Oisin Lenehan and Gavin O’Neill combine to deny St. Enda’s as the Lough shore side climb to fifth in the table after defeating the Glengormley side on Friday night.
O’Neill’s ACFL Division 1 – Round 10
Fri 15th June 2018-Páirc na nGael
Naomh Mhuire Aghagallon 3-8 Naomh Éanna 1-9
Following a three week break and with Antrim out of the Ulster Championship and the qualifiers, the club scene has resumed and the anticipation builds towards the championship later in the Summer.
This game’s result would decide who would move into the top half of the table and as it turned out the win for Aghagallon saw the home side move into fifth place. The next sequence of games see both teams playing four games in two weeks, with Aghagallon playing three of their games away and the fourth at home and Naomh Éanna with the advantage of playing three of the four games at home and the fourth away.
From the throw in Naomh Éanna were in trouble, Aghagallon quickly gained possession and went on the attack and with the ball moved quickly the home side carved an opening for Ruairí Loughran to register the first score and the opening goal of the match.
Within a minute the visiting side had opened their own account with a well taken point from play from Diarmuid McNulty with their opening score.
Loughran would add a second score for St. Mary’s with three minutes played to make it 1-1 to 0-1 but the opportunity to increase the lead was missed as Aghagallon fired wide when a score looked on.
Ruairí Loughran added another score for St Marys in quick response to make it 1-2 to 0-1 and at this stage the home side were well on top.
Two scores in two minutes from St. Enda’s, one from Odhrán Eastwood and a second from McNulty, suggested that the visiting team were settling and closed the gap to two points. Both team had opportunities to keep the score board moving before Eunan Walsh fired to the Glengormley men’s net in the eighteenth minute to move his side five in front.
Aghagallon looked to build on their defensive setup and effectively shut down the forward department, pulling men back they invited the Glengormley side to attack and shoot from distance.
As a result the visitors fired wide or were short on a number of occasions adding to their frustration and Just before half time Ruairí McCann would get his first and the final score of the first half to leave Aghagallon leading 2-3 to 0-3 at the short whistle.
Peter Healey, St. Enda’s runs at the Aghagallon defence
The second half began with the visiting side making changes in the mid-field and forward departments, the introduction of Daniel Kennedy in place of Fionntán O’Connor and Stephen Flynn in place of Conor Burrows set the wheels in motion.
The second half was again a stop start affair with the referee ensuring that any infringement or unnecessary commentary was punished. To mirror the first half both teams where guilty of missed chances as the wides tally increased. Naomh Éanna were the more guilty party and will rue the number of squandered chances that fell their way.
Inside a minute Ruairí Loughran added a point from a free and Ruairí McCann followed with a goal to put the home side very much in control and effectively kill off the game as a contest.
However in response to Aghagallon’s four points Naomh Éanna did rally and two points from Gerard Crossey, a point from James McAuley and a further point from a free from Dónall Walsh closed the gap to five and a well worked goal following a goalmouth scramble gave the visitors renewed hope.
Odhrán Eastwood was the man on target and there was now only two points separating the sides but Aghagallon responded strongly to ensure there would be no way back for the visitors. Gareth Magee, Niall McShane and Eunan Walsh responded with points to edge Aghagallon seven clear with five minutes of normal time remaining.
St. Enda’s responded with a free from Dónall Walsh but a late Eunan Walsh point ensured there would be no way back for the Glengormley men. With time almost up Eunan Walsh fired over a late point for the home side to conclude the scoring.
Aghagallon: Gavin O’Neill, Aidan Mulholland,Michael McStravick, Mark McKenna,Shane Russell, Jack Lenehan, Pat Branagan, Dessie Marshall, Oisín Lenehan, Eunan Walsh, Ruairí McCann, Ciarán Brady, Darryl McLarnon, Gareth Magee, Ruairí Loughran
Naomh Éanna: Paddy Flood, Fionntán Eastwood, Ryan Kennedy, Conor Burrows, Diarmuid McNulty, James McAuley, Conan Lyttle, Philly Curran, Ciarán O’Neill, Gerard Crossey, Ruairí Scott, Fionntán O’Connor, Dónall Walsh, Peter Healy, Odhrán Eastwood
Referee: Brendan Toland
Photographs: J.J. Lawell