Fyfe’s super block keeps Sarsfields at bay

OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship (semi final)

Con Magee’s Glenravel 0-14 Patrick Sarsfield’s 0-10

Con Magees Glenravel qualified  the intermediate football championship final for the second year in succession, where they will meet near neighbours All Saint’s in two weeks’ time. Although there is no disputing the fact that they fully deserved their semi-final success over Patrick Sarsfield’s at the Toome venue on Saturday, they depended on their defensive qualities to get them over the line on a sodden Toome sod.

Joe Cassidy’s men appeared to be home and hosed as the match clock ticked close to conclusion with a three point cushion, but a Garry Lennon inspired Paddies were not about to settle for second best.

Sarsfields Garry Lennon who gave a man of the match display, scoring eight of his team’s ten points

Lennon, who had impressed throughout, appeared to be in for a goal in the 54th minute only to be denied by the Glenravel net minder Jonathan Fyfe who came out to make a smashing intervention, and when ‘Bear Pit’ residents were back on the goal trail a few minutes later it was the turn of centre back Sean Higgins to make a superb blocking tackle to deny replacement Daniel Smith.

Both sides had impressed in their respective trips to the last four of the competition and when they crossed swords in Toome on Saturday last a good crowd gathered in anticipation. Despite the gloomy forecast.

the Sarsfield’s men had the favours of the stiff southerly based breeze for the first period but despite the strong elements in their favour they wereon par at 0-02 apiece at the end of the opening ten minutes.

Glenravel opened their account in the second minute via a point from corner forward Eamon Fyfe, who was to impress throughout, while back to back white flags raised by Kevin McKernan, who also impressed in the green and black an Eoinn Hynds point ensure level parity 0-02 apiece after ten minutes.

Despite the strength of the elements little was to separate the side for

In the early stages, but as the Glensmen were on top in the central zone where Cathal Higgins was dominant with Rian Lennon ever ready to nip forward back to back points from Eamon Fyfe ensured a 0-04 to 0-02 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.

The Sarsfields men always came back as the short blast approached it was to be the city lads who were to finish the stronger with their ‘go to’ receiver Kevin Mc Kernan busy in providing openings.

A few exellent points fom the Con Magees saw them open a gap, but Brian Healey and Niall McKenna hit points apiece to cut the gap to the minimum the end of the first period, and after having faced the stiff breeze the Glenravel men went in at the break with a 0-07 to 0-06.

With the breeze at their backs Glenravel nipped quickly out of the starting blocks in the second half as Daniel McQuillan, David Higgins and Cormac McKeown extended their advantage to four points. When that gap was stretched to five the Con Magees fans in the good sized attendance must have felt they were well on track for a final spot. However the Paddies came back with three unanswered points via the excellent Garry Lennon, and just two points separated the sides with less than ten minutes on the clock.

The free flowing moves of the early part of the half were now gone for the Glenravel men and the Paddies upped the ante as they went in search of the scores that would bring them right back into contention. When they cut the gap back to just two it looked like anyone’s game and when corner forward Brian Healy got in on goal the Glenravel fans held their breath. Any connection seemed certain to final the net, but Healy’s shot was blocked by the knee of the Con Magees custodian Johnny Fyfe who turned the ball around the post for a 45.  

Still the pressure was on the Glenravel men as they struggled to end a long scoreless spell, but the impressive Eamon Fyfe settled the nerves with a well taken point from a 45 and they added they insurance point in added time to set up a final meeting with Ballymena in two weeks’ time.


Jonathan Fyfe, Charlie, Henry, Sean Higgins, Conor Carey, Rian Lennon (0-01), Niall Swann, Declan Traynor, Cathal Hynds, Callum Higgins (0-01), Cormac Mc Keown, Eoin Hynds (0-02), Daniel Mc Quillan, Aidan O’ Donnell (0-01), David Higgins (0-01), Eamon Fyfe (0-06)

Subs – Conleth O’ Loan, Senan Black, Eamon Ward, Conor McNeill, Eoin Mc Cusker


Michael Brady, Caolan Mc Donnell, Joe Mc Nally, Martin Mc Polin, Philip McPeake, Daniel Mc Kernan, Liam Mitchell, Caolan Mc Kernan, Cormac Murray, Sam Walsh (0-01), Niall Mc Kenna (0-01), Conor Glenholmes, Kevin Mc Kernan, Garry Lennon (0-08), Brian Healey

Referee – Sean Laverty (Moneyglass)

All Saints recover from sluggish start to advance to the decider

OB Construction Antrim IFC, semi-final

All Saints, Ballymena 3-10 St Teresa’s 2-7

All Saints went into this semi-final against St. Teresa’s at Hightown as favourites and eventually proved the pundits right but will need to show vast improvement if they are to overcome the challenge of Con Magee’s, Glenravel in the final in two weeks-time.

The Ballymena men played with a fairly strong wind on their back in the opening half but looked nervous in the early stages with far too many passes going astray as they kicked half a dozen wides in the opening quarter.

It was the Glen Road side who adapted much better to the conditions during the opening period as they raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 19 minutes.

John Mallon kicked St Teresa’s into an early lead from a free, but it was All Saints who were enjoying the better of the possession in the opening quarter.

However their possession was not manifesting itself in scores as they hit 6 early wides and dropped another into the keeper’s hands before they finally got off the mark in the 17th minute through Ronan McKillop.

By this time, St Teresa’s had a second on the board through Paul McGoldrick as they were making more of their attacking efforts. The West Belfast men stretched their lead as Sean Maguire found Anton Taylor to turn and curl over, while Niall McCann kicked a free to extend the gap to three.

All Saints were beginning to settle after an untidy opening 20 minutes and Ronan McKillop pointed from a free with their second and they had drawn level by half-time at 0-4 each as Connell Lemon split the posts and McKillop landed his third of the day with the final act of the opening period.

After a fairly forgettable opening 30 minutes, the second half came to life with the Slemish Park side finding their fluency despite playing into the breeze and Patrick Ferris put them ahead for the first time as he soloed through for an early point.

Two minutes later came their opening goal as a long ball broke and it was Kavan Keenan who fired high into the top corner. To make matters worse for the Glen Road side they had Anthony Varndell red carded for what appeared to be dissent.

All Saints Ciaran McGarry followed him shortly after as parity on the field was restored and St. Teresa’s came back strongly as Anton Taylor set up Paul McGoldrick who finished to the net from close range to close the gap to two points.

That was as close as they would get however as Ronan McKillop and Cal O’Brien replied with points before Luke Cassin responded to leave three in it after 17 minutes of the second half.

St Teresa’s looked to be in for an equaliser as Taylor broke along the end line but the All Saints defence got in to smother his effort before clearing their lines.

All Saints responded decisively and Mc|Killop kicked another free before a well-executed attack saw Sean O’Callaghan felled as he broke through with referee, Brendan Toland pointing to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Kavan Keenan to send Murtagh the wrong way as he placed his spot Kick in the corner of the net and the South West side looked in for a third major as a stray kick-out was collected by Shea O’Brien but the All Saints man fluffed his lines.

The third goal was not long in coming however as the All Saints pressure began to tell and substitute Ciaran Campbell put McKillop in to finish to the net with four minutes remaining.

Kavan Keenan got his marching orders in a confrontation that followed immediately after and it will rule him out of the final and with time almost up Robbie Gallagher took advantage of a slack pass as the Ballymena side ran down the clock to slot home a consolation goal.

A good win for Liam Bradley’s side but there will be aspects of his side’s performance that are unlikely to please the former Antrim supremo and he will feel that there is much work to be done before they face Glenravel in the final.

St. Teresa’s: C Murtagh; A Dugan, P Johnston, R Mallon; C O’Rawe, E Gault, S Maguire; L Cassin (0-1), A Varndell; J Mallon (0-1 free), N McCann (0-2, 1 free), P Maguire; M Small, A Taylor (0-1), P McGoldrick (1-2).

Subs: D McCann for E Gault (33), R Gallagher (1-0) for M Small (38), R Hamill for R Mallon (58), C McGoldrick for L Cassin (58)

All Saints: R Stewart; E Walsh, J McDonnell, C O’Brien (0-1); P Ferris, S O’Callaghan, J Rafferty; S McVeigh, E KIllough; S O’Brien, R McKillop (1-5, 0-2 frees), C Lemon (0-1); B McDonnell (0-1), K Keenan (2-1), C McGarry.

Subs: M Read for E Walsh (20), L O’Rawe for E Killough (49), C Campbell for C lemon (51), M McGreevey for B McDonnell (58), M Downey for R McKIllop (60)

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

Cuchullains big ball dream continues

Northern Switchgear Senior Football ChampionshipSemi Final

Dunloy 2-8 Portglenone 0-10

Friday 22 September

Brendan McTaggart reports from Dunsilly

MAIN PIC – Dunloy’s Karl Fitzpatrick celebrates after scoring Dunloy’s opening goal during Friday evening’s Antrim SFC semi-final win over Portglenone at Dunsilly.

And the fairy tale continues.  Dunloy came into this years senior football championship as rank outsiders yet find themselves two weeks away from a first decider in 83 years.  Two first half goals proved to be the difference on a wet night at Dunsilly, Karl Fitzpatrick and Nigel Elliott finding the back of the Portglenone net to ensure the Cuchullains could dictate the game and play the game on their terms.

Nigel Elliott celebrates after scoring Dunloy’s second goal

Four points at the end of the 60 plus minutes is probably harsh on the Casements who more than played their part in an entertaining game.  Indeed, they had clawed their way back on terms with the Cuchullains when Paddy Kelly fired over his fourth point of the night from a mark with 11 minutes of the match remaining.  It would be their last point of the evening however as Dunloy finished strong.  They soaked up the immense pressure that came at them in waves of yellow and black but countered with speed and precision, defended with incredible heart, guts and determination to condemn the Casements to another year of semi-final heartbreak.

The Dunloy attack will get the plaudits but the performance of Eoin McFerran throughout this contest was simply superb.  Playing at the heart of the Dunloy defence, ‘Wango’ was a constant thorn in the side of the Casements, especially at the death when he seemed to come clear with the ball time and again as Dunloy soaked up the Portglenone pressure.

The Bannsiders started the semi-final superbly and had a brace of points on the board while some punters were still making their way into their vantage points around the floodlit pitch at Dunsilly.  Aidan McAleese and Odhran McGarry giving the Casements an early two point lead. 

The huge crowd were treated to an exhibition of scoring from both sides at differing points of the game, Seaan Elliott’s opening score for the Cuchullains from wide on the right and sailed over the bar.  No sign of nerves from one of the stars of this years championship.

The Cuchullains first major of the night came in the sixth minute with veteran Kevin McQuillan at the heart of the move.  Claiming a long ball from James Scally, McQuillan laid the ball off to Fitzpatrick and he finished with ease.

Portglenone showed plenty of resolve with their response.  Paddy Kelly with his first of the night before Aidan McAleese brought the sides level and all but cancelled out the Dunloy goal.

Neither side were dominating possession and with the conditions wet, handling was becoming increasingly difficult.  Dunloy were happy to deliver long ball into McQuillan however and with the clock ticking into the 11th minute, scored their second major.  Conor Kinsella this time with the delivery while McQuillan tussled with Shane Delargy.  The Dunloy man laid the ball into Nigel Elliott’s path and he wrong footed Ryan O’Neill with a deft left footed finish that just about squeezed inside the right hand post.

The Dunloy attack looked like they could cut open the Portglenone defence at will in the opening exchanges and but for some last gasp defending and scrambling, Conal Cunning could have added another goal soon after.

Casement’s Oisin Doherty in action against Dunloy’s Michael Smith

With the wind at their backs, Portglenone did take an element of control however their handling and decision making let them down as they faced a well organised Dunloy defence.  Oisin Doherty did fire over a super score in the 17th minute to settle the Casements, a score worthy of this or any occasion.  Dunloy and Kevin McQuillan continued to make hay at the other end of the pitch, the full forward creating the yard for Nigel Elliott to fire over before Eoin O’Neill scored from an outrageous angle to send the Cuchullains into a four point lead with seven minutes of the half remaining.

They looked to the bench and the introduction of county star Dermott McAleese to inject some urgency and directness into their play and while they had the final say of the half through a Paddy Kelly free, Dunloy were well worth their three point half time lead.  Score 2-3 to 0-6.

Like the first half, Portglenon started the second half on fire.  A free from Paddy Kelly and a point from a mark by Oisin Doherty left the minimum between the sides four minutes after the restart.  Dunloy looked to their fliers to break off the back of Portglenone pressure and won a free thanks to a surging run by Nigel Elliott.  Cunning converted the free to give Dunloy their opening score of the second half on the 36th minute.

The introduction of McAleese certainly had the effect John McKeever and his team would have hoped for and almost freed Niall McKeever to push further up the pitch.  He scored Portglenone’s ninth point of the evening in the 47th minute, fisting over the bar when he would have been forgiven for going for goal such was his position.  He was under huge pressure however and elected to fist over while a Paddy Kelly pointed mark moments later brought the sides level and gave Portglenone the glimmer of a chance they needed to kick on.

It didn’t happen however.  Seaan Elliott’s second point of the match was a simply outrageous score with the outside of his right boot with little or no angle to work with while the Cuchullains showed their pace and power with players coming off the shoulder to create a chance that Cunning duly obliged in taking to take them two clear with six minutes remaining.

Oisin Doherty’s shot at goal goes just inches wide of the upright

Portglenone were pushing forward trying to get a yard of space in the Dunloy defence but the Cuchullains were happy to soak up the pressure and counter.  They opened up a three point lead with Chrissy McMahon firing over, much like Seaan Elliott before him, outside of the boot and very little angle.  The Dunloy bench knew before anyone the outcome of the shot as the umpire waved the white flag.

The Casements continued to lay siege on the Dunloy goal and went close on two occasions in the time that remained.  Michael Hagan sending a high ball into the danger area and with Dunloy ‘keeper Sean Doherty missing his punch, Niall McKeever gathered but fired wide.

Moments later substitute Ciaran McKenna was put through on goal after a super move by Portglenone but Doherty saved superbly and bravely at his feet.  The ricochet fell to Dermot McAleese but Eoin McFerran was in the right place at the right time for his side to deny the Casements and restore a semblance of calm in the Cuchullains defence.

With the five minutes of injury time mostly played in the Dunloy half, the Cuchullains all but sealed their place in the senior football final with Nigel Elliott taking his tally to 1-2 for the evening with a super score three minutes into the hour.

When Kevin Parke blew his whistle to call time, Dunloy celebrated and Portglenone looked shell shocked.  A sense of dejavu for the Casements as their search for another senior final reaches into a 15th year while Dunloy’s fairytale season shows no sign of stopping.  11 dual players in the starting 15 and a plethora on the bench who will cast their eye to next Sunday’s semi-final against Loughgiel before looking to a first senior football final since 1940.

Portglenone’s Niall McKeevers hits a late shot off the ourside of the Dunloy post during a hetcic finish at Dunsilly


Dunloy: Sean Doherty; Conor Kinsella, Eoin McFerran, James Scally; Chrissy McMahon, Deaglan Smith, Oran Quinn; Ciaran McQuillan, Ryan McGarry; Seaan Elliott, Conal Cunning, Eoin O’Neill; Karl Fitzpatrick, Kevin McQuillan, Nigel Elliott

Subs: Tom McFerran for J Scally (36); Aodhan McGarry for K Fitzpatrick (49); Michael Smith for K McQuillan (49); Eoghan McGrath for C McQuillan (52); Caolan Gillan for E O’Neill (60)

Scorers: N Elliott 1-2; K Fitzpatrick 1-00; S Elliott 0-2; C Cunning 0-2 (1f); C McMahon 0-1; E O’Neill 0-1

Portglenone: Ryan O’Neill; Ronan Delargy, Shane Delargy, Johnny Convery; Caolan Tierney, Kevin O’Kane, Ruairi Hagan; Niall Delargy, Niall McKeever; Aidan McAleese, Odhran McGarry, Stephen Kelly; Paddy Kelly, Oisin Doherty, Michael Hagan

Subs: Dermott McAleese for O McGarry (28); Ciaran McKenna for C Tierney (46); Ronan Kelly for A McAleese (57)

Scorers: P Kelly 0-4 (2fs 1m); O Doherty 0-2 (1m); A McAleese 0-2; N McKeever 0-1; O McGarry 0-1

Referee: Kevin Parke (Naomh Eanna)

St Pauls recover from early adversity to claim U-15 title

U-15 A Football Championship Final 

St Pauls 1-07-1-05 Gort na Mona 

Kevin Herron reports from Dunsilly 

St Pauls survived the sending off of goalkeeper Shea Kearns after a quarter of an hour as they battled back under the Dunsilly lights to clinch the U-15 Football Championship with a 1-07-1-05 win over Gort na Mona in Thursday evenings decider. 

It took a few minutes for the opening score to arrive, after misses at both ends of the field Daire Keenan swept over for the Gorts. 

Midway through the low-scoring half, St Pauls were reduced to 14-men after referee Mark McDonald consulted with his umpires after a Gort na Mona player went down off the ball. The end result was goalkeeper Shea Kearns receiving his marching orders. 

In the reshuffle that followed James McDonnell remained between the sticks until the interval and Gort na Mona made use of their numerical advantage as Paul Lawlor slipped a pass to Aodhan O’Hanlon- who bent a shot between the posts. 

St Pauls were struggling to break down the organised and structured Gort na Mona rear-guard. They would finally open their account three minutes before the break, through a converted Dylan Rogers free. 

Rogers would have the chance to tie things up after Kaiden Farrell had his run checked and he slotted over to ensure the sides were drawn level at 0-02 apiece at the interval. 

Gort na Mona restored their two-point advantage within ten minutes of the restart. Aodhan O’Hanlon doubled his account after claiming an advanced mark and converting. Nathan McKenna then popped the ball over from close range. 

Cormac Trainor would drop over an instant response and with little over a quarter of an hour remaining a converted Alfie Mitchell free drew the teams’ level for the second time. 

A foul on Mitchell a few minutes later gave him the opportunity to edge his side in front for the first time and he wouldn’t pass up the chance, dropping his effort over to make it 0-05-0-04. 

The Shaws Road outfit had the momentum and extended their lead through a point from marauding half back Brendan McMorrow. 

McMorrow played a one-two with Dylan Rogers and bore down on goal, though opted for the safe option to taking a point and doubling the lead in the process. 

A foul on Rogers gave Mitchell the opportunity to kick his third free of the half and he obliged. 

St Pauls were 0-07-0-04 ahead and after getting to the hour mark with their three-point advantage had a further five to negotiate in order to see things out. 

They took a huge step towards victory on the 60th minute when substitute Jude Gamble slipped a pass to Mitchell, his subsequent shot dropped short and as Gorts tried to clear- first half goalkeeping replacement James McDonnell bundled the ball over the line to surely secure the Championship. 

With just over a minute of normal time reaming Nathan McKenna doubled his account for the evening with an angled point but the Turf Lodge outfit were required a goal to set up a grandstand finish. 

It would arrive deep into added time when McKenna’s dipped an was deflected to the net via a St Pauls hand in inadvertently tying to steer away the danger. 

McKenna’s strike was too little, too late though and St Pauls were able to hold to claim the U-15 Championship, which was presented by South Antrim Chairman Kevin Gamble. 

St Pauls: S Kearns, T Kearney, B McMorrow (0-01), O Philips, K Farrell, J Gault, E Coyle, C Trainor (0-01), O Gamble, J Toal, E Kearney, J McDonnell (1-00), D Rogers (0-02f), A Mitchell (0-03f), J Murray. Subs: C O’Neill for J Murray (HT), J Gamble for D Rogers (56), R Leonard for J Toal (58), L Braniff for J McDonnell (60+5). 

Gort na Mona: C Bradley, C Connolly, R Donnelly, L Brown, N Brown, C McCusker, C Seaton, R O’Scolain, N McKenna (1-02), P Lawlor, D Keenan (0-01), R Clarke, L Cordner, A O’Hanlon (0-02, 0-01m), K McCann. Subs: J Wisdom for P Lawlor (38), D Morgan for R Clarke (38), C McCabe for L Brown (60+5), B El Ouhata for K McCann (60+5), D Coogan for L Cordner (60+5). 

Referee: Mark McDonald (St Galls)

Dunloy at the double

U15B Football Championship final

Dunloy 2-9 Sarsfields 0-8

Dunloy added the U15B Football title to the U15A Hurling championship that they won earlier in the week when they overcame the challenge of Sarsfields at Quinn Park, Ballymena on Thursday night.

The night before the majority of this side were in action against St. Enda’s in the U15A hurling decider where they emerged victorious and at the end of Thursday night’s success over Sarsfield’s the group sang ‘we did the double’

A goal from the penalty spot from Aaron Cosgrove in the 15th minute of the first half saw the young Cuchullian’s lead 1-5 to 0-3 at half time and a second from Jack McQuillan following a bad mix-up in injury time finally killed off the spirited challenge of the Stewartstown Road side.

It was Sarsfields who opened on the offensive but a couple of early attacks came to nothing and it was Anthony Cochrane who opened the scoring with a point at the other end which went over off the crossbar.

Dunloy positions were unrecognisable from the numbers they lined out in and it was Jack McQuillan, playing with 5 on his shirt, who added a second before mid-fielder Cochrane made it 0-3 to 0-0 by the 5th minute as Cuchullian’s began to take control.

Sarsfields were enjoying their fair share of possession at this stage and came back with points from Jack McLaughlin and Jake Ward to close the gap to the minimum.

The Belfast side continued to press for an equaliser but were guilty of taking too many touches at times and were being turned over by a well organised Dunloy defence whose more direct approach was giving them the edge.

The young Cuchullian’s were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute with Anthony Cochrane stepping up to beat Darragh Rock from the spot and put his side four in front

Jack McQuillan fisted over from close range and Seamus McMullan added a late score with Noah Dunlop replying with a point for Sarsfields to leave it 1-5 to 0-3 as Sean Moyes sounded his half time whistle.

Jake Ward got the second half scoring under way with a point for Sarsfierlds in the 2nd minute with Seamus McMullan replying for Dunloy before Jack McQuillan pointed a free following a foul on the impressive Anthony Cochrane.

Sarsfields tried to respond and Jake Ward fired over his second of the half but once again McQuillan responded from a free to leave six between the sides at the end of the third quarter.

The boys from the Bear Pit were giving it everything and Noah Dunlop soloed through for a good point and Jake Ward followed with another that just sailed over when a goal looked on.

It would be as close as they got however and while they continued to press they were finding a strong Dunloy defence hard to penetrate with Jack McQuillan from a free and Ward with a pointed free at the other end leaving four in it with three minutes of normal time remaining.

McQuillan would finally put the game to bed when he intercepted a stray pass across goal and soloed through for a simple tap in deep into injury time and it was to prove the game’s final score as the celebrations began.

Dunloy: 1 Damian McMahon, 2 Anthony Cochrane, 3 Eanna McGuckian, 4 Padric O’Neill, 5 Jack McQuillan, 6 Eunan Molloy, 8 Jay McAlonan, 9 Ollie McClements, 10 Michael Johnston, 11 Seamus McMullan, 12 Aaron Doherty, 13 PJ Molloy, 14 Darra Cunning, 15 Conal McFerran, 16 Rory Blaney, 17 Jamie McMullan, 19 James McGarry, 20 Odhran Boyle, 21 Eunan Curry, 22 Ronan Black, 23 Shane McGilligan, 24 Konor Kearns

Sarsfields: 1 Darragh Rock, 2 Stiofan McCarry, 3 Jack McLaughlin, 4 Oliver Campbell, 5 Fionntan McCallum, 6 Paul Dorothy, 7 Kevin Barry McArdle, 8 Daire Jemfrey, 9 Darren Delander, 10 Jake Ward, 11 Caolan Doherty, 12 Dylan Rogers, 13 Oisin Kennedy, 14 Noah Dunlop, 15 Sean McGuinness, 16 Caomhin Morrison, 17 Eoin Burns, 18 Mark McKee, 19 Oisin Hughes, 20 Caoimhin McCann, 21 Matthew McCabe, 22 Aodhan McLaughlin, 23 Conal O’Hagan, 24 Gerard Loughran,

Referee: Sean Moyes

Seamus McMullan  presents the U15B Football championship cup to Dunloy captain, Eunan Curry