Division Two football managers for 2021

Recently we looked at division 1 football managers for the coming season and today we take a look at the management teams for clubs in division two in 2021. Most of these teams will be playing their football in the Intermediate championship though Moneyglass, last year’s Intermediate champions and the 2019 champions, Aldergrove will play in the Senior Championship.

Moneyglass

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass celebrated success in last year’s Intermediate Championship with victory over Cuchullian’s in the decider. Not surrisingly they proceed in 2021 with the same management at the helm.

Peter Doherty and his brother Martin return to lead the Marian Hill men again with Donal Laverty, Stephen Bateson, and Paul Campbell completing the management team.

Glenravel

Con Magee’s, Glenravel have shown continued improvement since returning to division 2 and they will be looking to make further strides in the season ahead.

Declan McGeehan and Ian McKeown are the men holding the management reins again in 2021.

Michael Davitt’s

Having established an excellent home base, Michael Davitt’s will be hoping to move up the ratings in the season ahead.

They have appointed Gerard Nugent in the managerial role with Kevin Mc Parland, Patrick Maguire, and Terry Park assisting.

Tir na nOg

Tir na nOg celebrated championship success last term in Intermediate hurling and camogie, and they will be striving to replicate that success in football this term.

The Whitehill men have appointed Oak Leaf man Michael O’Kane in the management position with Seamus Heffron, Gerard Martin, and Stephen Higgins taking up posts on the side-line.

Ardoyne

Ardoyne celebrated success in the Junior championship last term when they defeated St Comgall’s in the decider.

Ross Carr steered them to that 2020 title and the Mourne man is back in charge again with Patrick Rice, Sean Carter, Cormac Hannon, Pat McCullis, Danny Burns and Jim Clarke in an extended back room team.

St Teresa’s

Long-time division 1 residents St Teresa’s have lost that status and will be playing their football in division 2 for a second season.

The Glen road side have recalled former player Liam McGoldrick to take charge again with a selection panel yet to be established.

Glenavy

Glenavy have proved a trifle enigmatic over the past few seasons but the Chapel Hill side are more than capable when in the groove.

The St Joseph’s men have Jock Duffy in the management position with a back room team which includes Declan Duncan, Danny O’ Neill, Anthony Mc Garry, Ray Matthews, and Damien Mc Greevey.

All Saint’s

All Saint’s had a fair 2020 season but the Ballymena side are probably capable of better.

Sean O’ Brien, Damien Hagen, Paul Mc Cann, and Paddy Logan are the men chosen to lead them onwards this term.

Aldergrove

St James Aldergrove struggled to make impact in the senior championship last term and the 2019 Intermediate champions will again lock horns with the big boys at Senior level.

Paddy Nugent led them to Intermediate success in 2019 but has returned to take charge at St John’s but Aldergrove have found an adequate replacement with Armagh man, and former All Ireland medallist Ronan Clarke now taking the reins.

St Paul’s

Having lost their division one status a number of seasons back St Paul’s will be aiming to build on a good 2020 season which saw them push Moneyglass to the wire in a championship semi-final that took extra time to decide. The Shaw’s road side retain the services of Paddy Linden and Seamus Toomey as their management team.

Sarsfield’s

Former player Niall McAlea takes over the reins at Sarsfields

Patrick Sarsfield’s having worked hard on youth development in the recent past do look on the way upwards and may anticipate more of the same in 2021.

The Bear Pit residents have installed Niall McAlea in the management position for the season ahead with Ciaran Carson, Niall Banks, and Tommy Logan assisting.

Cuchullian’s Dunloy

Cuchullian’s Dunloy have yet to make their management appointments as they haven’t held their AGM yet but given how well they done last season it would be fair to assume that Anthony McQuillan will be re-appointed this season

Glenavy comeback secures victory

ACFL Div.2. Group 2

Glenavy3.13 4.05 St.Teresas’

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

With home venue and excellent pitch the hill side were looking forward to a win in the opening game of this year’s league but they didn’t get things easy. Inside the first five minutes St.Teresa’s were 2.1 in front.

Darren McCann had the opening point quickly followed by goals from Joe Rafferty and Niall McCann. To their credit the young St. Joseph’s side rallied. Six unanswered points from Conor Hamill, Fergal Green with two, Patrick Gallagher, Fergal Henry and Niall McCann to leave two between the sides.

St.Teresa’s were awarded a penalty which was dispatched to the net. Fergal Green showed all his class with three excellent points, one from play and two pointed frees from difficult angles.

Halftime score 0.08 v 3.01 to the visitors.

Fergal Green added a pointed free to get the second half going. The home defence was breached again with a long ball in which fell to Jay Mellon who gave the home keeper no chance. The orange men would have been in serious trouble only for two excellent saves to keep his side in the game.

Once again back came the home side with a point and a goal from young Fergal Henry.  County player Patrick Gallagher finished an excellent move with a well-executed goal to put his side in front for the first time.

The city side were not going to give this one up without a fight. Jay Mellon had a point from play and one from a free but Glenavy replied and Fergal Henry split the posts from the sideline. Phillip Maguire got in on the act with a point from play for the visitors but once again Ferga l Henry raised the white flag. Joe Rafferty had the Glen Road side’s last score with time moving into time added on but the final score of the game fell to Conor Hamill who fired to the net in injury time to give his side a five point victory.

St.Joseph’s J. Nelson, L. Henry, R. Malley,  P. O’Neill, M. Hamill, C. Gallagher, J. Phillips, O. Hamill (M. Kane), M. Johnston, C. Loney, P. Gallagher, C. Hamill, F. Henry, F. Green (S. Doone) N. McCann (A. Gallagher).

Referee Paul Burns.

Moneyglass take the honours

Homefit Antrim Football League Division 2

Moneyglass 3-13 Tir na nOg 2-11

Pics by Elaine Kelly

Moneyglass got their league campaign off to a winning start on Sunday with a home win over South West rivals Tir na nOg at Marian Hill. Leading by 2-6 to 1-6 at half time the St Ergnat’s men maintained the upper hand during the second half and in the end were five points to the good

Two scores in the opening minute were to prove decisive as Ryan Doyle pointed inside 30 seconds and Seanchann Duffin followed up with a goal less than a minute late to give their team an early four point cushion. Darragh Fagan opened the Tir na nÓg account with a pointed free on three minutes but the home side hit back with points from Colum and Seanchann Duffin to go five clear after just seven mintues.

Randalstown got themselves back into the game with another point from a Fagan free, and when full forward Kevin Sheerin fired to the Moneyglass net they were back in the game. Patrick McCormick pointed for the home side but Fagan and Aaron McNeilly came back with points to bring their side level by the eighteenth minute. Moneyglass hit back in style as midfielder Seanchann Duffin broke through to put his team back on top and they held that lead to the break as Dermot McErlain and Ryan Doyle answered points from Fagan and McNeilly. Half time Moneyglass 2-6 Tir na nÓg 1-6

The third quarter was evenly contested with Aaron McNeilly (2) and Darly Fagan replying to points from Patrick McCormick and Colum Duffin, which closed the gap to two points, but just when they were under threat the St Ergnat’s men reacted well and Ryan Doyle fired in this team’s third goal. That lifted the home team to a new level and they hit four unanswered points to stretch the lead to eight before a late goal from Tir na nÓg substitute Aodhan Tolan cut it back to five at the final whistle.

Moneyglass

Mark Carey, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Eamon Kelly, Miran Neeson, Conor Boyd, Jervis Weir, Jimmy McMeel, Seanchann Duffin, Jack McCoy, Sean Kelly, Patrick McCormick, Colum Duffin, Ryan Doyle, Kevin Marron.

Subs – D McErlaine for Neeson; Paul Tohill for McMeel; D Scullion for Weir; C Prenter for Marron

Tir na Óg

M. Dempsey, C. Logan, C. McGrellis, D. Mallon, B. McCormick, C. Duffin, D. McCormick, R. O’Neill, S. Duffin, C. O’Neill, A. McNeilly D. Fagan, C. Sheerin, K. Sheerin, C. Dobbin

Subs: N. Cassidy for D. McCormick, E. Óg McAllister for C. O’Neill, A. Tolan for K. Sheerin

Referee – Gregory Walsh

Paddies hold on for opening win

Homefit All County Football League – Division 2

Sarsfields 2-14 Ardoyne – 0-9

Goals in each half by Gary Lennon and Ehtan Mervyn were the scores that gained Sarfields victory over Ardoyne at the Bear Pit on Sunday. The visitors trailed by a point at half time but when they hit four points on the trot midway through the second half it appeared that the North Belfast side, who are managed by Down legend Ross Carr, were on course for a famous win. However with twelve minutes of normal time to go they lost one of their defenders to a black card and that swung the game back in favour of the home side, and with county hurling star Niall McKenna pulling the strings they pushed on to earn a one point win.

Sarsfields captain Niall McKenna who steered his team to victory

In a low scoring first half Ardoyne were first to strike when Conor McLaughlin pointed and though Sarsfied’s levelled in the fifth minute the Kickhams’s men got the upper hand. They were awarded a penalty on seven minutes but Aidan McNeill’s well struck shot was turned around the post by Sars goalkeeper Michael Brady. McNeill did put them in front four minutes later with a well taken point from play and when midfielder Joe McNeill tacked on another they were 0-3 to 0-1 clear, though Sarsfield cut it back to a single point by the ‘water break’.

Joe McNeill increased the lead to two just after the restart and Ardoyne looked to be in a strong position but when a shot from Sarsfields full forward Kevin McKernan rebounded off a defender and spun high in the air centre forward Gar Lennon reacted well to palm the ball to the net to give the Paddies a 1-2 to 0-4 interval lead.

Ardoyne midfielder Joe McNeill in action

Sarsfield piled on the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half but a combination of bad shooting and some resolute Ardoyne defending kept them scoreless and when the visitors broke the siege for Joe McNeill to score, the sides were level. Ardoyne appeared to be taking control when Kieran McLauglin added a point and Aidan McNeill two to go three clear by the 48th minute.

That when things began to turn back in the home side’s favour and when Ardoyne lost Pearse Marley to a black card it upset their rhythm. With Niall McKenna controlling matters from midfield they cut the deficit back to a point with points from McKenna and Kevo McKernan before Ehan Mervyn weaved his way in from the left wing to fire home his team’s second goal.

Ardoyne settled the ship and got back to within a point when Cormac Mullan pointed, but though they had a couple of chances of saving the game in the final minutes they were off target and the home side held on for the win.

Sarsfields centre-forward Gary Lennon flicks the ball to the Ardoyne net

Sarsfields

1 – Michael Brady, Niall McDonnell, Martin McPolin, Gary McPolin, Ethan Mervy, Nial McAlea, Conor Laverty, John Savage, Niall McKenna, Declan Laverty, Gary Lennon, Kieran McCullagh, Nicholas Omulane, Kevin McKernan, Samuel Walsh.

Ardoyne

Paul Fisher, Pearse Marley, Niall Bradley, Sean Joe Rooney, Kevin McLaughlin, Keelan McCallan, Cormac Mullan, Joe McNeill, Declan McCormick, Conor Carter, Aidan McNeill, Nicholas Mills, Conor McLaughlin, Gary McKernan, Conor McDowell.

Ardoyne manager Ross Carr gives his team a half time talk.

Doran’s goal gives Dunloy a share of the spoils

ACFL Div. 2 Group 1

All Saints 0-12 Dunloy 3-3

A goal by Anthony Doran with four minutes remaining earned Dunloy a share of the spoils in this ACFL Division 2 clash at Slemish Park on Sunday. The Ballymena men led for most of the game and indeed had a couple of chances to win it in the end but perhaps the run out was more important than the result with Championship scheduled next weekend.

The home side opened brightly, moving the ball around confidently and led 2-0 after 8 minutes through Conal Lemon and Micky McCarry but they were caught out in defence when a Caolan Gillan cross from the right evaded a couple of defenders and Liam McCann applied the finish to the net from close range.

Michael McCarry restored parity with a point in the 12th minute and when Odhran Quinn received his marching orders for retaliation it appeared to be going All Saints way. The home side were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but Dunloy continued to look threatening on the break and Sean Elliott raced away to restore their lead with a point in the 12th minute.

Following the water break, Conor Stewart who was having a big influence at midfield, brought matters square once more but once again the home defence was caught on the break and Niall Shannon in the All Saints goals got down sharply to deny Sean Elliott as he raced through.

It was end to end stuff as the Slemish Park men responded again and Peter McReynolds looked to be in for a goal but had his shot pushed over by keeper Conor McGilligan at the expense of a point. The home side continued to press and Eoin Campbell looked in for a goal but McGilligan came sharply off his line to deny him at the expense of a ‘45’.

Caolan Loughran confidently sent the resulting ‘45’ between the sticks to complete the final action of the first half with the men in white holding a 0-7 to 1-1 lead and looking good value for it and they will probably feel that they should have been further ahead.

GOING THEIR WAY

Things appeared to be going the way of the Ballymena side when Peter McReynolds extended their lead with a point on the restart but they received a bad blow when Ciaran McGarry was shown Red for throwing an elbow and parity in numbers had been restored.

Pizza McReynolds extend the home lead to five as the Ballymena side continued to enjoy plenty of possession but the visitors were giving nothing away easily and Kevin ‘Red’ McAllister opened their second half account with a smart point in the 10th minute.

The home side management looked intent of giving their bench a run out with Stephen McAvoy having replaced Niall Shannon in goals and they introduced Joe Rafferty and Brendan McDonnell, pulling Michael McCarry and James Gillan ashore.

Dunloy were now coming more and more into the game and Caolan Gillan pointed a 12th minute free to close the gap to three points and a nervousness began to creep into the All Saints play. They introduced Matthew Downey and Aidan Scullion but their play was now becoming a bit disjointed.

Eoghan McGrath had replaced Shane Dooey in the Dunloy ranks as the visitors continued to prod for an opening and their patience was rewarded when Ryan McFarland broke through a porous home defence to fire home their second goal and bring matters all square with ten minutes remaining.

The Ballymena side had lost their way and they needed a response and Caolan Loughran replied from a 40 meter free and followed with another from 30 meters and they looked like they might see out the game and when James McDonnell added another from play they looked to have prevailed.

The visitors were far from finished however and they put another penetrating attack together with substitute Anthony Doran raising the biggest cheer of the day as he fired past Stephen McAvoy to level the contest.

Doran’s strike was to prove the last score of the game with Caolan Loughran pulling a late free wide and Brendan McDonnell off target as the home side pressed in the closing stages but in the end both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

All Saints: Niall Shannon, James McDonnell, James Gillan, Rhys O’Mullan, Kavan Keenan, Ciaran McGarry, Connell Lemon, Cormac Lemon, Conor Stewart, Peter McReynolds, Michael McCarry, Shea O’Brien, Caolan Loughran, Emmet Killough, Eoin Campbell. Subs used: Stephen McAvoy, Joe Rafferty, Brendan McDonnell, Matthew Downey, Aidan Scullion.

Dunloy: Conor McGilligan, Karl O’Kane, Adrian Scullion, Aaron Crawford, Callum Scullion, Kevin McQuillan, Oran Quinn, Ryan McFarlane, Padraig McGilligan, Anthony Smith, Sean Elliott, Liam McCann, Shane Dooey, Caolan Gillan, Kevin McAllister. Subs used: Anto McGrath, Caolan Molloy, Anthony Doran, Ciaran McQuillan, Keelan Molloy

Referee: Paul Burns (St. Comgall’s)