Tir na nÓg march on with another fine display

Antrim Division 2 Football League

St Joseph’s Glenavy 1 – 07 v 5-10 Tir na nÓg Whitehill

Top of the table Tir na Nóg made the trip to Chapel Hill a worthwhile journey returning home with two more valuable points. To be fair to the home side the scoreline does not tell the full story as some of the goals had a touch of good fortune about them.

The game started with both sides playing at breakneck speed. The Hill side were given the opportunity to go in front when they were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately for the ever-reliable Fergal Henry his shot struck an upright only to see the ball go wide. Aaron McNeilly was first on the score board with a point but Fergal Henry brought the sides level with one at the other end. The ‘Orangemen’ were dealt a blow when their up-and-coming star Malachi Doherty suffered a severe shoulder injury and to make matters worse for the home team Christie Sheerin and Barry McCormick added points for the visitors to see them open a bit of a lead.. Fergus Cunningham got his name on the score sheet when he split the posts for the home side.

Both sides were playing good football with the Randalstown making better use of their chances as Sean Duffin scored a beauty from the wing. Fergal Henry may have had no luck with his penalty kick but it hadn’t affected his shooting when he landed his third point of the game for the home side.

Tir na Nóg then had their first goal when the alert D. Martin finished a well worked move to the net and following the kickout Christie Sheerin took possession went on a solo run and finished to the net. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the lough view side and further points from Aaron McNeilly followed by a beauty from centre back Brian McCormick from all of fifty meters. Fergal Henry was on hand to show his side had some fight left.                                                                                           Half-time score St.Joseph’s 0.04 v 2.06

Fergal Henry added his fourth point to give his side hope but the men in blue showed they were still looking to improve their score difference as Aaron McNeilly added three points before D. Martin had his second goal. To leave the score 3.09 to 0.5 in favour of the visitors.

Once again Fergal Henry was on hand to split the posts for the hoe side and when Charles Gallagher moved up from centre back and was on hand to give his younger brother Thomas a perfect pass to rattle the net for his side’s only goal. Ciaran O’Neill found the black spot and kicked a lovely point before Kevin scored a point and a goal to cap a splendid hour’s work. Probably fitting from the home side’s view when Fergal Henry topped a splendid evening when he tapped over a pointed free but in the final minute Tir na nóG goalkeeper Sean Paul McAtamney who had little to do throughout the game sprinted downfield to hammer home a penalty. To leave the final score 5.10 to 1.07.

Tir na Nóg won the game because they were stronger throughout the pitch. They played as a team and most importantly could take their scores. On the other hand the home side were fielding a very young side and played with less cohesion, and need to spread the scores among more players.  

A word of thanks to referee Fintan McCotter for his handling of the game. He allowed the players to play and when called would let them know he was in charge.

St.Joseph’s: Jake Nelson; Oliver Brankin; Liam Henry; Mathew Hamill; Ruairi Forester; Darragh Doherty; Malachi Doherty; Stephen Doone; Michael Johnston; Ryan Phillips; Charles Gallagher; Fergal Green; Fergal Henry; Sean O’Doherty; Ciaran Loney.                                                                                                         Subs Used: Fergus Cunningham for Malachi Doherty: Christopher Grant for Ryan Phillips: Thomas Gallagher for Sean O’Doherty; Patrick Gallagher for Stephen Henry; 

Scorers : Fergal Henry 0.6 (3frees); Fergus Cunningham 0.1:: Thomas Gallagher G.

Tir na Nóg: S. McAtamney; S..Redmond; C. McGrellias; P. Cullen; C. O.Neill; B. McCormack; C. Duffin; C.. Sheerin; D. McCormick; A. McNeilly; S. Duffin; D. Fegan; D. Martin; K. Sheerin; A. McNeilly.                                                                               Subs Used; K. Kerr for S. Duffin; B. McLarnon for S. Redmond; C. McKeown for D. Martin; C. Logan for C. O’Neill; E. Murray for A. McNeilly.                                                     

Scorers A. McNeilly 4 C. Sheehan 1 B. McCormick 2 S. Duffin 1.1 D. Martin 2.00 C. O’Neill I K. Sheerin 1.1 SP McAtamney Penalty

Referee: Fintan McCotter Sarsfield’s

Ardoyne and St. Ergnat’s share the spoils

ACFL Div.2

Kickham’s Ardoyne 1-7 St. Ergnats Moneyglass 0-10

Having lost by a point to All Saints last time out, Kickham’s Ardoyne went one better this time when they recorded a very creditable draw against high flying Moneyglass at the Crickey last night. The hosts led 1-2 to 0-3 at the halfway stage and were good value for that lead but the visitors reined them in in the second half to share the points in the end.

The early exchanges were fairly even with Conor O’Kane and Colum Duffin on target for the visitors in the opening six minutes and Cormac Mullan pointing a free for the North Belfast side before bringing matters all square from a ‘45’ with 12 minutes on the clock.

Ardoyne looked like they were gaining the upper hand when Gary McKernan got in for a goal in the 16th minute but the hosts were unable to add to their first half total with a Colm Duffin reply with a point the only other score of an uneventful first half.

The impressive Cormac Mullan extended the Ardoyne lead to three on the restart and the visitors looked in a bit of trouble but they are not Intermediate champions for nothing and they came back strongly hitting the next four points of the game.

Patrick McCormick, Conor Boyd and Colum Duffin fired over points by the 11th minute to tie the contest before the impressive Duffin edged them one ahead at the end of the third quarter. Conaill Prenter extended that lead to two but just when it seemed that the visitors were taking control, Ardoyne found a response.

Kevin Lynch fired over for the Fennell Park side with 11 minutes of normal time remaining and substitute Sean Brown added a couple more. Patrick and Peter McCormick replied with points for the visitors to edge them one in front with time almost up but in a dramatic finish Joe McNeill swung over the equaliser for the home side.

Ardoyne: Tiarnan Hughes, Pearse Marley, Sean Joe Rooney, Kealan McCallan, Kevin Lynch, Joseph McNeill, Daniel Moore, Kevin McLaughlin, Oisin McVicker, Aidan McNeill, Gary McKernan, Eoghan Corrigan, Conor McDowell, Cormac Mullan, Patrick Lynch. Subs: Sean Brown, Brendan O’Neill, Fiontan Marley,

Moneyglass: Gary Murray, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Sean Kelly, Patrick McCormick, Conor Boyd, Diarmuid Scullin, Ciaran Kelly, Colum Duffin, Connor O’Kane, Seanchann Duffin, Jack McCoy, Niall Boyd, Ryan Doyle, Aidan McErlain Subs: Conaill Prenter for Niall Boyd, Kevin McPeake for Aidan McErlain, Tyler Cassidy for Sean Kelly.

Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona)

Moneyglass shoot down high-flying Aldergrove

ACFL Division 2

Moneyglass 3-13 Aldergrove 1-8

Moneyglass prevailed in this clash of two previously unbeaten sides at Marian Hill on Wednesday evening. The game was a repeat of the 2019 Intermediate Championship decider, in which Aldergrove prevailed in a thunderstorm. This time conditions couldn’t have been any more different on what was a perfect evening for football, with only a slight breeze blowing down the field.

Moneyglass were first out of the blocks with a point from centre-forward Seanchan Duffin. Aldergrove replied with a score from big midfielder Conor Browning, before Colum Duffin put the home side back in front from a free.

Aldergrove then hit the front with two in a row from James Trowlen, with one score coming from a free. However, this was the last they would lead the game. Moneyglass knocked over two scores before the water break to hit the front. Firstly Paddy McCormick clipped one over, before Colum Duffin, who has stepped away from county duties this season due to work commitments, tapped over a free.

On the resumption, Moneyglass hit a purple patch, playing some superb football in the process. Ryan Doyle hit a lovely score out on the right after a pass from Colum Duffin, before returning the favour for Duffin to score his first from play. Veteran Doyle then showed his experience, calling the ‘mark’ before slotting over.

Aldergrove replied in kind with a free from James Trowlen, but the Moneyglass onslaught continued. Firstly Niall Boyd hit a great score from all of 50 yards, before the first goal of the evening arrived. It was a brilliant team move, the ball eventually worked to flying half-back Paddy McCormick to finish to the net. The shell-shocked visitors replied with a Trowlen free to leave the half-time score 1-8 to 0-5 for Moneyglass.

Aldergrove were playing down the hill and with the aid of the breeze in the second half, and they’d have been confident of turning the deficit around. They attempted to up the ante physically, but this seemed to disrupt their own game while spurring Moneyglass on to a higher level.

They started with a Colum Duffin free after brother Seanchan had been fouled.  Five minutes in to the half the same player was fouled again, this time the referee adjudged the offence to have taken place in the large rectangle. Seanchan Duffin himself took the kick, confidently sending Shane O’Neill the wrong way with an excellent penalty.

Moneyglass stretched their lead with another point from half back McCormick, this time after a brilliant back-heel by Doyle in the build-up. Aldergrove responded with a bit of genius of their own, midfielder Ryan Owens rifling in to the top corner from 20 yards out to give them some hope of a comeback. At the second half interval, Moneyglass led by double scores, 2-10 to 1-5.

The Moneyglass defence was standing tall to everything Aldergrove could throw at them. Conor Boyd turned the ball over and set up Jimmy McMeel for a fine score. Aldergrove top scorer Trowlen responded with a free, before Boyd tapped over a free of his own. Trowlen responded again, tapping over after he himself was fouled. The same player added another minutes later, this time from play, though a goal may have been his intention.

This was to be the visitors last score, as the home side rang the changes. Conor O’Kane was introduced, and he combined with another youngster, Aidan McErlain to put the icing on the cake for Moneyglass. McErlain beat his man and fisted to the back post with O’Kane on hand to bundle the ball home.

Moneyglass will be delighted at this display after dropping a point at Glenavy on Sunday. It was a superb team effort, and although the forwards will take most of the plaudits, the back line deserves a mention for an excellent evening’s work. Aldergrove will hope to bounce back in their next game, at home to St Teresa’s.

Moneyglass – Gary Murray, Peter McCormick, Tiernan Duffin, Jervis Weir, Paddy McCormick (1-2), Conor Boyd (0-1free), Sean Kelly, Ciaran Kelly, Colum Duffin (0-4, 3frees), Jack McCoy, Seanchan Duffin (1-1, 1-0 pen), Jimmy McMeel (0-1), Niall Boyd (0-1), Ryan Doyle (0-3), Aidan McErlain

Subs used – Conaill Prenter, Conor O’Kane (1-0), Kevin McPeake

Aldergrove – Shane O’Neill, Emmett Irvine, Corey Fogarty, Tomas O Callaghan, Eoin Gough, Chris McVeigh, Logan Fleming, Conor Browning (0-1), Ryan Owens(1-0), Conor Morris, Eoin Masterson,  James Trowlen (0-7, 0-5frees),  Glenn Dunham, Ronan Hanna, Chris O’Kane

Penalty swings it St.Teresa’s way

Antrim ACFL Division 2

St.Teresa’s 1.07 v 0.08 St.JoSeph’s Glenavy

The main talking points from this game was the number of wides both sides recorded, and a disputed penalty. Played in a good sporting manner on a perfect evening for a game, both sides played a passing game which gave their supporters value for money. The only thing that was missing was the ability to take their scoring chances and the highlight of the game was the free taking of St.Teresa’s John Mallon with 1.05. The goal was from the penalty spot.

St.Teresa’s were first off the mark with a John Mallon’ free but Fergal Henry was quick to reply for the visitors with a pointed free. John Mallon put his side in front again from a free from an acute angle but both sides were guilty of poor shooting when scores were there for the taking. Peter Trainor, operating on the edge of the square came out take a pass from Fergal Henry and split the uprights to bring the sides level for the second time. Once again John Mallon was unerring from a placed ball as the city side went into a three point lead with 2 Mallon frees and an Anthony Vandell point from play. The half finished with a fisted Fergal Henry point while under severe pressureto leave the half time score St.Teresa’s 0.05 v 0.03 Glenavy.

Whatever the Glenavy management said at the break certainly worked as the visitors hit four unanswered points on the restart and looked to be taking over. Fergal Henry, Thomas Gallagher and Ciaran Loney had long distance points and Fergal Green pointed a free from fifty meters to put his side two in front for the first time in the game. The visitors were then unfortunate to concede a disputed penalty for a foot block and this swung the momentum back in favour of the Glen Road side. John Mallon coolly placed the ball out of the reach of Lorcan Murphy but Ryan Phillips levelled the game with an excellent point. John Mallon capped an excellent individual performance when he pointed a free to put his side one up with time running out and Richard Gallagher put the game out of Glenavy’s reach with a point from play.

Referee Danny O’Neill Gort.Na M0na

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McDonald injury time point seals it for Saints

ACFL Div. 2

Ardoyne 0-11 All Saints 0-12

On a balmy evening at Fennell Park, All Saints were made to work hard to seal the 2 points with an injury time winner from Brendan McDonnell.

The game started with All Saints dominating possession but they struggled to break down the blanket Ardoyne defence.

Ardoyne playing with 13 men behind the ball always looked threatening on the counter attack.

The first quarter began with a fine score from Conal Lemon after 5 minutes but Ardoyne replied from a free following a well taken mark from Kevin Lynch. Both teams exchanged frees before a fine score from Sean McVeigh followed by another All Saints free by Michael McCarry to leave the Ballymena men leading 0-4 to 0-2 at the first water break.

All Saints continued to dominate possession after the break with Joe Rafferty showing his attacking instincts from half back to put them three ahead.

Ardoyne’s Cormac Mullan continued to prove a thorn in the All Saints defence and he struck a fantastic point to narrow the gap to 2 points.

The visitors continued to press and stretched their lead to 5 points as the interval approached with scores from McCarry (free), McDonnell and McKillop from play, but Ardoyne’s Cormac Mullan had the final score of the half from a free on the stroke of half time.

Half time score 0.8 to 0.4 in favour of All Saints.

After the break, both teams traded scores from play with a fine score by Ardoyne’s Aidan McNeill followed by a point from Shea O’Brien. Ardoyne responded with a point from Gary McKernan but the visitors hit back again through Keenan and McDonnell.

Ardoyne were coming more and more into the game however and hit back again through Aidan McNeill from a mark and a score on the stroke of the water break by substitute Brendan O’Neill which narrowed the gap to 3 points on a score line of 0.11 to 0.8.

The final quarter was dominated by Ardoyne as they clawed their way back into the game with a point from a free by McNeill followed by a fine score by Cormac Mullan and a further McNeill free to level the game as it neared the full time whistle.

At this stage the game could have gone either way but significantly the Kickham’s shot two wides as they pushed for a winner and in the final attack of the game, All Saints had the chance to secure the points with a mark by Reece O Mullan, only for the ball to come off the post but Benny McDonnell rescued the points for All Saints with a well taken score on the stroke of full time.

Ardoyne will have been disappointed not to have taken something from the game and All Saints will consider themselves fortunate to take 2 points back up the road after another disjointed performance.

Ardoyne: Tiernan Hughes, Pearse Marley, Sean Joe Rooney, Padraig Montgomery, Kevin Lynch, Kaolan McCallan, Eoghan Corrigan, Gary McKernan, Oisin McVicker, Daniel Moore, Aidan McNeill, Charlie McCormick, Conor McDowell, Cormac Mullan, Patrick Lynch. Subs: Brendan O’Neill,

All Saints: Joe Rocks, Matt Downey, James Gillan, Reece O Mullen, Joe Rafferty(0.1), Peter McNicholl, Ciaran McGarry, Sean McVeigh (0.1), Shea O Brien (0.1), Conal Lemon (0.1), Kavan Keenan (0.1), Ronan McKillop (0.1), Michael McCarry (0.3F), Oisin Connolly, Brendan McDonnell (0.3)

Subs:

Michael Read for Joe Rafferty (15 minutes)

Ciaran McLarnon for Oisin Connolly (40 minutes)

Emmet Killough for Kieran McGarry (40 minutes)

Aidan Scullion for Peter McNicholl (45 minutes)

Ardoyne scorers:

Kevin Lynch 0.1

Brendan O’Neill 0.1

Cormac Mullan 0.5 (2F)

Gary McKernan 0.1

Aidan McNeill 0.3 (2F)

Referee: Charlie Hemsworth