St Brigid’s win a hard fought battle

Northern Switchgear Senior Football Championship Group 4

Aghagallon 0-13 St Brigid’s 2-09

St Brigid’s pulled off the shock of the opening round when they travelled to Aghagallon on Saturday and beat the St Mary’s side in a hard fought and at times tempestuous game.

For most of the season the south Belfast side have battled relegation, only securing their Division 1 statues in the penultimate game, and were underdogs going up against championship runners up for the last two seasons, especially at Pairc Na Gael. However the men from Musgrave Park turned in their best display of the season as they collected both points in the round-robin series to all but secure a quarter final place in this three team group.

Midfielder Jack Dowling got St Brigid’s off to a good start when he pointed in the opening minute, but two minutes later the home side were level when Jack Lenehan fired over at the other end. Jack Dowling edged the visitors in front again when he finished off a good length of the field move with his second point, but Aghaghallon appeared to be gaining the upper hand when they came back with two in a row from Enda McCartin and Padraig Gowdy to go 0-3 to 0-2 ahead.

In a tight game with defences on top goals were always going to be vital and St Brigid’s full forward Enda Downey struck a telling blow when he fired the ball to the Aghagallon net on ten minutes to put his team two clear. The home side hit back with points from Adam Loughran, Gareth Magee and Johnny Hannon in the 11th, 15th and 16th minutes to regain the lead, but they failed to break through a watertight St Brigid’s defence for the rest of the opening half. St Brigid’s were level on 19 minutes when Ronan Boyle split the uprights and two minutes later a fine team move was finished to the net by corner forward James Smith. That put them a goal clear and they came close to grabbing their third goal had it not been for a brilliant save from Luke Mulholland in the home goals.

Three points down at the break (0-6 to 2-3) Gareth Magee reduced the Aghagallon deficit early in the second half with a well taken point, but St Brigid’s centre back John Morgan restored his team’s three point cushion on 34 minutes. Luke Mulholland brought it back two again when came up to send over a 45 but the gap was soon out to three again when Jack Dowling hit his third point of the game.

A black card for an Aghagallon defender appeared to give the visitors the advantage, but the see-saw nature of the game continued as Jack Lenehan sent one over for the home side, only to see it wiped out by a pointed free from Enda Downey for St Brigid’s. Time was running out for Aghagallon, but two quick points in the 55th and 56th minutes from Gareth Magee and Johnny Hannon brought them back to just two points but following another smart save from Luke Mulholland in the St Mary’s goal James Smith collected and sent over. Hannon closed it back to within two again with a point just on the sixty minute mark, but again the Musgrave Park men found a reply as Enda Downey fisted over, and though Adam Loughran kept the home fans hopes alive with a point, it was a case of too little, too late as St Brigid’s held on for the win.


Luke Mulholland, Ciaran Maginnis, Eunan Walsh, Patrick Brannigan, Marc McAfee, Jamie Lamont, Aidan Mulholland, Jack Lenehan, Daniel Donnelly, Padraig Gowdy, Adam Loughran, Enda McCartan, Gareth Magee, Ruairi Mccann, Johnny Hannon.


Declan Heery, Finn McKiernan, Joseph Finnegan, Peter King, Reuben Carlton, John Morgan, Conor King, Fergal Meenagh, Jack Dowling, Shea Downey, Oran Downey, Ronan Boyle, James Smyth, Enda Downey, Paul Bradley.

Referee – Eamonn McAuley (Cargin)

Aghagallon chairman Colm Walsh presents a sponsorship cheque to Bert Trowlen of Saffron Gael at Saturday’s Championship game with St Brigid’s

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Tir na nOg secure their Division 1 status with excellent Corrigan victory

ACFL Division 1B

St. John’s 0-11 Tir na nOg 3-13

Goals from Darragh Fagan, Ciaran O’Neill and Eamon Og McAllister saw Tir na nOg, Randalstown secure their division 1 status for another season when they produced a polished display to complete the league double over St. John’s at Corrigan Park on Sunday.

The Whitehill side went into Sunday’s game knowing that even a narrow defeat would be enough to keep them in the top grade but from the throw in it was obvious that they were not going to settle for that as they went about their business with deadly efficiency.

Aaron McNeilly and Ciaran Dobbin settled the visitors with early points before Darragh Fagan put them in control when he got through for a goal in the 6th minute.

Conor Adams opened the Johnnies account from a free in the 10th minute but the Randalstown side were playing some excellent football and with the wind behind them they continued to stretch the home defence.

Ciaran Dobbin was finding acres of space out on the left and he placed Aaron McNeilly who fired over when well-placed and might have had a goal in the 12th minute.

The momentum was very much with the visitors as Christy Sheerin’s astute pass from mid-field was just inches out of reach of Darragh Fagan who was right through but the big full-forward made amends with a great point immediately after.

St. John’s were battling hard to get their own game together as Conchur Hand scored their second point in the 17th minute but Fagan replied from a pointed free before Ciaran O’Neill fired home their second goal following another defence splitting move.

Conchur Adams replied with his second converted free to bring the home side’s total to 0-3 but once again the visitors replied and Aaron McNeilly pointed a free at the other end to move Tir na nOg 10 ahead by the 24th minute.

St. John’s introduced Joe Garland for Conal Bohill who seemed to be carrying an injury and they kicked the final point of the half through Conall Quinn to trail 0-4 to 2-7 at half time but with the wind at their back in the second half.

St. John’s introduced Ronan McCafferty for Ross Hannigan and Matthew Layden for Adrian Oliver at the start of the second half with Layden taking over in goals and Padraig Nugent moving into defence.

The home side were swiftly off the mark as Locky McCurdy pointed but the South West side were quick to reply as Darragh Fagan split the uprights at the other end.

Back came St. John’s with a point from Conall Quinn and with the fresh breeze behind them they began to enjoy a bit of success as Locky McCurdy and Conchur Adams brought their total to 0-8 and another from Adams closed the gap to five by the 10th minute.

The visitors looked in a bit of trouble for the first time in the game but Darragh Fagan settled them with their second point of the half from a 17th minute free and then fired over with a goal at his mercy.

Joe Garland pointed for the Johnnies to close the gap to six at the end of the third quarter but the momentum was very much back with the Whitehill side and Matthew Layden had to be sharp of his line to deny Eamon Og McAllister.

The visitors continued to press forward and Aaron McNeilly kicked a good point and then fisted another before Ryan Crilly somehow screwed his shot wide of the post from the edge of the square as the visitors began to turn the screw.

Tir na nOg continued to probe and move the ball around confidently and Christy Sheerin sent over a good point in the 22nd minute as they began to run down the clock before Eamon Og McAllister made the points secure with a late goal.

A good win for Tir na nOg that will see them play their football again in division 1 next season but before that happens there is more immediate business to attend to.

They begin their Senior Championship campaign at the same venue on Friday night in Group 1 against the same opponents and will hope to build on today’s result but are likely to face a stronger St. John’s side.

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Nagle runs riot against depleted St. Gall’s

ACFL Division 1B

St. Gall’s 0-8 St. Enda’s 6-17

Fionn Nagle ran riot as St. Enda’s swept aside a depleted St. Gall’s at Milltown on Saturday afternoon. Number 14 Nagle scored 4 first half goal and added another in the second half but the Glengormley men’s biggest win of the season came too late to save their division 1 status.

Sean Murray 0-2 and Donal Walsh 0-2 kicked early points with Callum Walsh replying with two for the home side before Nagle got his personal scoring spree going from a free.

Suddenly the visitors were flying as Fionn Nagle finished a well-executed attack to the net and the same player followed quickly with another as St. Enda’s took control.

Nagle was causing havoc as he pointed from a Mark and then completed his hat-trick with another polished finish and he would finish the half with a personal tally of 4-3.

Donal Walsh, who had a good game on the ‘40’ added a 5th goal for the Hightown side to put the contest out of site as St. Enda’s led 5-11 to 0-5 at the halfway stage.

HT 0-4 TO 5-11

Things didn’t get any better for the Milltown side on the restart as Donal Walsh and Odhran Eastwood struck early points for the visitors before the superb Nagle fired home his fifth goal of the evening and that was that.

The goals dried up after that but returning county player, James McAuley fired over a fine point and Donal Walsh, Ronan O’Neill and Sean Murray all got their names on the scorecard for the Glengormley side.

St. Gall’s were well beaten at this stage but they did manage to add to their total with the best of these coming from Michael Hopkins with a great point from near the sideline.

Brendan Bradley added two and Niall Fallon was also on target for a St. Gall’s side who were already safe following their draw with St. Brigid’s last Wednesday night while St. Enda’s best performance of the season came too late to stave off relegation to division 2.

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Naomh Gall and Naomh Bríd share the spoils to maintain their Division 1 status

O’Neill Sportswear Division 1 Football

Naomh Gall 1-07 Naomh Bríd 0-10 

On Wednesday evening, Naomh Gall welcomed Naomh Bríd to Milltown with Division 1 Football being make or break. Niall Burns kicked the home side into an early 2-0 lead through placed balls after 10 mins. However, the Musgrave Park side quickly responded through James Smith whose outside of the boot effort sailed through the uprights. A free kick from Smith and further scores from Burns made it 4-2 in favour of the Milltown men on the 20 minute mark. Enda Downey and Niall Burns traded scores as the first period came to a close. 

Half Time  – Naomh Gall 0-05 Naomh Bríd 0-03 

As the second half got underway, it was the visitors who got off the mark early as brothers Enda and Oran Downey combined for a score to put 1 point between the sides. However, St Galls talisman Burns kept them ahead as St Brigids kept knocking on the door through points from James Smith and Paul Bradley. On the 40 minute mark, Enda Downey curled a shot over the black spot to level up proceedings. With 10 minutes of normal time to play, Naomh Gall goalkeeper Louis McCormick’s kickout went over the top of the St Brigids midfield and found Cece Walsh who bagged a goal. Giving St Galls a comfortable 3 point lead. However, the Musgrave Park side didn’t lie down. Oran Downey played a tidy ball into Paul Bradley who caught a mark and converted. A minute later, Oran Downey again, only this time he kicked over a point from the left flank making it a 1 point game. With less than 2 minutes of time to play Joe Finnegan beat two men and kicked over the equaliser. Referee Karol Doherty blew the full time whistle and ensured Division 1 Football for both sides next year. 

Naomh Gall scores

Niall Burns 0-07 (0-05f)

Cece Walsh 1-0

Naomh Bríd scorers

James Smith 0-03

Paul Bradley 0-02 (0-01f, 0-01m)

Enda Downey 0-03

Oran Downey 0-01

Joe Finnegan 0-01

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Late Eastwood point secures a draw for St Enda’s

ACFL Division 1B

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 1-10 St Enda’s 0-13

A late injury time point by their sharp-shooter, Odhran Eastwood saw St Enda’s come from behind to earn a share of the points with Moneyglass in a close encounter at Marian Hill on Wednesday evening.

Eastwood, who finished with eight points to his credit proved unerring in his free taking role throughout and that late effort ensured a point for the Glengormley men.

In the event that point was not enough to save their division 1 status and following a year in which the Glengormley men endured a host of problems they will play their football in the second grade in 2024. It did however dent the Moneyglass chances of playing in the top grade next year and while they odds are still in their favour, if some of next Sunday’s games go a certain way they could still be relegated.

Moneyglass started this game on the front foot as they raced away to a five point lead and they looked to be headed for a much needed victory.

St Enda’s looked tentative in the extreme in the opening phase as the St Ergnat’s men nipped smartly away from the start traps.

A foul on Tiernan Mc Cormick saw Colm Duffin sending the resultant award between the posts to get St. Ergnats on their way and McCormick added back to back points to the home sides tally in the 4th and 6th minutes.

 McCormick was having a big influence on proceedings and he provided openings for Colm Duffin and Ronan Campbell to add further points and the home side were 0-05 to 0-00 ahead and in charge at the 10th minute.

Moneyglass were in command at mid-field in the opening quarter with James Mc Meill and his partner Seanachan Duffin just having the edge and Tiernan Mc Cormick weaving is magic but they were wasteful at times and gradually the visitors began to gain a foothold.

A superbly struck Fionn Nagle point got them on board and Tomas Gilmour and Odhran Eastwood added a couple of converted frees in response to points from Colm Duffin and Gavin Murray with Moneyglass leading 0-08 to 0-04 at the end of the first period.

St Enda’s opened the second half on the attack with Fintan Nagle opening the way for Eastwood to raise a 32nd minute white and he followed with another, a couple of minutes later.

A Conor Boyd point engineered by the strong running Tiernan Mc Cormack got the Moneyglass scoring show on the road for the second half but their visitors were coming more and more into the game.

Their roving net minder Walsh made a superb save to deny Gavin Murray and they replied with a point at the other end a few minutes later as Odhran Eastwood directed another free between the posts to see the visitors just a point in arrears 0-08 to 0-09.

A superbly long range point in the 18th minute saw the Glengormley men on par but St. Ergnat’s were about to be stirred into action again as Seanachain Duffin pointed following another Tiernan McCormick approach.

The home side were back in control and went further ahead when a well laid counter attack involving James McMeill and Peter McCormick saw Patrick McCormick deliver to the back of the net to move them into a four point lead.

That score should have been enough to secure victory but St. Enda’s came back strongly in the closing stages to earn a share of the spoils.

James McAuley got them on their way with a superb long range point in the 53rd minute and  Odhran Eastwood punished indiscipline in the home defence as he converted three late frees to see his side share the spoils at conclusion 1-10 to 0-13.

That draw will not be enough to save the Glengormley side, even if they win their final game away to St. Gall’s but the result there might well decide who will join them in division 2 next year.

Moneyglass have completed their programme and their fate in 2024 has yet to be decided. If Tir na nOg take anything from their final game away to St. John’s 0n Sunday then the Randalstown men are safe.

 If they lose and St. Enda’s are beaten then Moneyglass would finish above their South West rivals on the ‘Head to Head’ but if St. Enda’s were to win at St. Gall’s then score difference would come into play.

Confused? Well so am I but things will become much more clear come 3.20 on Sunday evening.

Moneyglass: G Murray, Callum Mc Stocker, Feargal Duffin, James Mc Cormick Paul Duffin, Peter Mc Cormick (1-00), Conor Boyd (0-01), James Mc Meill, Seanachain Duffin (0-01), Sean Boyd, Callum Duffin (0-04), Tiernan Mc Cormick (0-02), Conor Boyd, Gavin Murray (0-01), Ronan Campbell (0-01) 

St Enda’s: D Walsh (0-01), C Maxwell, D Mc Nulty, K Jennings, C Lyttle, James Mc Auley (0-01), E O’ Hare, Philly Curran, Joe Maskey, R Malla, Fionn Nagle (0-01), T Gilmour (0-01), M Morgan (0-01), S O’ Connor, Odhran Eastwood (0-08)

Subs: R Mc Cluskey, R O’ Neill

Referee; P Tumelty (Lamh Dhearg)

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