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.

McCrudden’s goal is the difference at Hannahstown

Homefit ACFL Division One 

Lámh Dhearg 1-12-0-12 Naomh Éanna 

Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown 

An early goal from Terry McCrudden proved decisive as Lámh Dhearg edged out Naomh Éanna 1-12-0-12 at Hannahstown on Sunday afternoon. 

The sides couldn’t be separated the midway point as the hosts battled from behind against the strong wind. 

Naomh Éanna were far more effective in front of the posts- following a 0-04 return in their midweek clash with Cargin-but ultimately, they fell narrowly short of claiming a share of the spoils. 

The visitors hit the front early-on through a converted free from Odhran Eastwood. The game’s opening goal was the next score to arrive with little over five minutes on the clock. 

Conor Murray played a diagonal switch to Declan Lynch and he in turn slipped the ball into the path of Terry McCrudden to slot past Paddy Flood and make it 1-00-0-01. 

The gale force wind on Black Mountain was favouring Naomh Eanna in the first half and they took advantage with Conor McAuley swinging over a fantastic point and Fionn Nagle claiming an advanced mark- which he converted to draw parity. 

Ruairi Scott dropped a 45’ over the bar to ensure his side regained the lead they possessed early-on, and Donal Walsh then kicked a magnificent point to double their advantage. 

The Lámhs first point of the half arrived courtesy of Conor Murray- who bustled his way into the shooting zone and popped a shot over. 

Scott doubled his account for the half with a fine effort from the outside of the boot that sailed over in the breeze. 

Lámh Dhearg responded positively and kicked three points on the spin to edge back in front. Declan Smith did well to keep Terry McCrudden’s shot from passing the end-line; before cutting in and firing over, then Terry McCrudden swung over the equaliser following great work from Padraig Mervyn. 

McCrudden swooped in and picked up a loose ball which led to Conor Murray guiding a high shot over to give the Hannahstown side a 1-04-0-06 lead. 

But Naomh Éanna restored parity before the break through a second Odhran Eastwood free of the half to send the sides in level pegging at midway.

The visitors regained the lead within 60-seconds of the restart, Fionn Nagle showed his impressive fielding skills, claiming a second mark of the afternoon and making no mistake with the conversion.

Padraig Mervyn surged forward and kicked with composure to level and the sides traded further scores in the aftermath through Odhran Eastwood (free) and an advanced mark by Conor Murray. 

Lámh Dhearg hit the front again when Terry McCrudden tried to pick out the run of Ben Rice, only for Conor McAuley to fist the ball over his own bar in an attempt to cut out the danger. 

Declan Lynch then landed back-to-back scores, the first from play and a second a converted mark with substitute Owen McKeown swinging over another to make it four scores without reply and give the hosts a 1-10-0-09 lead. 

Odhran Eastwood’s first point from play narrowed the margin with just over ten minutes remaining. 

Naomh Éanna’s task was made harder when Donal Walsh was black-carded, and they had to endure the final ten minutes a man light. 

The final four scores of the contest were evenly traded, Terry McCrudden converted a free that was replied to by a fisted point from substitute Callum Morgan. 

Ben Rice kicked a tremendous point with Eastwood also finding an impressive score in response as Lámh Dhearg ran out 1-12-0-12 winners at the conclusion. 

Lámh Dhearg:  J Finucane, A McAufield, M McGarry, R Murray, B Rice (0-01), P Mervyn (0-01), D Smith (0-01), C Hannan, D Lynch (0-02, 0-01m), N McGarry, S Tully, C Maxwell, T McCrudden (1-02, 0-01f), C Murray (0-03, 0-01m), S McManus. Subs: O McKeown (0-01) for N McGarry (HT), D Dunne for C Hannan (37), E Matassa for C Maxwell (41), R Diamond for S Tully (41), A Byrne for D Smith (52). 

Naomh Eanna: P Flood, F Eastwood, M McNamee, C Maxwell, C McAuley (0-01), C Lyttle, R O’Neill, M Morgan, R Scott (0-02, 0-01 45’), C Thompson, O Eastwood (0-05, 0-03f), G Crossey, D Walsh (0-01), F Nagle (0-02m), C Morgan. Subs: P Doran for F Nagle (46), Callum Morgan (0-01) for Cormac Morgan (51). 

Referee: Mark O’Neill (Armoy)

McNabb Point earns Cargin a share of the spoils

Homefit ACFL Division 1

Erin’s Own Cargin 1-10 St Gall’s 2-07

It took a late John McNabb point in the 59th minute to rescue a point for the home side Cargin as the net minder defied a 40 metre distance and a right sided angle to despatch the leather between the posts.

The home side had been reduced to 14 men early in the second period as impressive central defender Sean og O’ Neill picked up a 39th minute black card to accompany an earlier yellow and the resultant penalty was despatched to the back of the net by Eoghan McCabe to give the visitors the lead.

St Gall’s arrived in Toome in a positive mood following an impressive showing last time out with a good victory over St Enda’s.

The home side had also been on a good run themselves of late but they were to find it difficult to come to terms with the St Gall’s formation in the opening phase.

The Milltown men were well set up in a defensive formation but quick to break although well laid counter attacks saw them miss the target three times in as many minutes.

Cargin were first to register as John McNabb came forward to punish a foul on Tomas McCann with a 5th minute point.

The home side should have increased their advantage shortly after but Michael Clarke was just astray of the target after a good approach.

St Gall’s Eoghan McCabe

St Gall’s opened their account in the 15th minute as Niall Burns split the posts from a 30 metre free and the Milltown Blues edged ahead shortly after as Callum Breathnach latched onto a poor clearance to send between the posts.

Despite arriving in Toome as outsiders the Lower Fall’s residents were clearly not there to make up the numbers and responded to a good point by the home sides Ronan Gribbin with back to back points from the busy Niall Burns and another from long range by Ruairi Wilson to give them a 0-05 to 0-02 advantage after 25th minutes.

Cargin responded and Tomas McCann left several defenders trailing in his majestic wake to deliver the leather to the back of the net and ensure his side had drawn abreast of their visitors 1-02 to 0-05.

Things were certainly warming up and back came the visitors and a Ryan Irvine delivery placed Niall Fallon who rounded his marker to despatch to the back of the net at the other end and restore his side’s three point advantage.

The ever green Michael Pollock added a point to the Gall’s total in time added on to give his side a 1-06 to 1-02 advantage at half time and a possible upset looked on the cards as the half time whistle sounded.

Having looked decidedly out of sorts for much of the opening period, Cargin were quick out of the traps for the second half and Kevin McShane rose to claim the throw in to send Tomas McCann away to fire between the posts and the centre forward followed suit a minute later as he punished a foul on Sean Og O’ Neill with a point from the resulting free.

St Gall’s just could not get a finger on the ball in the opening phase of the second half and David Johnston, Jamie Gribbin and Michael Clarke all raised white flags and John McNabb added another following a foul on Ronan Gribbin and the home side had come from four in arrears at the break to lead 1-08 o 1-06 at the 40th minute.

Erin’s Own looked on course to push on at this stage but St Galls were not finished and when the home side were reduced in number after Sean Og O’ Neill was shown black to add to en earlier yellow,McCabe fired the resultant penalty to the back of their net.

Cargin looked up against it at this stage as Tomas McCann and John Mc Nabb were off target but McNabb made no mistake when he made his way forward to point a late free following an indiscretion on Jamie Gribbin to tie the contest.

St Gall’s went looking for the winner however and a great point from out on the left by Michael Pollock gave them back the lead and an upset looked on the cards.

Cargin were to have the last say however and a foul on Gerard McCann saw keeper John McNabb come forward to dispatch the equaliser between the posts for his fourth point of the game to ensure his side a share of the points.

Cargin: John Mc Nabb (0-04), Kevin O’ Boyle, Cahir Donnelly, Conan Johnston, Justin Crozier, Sean og O’ Neill, Ronan Gribbin (0-01), Gerard Mc Cann, Kevin Mc Shane, Ciaran Bradley, Tomas Mc Cann (1-02), Jamie Gribbin (0-01), Michael Clarke (0-01), Mark Kelly, James Laverty

Subs:

David Johnston (0-01) for C Donnelly

Benen Kelly for C Bradley

Tom Shivers for M Clarke

B Laverty for C Johnston

St Galls: Niall Mc Curdy, Dualtach Wilson, Cormac Flannery, Eoghan Mc Curdy, Marcus Donnelly, Eoghan Mc Cabe (1-00), Conaill Mc Girr, Thomas Burns, Ryan Irvine, Niall O’ Neill, Niall Burns (0-03), Ruairi Wilson, Callum Breathnach (0-01), Mickey Pollock (0-02), Niall Fallon (1-00)

Subs

John Mc Caffrey for C Breathnach

Referee: F Mc Cotter (Sarsfield’s)

Rossa climb to fourth place

Homefit ACFL Division 1

O’Donovan Rossa 2-6 Casement’s 0-10

Rossa hung on to claim victory in this exciting senior football clash at Shaw’s Road against top of the table Portglenone today.  The home side probably won the game in the final minutes of the first half as they  led by a single point before Colm Fleming  struck a penalty  past  Ryan O’Neill  and struck a  magnificent free to give Rossa some  daylight at the break .

Rossa had started the first half well and points from Michael McEnhiill and Colm Fleming and a brilliant inside mark from Cormac McGettigan settled the home side . McGettigan who along with Eoghan McMenamin, had a great battle in mid field with the experienced Portglenone duo of Niall Delargy and Niall Mckeever throughout the hour.

Portglenone were slightly off sync in the opening half but they produced some outstanding football; however they found a tenacious Rossa  defence hard to break down. Their first half points came from Dermot McAleese, evergreen Paddy Kelly and Aidan McAleese who also had a goal attempt cleared off the line.

Portglenone’s   second period began with a whirlwind start and from an early stage it looked like their point taking would win the day.  Ciaran McKenna hit two early points, followed by points from Oisin Doherty and Paddy Kelly. However once again there was a twist and a long ball from Liam Carr found its way to Michael Armstrong who blasted the ball to the net to set up a titanic last quarter.

Portglenone pegged on point after point  from Hagan and Paddy Kelly, including the score of the day when Michael Hagan put over a sideline ball with less than 10 minutes on the clock .

But Rossa kept their noses in front and some great work in defence by Jack Morris, Patrick Moyes, Niall Crossan and Adam Devlin helped see them hold on and the hard working Dominic McEnhill helped the home side control the last quarter.  In the last few minutes Rossa sprung their big guns from the bench -Stephen Beatty, Donal Armstrong and Stephen Shannon to see out the game and almost assure them of a top six finish.

Creggan earn the bragging rights in local derby

Homefit ACFL Division1

Kickhams 3-13 to Tir na nOg 1-05

Creggan earned he bragging rights in the first local derby since the division 2 final in 2003 as a large crowd gathered at Kickham’s as the two teams renewed their old rivalry, this time in division 1. 

Kickhams started off sharply playing against the wind with Paddy Coey scoring a point in the first minute and the same player finishing off a nice team move with a well taken goal.  Tir na nOg got off the mark with 2 nice points of their own from Aaron McNeilly and Daniel Martin and at this stage the visitors were giving as good as they got.

Creggan replied again and the McAteer brothers combined with Tiernan scoring a point and Dominic finishing to the net for Kickhams second goal but the lively Aaron McNeilly replying with a great strike for a goal to Tir na nOg.

It was end to end stuff at thios stage of the contest as Paddy Coey hit 2 more points before halftime to take his personal tally to 1-03 but again Tir na nOg came fighting back with a Darragh Fagan point and Aaron McNeilly kicked his second point of the half to leave the score Kickhams 2-04 to Tir na nOg 1-04 at half time

With Tir na nOg down to 14 men after the unfortunate sending off of one of their players they were really up against it.  Kickhams really used the wind to their advantage in the second half with some excellent long range points from Dominic McAteer, Odhran McLarnon, Sean Duffin and 2 points from the excellent midfielder Kealan Mc Cann.

Tir na nOg struggled to break down a strong home defence and Sean Duffin scored their only score of the second half in the 16th minute. Kickhams replied with an exceptional long range point by Marty Johnston of his left foot for the best score of the day.  

The last 3 points went the way of Kickham’s with Jamie McCann getting his first and the hard working Mathew Rodgers scoring 2 more. Kickham’s prtessed hard in the closing stages but could find no way past past Seán Paul McAtamney who was excellent in the Tir na nOg goals.

McAtamney was finally beaten as the final seconds ticked away as Aiden Mc Keown ghosted in behind the Tir na nOg defence to finish to the net to leave Creggan convincing winners in the end.