Reserve Football League (round six) Friday 20th May

The next round (6th) of the reserve league competition proceeds on Friday evening with games scheduled in both divisions.

Reserve League Division One (7.30pm)

Tir na nOg v St Enda’s

Tir na Nog who have returned to the top grade following a lengthy absence are gaining in composure in the senior ranks but with just a single win to date their second string look for improvement.

The Randalstown lads play hosts to St Enda’s this time and the Glengormley based visitors will look for a first win on the reserve scene but ground advantage may aid the Whitehill Blues to their second win.

St Gall’s v St Brigid’s

This all city affair sees St Brigid’s who have only suffered one defeat take the road up to Milltown to play St Gall’s who are residing in third place in the ratings.

A keenly contested affair is in prospect with nothing more than a tentative vote awarded to the home side, in a game which could go either way.

Erin’s Own Cargin v Lamh Dhearg

The Cargin second string have remained unbeaten to date and the Toome side impressed last time out with a good victory up at Musgrave to ensure their table topping slot.

Lamh Dhearg have only a single victory to date and will travel to Toome more in hope than in confidence and will start as underdogs and a home win looks likely.

O’ Donavan Rossa v Casement’s Portglenone

Rossa sit just above Casement’s just a single point ahead of their visitors and the Shaw’s road side will look to keep it that way as the South West men visit.

This does look likely to be a close affair and although the city men will start as favourites the men from Portglenone will give this one a real lash.

St Mary’s Aghagallon v Kickham’s Creggan

Creggan with two wins to date sit two point ahead of their hosts as the take the journey up to Aghagallon and they will be striving to ensure such remains at the long blast.

Aghagallon have just one win to date and they will need to improve if they are to gain a further couple of points in this one.

Division Two

Patrick Sarsfield’s v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass

Sarsfield’s have a couple of wins to date and they will hope to add another from the visit of Moneyglass who have just one win to date and they will need to improve if they are to get the better of the city men.

St Paul’s v St Joseph’s Glenavy

Glenavy’s second string is faring more than well in the reserve section and lead the way in the division with three positive returns thus far and they will to Shaw’s Road to meet St Paul’s seeking to retain top spot.

St Paul’s have remained undefeated to date and although the Shaw’s Road men will face their stiffest test to date they may well come through with a win secured.

All Saint’s v St James Aldergrove

This looks a close one as All Saint’s play hosts to the men from Crumlin as Aldergrove visit Quinn Park.

Both the hosts and their visitors share a similar profile in the ratings with a single win to date with ground advantage possibly aiding a home win.

Con Magees Glenravel v St Mary’s Rasharkin

Little separates these South West based rivals in the table with each enjoying a single win to date and a close one is in prospect as the Glensmen welcome the St Mary’s.

The home side will start as favourites but they will need to be at their best if they are to gain the verdict over the Dreen side who will certainly not travel without hope of an upset.

Antrim face Leitrim in Tailteann Cup

GAA President Larry McCarthy today unveiled the new Tailteann Cup trophy at Croke Park and revealed plans for the inaugural competition which will commence next weekend and conclude on July 9.

The draw for the Preliminary and First Round games took place this morning and was followed by an event in Croke Park where representatives from the competing counties gathered for the official launch.

Last weekend’s provincial championships results confirmed the line-up for the Tailteann Cup and the GAA’s CCCC will finalise details for the games drawn earlier today.

The GAA President said: “This is an historic day for the Association. It is rare that the GAA announces new competitions at inter-county level but that’s precisely what we are doing today here at Croke Park in the company of some of the players who will be competing in it.

“The sole motivation for the establishment of the Tailteann Cup is to provide counties with meaningful games against teams of a similar standard and I believe that the benefits of this will become apparent in the weeks and years ahead and replicate the success of our tiers in senior hurling and in the club championships.

“We will promote the Tailteann Cup in tandem with the Sam Maguire Championship and we will work with our players, managers and supporters to make it the success that we believe it can be.

“This is a Championship with a final contested at Croke Park and I look forward to seeing the competition unfold in the coming weeks.”

The players in attendance at today’s media promotional event were: Conor Stewart (Antrim), Mark Diffley (Leitrim), Darragh Foley (Carlow), Killian Clarke (Cavan), Barry O’Hagan (Down), Declan McCusker (Fermanagh), Evan O’Carroll (Laois), Mickey Quinn, (Longford), Johnny Moloney (Offaly), Niall Murphy (Sligo), Teddy Doyle (Tipperary), Conor Murray (Waterford), Kevin Maguire (Westmeath), Martin O’Connor (Wexford), Mark Diffley (Leitrim) and Dean Healy (Wicklow).

Today the GAA confirmed that financial assistance will be made available to the winning county towards a team holiday and a ‘Champions 15’ will be selected to honour the best 15 players from the competition.

The Association also confirmed how it plans to promote and market the competition.

In addition to both the final and semi-finals being broadcast live on RTÉ television, GAAGO will stream a preliminary round game, a Round One game and two Quarter-Final games. These games will be available to the domestic and international market and will also feature on the local radio stations of the competing counties.

GAANOW will produce in-game digital clips from televised Tailteann Cup games and a Monday round up package of the competition’s weekend action will also be distributed on GAA.ie and official GAA social channels.

Tailteann Cup action will also feature on RTÉ’s Sunday Game programme and TG4’s Monday highlights show.

As well as selecting a gaa.ie Tailteann Cup Team of The Week, the GAA will also choose a game of the week to preview featuring participating players for media promotional activity.

A targeted national radio and print and local radio and print marketing campaign, similar to that supporting the GAA Football and Hurling Championship, has also been planned to drive awareness among participating Tailteann Cup Counties.

These channels will be complemented by paid digital display and social media match specific promotion throughout the competition. Digital out of home advertising will also run in select high footfall locations nationwide, as will on air radio ticket promotions.

Competition Structure

Preliminary Round 21-22.05.2022 (Sat/Sun)

• This Round shall be played to reduce the number of teams to 15 (including New York who will enter at the quarter final stage). • The draw will be restricted to those Division 3 and 4 teams who did not reach their Provincial Semi Final. • The first team drawn will have home venue.

Round 1 28-29.05.2022 (Sat/Sun)

• This Round shall be played to reduce the overall number of teams to eight (including New York who will enter at the Quarter Final stage) and be organised on a geographical basis with Northern and Southern Sections.

• Where less than fourteen teams are involved in this Round, Bye(s) may apply.

• There will be an open draw for each section, with the first team drawn having home venue.

Quarter-Finals 04-05.06.2022 (Sat/Sun)

• This stage shall be comprised of the Winners and any Bye Team(s) of Round 1, along with New York.

• The round will be organised on a geographical basis with Northern and Southern Sections.

• There will be an open draw for each section, with the first team drawn having home venue. o Exception: New York will play their game in Ireland, and their opposition will have Home Advantage.

• The Winners of the four pairings shall qualify for the Semi-Finals.

Semi-Finals 19.06.2022 (Sun)

• An Open Draw shall determine the two pairings. • Venues shall be determined by the Central Competitions Control Committee.

Final 09.07.2022 (Sat) Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner

Preliminary and Round One Fixtures

SOUTHERN SECTION

May 21/22

Preliminary Round:

Wexford v Offaly

Wicklow v Waterford

May 28/29

Round 1:

Wexford/Offaly v Wicklow/Waterford

Carlow v Tipperary

Laois v Westmeath

New York was drawn to the Southern Section at a C.C.C.C meeting earlier in the week and will join at the quarter-final stage.

NORTHERN SECTION

May 28/29

Round 1:

Longford v Fermanagh

Leitrim v Antrim

Sligo v London

Cavan v Down

Glenravel put table toppers to the sword.

Homefit Antrim Football League – Division 2

Glenravel 3-10    Davitts 0-07

As Martín “Beag” McHugh often says “goals wuns matches” and that was certainly true of this encounter. Con Magees managed to pierce a hole in the tri-coloured blanket defence of their opponents on three occasions and secure victory in the process. A cagey affair throughout, neither teams wanting to yield possession easily, resulted in a slow moving passing game. If it was pretty football you were after Fr Maginn Park was certainly not the place to be on Sunday, but the home team’s management will tell you the prettiest thing about this game was the scoreboard at the end.

A full eleven minutes had passed before Davitt’s nimble full forward Christopher Rafferty slotted over a free from close range and this was followed by a Tony McGratton point four minutes later to leave the visitors two up and the first quarter of the game complete. The home team managed to find a gap in Davitt’s defence and Eoin Hynds goaled from close range as a result. Three minutes later Eamon Fyfe put his team two up with a well taken point but back came the Belfast men with another free from Rafferty.  Twenty minutes in and Glenravel led by a single point 1-01 to 0-03. They would go on to secure two more points before Ray Matthews blew for half time with the home team on a slender lead of 1-03 to 0-03. There was a relatively strong breeze down the field favouring Davitts and they would probably have hoped to have made more use of it in the opening half.

On the resumption, Rian Lennon scored pretty much from the throw in and that set the scene for the third quarter as Con Magees went on a scoring spree recording a further 2-04 without reply, the goals coming from Eoin Hynds and David Higgins, leaving Davitts a mountain to climb into a strengthening  breeze and trailing 3-08 to 0-03. Game over as a contest though Davitts did manage a further four points coming from Christopher Rafferty (0-02) and points each from Conor John O’Sullivan and Jason Park. Fyfe and Hynds would complete the scoring for Con Magees who will be delighted with the win.

Both teams are out again on Sunday week in the final round of matches before Division 2 splits in two. Davitts will travel to Moneyglass whilst Glenravel take on Glenavy at home. All four of those teams will be hoping for a top six finish in the Division come Sunday evening.

Ahoghill on top in the battle of the St. Mary’s

Homefit ACFL Div 1.      Sun 15.05.22

St Marys Aghagallon 1-10  St Mary Agohghill 2-12.

Report and Photographs: Gerard Lenehan

St. Mary’s Ahoghill travelled to St. Mary’s Aghagallon on Sunday and came away with two Valuable points as they strive to climb out of the division 1 basement. With both teams having mixed league performances St Marys Aghagallon probably targeted this game as one they could win but it didn’t quite work out that way.

Both teams made changes due to injuries and St Marys had to introduce a number of their younger players during the game. In a strange first half which the Aghagallon St Marys dominated for the first 20 minutes and had the majority of good scoring chances in this period the score was four points each. The visitors hit for sucker punches in the last period of the half to score two goals and led 2.05 to 0-5 at half time.

During the second half and like previous games Aghagallon put in a great shift and reduced the arrears to three points with ten minutes left on the clock after Eunan Walsh found the net but the reds had other ideas and withstood the pressure and tagged on a couple of points to run out winners by five points.

The first five minutes was evenly contested and both teams recorded two points each with Eunan Walsh running the ball and cutting in off the wing to slot over for a great score and James O’Connell on target for the visitors.

St Marys picked up the attacking pace and first Adam Loughran was in for goal only for keeper Crossey to parry. In another great attacking move Oisin Lenehan was similarly denied by the visiting keeper. Despite these misses St Marys still applied the pressure but with some wayward shooting numerous chances went abegging.

The visitors replied with points from Conor Crossey and Dan O’Neill and a Ronan Graham free to lead 0-6 to 0-4 after 26 minutes before striking decisively in the period leading up to half time.

Aghoghill were proving very effective on the break and a solo run up the left wing was fed inside to Conor Crossey and he finished to the net for a well worked goal on 26 minutes. Adam Loughran replied from play after some good approach work to keep his side in touch but the game turned decisively towards the visitors when they were awarded a penalty.

The Aghagallon keeper brought down Paddy Dougan as he raced clear on goal and Donal Graham finished clinically on 32 minutes to leave the home side plenty to do in the second half.

Could Aghagallon pull it back, they certainly threatened and had a point and a goal in the opening minutes of the second half when Eunan Walsh weaved into the scoring area with a great run and he planted the ball under the keeper for a great goal.

Aghoghill kept the heads down and picked off a few points on the break with Ronan Graham, Paddy Dougan and James O’Connell on target and Aghagallon replying after some sustained pressure on the visitors defence with Johnny Hannon pointing on 18 minute. Eunan Walsh was again on target as he breached a highly congested Aghoghill defence and the deficit now was only three and St Marys had built some momentum.

However Aghoghill with the breeze were able to break out at pace and exploit a stretched home defence and pick off a number of crucial scores through Neil O’Connell and Dan O’Neill by the 26th minute.

St Marys came back again and applied pressure on the packed visitors defence and Paudie Gowdy scored a great point from play but this was to be the last score of the game as Ahoghill ran out winners by five points to secure a valuable win.  

St Marys Aghagallon; Damian O’Hagan, Ciaran Hamill, Aaron Doherty, Aidan Mulholland, Pat Branagan, Steven Devlin, Paul Mulholland, Paudie Gowdy, Oisin Lenehan, Davy Mc Alernon, Mark Mc Afee, Johnny Hannon, Adam Loughran, Eunan Walsh, Hugh Hannon. Subs used; Jack Hannon, Niall McShane, Daryl Mc Alernon, Niall Patterson.

Second half goals swings it Rasharkin’s way

ACFL Division 2

St. Mary’s Rasharkin 2-11 St. James Aldergrove 1-11

Photographs: Mark Hasson

Rasharkin produced their best performance of the season when they defeated St. James Aldergrove in a fiercely contested fixture at Dreen on Sunday. The home side trailed 0-4 to 1-4 at the break but second half goals from Eamon McNeill and Seamus Ellis turned the game decisively in their favour.

It was visitors Aldergrove who made the better start at Dreen on Sunday as they took the lead through Brian McQuillan after 9 minutes with Eamon McNeill replying with a point for the home side to level the contest with 10 minutes gone.

Slowly the visitors began to gain control and a point from Seamus Trolan and a goal from the bustling Ronan Hanna in the 17th minute saw them move four ahead. Shane Hasson replied for St. Mary’s from a pointed free but two further points from Ronan Hanna saw the visitors move five ahead with five minutes of the first half remaining.

The home side had been on the back foot for a time but they finished the half strongly and Shane Hasson fired over from play and added a late free to close the gap to three at the halfway stage.

It was St. Mary’s who made the better start to the second half, obviously intent to reel in their opponents and Tiernan O’Boyle fired over before Ryan Lynch added an audacious effort from out on the left hand sideline with only three minutes of the new half gone.

The home side were in full flight as Shane Hasson sent over the equaliser before Connor Morris replied to edge the visitors ahead once more.

Eamon McNeill levelled the game once more as he sent over in the 7th minute but Aldergrove found another response and looked to have rode out the early Rasharkin onslaught. The visitors replied with unanswered points from Eoin Gough and two from Michael Blaney to move three ahead after 14 minutes.

That lead didn’t last long however as the home side came storming back to dominate the next five minutes as Ryan Lynch pointed a free and Eamon McNeill hammered home his side’s opening goal to edge them in front once more.

Seamus Ellis and Shane Hasson added point to move the Dreen men three in front but the visitors replied through Ryan McCarthy and Michael Blaney to leave just one in it again with four minutes of normal time remaining.

It still looked anyone’s game at this stage but St. Mary’s struck a decisive blow when Seamus Ellis forced a turnover and began and finished an excellent counter attack as he fired to the net to put his side in control.

The final score of the game fell to Aldergrove’s Seamus Trolan who pointed a late free but it came too late to effect the final result as Rasharkin went on to record their second win on the trot to move onto 7 points and away from the danger zone.

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Daniel Doherty, 3 – Emmet McFerran, 4 – Pearse Kelly, 5 – Oran McMullan, 6 – Seamus Ellis, 7 – Conor Hasson, 8 – Tiernan O’Boyle, 9 – Thomas McMullan, 10 – Shane Hasson, 11 – Eammon McNeill, 12 – Killian O’Boyle, 13 – Ruairi OBoyle, 14 – Gerard O’Hagan, 15 – Ryan Lynch

Aldergrove: 1 Shane O’Neill, 2 Corey Fogarty, 3 Feargal Hanna, 4 Christopher Browning, 24 Oisin  Graham, 6 Andy Flood, 7 Conor Browning, 8 Brian McQuillan, 10 Michael Blaney, 11 Ronan Hanna, 12 Declan Gough, 13 Conor Morris, 14 Seamus Trolan, 15 Ryan McCarthy, 17 Eoin Gough.

Referee: Darren McKeown