Creggan in pole position after victory over St. Gall’s but nothing decided yet

 

Blackstone_logo_BWO’Neill’s ACFL Division 1

Creggan 4-10   St. Gall’s  0-12

Creggan put themselves in pole position in the race for the O’Neill’s ACFL Division 1 title when they entertained nearest rivals St. Gall’s in a rearranged game at their Staffordstown Road ground and recorded a 10 point win over the visitors

In a highly entertaining game with both teams preparing for championship it was end to end from start to finish. A Conor Small double and goals from Ruairi McCann and Oistin McAteer were the deciding scores in the end however as Creggan gained revenge for a defeat to St. Gall’s earlier in the season

Kickham’s started the game sprightly with points from Kevin Small and David McGuckin but St. Galls replied through Jackson McGreevey. Creggan struck with the first goal of the game and a great flowing move finished with Conor Small who slotted the ball low into the corner of the net for the game’s  first goal in the 7th minute with his brother Kevin scoring his second point a minute later. St. Galls responded with points from Michael Pollock and CJ  McGourtey to keep in touch as play flowed from end to end. Sam Maguire marked his return to the side following a serious injury against Lamh Dhearg with a good point to keep the home side ahead and fellow defender, Ricki Johnston added another as the Staffordstown Road side continued to edge the first half exchanges.

It was still anybody’s game as half time approached with CJ McGourty and Micky Pollock for the visitors and Kevin Small for the home side exchanging late scores to leave  the Kickham’s 1.06 to 0.05 ahead at the break.

Creggan were well ahead at this stage in the corresponding fixture at Milltown but saw a healthy half time lead overturned in the second half and were determined that this wouldn’t happen again as they made a determined and fruitful start to the second half. Ruairi McCann was rewarded for all his hard work with an early point and followed with a goal in the opening five minutes and the home side looked to be taking control.

St Galls had other ideas however as they responded with five unanswered points through Eoin McCabe (2) Kevin Niblock, CJ and Ciaran McGourty and it looked like we had a real battle on our hands.

The home side were able to find a response however as Conor Small fired over an excellent point and followed with his second goal as he calmly slotted home in the 20th minute  with Tiarnan McAteer adding another point.

St. Galls continued to press for goals in the closing stages but the Creggan defence stood firm and the Milltown Row side had to settle for a couple of points from Kevin Niblock and Anto Healey. Kickham’s hit back again to secure an excellent victory and the industrious Fintan Burke calmly fisted over before the live wire Liam Quinn set up Oistin McAteer to fist to the back of the net and ensure there would be no way back for St. Gall’s.

With two games remaining Creggan move two points ahead of St. Gall’s and have parish rivals Cargin and Casement’s Portglenone as visitors for those two remaining fixtures while St. Gall’s have St. John’s and Lamh Dhearg as visitors so nothing is decided yet but a first league title for quite a number of year’s is within the grasp of the Kickham’s.

 

Relegation looms for Glenavy after defeat to St. Enda’s

O’Neill’s ACF League Division One

St Joseph’s Glenavy 1.09 v 2.13 St.Enda’s Glengormley

This game was a must win for the home side to give themselves any realistic chance of staving off the spectre of relegation. However the Glenavy men theoretically still have an outside chance of staying up as their last two games are against St Teresa and Ahoghill, teams who are still in danger of the drop themselves. However they will need other teams to do them a big favour as well as running up massive scores themselves

on wednesday night he visitors arrived determined not to be brought into the dog fight of the drop. Peter Healey scored an early goal to give the Glengormley side a lead which they never lost.  The game was played in a sporting manner with referee Eamon McAuley allowing the game to flow. Eamon also deserves great credit in getting the game finished in almost complete darkness.

The home side was first on the score-sheet with an excellent point from centre back Conor Hamill to give his side the lead for the first and only time. With the game flowing from end to end scores were hard to come by. St Enda’s struck with a vital score however as the ball was played into full-forward Peter Healey who planted it in the corner of the Glenavy net. The visitors continued to turn the screw on their hosts with points from Odhrán Eastwood and Conor McAuley before Niall McCann stemmed the flow with two excellent points for the Chapel Hill side.

The visitors then went seven points in front with scores from Eoin Nagle, Odhrán Eastwood (2) Ruairi Scott  and a score direct from a ‘45’ but Matthew Hamill and Michael McCourt closed the gap with a points for the St. Joseph’s side. The momentum was with the lively visitors however as Odhrán Eastwood extended his side’s lead with a point.

BER_4717_408235

Glenavy were handed a lifeline when a speculative shot into the square was fumbled by the St. Enda’s keeper and trundled over the line to leave the halftime score St.Enda’s 1.08 v 1.05 Glenavy and leave the home side with something to build on for the second half.

The large home support was hoping for a fight-back from the team following that goal just before the break but  St.Enda’s had other ideas with Peter Healey scoring  a point from the throw in. Thomas Gallagher pulled a point back and Niall McCann pointed a free to leave two between the sides and the momentum seemed to be changing in favour of St. Joseph’s.

However Ruairi Scott replied for the visitors, quickly followed by a Peter Healey free to put their side four to the good. Niall McCann replied from a pointed a free but  Cillian Jennings put the game beyond the reach of the Glenavy side with a late goal. Alex Gallagher had the final point for the home side almost on full-time but it was merely a consolation score.

This defeat ends any hope of escape from relegation for the Glenavy side while St Enda’s, who were promoted with them from division 2 last year are safe for another season after a series of impressive results throughout the year.

St.Joseph’s:  F. Green. M. Nelson (Black Card R. Forester), P Gallagher, S McGirr (N. Scullion). M. Hamill, C. Hamill, Malachi Doherty (P. Traynor), M Johnston; C. Loney, R Phillips (Charles Gallagher), N McCann, M. McCourt (Eoin Henry), F Cunningham, D Gallagher (A. Gallagher), T. Gallagher.

St.Enda’s: C .Eastwood, Mi. McNamee, C. Jennings, C. Little, C. McAuley, C. McAuley, P. Curran,  E. Gibson, C. Jennings, . R. Scott, O. Eastwood, D. Walsh, P.Healey, E. Nagle.

Referee: Eamon McCann (Erin’s Own)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Fourteen man Johnnies come out on top

People1stO’Neill’s Division One – All County Football League

St John’s 0-14-0-09 Lámh Dhearg

By Kevin Herron at Corrigan Park

The departure of Ronan McCafferty, midway through the opening half at Corrigan Park failed to derail St John’s of a second league victory over Lámh Dhearg at the Whiterock Road this evening.

With the Johnnies 0-04-0-03 ahead approaching the midway point in the first-half McCafferty tangled with Declan Lynch in front of referee Karol Doherty who issued midfielder a red-card as things threatened to simmer.

Despite their numerical disadvantage St John’s lead 0-07-0-04 at the break and rallied in the second-half hour – outscoring Lámh Dhearg 0-07-0-05 with dual -star Brian Neeson conjuring up 0-05 from the placed ball over the course of the sixty minutes to help his side claim a league double over the county champions who begin the defence of the McNamee cup next weekend.

The hosts were quickest out the blocks this evening through Brian Neeson’s converted free inside the opening sixty seconds and further scores from McCafferty and Matt Fitzpatrick had St John’s 0-03-0-00 ahead by the tenth minute.

Paddy Cunningham responded for Lámh Dhearg from the placed ball and another Cunningham free went short to Declan Lynch who landed a magnificent score to half the deficit.

Lámh Dhearg were level by the 13th minute as Terry McCrudden shot sailed straight between the posts to make it 0-03 to 0-03 – however St John’s regained the lead through Conal McGlade’s score after a brave block from Marc McGarry had initially kept the hosts at bay.

A straight red card for St John’s midfielder McCafferty reduced the home side to 14 men but the Corrigan Park men reacted positively and edged two ahead through a second converted Brian Neeson free and a fine point from Peter McCallin – sandwiched between a great angled point from Ryan Murray.

St John’s increased their lead to three by half time through a Simon McDonagh point but had to regroup at the break to prepare for a further half hour a man light.

The hosts hit the first score of the second period within the first five minutes through advancing wing-back Ciaran Garland – though Paddy Cunningham responded at the other end to keep the deficit at three, 0-08-0-05.

Lámh Dhearg failed to make adequate use of their numerical advantage and forced the ball on a number of occasions – St John’s opted for the patient approach and it paid dividends with four scores on the spin that all but secured victory.

Upon his introduction in place of Conal McGlade – Conor Johnston had the chance to find the opening goal, though John Finucane did well to divert danger at the expense of a 45’.

Jack Hannigan increased the Johnnies lead to four before Brian Neeson’s master class of kicking continued –  the Cliftonville shot stopper showed his talents lie in scoring shots as well as saving them with two magnificently converted frees that curled over the bar in between a second point from McCallin as St John’s were 0-12-0-05 ahead by the 49th minute.

Lámh Dhearg substitute Mark Finnegan produced a fine score from the placed ball in response but St John’s replied with their final two scores of the evening through Matt Fitzpatrick and Neeson [free] to move seven ahead, 0-14-0-07.

The visitor’s at least restored some late pride towards the end through two fine points from Ryan Murray to bring his evening tally to 0-03 – it was in vein in the end however at St John’s secured a league double over the Hannahstown men as both sides attention now turns to Championship.

Lámh Dhearg begin the defence of the McNamee Cup next Sunday evening with a tricky preliminary round encounter against Ahgagallon – St John’s will put football on the back burner for a few weeks though as Hurling Championship takes precedence with a Sunday afternoon clash against Loughgiel.

St John’s: E Rua-Lambert, L Laverty, M Dudley, C Garland (0-01), R Hannigan, S Tierney, J Hannigan (0-01), R McCafferty (0-1), S McDonagh (0-01), C McGlade (0-01), A McGowan, P McCallin (0-02), B Neeson (0-05f), R McNulty, M Fitzpatrick (0-02). Subs: M Bradley for R Hannigan (34 mins), C Johnston for C McGlade (36 mins), L Pedan for P McCallin (40 mins).

Lámh Dhearg: J Finucane, C Nolan, A McAufield, M McGarry, D Bellew, D Lynch (0-01), B McComb, C Hannon, C Flaherty, E McKeown, R Straney, B Rice, P Cunningham (0-03, 0-02f), T McCrudden (0-01), R Murray (0-03). Subs: P Larkin for B McComb (40 mins), M Finnegan (0-01f) for E McKeown (44 mins), R Fegan for D Bellew (45 mins), D Dunne for T McCrudden (49 mins), R Diamond for C Hannon (58 mins), J Trainor for B Rice (60 mins).

Referee: Karol Doherty (Rahsarkin)

 

Ahoghill almost safe as Rossa drop vital point

O’Neill’s Antrim Football League Division 1B

O’Donovan Rossa 1-15

St Mary’s, Ahoghill 1-15

St. Mary’s Ahoghill look to have secured their place in division 1 for another season following this draw against a battling Rossa on the Shaw’s Road on Wednesday night. Having come out on top in the corresponding fixture in Clooney a few weeks back the St. Mary’s men travelled to the city on a run of good form.

In the fading light the home side battled hard in an effort to dig out a winning a score that would have enhanced their chances of survival but they remain second from bottom with only two games remaining.

It looked so different during the opening quarter when Rossa raced into a seven point lead as they produced some excellent football during the opening exchanges but they lost their way as Ahoghill came strong in the second quarter to lead by one at the break.

It was nip-and-tuck during the second half but Rossa appeared to have taken a grip when half-time sub, Darren Grego fired to the net in the 15th minute but instead of pushing on they sat back and it took a late score from man-of-the-match, Thomas Morgan to secure a draw,

Rossa opened the game at a hectic pace as they dominated the early exchanges and everything they touched appeared to turn into scores. Stephen Beatty kicked the first on three minutes with James Cooley adding a second after a one-two with Dominic McEnhill before Ahoghill opened their account through Owen Neeson.

Rossa responded however with Thomas Morgan kicking three points and Colm Fleming and Sean Pat Donnelly added further score to move them six clear after 10 minutes.

Donal Graham replied from a free, but Morgan cancelled this out before Stephen Beatty kicked a beauty with the outside of his left boot to make it 0-9 to 0-2 on 15 minutes.

The home side lost their way however as a battling Ahoghill came strong and the South West side were to hit 1-2 in the space of two minutes.

James O’Connell and Neil O’Connell kicked the points, while Daniel O’Neill took advantage of a stray pass to place Owen Neeson who fired to the Rossa net.

With their tails up, Ahoghill pushed on and hit a further four in-a-row through Eoin Graham, Martin Graham, Thomas Hamill and Donal Graham to go two ahead approaching the break, but Donnelly ended a barren 15 minute spell for Rossa to leave just one in it at the break – 1-8 to 0-10.

There was little between the teams in the third quarter as both sides hit three points, the pick of them coming from the hosts as Stephen Beatty shot under pressure from out on the left to close the gap to one.

The city side looked to be taking control however as Darren Grego exchanges passes with Donnelly before firing  home a fine goal to give his side a 1-13 to 1-11 lead.

However the never-say-die attitude of the Clooney men saw them come back again, pegging their opponents in their own half and substitute, PJ O’Connell pointed a free and James O’Connell followed with an excellent point from play with four minutes remaining

Colm Fleming edged Rossa back in front from a free, but from a quick break, James O’Connell levelled before Diarmuid Graham kicked what looked like the winner as the clock ticked down.

Darren Grego became the Rossa hero and saviour as he burst through to land his seventh of the evening, but try as they might, the hosts couldn’t conjure up a winner. Rossa find themselves in a precarious position and need to win both their remaining games and hope that Ahoghill lose both of theirs.

ROSSA: C Walsh; C McGowan, C Orchin, M McGreevy; N Crossan, R Gowdy, S Finch; S Beatty (0-3), O McVicker; D McEnhill, SP Donnelly (0-2), J Cooley (0-1); C McDonald, C Fleming (0-2 frees), T Morgan (0-7, 1 free). Subs used: D Grego (1-0), A Devlin, C McGettigan.

AHOGHILL: F Neeson; S McKeever, S O’Connell, B Graham; E Brady, T Hamill (0-1), E Graham (0-1); N O’Connell (0-1), M Graham (0-1); S McMahon, O Neeson (1-1), D O’Neill; R Graham, Donal Graham (0-4, 1 free), J O’Connell (0-3). Subs used: PJ O’Connell (0-2, 1 free), N Crossey, Diarmuid Graham (0-1), D Neeson, C Neeson.

REFEREE: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

 

 

 

McAuley brace paves the way for a Cargin win

ACF League Division One (A)

Erin’s Own Cargin 3-16 Casement’s Portglenone 1-14

A brace of goals by Cargin corner forward Oran Mc Auley saw his side come from behind their visitors Casement’s and in the event paved the way for a win for the Toome men in a keenly contested contest on Wednesday evening.

Casement’s having gained the points on their last away trip arrived in Toome in a positive mood and in the event ensured the home side would have to keep a firm shoulder to the wheel before crossing the line points secured.

 

Casement’s had started obviously meaning business although the home side had created an opening to find the first score as centre back Justin Crozier strode through the middle directly from the throw in, only to see his effort whizz past the post when a goal looked possible.

The opening score fell to the visitors when Michael Hagen sent a 30 meter free between the posts and Paddy Kelly’s fine effort from an acute left sided angle doubled the tally.

Cargin drew level by the 7th minute as Tomas McCann punished an indiscretion on the incoming Tony Scullion by firing over the bar and a Jamie Kennedy clearance opened the way for Justin Crozier to follow suit but back to back points from Niall McKeever saw the Portglenone men restore their two point advantage.

The O’ Cahan Park side most certainly meant business on a ground in which they had struggled to make impact in the past and Dermot McAleese shrugged aside a couple of challenges to open the way for the big mid fielder to fire over the bar and when the latter punched a Paddy Kelly cross on the same route they had gone 0-04 to 0-02 ahead and looking good.

 

Jamie Gribbin’s delivery sent Kieran Close away for a fine point in the 12th minute and when Michael McCann was impeded his sibling Tomas gained retribution with a point from the placed effort.

The Toome men were back alongside again but not for long as Paddy Kelly gathered out on the left side to fire over and when the corner man delivered into the danger area a couple of minutes later to cause confusion, Conal Delargy was on hand to take the gift on offer as he slid the broken leather gleefully into an empty net.

The Bannsider’s had opened up a four point advantage and indeed looked good value for the lead.

Cargin were not to linger for long in arrears however and the next few minutes would see the impressive Oran McAuley take center stage.

The corner forward who was on the cusp of an excellent hour’s endeavor was on hand to steer a Paul McCann cross to the back of the net in the 19th minute after Tomas Mc Cann had steered a close free over the bar to level matters at 1-05 apiece.

The visitors regained the lead a couple of minutes later as Michael Hagen fired over the bar but the Toome lads were quick to return fire again and good combination play by Tony Scullion, Jamie Gribbin and Tomas McCann set up Oran McAuley to fire to the net for his second goal of the evening.

Conal Delargy replied with an excellent 26th minute score to reduce the Cargin advantage before a Jamie Gribbin lay off opened the way for Oran McAuley to collect a 29th minute point but the visitors had the last say as an injury time Conal Delargy point ensured the home side were just a point ahead at the short blast 2-06 to 1-08.

 

Cargin started the second half with back to back points from Kieran Close who was making a welcome return to the green and white, and the in-form Mc Auley.

The home side had opened up a three point lead and looked good but Casement’s responded with Coary McLaughlin and Ciaran Mc Kenna leading the charge as they took control for a spell to move into a 1-13 to 2-09 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Cargin looked in trouble in the gathering gloom but Damien Cassidy’s charges stood firm and with Justin Crozier, Michael Mc Cann and the hard tackling Gerard McCann leading the way they replied with a Tomas McCann brace to go ahead once more.

Portglenone battled to repel the incessant tide of green and white but to no avail and when full back Shane Delargy entered the referee’s note pad for a second occasion they were reduced in number as Tomas Mc Cann steered the resultant free over the bar.

The home side had moved three points ahead and although a 53rd minute long range Michael Kelly point reduced the deficit Cargin responded with three unanswered points from Tomas McCann, Oran McAuley, and Michael McCann to ensure victory.

Cargin were very much in charge as the last few minutes progressed in the gathering gloom, and a Paul McCann goal in the 59th minute which was followed by an Oran McAuley point, gave the Toome men a slightly flattering 3-16 to 1-14 winning scoreline.

 

Cargin: John McNabb, James Laverty, Gerard McCann, Jamie Kennedy, Tony Scullion, Justin Crozier (0-01), Michael Clarke, Kevin McShane, Michael McCann (0-01), Paul McCann (1-00), Tomas McCann (0-07), Ciaran Bradley, Kieran Close (0-02), Jamie Gribbin, Oran McAuley (2-04)

Subs

Gerard Mc Corley for M Clarke

David Johnston for C Bradley

Brendan Laverty for K Close

 

Casement’s: Brian McManus, Jonny Convery, Shane Delargy, Ryan McGuigan, Ronan Delargy, Ciaran McKenna, Michael Kelly (0-01), Coary McLaughlin, Niall McKeever (0-02), Dermot McAleese (0-01), Michael Hagen (0-03), Caolan Tierney, Gerard McAleese (0-02), Conal Delargy (1-02), Paddy Kelly (0-02)

 

Referee D McKeown (St Gall’s)