Maguire and Rodgers goals turn the game Creggan’s way

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Darren McCann turns away after scoring the game’s opening goal against Creggan last night

O’Neill’s ACFL Division 1‏

Craggan 2-15 St. Teresa’s 1-06.

Second half goals from Aidan Maguire and Matthew Rodgers saw Creggan collect another brace of points when they overcame the challenge of visitors St. Teresa’s at their Staffordstown Road ground on Friday night.

On paper this looked like a bread and butter fixture for the home side who have only lost one game this season but bottom of the table St. Teresa’s came in search of much needed points and for a time looked like take something from this game.

The visitors were first off the mark when John Mallon pointed them ahead and when Darren McCann followed with a goal soon after the home side looked in a bit of trouble. Kevin Small pulled one back from a free and Sam Maguire followed with another from play to close the gap to two.

Small closed the gap to the minimum with another point from play and normal service appeared to have been restored but John Mallon struck an excellent point from a free to edge the Glen Road men two in front once more.

St. Teresa’s were battling for everything as Paddy Coey missed an opportunity to close the gap for the home side before an excellent fetch and turn by Liam Quinn saw the youngster split the posts to tie the contest for the first time.

That concluded the first half scoring with the sides level at 1-2 to 0-5 following an error ridden opening 30 minutes and St. Teresa’s would have been the happier of the two sides going to the dressing rooms with Matthew Rodgers having replaced the injured Ricki Johnston in the Creggan side.

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EARLY EXCHANGES

Kevin Small and John Mallon exchanged early scores as Keelin McCann replaced Dermot McCann in the Creggan side and when Kevin Small missed a simple free and then David McGuckin saw his shot smash of an upright, things didn’t seem to be going their way.

Again St. Teresa’s top forward, John Mallon tied the contest and it still looked anyone’s game but an Aidan Maguire goal and points from McGuckin and Fintan Burke totally changed the reflection of the game.

Suddenly the Kickham’s were playing with more confidence and fluency with Ruairi McCann pulling the strings and the best move of the game saw Liam Quinn finish with an excellent point and David McGuckin followed with another as the St. Teresa’s resistance finally started to subside.

The killer blow arrived soon after as Ruairi McCann produced a defence splitting run before setting up Matthew Rodgers and the youngster finished like a veteran to the back of the net to kill off the visitors challenge.

Time was nearly up at this stage but Creggan continued to attack in waves in the closing minutes with Sam Maguire, David McGuckin and Oistin McAteer firing over late points to put the icing on a good second half performance by Kevin Madden’s side.

This win sees Creggan hold onto second place after league leaders, St. Gall’s came through in a bruising battle at Hannastown. Ruairi McCann was the man behind a lot of the positive moves they produced while David McGuckin, Kevin Small, Liam Quinn and substitute Matty Rodgers were others who impressed on the night.

St. Teresa’s will take some encouragement from their first half performance but will be annoyed at how they faded so badly as the game progressed with John Mallon their best on view on the night and their only real scoring threat.

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Photographs: Damien McKee-Picture magic Studios

 

Cargin back in the groove as Aghagallon are put to the sword

O’Neill’s All County Football League Division One

Erin’s Own Cargin 1-18 St Mary’s Aghagallon 0-04

Cargin appear to have got it together again after a couple of back to back reversals on the league trail and the Toome men impressed when they proved too strong for the visiting Aghagallon in perfect conditions on a pristine sod at their Toome base on Friday evening.

The Erin’s Own men started in the opening period against the breeze but it was not to prove a hindrance and by the end of the opening period it was more than apparent that the elements were to prove of little consequence as they held an 0-08 to 0-02 lead.

Aghagallon struggled to make impact and having missed a couple of early chances to open their account confidence was low and employment of the scoreboard attendant was infrequent as points by Eunan Walsh and Gareth Magee were to prove their lot.

Cargin continued in the second portion wind assisted and when Michael Mc Cann opened the way for his brother Tomas to find the net in the 35th minute the home side had moved into a 1-11 to 0-02 lead and the size of the winning margin was the only thing in question.

The Toome men continued to push forward in the second half and such was the dominance Damien Cassidy took the opportunity clear his bench. The Toome men continued their domination with the St Mary’s men restricted in opportunity as a well marshalled Cargin rear guard stood firm in defiance.

Gareth Magee did raise a 42nd white flag in the Aghagallon cause with an excellent last minute Oisin Lenaghan score completing their total as Cargin breasted the winning line at 1-18 to 0-04.

Having endured a big defeat to Creggan in the O’ Cahan cup semi in a mid-week St Mary’s Aghagallon arrived at Toome on Friday evening seeking the restoration of confidence as they were to cross swords with Cargin.

The home side had returned to winning ways after a couple of earlier reversals in the league and in the event they were to underline current wellbeing right from the outset.

Aghagallon had the assistance of a brisk northerly wind in the opening portion but it was to be the home side who were to leave the start blocks the better with early points from Ciaran Bradley and Tomas Mc Cann raising white flags apiece in the early minutes.

The Aghagallon men looked low in confidence in the early phase and such was evident as several chances were spurned to open account and Cargin had nipped away to a 0-04 to 0-00 lead by the 10th minute.

Jamie Gribbin slipped inside to receive from Tomas Mc Cann and add a 6th minute point with the latter despatching a 30 metre free on the same direction a few minutes thereafter.

The Aghagallon net minder Gavin O’Neill was forced into action in the 14th minute to make an excellent save as another slick approach which turned defence into attack in a twinkling and featured the talented Michael Clarke on approach as he sent Jamie Gribbin in to test the keeper at the expense of a ‘45’.

Aghagallon did open account in the 17th minute as Gareth Magee sent a 40 metre free over the bar to finally get the visitors off the mark, and when Eunan Walsh followed suit a couple of minutes later they appeared to be finding their feet.

The travelling support possibly had cause for optimism at this juncture but when Ciaran Bradley came forward to add another stylish Cargin point and his fellow wing man David Johnston added another, the ‘Green machine’ were back in charge.

Another impressive approach opened the way for Michael Mc Cann to have the last say with a 29th minute point and see Cargin take respite with an 0-08 to 0-02 lead despite having faced the elements.

1Cargin’s Tomas McCann in action during his team’s win over Aghagallon. Pic by Damian McKee

Cargin started the second portion as they finished the first, and when Kevin Mc Shane, Jamie Gribbin, and Ciaran Bradley raised white flags apiece and Tomas Mc Cann bagged a 35th minute goal the die was cast.

The flying winger was on hand to finish to the net after Enda Mc Grogan had won possession on the left hand side and crossed to Michael Mc Cann who opened the way for his sibling to find the target and at 1-11 to 0-02 the end was in sight.

Cargin were dominant in most areas and although the Aghagallon men did cause John Mc Nabb to clear his lines on a couple of occasions the Toome men were well organised and direct on the counter.

Ciaran Bradley who impressed with his new assignment on the half back line added 39th minute point and Michael McCann, who was always central to approach, added another.

The visitors opened their second period account with a Gareth Magee 44th minute score but Cargin hit back with points from Jamie Gribbin and Tomas Mc Cann (2)

With the issue well resolved the home side emptied their bench in the latter stages taking opportunity to give game time to several replacements as Tomas Mc Cann and Jamie Gribbin followed with further points.

Aghagallon’s mid fielder Oisin Lenaghan had the last say when he despatched a long range effort between the posts, but the 29th minute effort came as scant consolation with the well organised home side stepping over the winning line points secured, and full value for a 1-18 to 0-04 win.

CARGIN: John Mc Nabb, Gerard Mc Corley, Martin Kane, Michael Clarke, Ciaran Bradley (0-04), Gerard Mc Cann, David Johnston (0-01), John Carron, Kevin Mc Shane (0-01), Enda Mc Grogan, Michael Mc Cann (0-02), Paul Mc Cann, Tomas Mc Cann (1-06), Jamie Gribbin (0-04), Michael Magill

Subs

Brendan Laverty for D Johnston

Joe Maybin for E Mc Grogan

Jamie Kennedy for M Clarke

Oran Mc Auley for J Gribbin

AGHAGALLON: Kevin O’ Neill, Aiden Mulholland, Dan Donnelly, Mark Mc Kenna, Michael Mc Stravick, Jack Lenaghan, Pat Brannigan, Des Marshall, Oisin Lenaghan (0-01), Eunan Walsh (0-01), Gareth Magee (0-02),Ciaran Brady, Dara Mc Alernon, Ruairi Mc Cann, Ruairi Loughran

Referee Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)

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Pics by Damian McKee – Picture Magic Studios

 

 

 

 

 

Strong second half helps Casements to victory

DSC_0914 copyReferee Gerard Dougan with the team captains before last night’s game                              Pic by Caoimhe McTaggart

O’Neill’s ACFL Division One

Portglenone 3-14 Glenavy 0-10

Friday June 22

Brendan McTaggart reports from O’Cahan Park, Portglenone

Roger Casements recorded a comfortable 13 point victory over Glenavy at O’Cahan Park on Friday evening with three goals all coming in the second half.  The home side’s majors came from Conall Delargy, Kieron McKenna and Niall Delargy as they turned the screw after a scrappy opening 30 minutes.

Both sides were severely depleted and the first half lacked the fluency that Portglenone and Glenavy are capable of producing.  Glenavy were dogged and tenacious in defence yet heavily reliant on the free taking ability of Malachi Doherty.  The attacking half back hit all of Glenavy’s points in the opening 30 minutes, seven in total with one from play and while Portglenone had five different scorers in the first half, just one forward got their name on the sheet with their half back line contributing four of their seven first half points.

The home side upped the ante after the restart however, scoring 2-2 in the first eight minutes to take the game away from the Chapel Hill men.  Jude Donnelly’s side comfortably controlled the second half in what was a routine victory for his side in the end.

Glenavy opened the scoring with Doherty pointing his first free with barely 60 seconds on the clock.  Portglenone soon found their rhythm though with Kieron McKenna landing back to back impressive points to give the Casements the lead after six minutes.  A point from distance by marauding half back Caolan Tierney opened a two point lead as Portglenone began to dominate and Glenavy had Donard Shannon to thank for stopping the flood gates opening.  The veteran shot stopper used all his experience to deny Michael Hagan a certain goal in the 10th minute.  Portglenone had to settle for a ’45, midfielder Brendan Donnelly dispatching with ease, followed by a Niall Delargy point and while Portglenone were more economical in possession, they were denied again by Shannon – this time Conall Delargy denied mid-way through the first half.

Glenavy began to grow in confidence as the half progressed.  Doherty and Ronan Kelly swapped frees to keep the Portglenone lead at three points but the visitors ended the half on top.  The Gallagher brothers were getting the upper hand in the middle of the park with Michael McCourt and Foge Cunningham finding space in the Portglenone defence.  Doherty kept nicking over points, one from a free and the visitors first from play in the 22nd minute to keep them within touching distance.  Brendan Donnelly landed a point from distance with the outside of his boot to score his second point of the half but a brace of frees from Doherty tied the scores on 0-7 to 0-7.  The home side were let off the hook in first half injury time when Conor Craney brought the best out of Casement’s ‘keeper Brian McManus.  McCourt sent a long ball in search of a point but his shot cannoned off the top of the crossbar.  Craney rose highest to punch but McManus managed to prevent the ball from crossing the line using his legs.

DSC_0050 copyPic by Caoimhe McTaggart

The sides went into the interval tied at 0-7 each after an even first half but the Casement’s went through the gears after the restart to take control of the game.  They opened the scoring when they hit the first major of the match in the third minute of the second half.  Ronan Kelly’s effort from distance bouncing back off the upright into the path of Conall Delargy.  The Portglenone full forward palmed the ball to the back of the net with Glenavy ‘keeper Shannon stranded.

The second goal came with the next attack.  Niall Delargy providing the assist as he drove through the heart of the Glenavy defence and evading three tackles before laying off to Kieron McKenna.  The Casement’s half back made no mistake from close range to open a six point lead.

Michael Hagan and Corey McLaughlin raised white flags to take the Portglenone advantage to eight points after just eight minutes of the second half and despite Foge Cunningham getting his name on the scoresheet soon after, it looked already at that stage that it would be a long way back for the Chapel Hill men.

Gerard McAleese and McCourt (free) swapped points in the 45th minute before Portglenone wrapped up the points with their third goal.  Niall Delargy collected the loose ball in midfield and went on a run down the left hand side.  The Glenavy defence were happy to show him the line but he cut inside and with a burst of pace evaded two visiting defenders before finding the top corner from an acute angle.  A superb strike as the home sides advantage stretched to 10 points with 10 remaining.

Substitute Eoin Henry fisted over from an acute angle as Glenavy looked for a response to Delargy’s goal but that would be their last score of the match as Portglenone maintained control.  Points from McAleese, a brace from Kelly (one free) and Hagan (free) ensured a comfortable hour work for the home side.

Portglenone will be looking to maintain their winning form after a four week break as they welcome St Teresa’s to O’Cahan Park on Wednesday evening while Glenavy face St John’s on the same evening.

Portglenone:

Brian McManus; Ryan Convery, Shane Delargy, Ronan Delargy; Kieron McKenna, Niall Delargy, Caolan Tierney; Stephen Kelly, Brendan Donnelly; Michael Hagan, Ronan Kelly, Michael Donnelly; Corey McLaughlin, Conall Delargy, Gerard McAleese

Subs: Fergal O’Kane for S Kelly (46); Michael Kelly for N Delargy (56); Paddy Graffin for C Tierney (60)

Glenavy: Donard Shannon; Marin Nelson, Chris Scullion, Sean McGirr; Neil Scullion, Conor Hamill, Malachi Doherty; James Gallagher, Paddy Gallagher; Ryan Phillips, Michael McCourt, Matthew Hamill, Fergus Cunningham, Conor Craney, Niall McCann

Subs: Eoin Henry for N McCann (45); Peter Traynor for R Phillips (52); Ruairi Forrester for C Scullion (55)

Scorers for Portglenone: Kieron McKenna 1-2; Niall Delargy 1-1; Ronan Kelly 0-3 (2 f’s); Conall Delargy 1-00; Brendan Donnelly 0-2 (1 ’45); Gerard McAleese 0-2; Michael Hagan 0-2 (1 f); Corey McLaughlin 0-1; Caolan Tierney 0-1#

Scorers for Glenavy: Malachi Doherty 0-7 (6 f’s); Michael McCourt 0-1 (1 f); Fergus Cunningham 0-1; Eoin Henry 0-1

Referee: Gerard Dougan (Creggan)

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Pics by Caoimhe McTaggart

 

McGourty’s goals seals St Gall’s win

O’Neill’s All County Football League Division 1

Lamh Dhearg 1-12 St Gall’s 2-13

An injury time goal by CJ McGourty maintained St Gall’s unbeaten league record at Hannahstown on Friday evening in a rip roaring game of football in which fortunes swung one way. When Lamh Dhearg’s Declan Lynch landed a brilliant point from forty metres to tie the scores at 1-12 apiece in the 59th minute it looked like the points would be shared. However in the five minutes of injury time which referee Eamon McAuley added at the end of a disjointed second half the men from Milltown got the scores that sealed the win. Two minutes into that added time a long ball into the Lamh Dhearg square saw goalkeeper Stephen Tully challenged by St Gall’s Sean Kelly who broke the ball across the square where McGourty pounced to fire the ball to net. The points were secure at this stage but in the final seconds St Gall’s added a security point when Mark Kelly sent one over from thirty metres.

The game had started so well for Lamh Dhearg when Paddy Cunningham took advantage of a bad kick out by St Gall’s ‘keeper Ciaran O’Connor to lob the ball back over him to the empty net. The home team pushed on from there and three further points from Cunningham and one from Declan Lynch helped them to a 1-4 to 0-3 lead. Points from a CJ McGourty free and one from play by Eoghan McCabe cut the gap, but a fantastic score by Lamh Dhearg full back Aaron McCaulfield put his team three clear, only to see Sean Kelly reply within a minute to bring his team back to within two at the break – 1-6 to 0-7.

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A pointed free from Cunningham, and a brilliant one from play from a narrow angle on the left increased Lamh Dhearg’s lead to four six minutes into the second half. McGourty and Lynch exchanged points to keep the gap at four, but another one from a McGourty free and one from play by Kevin Niblock had the gap down to two. The score that turned the game around came midway through the half when a great move involving Kieran McGourty and Eogan McCabe created the opening for CJ to fire the ball to the Lamh Dhearg net to give his team the lead for the first time. The Hannahstown men came back with a point from a free by midfielder Kevin Quinn to tie the scores and though Niall O’Neill broke through to fist the ball over to restore the visitors lead, Declan Lynch’s super strike in the final minute appeared to have earned his team a draw. However it was not to be and CJ McGourty’s goal killed off the Lamh Dhearg challenge and Mark Kelly’s point put the icing on the cake.

Lámh Dhearg: Stephen Tully, Pádraig Mervyn, Aaron McAulfield, Marc McGarry, Declan Lynch (c), Michael Herron, Brendan McComb, Pearse Fitzsimons, Kevin Quinn, Owen McKeown, Ciarán O’Flaherty, Gerard Slane, Patrick Cunningham, Ryan Murray, Terry McCrudden.

St Gall’s: Ciaran O’Connor, Tomás Ó Ciaráin, Ryan Irvine, Shane O’Hagan, Mark Kelly, Jackson McGreevy, John McCaffrey, Michael Pollock, Sean Kelly, Kevin Niblock (c), Kieran McGourty, Eoghan McCabe, Terry O’Neill, Conor McGourty, Niall O’Neill.

Referee: Eamonn McAuley (Erin’s Own, Cargin)

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Pics by John McIlwaine

 

 

Strong second half sees Ahoghill overcome Rossa at Clooney

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Thomas Morgan (15) fires past Francis Neeson for Rossa’s opening goal to give the Shaw’s Road side an early lead

O’Neill’s ACFL Division 1

St. Mary’s Ahoghill 0-15  Rossa 2-7

St. Mary’s Ahoghill turned in a strong second half performance to overcome the challenge of O’Donovan Rossa at a sun kissed Clooney tonight. The home side came from four down at half time to outscore their opponents ten to three in the second half and record a totally deserved victory.

It looked oh so different during the opening exchanges as Rossa, with a slight breeze advantage took the game to their opponents early on and Tommy Morgan raced through unchallenged to fire past Francis Neeson in the home goals.

Ahoghill tried to respond and a strong run from deep by Eamon Brady might have produced an equaliser but his initial shot rebounded of the crossbar and in the follow up his second effort was blocked for a ‘45’ which came to nothing.

Donal Graham responded with a point for the home side but at this stage of the game their marking was poor and they looked in deep trouble when Christopher McGuinness soloed through for a second goal for the Shaw’s Road men with nine minutes gone.

St. Mary’s were certainly enjoying their fair share of possession at this stage but poor choices and even poorer shooting saw them miss several chances before PJ O’Connell placed Owen Neeson for a point.

Rossa continued to threaten at the other end and replied immediately with a good point from Colm Fleming but Boris O’Connell  responded for the Clooney side after collecting a short free from his brother PJ to close the gap to four at the end of the opening quarter.

The momentum was very much with Rossa at this stage and Colm Fleming pointed a 20 meter free to edge them further ahead but the home defence had tightened considerably after a slack start and scorers were much harder to come by as Donal Graham pointed at the other end to keep his side in touch.

Rossa continued to enjoy plenty of possession but the Clooney side were now pulling men behind the ball in numbers to frustrate their opponents and at the other end PJ O’Connell robbed Stephen Shannon and set up Donal Graham but the full-forward fired wide with the goal at his mercy.

As the home side continued to press Eamon Brady shot wide before Colm Fleming showed how it should be done with a superb long range effort at the other end. Things were certainly starting to liven up and Thomas McGlone responded with a good point to keep the gap at four with four minutes remaining to the break.

The visitors finished the half strongly with a couple of fine points from mid-fielder Darren Grego and looked to be in a good position when they headed to the dressing room leading by 2-5 to 0-5 and they were fully deserving of that lead.

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Neil ‘Boris’ O’Connell (9) and Thomas McGlone (8) drove Ahoghill forward from mid-field to inspire a second half come-back.

CHANGED SIDE

After the break it was a different story however as Ahoghill emerged from the dressing room to up their game considerably and after PJ O’Connell fired wide from a long range effort it was Thomas McGlone who steadied things with an excellent score.

Patrick Graham was wide of the target again as Ahoghill continued to press but Donal Graham fired over from a 30 meter free to leave just four between the sides with 11 minutes gone. Rossa tried to respond but Conor McGowan shot wide after a promising build up before Thomas Morgan wasted another scoreable chance.

The momentum was very much now with the home side who were managing possession much better and were more methodical in their build up as Donal Graham pointed another free to leave just three between the sides after 14 minutes play.

Neil O’Connell and Thomas McGlone were now dominating at midfield for Ahoghill as Owen Neeson closed the gap to two as Michael McGreevey and Adam Devlin entered the fray for the city men in an effort to turn the tide.

The home side were now pressing up on the kick-out and turning over ball and Owen Graham closed the gap to the minimum with a 16th minute point. Graham followed with another to tie the contest with 11 minutes remaining and the momentum was very much with the Red & Blacks at this stage with their opponents struggling.

When they did manage to attack Colm Fleming, who had been excellent in the opening half, fired wide before Donal Graham put the home side ahead for the first time from another pointed free and Dan O’Neill followed with a splendid effort from play to put his side two in front with eight minutes remaining.

Rossa were still battling hard but with little reward but Tommy Morgan pointed for only their second score of the half to again close the gap to the minimum. Owen Graham replied with a confident effort after 24 minutes and Paddy Graham for Ahoghill and Colm Fleming for the visitors exchanged late scores to leave the home side victorious by two points.

This was only Ahoghill’s second win of the season but moves them up to four points ahead of Rossa on score difference with St. Joseph’s Glenavy on two and St. Teresa’s on one occupying the bottom places.

They were excellent tonight in the second half and on this form look capable of climbing up the table. Their opponents Rossa were missing a few players on this occasion but after winning their opening two games they have hit a poor run of results and will be hoping for better in the coming weeks.

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St. Mary’s Ahoghill: Francis Neeson, James Magee, Stephen O’Connell, Bernard Graham, Eamon Brady, Patrick Graham, BJ Hamill, Niall O’Connell, Thomas McGlone, Sean McMahon, James O’Connell. Dan O’Neill, PJ O’Connell, Donal Graham, Owen Neeson.Subs: Owen Graham and Justin Downey.

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Rossa: Michael Byrne, Conor McGowan, Stephen Shannon, Ciaran Orchin, Richard Gowdy, Eoghan O’Neill, Sean Finch, Oisin McVicker, Darren Grego, Niall Crossan, Christopher McGuinness, J McDonnell, Dominic McEnhill, Colm Fleming, Thomas Morgan. James Kinney for Ciaran Orchin. Michael McGreevey for Dominic McEnhill and Adam Devlin for Darren Grego.

Referee: Paul Hanna (Glenavy)

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