Gorts strong finish earns them both points

O’Neill’s All County Football League Division 2A

Dunloy 1-10 Gort na Mona 2-10

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy

Gort na Mona kept their feint hopes of promotion alive with a last gasp victory in Pearse Park on Friday evening.  Two goals in the last five minutes from Desi McClean and Padraig McHugh helped the Turf Lodge men to avenge their early season loss to the Cuchullains and record a three point win.

After dominating the first half, the Gort’s were camped in their own half for long periods after the half time interval.  Dunloy were vastly improved from their first half efforts and were making light of playing into a stiff wind.  The Cuchullains challenge was helped when Christopher ‘Rash’ Devlin was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Deáglán Smyth after nine minutes of the second half.  The Cuchullains took advantage and built a three point lead going into the final ten minutes, thanks largely to a Karl Fitzpatrick goal shortly after Rash’s red card.  It was the minimum the home side deserved after passing up on three goal chances before finding the back of the net.

Gort fought back in the closing stages however with McClean’s composed finish and a deft lob from McHugh.  The Cuchullains almost grabbed a share of the points with the last play of the hour, Kevin McQuillan getting on the end of a high ball to the edge of the square but his shot fizzed to the wrong side of the post for the home side as the Turf Lodge men celebrated at the final whistle.

Having elected to play with the wind in the first half, Dunloy opened the scoring with just 25 seconds on the clock.  McQuillan firing over to give the home side the perfect start.  It would be their last score for 15 minutes though as the Gorts took control.  A mix of solid defending and patient football allowed the Turf Lodge men to control the first half while the Cuchullains couldn’t enforce their style of play on the game at all.  Thomas McGoran was outstanding in the opening quarter while Gary Doyle and Daniel McErlean helped to keep Dunloy under pressure by winning the majority of second phase ball.

A run of five unanswered points from the visitors gave them a substantial lead, despite playing into the wind.  The impressive Dermott McHugh (two), Padraig McHugh, McClean and McErlean raising the white flag as they terrorised the Cuchullains defence – McErlean’s effort with the outside of his right boot from distance the pick of the opening scores.

The home side’s forays into the Gort half were few and far between in the opening quarter but they should have found the back of the net during the visitor’s dominance.  Ciaran Kelly producing a point blank save to deny Paudie Conlon.

With ‘Poggy’ McHugh proving to be a handful on the edge of the square and the Gort players feeding off him, the home side were forced into a defensive reshuffle.  A long distance free from Caolan ‘Booter’ Gillan in the 16th minute seemed to act as a catalyst for Dunloy as they found a way back into the match in the time that remained of the first half.

Booter pointed his second free of the match with Deáglán Smyth splitting the posts soon after to leave the minimum between the sides – the Cuchullains with three points in as many minutes to drag themselves back into the contest.

Dermott McHugh pointed a free in the 19th minute to restore the Gort two point advantage but they should have been further ahead with the next attack.  Overturning the ball in midfield, the Gorts countered with space developing in the Dunloy defence.  The ball found its way to Dermott McHugh but the Gort forward blazed his shot high and wide with the goal at his mercy.  A let off for the home side and they took advantage.  Points from Captain Kevin McAllister and Booter’s third free of the half left the sides tied at 0-6 apiece at the short whistle.13

Gort looked favourites to record a comfortable victory at half time, such was their dominance for long periods of the first half.  However the home side were a different animal after the restart but spurned three goal chances in the opening five minutes.  Thomas McGoran first of all getting a vital flick after diving at full stretch to deny McAllister with the goal at his mercy.  Two minutes later it was McAllister again, the diminutive forward leaped highest to palm a pass from Caolan Gillan towards the Gort goal but Ciaran Kelly dived at full stretch to deny Dunloy once again.  The third chance came as Karl Fitzpatrick drove at the Gort defence before passing to Booter in space.  The Dunloy forward got his shot away but Declan Hughes was on hand to thwart the home side.

A frenetic opening to the second half with the Gort defence just about withstanding the Dunloy onslaught.  The opening score of the second half came through a Ciaran Donnelly point in the 37th minute and while the home side could have been deflated having not taken the lead after their start to the second half, they were given a lift when Gort were reduced to 14 men in the 39th minute.  Smyth taking the ball down the Gort left and Rash Devlin’s tackle was deemed to be dangerous and high.  Despite his protestations, the Gorts were now a man less with and the Cuchullains took advantage.  As they carved through the Gort defence once again, Declan McGarry’s pointed effort was blocked and fell to Fitzpatrick on the edge of the square.  The Dunloy man fired to the bottom corner to give the home side the lead in the 40th minute and it was just rewards for the home team’s efforts.

Dunloy continued to dominate but Gort na Mona hung in to stay in touch.  Dermott McHugh (free) and Booter Gillan swapped scores before Diesel Boyd landed a free from distance to reduce the Dunloy lead to the minimum half way through the second half.

A brace of points from Booter, his fifth of the match and a left footed effort from Kevin McQuillan gave the home side a three point lead with just over five minutes remaining but Gort hit back and finished the match in style.  Their first goal came through a long ball to the heart of the Dunloy defence where substitute Brendan Corr flicked the ball towards Desi McClean and the Gort forward found the back of Conor McGilligan’s net with a smart finish to restore parity to the sides once again.

Eoin Gillan restored the Dunloy lead before Diesel’s second point of the match tied the sides once again but disaster struck for the home side from the next kick out.  McGilligan’s restart was intercepted by Poggy McHugh and the Gort man lobbed the Dunloy goalkeeper with a cool finish to all but guarantee the points for the Turf Lodge men.

Dunloy pushed for the equalising goal in the time that remained and went close with McQuillan’s effort with the last kick of the game but it was 14 man Gort na Mona who celebrated a hard earned victory at the final whistle.



Dunloy: Conor McGilligan; Sean Og McErlean, Oran Corrigan, Conor Kinsella; Stephen McGuigan, Jamie McFerran, Deáglán Smyth (0-1); Kevin McQuillan (0-2), Eoin Gillan (0-1); Paudie Conlon, Karl Fitzpatrick (1-00), Anthony Doran; Declan McGarry, Kevin McAllister (0-1), Caolan Gillan (0-5 3f’s)

Gort na Mona: Ciaran Kelly; Conor Connolly, Thomas McGoran, Christopher Devlin; Michael Savage, Gary Doyle, Aidan McGoran; Patrick McCaffrey, David McErlean (0-1); Ciaran Donnolly (0-1); Darren Boyd (0-2 1f); Desi McClean (1-1); Declan Hughes; Dermott McHugh (0-4, 2 f’s); Padraig McHugh (1-1)

Referee: Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


All Saints back in relegation dogfight

S1 (2)

O’Neill’s ACFL Division 2

Sarsfields 1-13  All Saints 1-10

Two wins in a week prior to the split in the leagues appeared to have eased All Saints relegation worries considerably but this defeat to Sarsfield’s at the Bear Pit on Sunday puts them right back in a relegation dog-fight.

Wins over Davitt’s and Rasharkin suggested that All Saints had turned the corner in what has been a difficult season to date but fellow strugglers, Sarsfield’s now move above them following this three point win in a tight game on the Stewartstown Road.

All Saints county players, Michael McCarry and Paddy McAleer did everything in their power to get their side over the line with McCarry, who has been their best player this season, hitting 0-7 and the equally impressive McAleer weighing in with 1-1.

Their other scores came from Eoin Campbell, Shane McBride, Emmet Killough, Sean McVeigh and Brendan McDonnell but it wasn’t enough to overcome the challenge of last year’s division 3 champions Sarsfield’s who now move above them in the 2B league table.

All Saints will be hoping to get back soon to winning ways as they look over their shoulder at St. Paul’s who recorded a good win over visitors Rasharkin on Sunday. O’Donnell’s already look set for a quick return to division 3 but just who will join them is anyone’s guess with Sarsfield’s All Saints, St. Paul’s all needing points and Rasharkin still not out of danger.

St. James’ push for promotion continues


O’Neill’s ACFL League Division Two A (round one)

St James Aldergrove 1-13 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 0-04

St James Aldergrove continue their push for promotion and only major accident or major collapse in the latter stages of the league will prevent Paddy Nugent’s charges reclaiming their vacated berth back in the top grade in 2019. The St. James side opened their phase two account in the second division with another convincing win over the visiting Moneyglass in Crumlin today.

The Crumlin men having concluded the opening phase in impressive fashion continued in similar mode on their own sod on Sunday. A swift getaway from the start traps and a trio of white flags raised in sequence by James Trolan ensured an early advantage and a lead which they were not to relinquish.

Moneyglass reduced the deficit to the minimum by the end of the 10th minute but following a mistake laden opening period in which both sides missed chances aplenty the positive opening enabled the home side to take a 0-06 to 0-02 lead at half time.

The second half continued in the same format as the opening thirty minutes with the impressive home side stepping quickly away and with Stephen Gorman most often leading on the counter Aldergrove had gone 0-10 to 0-02 ahead by the 40th minute.

The Moneyglass men without several regulars tried to respond but Conal Prenter was just a whisker away from the target as his low drive eluded the far post and Jack Mc Coy was denied what looked a cast iron penalty the home side were in control and a late Ronan Hanna goal was just the icing on the cake as they crossed the winning line at 1-13 to 0-04.

The torrential rain of the previous day was replaced by fine conditions as the pace setting Aldergrove played hosts to Moneyglass and the home side were quick to employ the scoreboard attendant as corner forward James Trolan raised three white flags in sequence by the 4th minute.

Moneyglass took a time to get their scoring show on the road as the St Ergnat’s men were forced into action without more than a few absentees due to a lengthy injury list.

They opened their account  in the 6th minute as Conal Prenter sent a 30 meter free between the posts and when big Seanachain Duffin sent Liam Brady away to add another a couple of minutes later they were back within a point.

Despite the accuracy displayed in front of posts by both sides in the opening minutes this was not to continue as chances came and went without success before  a well laid approach involving  Stephen Gorman and the hard grafting Brian Mc Quillan opened the way for Conor Browning to fire over the bar.

A fine Brian Mc Quillan point increased the home side’s advantage in the 20th minute and when James Trolan followed with another the Aldergrove men were 0-06 to 0-02 ahead following a less than inspiring opening period.

Moneyglass started the second half in the hunt for scores but Seanachain Duffin, Kevin Marron, and Colum Duffin were just off target with respective attempts in the early stages.

Aldergrove responded and James Trolan was sent away on the right to clip over the bar after Stephen Gorman and Chris O’ Kane combined to open the way for the ever accurate corner man to finish.

The Home side looked in charge and indeed lady luck did seem to smile on them when a cute Ryan Doyle flick opened the way to goal for Conal Prenter but the corner man watched on in some anguish as his soccer style finish went just the wrong side of the post.

Aldergrove soon returned to the offensive and back to back points by Chris O’ Kane and the ever available James Trolan saw them move into a 0-10 to 0-02 lead at the end of the third quarter and the die looked cast.

Liam Brady reduced the deficit with a fine point but the score was quickly negated as a Stephen Gorman approach and a fine Ronan Hanna lay off sent corner man Sean Fay in for a point.

Fay could well have sought a ‘major’ but opted for the safe option which was supplemented by another from Chris Browning shortly after to see the home side move into the calm waters offered by their 0-12 to 0-03 advantage.

Moneyglass refused to throw in the towel but Kevin ‘Kindo’ Marron was denied by the post and then the man in charge waved away appeal for a penalty after Jack Mc Coy looked to have been fouled inside the area and the end was in sight.

Conor Browning and the ever energetic Brian Mc Quillan added points apiece before Ronan Hanna laid the icing on the cake with a virtuoso 59th minute goal which followed an impressive approach to include the sale of a couple of dummies.

Patrick Mc Cormick had the last say on the board but the young wing half back’s 60th minute score despite the excellence of the effort came as scant consolation as Aldergrove breasted the winning line with a slightly flattering 1-13 to 0-04 advantage.

Aldergrove: Chris Taggart, Paul Cushley, Ferdia Carson, Steve Gorman, Chris O’ Kane (0-01), Chris Mc Veigh, Tomas O’ Callaghan, Brian Mc Quillan (0-02), Ryan Owens, Conor Browning (0-02), Andy Flood, James Trolan (0-07), Ronan Hamill (1-00), Sean Fay (0-01) Subs:Conleth Hendron for Conor Browning,Chris Browning for A Flood

Moneyglass: Mark Carey, Miron Neeson, Donal Laverty, Kevin Mc Peake, Seamus Devlin, Conor Boyd, Patrick Mc Cormick (0-01), Colum Duffin, Declan Neeson, Shanaghan Duffin, Kevin Marron, Liam Brady (0-02), Jack Mc Coy, Ryan Doyle, Conal Prenter (0-01) Subs: Niall Boyd for S Duffin, Peter McCormick for S Devlin, Ruairi Neeson for K Marron, Gareth Quinn for J McCoy

Referee: Martin Quinn

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photographs: Elaine Kelly


Tir na nOg keep their cool as Gort na Mona see Red


O’Neill’s ACFL Div. 2 Result

Tír na nÓg 2.10 (16)

Gort na Mona 0.5 (5)

Two second half Red cards and a black proved the final staw for visitors Gort na Mona as they fell to Tir na nOg in this ACFL Division 2 football league game at Whitehill on Sunday. Padraig McHugh and David McErlean both received a second yellow during the second half and Christopher Devlin was shown black to complete a miserable day for the West Belfast side.

Both teams registered wides during the opening exchanges with Darren “Diesel” Boyd for Gort na Mona and Christy Sheerin for the home side off target before a high ball in from Aaron McNeilly landed in Darragh Fegan’s arms and he was pulled down as he was about to shoot.

Up stepped Sean Redmond but he dragged his penalty wide of the target in the 8th minute and two minutes later Gort na Mona took the lead through Dermott McVeigh who fired over the first point of the game. Tir na nOg responded and a high ball into full forward, Kevin Sheerin saw him dragged down by Christopher Devlin and Aaron McNeilly converted the resulting free to tie the contest.

The game itself was being played at a slow pace with both teams pulling 13 men behind the ball. Wing half back Ciaran Logan broke the line and ran the ball 30yards, to fist over after 15 minutes and give the home side the lead. A foul by Kevin McCann on Padraig McHugh then gave Dermott McVeigh the chance to reply and he brought the scores level again with 18minutes gone.

McNeilly edged the Whitehill side ahead again with his second point of the game from a free and there were no further scores until two minutes into injury time. Tir na nOg’s Kevin McCann robbed Padraig McHugh and placed Christy Sheerin who’s shot was deflected past Thomas McCaffrey in the Gort na Mona goal.

Gort na Mona tried to respond but the final ball landed with Darren Boyd who saw his shot drag narrowly wide of the right hand post and this was the last action of a fairly unforgettable first half.

With both teams looking more attack minded at the start of the second half Darren Boyd and Darren McCormick exchanged early points. Substitute, Ciaran Dobbin made an immediate impact, winning a free which Darragh Fegan converted and 15 minutes into the second half Dobbin was pulled back again and this time McNeilly converted to open the gap to six points.

Ciaran Logan responded with another point for the home side and bring his personal tally to two and then Padraig McHugh received a black card and then red for a cynical tackle to add to the visitors woes.

It took Gort na Mona 20 minutes to get their next score as Aidan McDonagh laid the ball off to David McErlean who pointed. Tír na nÓg introduced Ronan O’Neill and Darragh Fegan played him in for a point with his first touch as Scotchy Hagan’s side continued to dominate the second period.

Things got worse for the men from the Mona bye pass as David McErlean became their second player to see Red after 53minutes and the Whitehill men were now playing a patient possession game as the clock ran down.

A good move involving Caoimhin Duffin, Darren McCormick and Kevin Sheerin set up Darragh Fegan and the later made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner, to put the final nail in the coffin.

Frustration began to creep into the visitors play and In the final minute of normal time Daniel Martin was through one on one with the keeper when he was tripped by Christopher Devlin and resulted in a black card  with Darragh Fegan converting the resulting free.

Despite being down to 12 men Gort na Mona kept battling to the end and Darren Boyd hit back with a point for the visitors but yet again the home side’s substitution made an impact when Pearse Sheerin pointed with his first touch to conclude the scoring.

This was a good win for the Whitehill men and moves them  just above Gort na Mona, both on 16 points and three behind second place St. Brigid’s and a further point behind Aldergrove, both who recorded good wins today.

Tír na nÓg:  1. M. Dempsey 2. K. McCann 3. D. Martin 4. S. Redmond 5. C. Logan 6. C. Duffin 7. D. McCormick 8. C. Sheerin 9. M. Duffin 10. K. Kerr 11. C. McKeown 12. A. McNeilly 13. S. Duffin 14. K. Sheerin 15. D. Fegan 16. SP. McAtamney 17. R. O’Neill 18. C. Dobbin 19. P. Sheerin 20. D. Hastings

Scorers:  D. Fegan (1.2- 2 Frees), C. Sheerin (1.0), A. McNeilly (0.3- 3 frees), C. Logan (0.2), D. McCormick (0.1), R. O’Neill (0.1), P. Sheerin (0.1)

Subs used: C. Dobbin for C. McKeown (34mins), P. Sheerin for S. Redmond (57mins)

Gort na Mona: 1. T. McCaffrey 2. C. Connolly 3. D. Hughes 4. C. Devlin 5. B. Burns 6. P. Conlon 7. A. McDonagh 8. C. Carson 9. P. McCaffrey 10. S. Campbell 11. D. Boyd 12. D. McClean 13. P. McHugh 14. D. McErlean 15. D. McVeigh 16. P. Mulvenna 18. T. Kennan 19. N. Melany 20. S. McStravick 21. S. Scullion 22. M. Savage 23. C. Magee 24. S. Doyle

Subs used: M. Savage and S. Scullion for S. Campbell and P. Conlon (40mins)

Scorers: D. McVeigh (0.2- 1free), D. Boyd (0.2), D. McErlean (0.1)

Referee: Tomas Eastwood (St. Enda’s)

Tir na nOg qualify for top six

O’Neill’s All County Football League  Div 2

Tír na nÓg 0.13 (13)   St. Paul’s 1.7 (10)

By Aimee McAtamney

This was a must win game for Tír na nÓg to secure a top six position. This was going to be difficult in the absence of the four Duffin brothers who were celebrating Caoimhin’s wedding. When their backs were against the wall and with some reshuffling the home side came out on top to finish fourth before the spilt of the league. The game was tied three times in the first half but Tír na nÓg pulled away at the end of the first half to lead at the short whistle by 2 points, their scores coming from Darragh Fegan, Aaron McNeilly, Christy Sheerin and Barry McCormick.

Half time 0.7 to 0.5

The second half started very fiery and St. Paul’s struck first to renew their fight back but after Barry McCormick was fouled going through on goal young McNeilly popped the ball over for his fourth point. St. Paul’s pulled another back, but the trend continued and this time Dobbin was taken out before McNeilly converted. Ronan O’Neill was introduced for the injured Barry McCormick and he made an immediate impression with a point. With three points in the game things turned worse for St. Paul’s when Niall Peoples received his second yellow card and they went down to 14 men.

Tír na nÓg pushed on with three more points from Aaron McNeilly, Ciaran McKeown and substitute Pearse Sheerin. Five minutes deep into additional time both teams lost another man and St. Paul’s found the back of the net with the last kick of the game on 68 minutes but it was too little, too late as the home side had the hard work done and left a big enough gap to win by 3.

Tír na nÓg

  1. SP. McAtamney 2. B. Magee 3. D. Martin 4. K. McCann 5. C. Logan 6. D. McCormick 7. B. McCormick 8. C. Sheerin 9. D. Fegan 10. K. Kerr 11. C. McKeown 12. A. McNeilly 13. S. Redmond 14. K. Sheerin 15. C. Dobbin 17. M. Tolan 18. P. Sheerin 19. P. Cullen 20. D. O’Kane 21. R. O’Neill


Scorers: A. McNeilly (0.6- 4 frees), D. Fegan (0.2), C. Sheerin (0.1), B. McCormick (0.1), R. O’Neill (0.1), C. McKeown (0.1), P. Sheerin (0.1)

Subs used: R. O’Neill for B. McCormick (44mins), P. Sheerin for K. Kerr (54mins), P. Cullen for K. McCann (58mins), M. Tolan for P. Sheerin (65mins Black card)