Tower lose out in Nolan Cup final

Danske Bank Nolan Cup final

St Joseph’s Newry 4-6 St Killian’s Garron Tower 3-6

By Seamus McAleenan

SIX FOOTER Adam Travers made the difference in this exciting Danske Bank Nolan Cup final in Woodlands today firing home a first half hat-trick of goals to keep a struggling St Joseph’s Newry in touch on the score-board. Then he delivered the cross for substitute Callum Bradley to score the key fourth goal ten minutes from time.

But St Killian’s contributed fully to a fine decider by producing passages of excellent football in both halves and with four minutes to the break they had built up a 2-6 to 1-0 lead with the McSparran brothers, Cormac McKeown and Joseph McLoughlin prominent.

However they lacked players to cope with the aerial presence of Travers, Ross Burns and Dara óg McCoy who all had the pace to break and cause problems to the Garron Tower rear-guard.

Although Eamon Ward tapped over an early free, Travers fired home the opening goal in the third minute after a penetrating run from Ross Burns.

St Killian’s however worked themselves back into the game with patience and five unanswered points including two from Mark McSparran and two frees from Ward.

Ward fed John V Morgan for a goal in the 20th minute and then, when Jospeh McLoughlin’s shot came back off a post, Ward took possession and crashed home a second goal for a 2-6 to 1-0 lead.

However Adam Travers mounted a great fight-back in the last few minutes of the half, shooting a point, then punching his second goal and driving home a third all in a three minute spell. With Tiernan Burns tapping over just on the whistle, the score-board now read St Killain’s 2-6 St Joseph’s 3-2.

Facing the breeze St Killian’s defended well, but their attacks were not as frequent as during the opening half.

Points from Tiernan Burns and sub Conor Osbourne edged St Joseph’s ahead, but Peadar McDonnell’s goal effort for St Killian’s was ruled out as a “square ball” before burly full-forward John V Morgan was hauled down for a penalty which Eamon Ward coolly converted.

However St Joseph’s hit back within 60 seconds, Travers going on a right wing run and his low cross was fumbled a couple of times before falling into the hands of sub Callum Bradley who blasted to the net.

St Killian’s had a lot of pressure in the time remaining, but the Newry school were tight at the back and quick on the break with Travers and Ross Burns adding insurance points.

St Joseph’s : C Higgins, J McKay, R Loughran, A Poacher, A Downey capt, D óg McCoy, R Harte, R Burns 0-1, J McGuinness, E Campbell, J Casey, R McKevitt, T Burns 0-2, D Shields, A Travers 3-2, 0-1 free.

Subs : C Bradley 1-0 for D Shields (HT), C Osbourne 0-1 for R Harte (HT).

St Killian’s : J Mitchell, C Graham, N Hynds, K McNaughton, J McNaughton, M McSparron 0-2, M Black, A McSparron, C McKeown, J McLaughlin, P McIlwaine, B O’Connor, E Ward 2-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees, JV Morgan 1-0, P McDonnell 0-1.

Referee : B Toland (Lámh Dhearg)



Two out of two for Pearses

O’Neill’s All County Football League – Division 3thumbnail (3)

Starting young! Pearses  full forward Daniel Magee meeting young Iarlaith Ó Néill (held by his father Tomás) who was attending his first GAA game at 11 days old.

Na Piarsaigh 0-12 St. Comgall’s 1-6

Michael O’Neill reports from the Cricky

Pearses made it two wins out of two in Division 3 of the All County Football League when they beat St Comgall’s in Sunday’s game at the Cricky.

The sun was trying to break through the clouds as the teams took to the field for this Division 3 football clash. The men from Antrim town arrived after a convincing win over Eire Óg midweek whilst new manger Jamie Curran was hoping his charges could build on the derby victory against Ardoyne the previous week.

One enforced change was made by the home side as Ciaran McCavana came in at corner-back to replace Naoise Ó Cuilín who was unavailable due to transport issues.

Playing into a stiff breeze, Liam Deegan got the North Belfast men first off the mark as he struck over a free from distance after Piaras Donaghy was fouled in possession. This woke up the opposition as St.Comgall’s took early control of the game, three quick points in succession putting them in the lead and a great block from Darren O’Neill saving his side from conceding a more costly score. Curran’s men regrouped and gradually worked their way into the game; with Donaghy and Ciaran Magee starting to dominate midfield it give Cormac O’Neill a platform to carry out his quarterback role as they searched a way through the away defence.

Forcing fouls from the opposition was the order of the day for Na Piarsaigh as Deegan stuck over another couple of frees from distance with seemingly effortless ease, these sandwiched by one from him from play as Nolan and Donaghy combined to create the opening. Donaghy doubled the home side’s as he got himself on the scoresheet before Deegan stretched the lead to three with a well struck ’45. At this stage the North Belfast men seemed completely in control with McCavana, Gianetto and McFarlane holding firm at the back; the tremendous work rate of O’Neill and Aidan Bannon was enabling Nolan and the elder McCavana to manoeuvre up the wings.


Five minutes from the half the game was turned on it’s head. A speculative shot from wide out right by the away side drifted wide and seemingly out of play; with no whistle coming from the referee, St.Comgall’s played on, and McKenna had no chance when the ball was smashed past him from barely six yards out. This levelled the game, and the Antrim men actually took a one point lead into the break with the last score of the half. The half-time whistle also came at the right time for Aodhán McCavana who took a dangerous hit shortly before it and thankfully got the all clear to continue after the break.

Half-time Na Piarsaigh 0-6 St.Comgall’s 1-4

A change at the break saw Eamonn Connor come in for Conall Hughes as the home side looked to utilise the wind advantage in the second half. It didn’t take long for them to level the game as they conjured up a superb point; O’Neill and McCavana conspired to give Donaghy the opportunity to do what he does best and split the posts. Antrim nudged themselves two points ahead with a quickfire double as the game ebbed and flowed but, not to be outdone, Na Piarsaigh re-gathered themselves and stepped it up a gear. With Oisín Grew now in for Conal Campbell the home side took the game to their opponents; young Grew was a thorn in the side of St.Comgall’s and two successive fouls on him allowed Deegan to show his free-taking prowess again, the long range being made that little bit easier with the breeze at his back.

It was Deegan who put his side ahead for the third time with a point from play, using his blistering pace to get past his marker and smartly finding the target. By now the home side were firmly in control; defensively they couldn’t be breached with McCavana and McFarlane both making timely interceptions and indeed McFarlane at one stage turned defence into attack with a searing 50 yard run up the right flank. Curran switched Daniel Magee from full-forward to just in front of the midfield and this only increased their dominance as the Magee twins lorded it over their opponents.

A further free from the boot of Deegan doubled the lead as Na Piarsaigh entered the last ten minutes with their noses in front. All credit to Antrim as they continued to try to press though the smart possession game of the home side continued to be effective. With the game still in the melting pot it was Cormac O’Neill who took it by the scruff of the neck; slipping past two men before casually dropping the ball onto his toe and dinking it over the bar it put some daylight between the sides.

The tension amongst the home support was palpable as the final minutes were played out; a fantastic block by Ciaran McCavana late on stopped the game being levelled up whilst Daniel Magee deflected a dangerous ball played towards the square out of play.

No more scores were to come and the home side eventually emerged relieved, exhausted but most importantly, victorious.

So two league games and two victories for Jamie Curran and his men, with both teams that were in Division 2 last season now accounted for. A run of 5 games in 15 days should give a strong indication of how their season will go and the first of these is a trip to Ballycastle next Sunday (29th April) to face a McQuillan’s side that has also recorded two victories.

Man of the Match: Liam Deegan – This isn’t really a discussion that needs to be had. There were a number of standout performances from the home side with strong showings from Cormac and Darren O’Neill, Thomas McFarlane and the McCavana   brothers. However Deegan’s kicking exhibition was a sight to behold even allowing himself a scuffed free in the second half. Throw in a couple of stylish points from play and you have the difference between the two sides.

Na Piarsaigh: E.McKenna, L.Gianetto, T.McFarlane, C.McCavana, P.Nolan, A.Bannon, A.McCavana, C.Magee, P.Donaghy (0-2), L.Deegan (0-9, 0-6f, 0-1 45’), C.O’Neill (0-1), C.Hughes, C.Campbell, D.Magee, D.O’Neill.

Subs: E.Connor for C.Hughes, C.Gillespie for L.Gianetto, O.Grew for C.Campbell.


South West Antrim Results & Fixtures


30South West Juvenile Leagues (results 19th 20th April)

Thursday 19th April

Ciaran Doherty & Co Accountants (under-16 leagues)

Section 1

All Saint’s 2-15 Tir na Nog 2-11

Cuchullian’s Dunloy 3-08 St Mary’s Aghagallon 2-05

St James’s Aldergrove 10-08 Erin’s Own Cargin 2-09

Casement’s Portglenone 10-14 Con Magee’s Glenravel 2-08

Section 2

St Mary’s Rasharkin 1-05 St Enda’s 5-13

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 9-13 Kickham’s Creggan 1-12

Clann na Gael 10-17 St Comgall’s Antrim 1-07

Friday 20th April

Thomas Devlin Car Sales (under-12/14 leagues)


Section 1

All Saint’s Ballymena 1-05 Cuchullian’s Dunloy 3-05

St Joseph’s Glenavy 2-04 Erin’s Own Cargin 4-10

St James’s Aldergrove 0-02 St Mary’s Aghagallon 5-08

Section 2

Kickham’s Creggan defeated Tir na Nog

Con Magee’s Glenravel defeated St Mary’s Rasharkin

Casement’s 3-13 St Comgall’s Antrim 0-03)


Section 1

All Saint’s Ballymena 1-06 Cuchullian’s Dunloy 1-04

St Joseph’s Glenavy 1-02 Erin’s Own Cargin 6-09

St James’s Aldergrove 2-04 St Mary’s Aghagallon 0-12

Section 2

Tir na Nog defeated Kickham’s Creggan

St Mary’s Rasharkin 2-03 Con Magee’s Glenravel 3-10

Casement’s Portglenone 9-06 St Comgall’s Antrim 4-03



This week’s South West Juvenile League Fixtures

Thursday 26th/Friday 27th April

Ciaran Doherty & Co Accountants under-16 league

Thursday 26th April

Section 1

St Mary’s Aghagallon v All Saint’s Ballymena

Tir na Nog Randalstown v Cuchullian’s Dunloy

Con Magee’s Glenravel v St James’s Aldergrove

Erin’s Own Cargin v Casement’s Portglenone

Section 2

St Enda’s v St Joseph’s Glenavy

St Comgall’s Antrim v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass

Kickham’s Creggan v Clann na Gael


Friday 27th April

Thomas Devlin Car Sales Under-12/14 leagues


Section 1

Cuchullian’s Dunloy v St Joseph’s Glenavy

Erin’s Own Cargin v All Saint’s Ballymena

St Mary’s Aghagallon v St Enda’s

Section 2

St Comgall’s Antrim v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass

Con Magee’s Glenravel v Kickham’s Creggan

Tir na Nog Randalstown v St Mary’s Rasharkin








All Saints warm up for St. Brigid’s with big win at Glenravel


ACFL Div.2 Reserve

All Saints 5-15 Glenravel 0-6

All Saints warmed up for Wednesday night’s Reserve Shield semi-final with a convincing win over Glenravel at Fr. Maginn Park on Sunday . The Ballymena side face Reserve Championship favourites, St. Brigid’s on Wednesday night so this fixture came at a good time in preparation for that game.

The home side were first on the score sheet with the game’s opening point but after Diarmuid ‘Midge’ McNally fired home the game’s opening goal in the third minute the visitors never looked back.

McNally has been on fire for All Saints this season and had completed his hat-trick by the 9th minute to leave a depleted home side a mountain to climb and in truth it was as good as over even at this early juncture.

Brendan McDonnell, James McDonnell  and McNally added points before Shea O’Brien got their fourth goal to leave the half time score 4-4 to 0-4 and it looked a long way back for the Con Magee’s.

Brendan McDonnell got the visitors going after the break with an early point and followed with two more in quick succession as All Saints continued to rack up the scores. Diarmuid McNally, McDonnell again and Shea O’Brien added three more by the end of the opening quarter as the one way traffic continued.

Cormac Lemon got his name on the score sheet before Glenravel got their second half scoring going with a couple in response. At this stage team manager, Peter ‘Bugsy’ McCann replaced Damian Casey in the All Saints attack.

McCann showed he has still got something to offer as he hit the next couple of points and Brendan McDonnell 0-2 and Lee Kirk got in for his side’s fifth goal to conclude the scoring. St. Brigid’s visit Slemish Park on Wednesday night with the prize a place in the Reserve Football Shield final the prize and the South Antrim side are sure to provide the Ballymena men with a much stiffer test.

All Saints:  Emmett McAlister, James Hayburn,  Rhys O’Mullan, Vinnie Esler, Darragh Mussen, Damian Kelly, Ryan McKenna, Cormac lemon, Luke O’Rawe,  Brendan McDonnell, Shea O’Brien, James McDonnell,  Lee Kirk,  Diarmuid McNally  Damian Casey. Subs: Peter McCann for Damian Casey


Wicklow smash Saffron’s to make league decider

Antrim 0-08-7-13 Wicklow

Lidl National League Division Four semi-final

By Kevin Herron at Iniskeen

Wicklow thrashed Antrim to secure their place in the final of the Lidl Division Four National League after a 7-13-0-08 win over the Saffron’s at Iniskeen on Sunday afternoon.

Despite trailing 0-03-0-00 early on the Division Four table toppers got into their stride and by the midway point led 4-05-0-05 with a wind advantage in the second-period.

The Garden County picked up where they left off at the break and tagged on a further 2-08 to Antrim’s 0-03 in spite of a battling second-half display.

Antrim dominated the early stages and took the lead within the opening thirty seconds as Deirdre O’Kane turned over the hop at midfield and the ball was worked into the path of team mate Cathy Carey who shot high over the black spot.

Aldergrove youngster Aoife Taggart was a late replacement for twin sister Caitlin and she justified her selection with the second point of the game, Carey claimed his second point on four minutes and the Saffron’s were in control and 0-03-0-00 infront.

Wicklow hit back through corner-forward Marie Kealy but were dealt a blow as Georgina Canavan was stretchered off after colliding with Emily Faloon.

After a stoppage of around four minutes Laura Hogan converted the resulting free and on 12 minutes Antrim were hit with a double sucker punch.

Aine Devlin conceded a free in Antrim’s attacking third and Wicklow quickly turned defence to attack and Laura Hogan exploited gaps in the Saffron’s defence before firing past Anna McCann to give her side a 1-02-0-03 lead.

McCann’s kick out was turned over and Wicklow went on the attack again with the same result – Hogan broke through and rifled high into the roof of the net for the second time in the space of sixty seconds.

Marie Kealy made it 2-03 without reply before Carey struck her third of the half and ended a 16-minute scoreless period for Antrim.

Things soon got worse for the Saffron’s on 22 minutes as Georgina Canavan’s replacement Meadhbh Deeney struck her sides third goal of the evening to give her side a 3-03-0-04 lead.

Points followed from Niamh McGettigan and Marie Kealy – but Cathy Carey continued the charge for her side with a fourth point of the half.

Just before the break Antrim suffered a further set-back as Emily Faloon was adjudged to have upended Deeney inside the area and referee Declan Carolan signalled for a penalty and sin binned the young wing-half forward.

Deeney dusted herself down and despite McCann guessing correctly and getting fingertips to the ball – her shot nestled in the corner and at the interval Wicklow were 4-05-0-05 to the good with the wing advantage and a numerical advantage awaiting them after the break.

Jackie Kinch bagged two goals in the previous meeting between the sides earlier in the campaign and the half-forward was off the mark within sixty seconds of the restart.

Wicklow found their fifth goal of the afternoon two minutes into the half as Clodagh Fox rifled past Anna McCann and but for some wastefulness from Deeney, Fox and Amy Murphy – the Garden county would have been further ahead.

Cathy Carey struck her fifth point of the encounter from a converted free but three successive points from Deeney, Fox and Laura Hogan had Wicklow 5-09-0-06 to the good.

With Emily Faloon back on the field after her ten minutes in the sin bin Antrim were back to their full quota and Aoife Taggart was on target with her second point of the afternoon, though Jackie Kinch claimed her second point and with thirteen minutes remaining – Antrim’s back luck continued as Lorna Fusciardi hit Wicklow’s sixth.

Kinch and Aoife Taggart (free) traded scores in the aftermath and it was Wicklow who ended the game in the ascendancy – substitute Naoise Baker and Deeney added their sides final points from play and with the final kick of the game Laura Hogan claimed her third goal of the afternoon to give her side a 7-13-0-08 win at the conclusion.

Antrim: A McCann, C Stewart, N McIntosh, N McKeown, N Enright, S Cochrane, A McFarland, D O’Kane, L McCann, A Devlin, C Carey (0-05, 0-01f), E Faloon, A Taggart (0-03,0-01f), O Prenter, E Kelly. Subs: B Devlin for A Devlin (31 mins), O McCrory for N Enright (31 mins), K Rafferty for N McKeown (31 mins), C Taggart for O Prenter (47 mins), N O’Neill for N McIntosh (58 mins).

Wicklow: K Connors, E Mulhall, SH Winder, L Ahearn, A 0, Conroy, S Miley, L Fusciardi (1-00), N McGettigan (0-01), A Gorman, G Canavan, J Kinch (0-03), A Murphy, L Hogan (3-02, 0-01f), C Fox     (1-01), M Kealy (0-03). Subs: M Deeney (1-02, 1-01f) for G Canavan (11 mins), S O’Connor for A Murphy (41 mins), R Fagan for L Fusciardi (52 mins), N Baker (0-01) for A Gorman (54 mins), K Miley for M Kealy (54 mins).

Referee: Declan Carolan (An Dun)