Rossa win with ease

Antrim Football League Division Two

O’Donovan Rossa 2-12 St Patrick’s, Lisburn 0-7

Division 2 table toppers Rossa made it three wins out of three when they beat St Pat’s Lisburn in Sunday’s All County Football League game at Rossa. The groundwork for this victory was laid in the opening half as goals from Thomas Morgan and Stephen Beatty saw the home side put daylight between themselves and the Lisburn men as they built and eleven point interval lead that was not going to be threatened.

Two pointed free by Colm Fleming and one from play by Thomas Morgan gave Rossa an early cushion but the visitors pulled one back on seven minutes when Josh McMullan sent over at the other end. Back came Rossa with a Stephen Beatty point to restore their three point cushion, and the lead was soon doubled when Morgan got in for Rossa’s opening goal.  The home side were now in full flow and after Eoghan McMenamin got his name on the score-sheet Mogran added two top class points from play to ease Rossa nine clear by the 20th minute. Worse was to come for St Patrick’s as just two minutes later Rossa midfielder Stephen Beatty fired a left footed shot to the Lisburn net as the gap was now out to twelve. Francis McMeel ended his team’s 17 minute scoreless spell with a point from a free, and though Michael McGreevy hit back with a Rossa point McMeel found the target again to end the opening half eleven in arrears.

Lisburn were first to score in the second half when McMeel sent over another point and though Rossa answered it a minute later through Colm Fleming the visitors were starting to enjoy a bit more possession. Eoin Fay and Niall Ward scored points but Rossa were always able to hold their opponents at arms-length and without ever reproducing their first half form still were able to ease to victory. 

ROSSA: M Byrne; M McGreevy (0-1), C Orchin, N Crossan; P McGreevy, S Finch, J Cooley; S Beatty (1-1), E McMenamin (0-1); SP Donnelly, T Morgan (1-3), J Connolly; D McEnhill (0-2 frees), C Fleming (0-4, 3 frees), C McDonald. Subs: D Grego for T Morgan (28), O McVicker for J Connolly (43), C McGettigan for M McGreevy (49), T McGrath for SP Donnelly (58), D McVeigh for J Cooley (58), C Walsh for E McMenamin (60).

LISBURN: P O’Neill; Jack McMullan, T Burns, M Chernek; B McMullan (0-1), T O Meallaigh, S McEvoy; T Fay, A McDonald (0-1); N Ward (0-1), Josh McMullan (0-1), F McMeel (0-2, 1 free); E Fay (0-1), D Burns, D Cartland. Subs: M Hughes for D Cartland (HT), P Casey for E Fay (55).

REFEREE: Colm McDonald (St Gall’s)

Late surge sees Glenavy edge out Con Magees

Glenravel 0-10   Glenavy  1-08

With a gale force wind blowing straight down Fr Maginn Park this match was never going to be about free flowing football. Instead it was about who would make fewer mistakes over the hour and who could marshal the elements better playing both with and into the strong breeze. For three quarters of the match that was the home team but in a three minute spell at the start of the final quarter Glenavy battled their way back thanks to a goal and two points to gain a lead they would retain to the final whistle.

Playing into the wind, Glenavy opened the scoring with a well taken point after 30 seconds when Fergal Green arrowed over with the outside off his right boot. Aiden O’Donnell equalised for the home team when his wind assisted shot went over from a central position 50 yards out. Two minutes later Josh McKeown slotted over to edge the home team in front but his was followed by a seven minute period without a score as both teams struggled to retain possession as the wind wreaked havoc on any plans for possession football. Alex Gallagher broke the deadlock with a free on 11 minutes to level the game and a further scoreless 10 minutes ensued until Glenravel started to get their act together with points from Josh McKeown on 20  minutes, a monster point from Conor Carey and finally David Higgins pushed Con Magees into a 0-05 to 0-02 lead. Alex Gallagher got one back for Glenavy on 24 minutes to narrow the gap but Josh McKeown popped over the final point of the first half to leave the home team leading on double scores 0-06 to 0-03 at the break, but was it going to be enough for the Glensmen given the strength of the wind they would be playing into in the second half?

Glenravel did start the second half well and should have had a few scores in the opening minutes but some wayward shooting let them down. Josh McKeown settled things a little with his 37th minute free and Aiden O’Donnell stretched the lead to five points with a point from play on 40 minutes. Glenavy full forward Patrick Gallagher and Josh McKeown traded points on 41 and 44 minutes to leave Glenravel leading again by 5 on a 0-09 to 0-04 scoreline and seemingly in control of the game. However Patrick Gallagher had other ideas and he restored some confidence in the Glenavy support when he slotted over two points in the 46th and 48th minute to reduce the gap to three points. Glenravel won the next kick out but Glenavy managed to turn over possession and a couple of slick hand passes later the ball fell to Alex Gallagher after being spilled on the goal line by a defender and the corner forward blasted to the net from two yards out to level the game with ten minutes remaining. That goal was a real sucker-punch to the Glenravel men who had largely been in control of the game up to that. Glenavy were now in the ascendancy and winning more and more possession. Patrick Gallagher put them into the lead for the first time since the opening minute with a long range effort on 52 mins before Fergal Green doubled that lead straight from the resulting kick out. Josh McKeown reduced the deficit to one with a free three minutes form the end but that proved to be the final score of the match with Glenavy winning by a point 1-08 to 0-10. 

Glenravel will definitely look back on this one as one that got away. In control for three quarters of the game only to be reined in and overtaken in the final quarter. This is their second single point defeat of their 3 match Division 2 campaign so far and it was Glenavy’s second one point victory, their third match being a one point defeat. On such small margins survival will be decided. 

GLENRAVEL: Shaun Burns, Aiden McCafferty, Paul McCurry, Michael Laverty, David Higgins (0-01), Niall Swann, Declan McAuley, James Duffin, Conor Carey (0-01), Josh McKeown (0-06, 3f), Declan Traynor, Aiden O’Donnell (0-02), Sean McKay, Conor McNeill, Kieran McKeown

Moneyglass get back on the winning trail

ACFL Division 2

Moneyglass 4-14 Dunloy 0-15

St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass put last week’s reversal at Tir na nOg behind them when they found their goal scoring form and recorded an impressive win over visitors Dunloy.

On a bitterly cold afternoon Moneyglass entertained Dunloy in what turned out to be a high scoring affair.  Goals win games and that certainly proved to be the case on this occasion but at the halfway stage it looked as if Dunloy’s ability to take points would win the day.

The first half saw Moneyglass hit two goals from Colm Duffin and Conaill Prenter and points from Duffin, P McCormick, Jack McCoy, James McMeel and Dermot McErlain.  To their credit however Dunloy were not bowled over and hit 12 points themselves to go in at half time a point ahead.

The second half saw Moneyglass come out of the blocks fast with goals from Paddy McCormick and Garry Murray.  They piled on points from Colm Duffin (0-5), Paddy McCormick (0-1), Conor Boyd (0-2), and James McMeel (0-1). Dunloy could only muster a further 3 points in the second half leaving the final score Moneyglass 4-14 to Dunloy 0-15.

Tir na nOg pay the penalty as All Saints go tops

ACFL Div. 2

Ballymena 0.12 (12)

Tír na nÓg 0.10 (10)

A penalty save by Stephen McAvoy in the 16th minute of the second half proved to be the turning point in this keenly contested division 2 clash between All Saints and Tir na nOg at Slemish Park on Sunday. McAvoy got down well to deny Lee Martin’s spot kick after Tir na nOg substitute, Emmet Murray  was tripped by Shea O’Brien with referee Jarlath O’Donnell pointing to the penalty spot and issuing O’Brien with a black card.

The sides were level at 0-8 each at this stage in a game that had swung from end to end with neither able to gain a decisive advantage and had Martin been successful then the balance would surely have swung in favour of the visitors.

McAvoy’s save instead gave the home side a massive boost and they kicked three superb points between the 18th and 25th minute to move three clear before Caomhin Duffin replied with a late consolation point for the Whitehill side.

It was All Saints who got off to the better start as Michael McCarry pointed them ahead from a third minute free before doubling their lead with another from play. Lee Martin pulled one back for the visitors but the home side came close to finding the net in the 11th minute before Sean McVeigh volleyed over from the resulting goalmouth scramble.

Christy Sheerin closed the gap to one again with a good point and Michael McCarry and Aaron McNeilly exchanged points from frees to leave only one in it with seven minutes remaining to the break.

McNeilly levelled matters before putting his side ahead for the first time as Tir na nOg began to enjoy a bit of success but the final score of the half came from All Saints’ Emmet Killough to leave it all square at the half way mark, 0-5 to 0-5.

EVEN STEVEN

The even Steven nature of the game continued on the resumption with Ciaran McLarnon replacing Joe Rafferty in the All Saints attack and Peter McReynolds moving further out the field for the Ballymena men.

Lee Martin edged the visitors ahead for the second time with a point in the second minute as Ryan O’Neill replaced Ciaran O’Neill in the Tir na nOg attack. Sean McVeigh, who was having a big influence in a deep lying mid-field role sent over a good point to tie the contest once more but Lee Martin responded again to edge the Whitehill side ahead with ten minutes gone.

Play was starting to open up as Peter McReynolds and Brendan McDonnell edged the home side in front once more but again the influential Lee Martin restored parity and it was clear it was going to take something special to separated two evenly matched sides.

Murray’s introduction and his burst of pace appeared to have provided it when the youngster was brought down for the penalty award but McAvoy in the All Saints nets was equal to Lee Martin’s effort from the spot.

Buoyed by their keeper’s save All Saints returned to the offensive with Brendan McDonnell soloing clear to give them the lead only for Martin to make amends in part with a fine equalising point at the other end.

The balance of play had swung in favour of Sean O’Brien’s team however as they staged a strong finish, spurred on by McVeigh, Ciaran McGarry and Michael McCarry as they hit three unanswered points to move clear with Caomhin Duffin’s solitary  reply in the 28th minute all the visitors could manage.

This win sees All Saints move to the top of the league table, joint first with Rossa after three rounds with Tir na nOg following well placed in second place but leagues are not won or lost in April and there could be many twists and turns before the season is over.

All Saints: Stephen McAvoy, Matthew Downey, Peter McNicholl, Phelim Killough, Ciaran McGarry, Damien Kelly, Conall Lemon, Sean McVeigh, Emmet Killough, Joe Rafferty, Michael McCarry, Kavan Keenan, Brendan McDonnell, Peter McReynolds, Shea O’Brien. Subs: Ciaran McLarnon for Joe Rafferty, Rory McVeigh for Shea O’Brien (Black Card), Owen Campbell for Gavin Keenan, James Gillan for Damien Kelly.

Ballymena scorers: M. McCarry (0-4-1 free), E.Killough (0-1), S. McVeigh (0.4), P. McReynolds (0.1), B. McDonnell (0.2)

Tír na nÓg: 1. SP. McAtamney 2. D. Martin 3. N. Cassidy 4. S. Redmond 5. B. McCormick 6. C. Duffin 7. D. McCormick 8. C. Sheerin 9. M. Duffin 10. C. Logan 11. L. Martin 12. A. McNeilly 13. C. O’Neill 14. D. Fagan 15. C. Dobbin 16. M. Dempsey 17. E. Murray 18. O. McAtamney 19. D. O’kane 20. R. O’Neill 21.E.Og McAllister

Subs used: R. O’Neill for C. O’Neill (35mins), E. Murray for M. Duffin (44mins), E. Og McAllister for C. Logan (47mins)

Scorers: C. Sheerin (0.1), L. Martin (0.6- 2 frees), A. McNeilly (0.2-2 frees), C. Duffin (0.1)

St.Joseph’s come out on top in local derby

Report: Terry Cormican

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

ACFL Division 2

St.Joseph’s Glenavy 1-09 St. Patrick’s Lisburn 0-11

Newly promoted, St. Patrick’s Lisburn lost for the second time in two division 2 outings when they visited St. Joseph’s Glenavy but have shown that they are more than capable of holding their own in the higher division as they pushed the home side right to the wire.

On a beautiful evening these sides served up an exciting game of football with the home side coming out on top with a one point victory. The standard of football may not have been of the highest standard but the closeness of the scores kept the large crowd excited.

 The hill side got the first score of the game after ten minutes when Fergal Green converted a free. Alex Gallagher popped one over the black spot quickly followed by a Fergal Green special from the 45 meter out before Eoin Fay opened the visitor’s account from a pointed free. Niall McCann operating on the edge of the square pointed to leave his side three up after 20 minutes but the City side came thundering back with 3 points to level the game with 2 pointed frees from Eoin Fay and a beauty from out on the wing from Josh McMullan. Once again Fergal Green put his side one up with a long range point but Francis McMeel responded with the final point of the half to leave the score at 5 apiece.

The second half commenced with Eoin Fay pointing a free to give St. Patrick’s the lead for the first time but the orange men replied in style with the ever alert Alex Gallagher finishing to the net. Francis McMeel pointed a free and Eoin Fay added another from play to leave the sides level and it was obvious this one would go right down to the wire.

 Sean McEvoy put the Lisburn side back in front for the second time with a well taken point but County full-back Patrick Gallagher produced a strong run before tying the contest once more. As the intensity of the contest increased Ben McMullan pointed a free to edge the visitors ahead for the third time.

St. Patrick’s must have fancied their chances of taking both points at this stage as Fergal Green Levelled only to see the opposition go straight down the pitch for a point to leave the scores Glenavy 1.07 v 0.11.

Nerves began to play their part and the last five minutes were filled with mistakes from both sides. With the visitors running out of steam the home side got the two points they needed for a win with Niall McCann and Fergal Green getting the necessary scores for a very welcome win.

Glenavy: J. Nelson; N. Scullion; C. Scullion; E. Forrester; R. Phillips; P. Gallagher; D. Nelson (S. McGirr); C. Loney; P. Traynor (O. Hamill); M. Kane (T. Gallagher); M. McCourt; F. Green; P. O’Neill; N. McCann; A. Gallagher.

Lisburn: P. O’Neill; T. Burns; M. Chemek; T. Ó Meallaigh; E. Fay; D. Burns; J. McMullan; D. Taggart; F .McMeel; B. McMullan; S. McEvoy; M. Hughes; N. Ward.

Referee. Paul Hughes (O’Donnell’s)