Action continues in divisions 2 & 3

Football League Fixtures (Sunday March 15th)

With both the county footballers and hurlers in action at the week-end, the fixtures as established by the CCC may well be subject to change.

The Hurlers play Kerry in Croke Park in the Division 2A final while the footballers are away to Wicklow in a ‘must win’ division 4 game.

Division Two (all games at 1.00pm)

Kickham’s Ardoyne v St James Aldergrove

Newly promoted Ardoyne have struggled in their opening two games. They lost out to Tir na nOg in the opening round and fared no better last time at St Teresa’s and they are faced with a similar searching task again as reigning Intermediate champions Aldergrove visit.

Aldergrove did lose their opening game to Dunloy and the Crumlin men will be hoping to make amends on this their first trip to the city in 2020.

Ardoyne will hope to open their account but they may well struggle this time with an away win the most likely result.

St Teresa’s v Tir na nOg Randalstown

This one features likely contenders for honours in the division as St Teresa’s, who were relegated from division 1 last year play hosts to Tir na nOg who have been up there in contention in this grade for a while.

Tir na nOg have recorded a couple of wins to date with victories over Davitt’s and Ardoyne and they will be hoping to retain that winning habit.

St Teresa’s did open account at the expense of the visiting Ardoyne last time and that victory suggested they are well prepared and intent on a quick return to the top flight.

A close affair does seem in prospect in a game which could go either way, but ground advantage may just tilt the balance in favour of the Glen road men.

Cuchullian’s Dunloy v St Paul’s

A win at Crumlin in the opening round of the league strongly suggested that Dunloy have wintered well and the dual club look to have an eye firmly fixed on the big ball at present.

That win underlined current well-being as they welcome newly promoted St Paul’s to Pearse Park.

All Saint’s proved too strong for the Shaw’s road men last term and this looks like another stern test as they take the road to the country.

Dunloy will start this one as strong favourites and they may well gain another positive result.

All Saints Ballymena v Patrick Sarsfield’s

All Saints were impressive in a win over St Paul’s in the opening round but will face a much stiffer test against the visiting Sarsfields.

Sarsfield’s lost out to the visiting Moneyglass last time and they will be hoping for a better result at Quinn Park.

The Ballymena men will start as favourites and they should secure another couple of points.

Division Three (all games at 1.00pm)

Eire Og v St Patrick’s Lisburn

St Patrick’s Lisburn, the reigning Junior champions have suffered back to back defeats in their two outings to date and they will be seeking to turn the proverbial corner in this one as they visit Eire Og.

St Agnes v Patrick Pearses

St Agnes have started the season very much on the positive with back to back wins over O’Donnell’s and St Patrick’s ensuring table topping status at present.

The Woodlands men will be looking to keep on the winning trail here as the play hosts to Pearses and they may well prove up to that task.

St Comgall’s Antrim v Cardinal O’ Donnell’s

Adrian Dougan’s St Comgall’s got off the mark with a win over Laochra Loch Lao last time and they may well retain the winning habit again in this one as Mc Crory Park residents O’ Donnell’s pay a visit.

St Malachy’s v Laochra Loch Lao

St Malachy’s opened their account with a win over Ballycastle in round one and although this looks a tougher assignment the men from the Markets may well gain another brace of points over visitors Laochra Loch Lao.

Another win for Tir na nOg

ACFL Division 2

Tir na nOg 0-15 Davitt’s 1-8

Tir na nOg recorded their second win of the season when they entertained Michael Davitt’s at Whitehill on Sunday. They certainly didn’t get it all their own way against a Davitt’s side who could be a force in the division this season and will be looking forward to their first home game at their brilliant new complex.

 Indeed it took a great double save from Tir na nOg net minder, Sean Paul McAtamney after ten minutes to keep the opposition at bay and there was still nothing in it early in the second half when Davitt’s levelled the game from the penalty spot.

Aaron McNeilly gave the home side the perfect start with a point after 37 seconds and another from Toland in the sixth minute suggested that the home side were in the mood to push on but it took that double save from McAtamney to keep their noses ahead as the visitors served notice that they were not there to make up the numbers.

A pointed free from Daryl Fegan and another from play by Ciaran O’Neill late in the half had the home side leading by the minimum at the halfway stage but when Davitt’s player Daniel Largey fired home from the penalty spot to level the contest early in the second half the momentum seemed to be with the visitors.

It was at this point Tir na nOg found another gear hitting seven points without reply with Christy Sheerin driving them on from mid-field.  Sheerin pointed in the 35th and 36th minutes and points from Aaron McNeilly, Daryl Fegan, Christy Sheerin, Ciaran Duffin and Sheerin again had the Whitehill side very much in the driving seat and it looked as good as over.

The dismissal of new boy Mac Raillias following a yellow and black after 52minutes looked like providing the visitors with a way back but the home defence stood strong and late points from McNeilly, O’Kane and man of the match, Christy Sheerin ensured there would be no way back for the city side. 

Tír na nÓg

1. SP McAtamney 2. N. Cassidy 3. C. Mac Raillias 4. B. Magee 5. D. Mallon 6. C. Duffin 7. O. McAtamney 8. C. Sheerin 9. C. O’Neill 10. B. McCormick 11. A. McNeilly 12. D. Fagan 13. C. Mckeown 14. K. Sheerin 15. A. Tolan 17.K. Kerr 18. E. Murray 19. P. Cullen 20. D. O’Kane 21. C. Fitzgerald 22. E. Higgins 23. D. McCormick 24. D. Martin

Scorers: 

A. McNeilly (0.37sec)

A. Toland (6mins)

D. Fagan Free (21mins)

C. O’Neill (29min)

C. Duffin (49mins)

A. McNeilly free (56mins)

D. O’Kane (58mins)

C. Sheerin (60mins +7) 

Subs: P. Cullen for O. McAtamney (38mins), D. O’Kane for C. McKeown (50mins), E. Murray for K. Sheerin (56mins)

St Teresa’s take control in second half

All County Football League Division 2

Naomh Treasa 1-17 Ardoyne 0-9

Ard Eoin were visitors to a blustery McDonnell/Doherty Park in this Div 2 game on Sunday. Playing with a strong wind behind them, Ard Eoin turned around with a one point lead of 0.06 to 0.07 at half-time. With the wind at their backs, Naomh Treasa dominated the second half and ran out comfortable winners with a scoreline of 1.17 to 0.9 at the final whistle. 

Photos by Brian McKee

Gillan steers Dunloy to victory over Aldergrove

All County Football League – Division 2

Aldergrove 1-06 Dunloy 2-08

An early goal for Dunloy in this first league outing of the season gave the Cuchullian’s a lead that they would keep to the final whistle and take the 3 points home.

Caolan Gillan was the man in form for Dunloy with a return of 2-05 for the away side as his 2 first half goals allowed the away side to lay an early marker down for the season ahead.

Dunloy started the game with an early goal in the first minute of the game with Caolan Gillan firing past the Aldergrove keeper. A good passing exchange between Kevin McQuillan, Paudie McGilligan and Seaan Elliott allowed Gillan to raise the green flag for the Dunloy men.

Aldergrove got themselves settled down with a well worked score to reduce the gap to 2 points but this was wiped out again from some quick thinking and flat-footed defending.

A free was awarded to Dunloy which was taken quickly and worked into the box for Seaan Elliott to be fouled and the referee award a penalty.

Caolan Gillan stepped up and fired into the corner to leave the score line 0-01 to 2-00 to Dunloy.

Aldergrove then started to gain the upper hand for the next 15 mins of the game but could only score a further 2 more points from play. In fact, both sides were guilty of hitting some wasteful shots throughout this period of the game.

Dunloy finished off the first half the stronger side with Caolan Gillan scoring 3 points, 2 from frees and one from play, to take the half time interval total to Aldergrove 0-03 Dunloy 2-03.

Aldergrove started the second half 6 points down but that didn’t matter as they started the second period much better than the first half as they got themselves back into the game with two more points. A period of domination for the home side and some really good defensive work showed their County Champions pedigree to reduce the gap down to 4 points.

Dunloy did raise their first white flag of the half with a Ryan McFarline point but this reprieve was short lived as Aldergrove got themselves back into the game with a penalty goal.

A goal mouth scramble resulted in the referee awarding the home team which was fired to the net making it 1-05 to 2-04. Game on.

The home side really were on top now and got back on level terms with 2 points from play to make it 1-07 to 2-04 but they ran out of steam and couldn’t keep the high work rate going to the end.

Dunloy needed a score and it was that man Gillan who stood up when needed with 2 more points to give the men in green a 2-point lead. Anthony Smith then added a further 2 points to give Dunloy a 4-point lead and a lead that wasn’t to be given up.

Dunloy scorers: Caolan Gillan 2-05, Anthony Smith 0-02, Ryan McFarline 0-01

Glenavy and Glenravel share the spoils

All County Division 2 Football League 

St.Joseph’s Glenavy 1.10 v 2.07 Con Magees Glenravel

This was both teams first outing in this season’s league where they served up an entertaining game for their supporters. The game was played at Glenavy on a bitterly cold but dry day with the wind blowing straight up the pitch. Both sides started with a good blend of experience and youth.  

The visitors played with the wind in the first half and had the first score on three minutes with an excellent move stating from their keeper and finished to the net by Eoin Hynds. Fergus pulled a point back for the home side with an excellent pointed free from an acute angle. With the North Antrim side piling on the pressure the Chapel Hill side were responsible for a few needless frees. Eoin Hynds took advantage and tapped over two easy frees to put his side four in front. 

Patrick Gallagher replaced the injured Michael Johnston and immediately made his presence felt. With a good ball into the heart of the visitors defence the ball broke to Michael Kane who split the posts. Patrick Gallagher broke through for a point immediately followed by a Connor Hamill point to close the gap to two. With halftime approaching Fergal Henry was ice cool when he pointed a free from the sideline. Eoin Hynds started the scoring and finish the half with a pointed free. Halftime score Glenavy 0.4 v 1.3 Glenravel. 

Now with the wind in their backs the home side put in a huge effort but all they had to show was a Charles Gallagher point. It was the Lough view men who were putting the green and white defenders under pressure. From a breakaway David Higgins crossed the black spot with a beauty to put his side two in front with twenty minutes to play. Gareth Collins in the home nets placed the kick out to a colleague who quickly got the ball into the square where Michael Kane rose the highest to punch it down to Fergal Henry who found the corner of the net to put his side in front for the first time. 

From the kickout the orange men were awarded a free and Fergal Henry placed the ball over the bar. Now the glensmen were chasing the game for the first time and they went about it in style when the ball broke to Eamon Fyffe who cantered through for a well take goal. Eamon was quickly on the scoreboard again with two pointed frees to put his side three in front. The Chapel Hill side had a purple patch with four unanswered frees Peter Traynor from play followed by another Fergal Henry Free. Michael Kane and Michael added points to put their side one up with time running out. The visitors gave it one last push and were rewarded with the equalising point from a free. The home side had one more effort to get the winning score but referee Eamon Hamill blew the full time whistle with both sides gaining a point each. 

Over the hour a draw was probably a fair result but I’M sure both sides would dipute that. 

St.Joseph’s: G. Collins; L. Henry, R. Malley, B. Burns, M. Hamill; C Gallagher;       N. Scullion (S. McGirr 38mns.), O. Hamill (A. Gallagher 55mns.), M. Johnston (P. Gallagher 6mns.); C. Hamill, P. Traynor; E. Henry; M. Kane, F. Henry; F. Cunningham; (M. McCourt (50mns.)

Referee Eamon Hamill  St.Teresa’s