ACFL Division 2
St.Joseph’s 0-12 St.James’1-10
Photographs: Bert Trowlen
A late Seamus McGarry point gave visitors St. James’ Aldergrove both points and the bragging rights in this evenly contested derby over neighbours Glenavy at Chapel Hill on Sunday. With the sides locked Late in the game and a draw looking likely McGarry became the Aldergrove hero when his late strike edged it in favour of the visitors.
This eagerly awaited local derby turned out to be a very quiet affair, only the closeness of the score in the second half gave the large turnout something to cheer about. A heavy shower of rain just before throwin left the underfoot surface difficult for the players. Leading by five points at the break the visitors would have expected to kick on for a comfortable win but the hill side to their credit came out in the second half and really put it up to their opponents.
Seany Fay opened the scoring with an excellent point while under pressure and Seamus McGarry showed why a reliable free taker is so important when he split the post from an acute angle. Not to be out done Michael McCourt halved the score difference with a pointed free and on ten minutes Owen Gallagher went on one of his famous solo runs and finished with a well-taken point. Seamus McGarry showed he was not only a free taker when he split the posts from play and one from a placed ball before Fergal Burke extended the Crumlin sides lead with two pointed frees to leave his side four in front. Michael McCourt once again closed the gap with a pointed freeand we then were treated with the only goal of the game when Aldergrove put together the best move of the game with an excellent goal from hard working midfielder Brian McQuillan. Fergal Cunningham replied with a point to leave the halftime score 1.06 v 0.04 in St.James’ favour.
The second half started with Alex Gallagher replacing the injured Peter Traynor and the first six minutes of the half belonged to the home side when they closed the gap to the minimum. Michael McCourt had two pointed frees before Owen Gallagher and Fergal Cunningham added points to give the home supporters something to shout about. Fergal Burke and Cian Jones extended the ‘Reds’ to three points as Michael Kane replaced the injured Michael McCourt for the home side. Once again the sides were level with Niall McCann, good to see him back after an injury, Fergal Henry with two excellent scores, one a fisted point from an acute angle quickly followed by a kicked point.
With time moving into added time Seany Fay added his second point to give his side the lead but team captain Ciaran Loney brought the sides level with a point from forty meters. Both sets of supporters would probably have been satisfied with the draw at this juncture but from the kick-out the ball was played to Seamus McGarry and the former county player duly obliged with an excellent point to put his side in front and give St. James the points.
Over the sixty four minutes St.James’ probably deserved the win but the home side must be bitterly disappointed in not getting something out of the game,
A special word of praise must go referee to Eamonn McAuley for his handling of the game. Kept a tight control when necessary and let play flow as often as possible.
Glenavy: J. Nelson; Liam Henry; Oisin Hamill; Johnny Phillips; Ryan Phillips; P. Gallagher; C. Gallagher; P. Traynor; C. Loney; P. O’Neill; N. McCann; M. McCourt; F. Henry; O. Gallagher; F. Cunningham.. .
Aldergrove: S. O’Neill; P. Cushley; F. Carson; C. Fogarty; E. McCourt; C. Veigh; C. Totten; R. Owens; B. McQuillan; F. Burke; S. McGarry; G. Mallon; S. Fay; C. Jones; C. Morris.
Referee: Eamonn McAuley Cargin