-1 1Mark), Conor Stinton, CJ McGourty (0-6, 5f, 1 ‘45’), Niall Burns (1-0), Mark Kelly.
Subs: Aodhan Gallagher for Thomas Bunting & Terry O’Neill for John McCaffrey both HT, Michael Pollock for Conor Stinton & Niall O’Neill for Sean Burke both 50 minutes, Conaill Murray for Marcus Donnelly 55 minutes.
Naomh Eánna: Declan Breen, Conor McAuley, Conan Lyttle, Killian Jennings, Ryan Kennedy, James McAuley, Ciaran Thompson, Michael Morgan, Niall McKeown, Peter Healy, Eoin Nagle, Kristian Healy (0-2 1’45’), Ruirai Scott, Stephen O’Connor (0-1), Odhran Eastwood (0-6 5f, 1 Mark, ).
Subs: Padraig Hamilton for Killian Jennings HT, Ethan Gibson (1-0) for Ryan Kennedy 50 minutes, Adam Lamb for Michael Morgan 60 minutes.