Saints promotion chances suffer another blow

ACFL Division 2

All Saints 0.7 Davitts 0.7

An All Saints team who topped division 2 for most of the season saw their promotion chances suffer another blow on Sunday when they were fortunate in the end to get a draw with a Davitt’s team who will feel that they should have left Slemish Park with both points.

In mid-week All Saints had an opportunity to put themselves in a commanding position in the race for the league title when they led their nearest rivals, Glenravel 0-6 to 0-4 at half time at the same venue but could only manage one second half point as the Con Magee’s ran out deserved winners.

On Sunday their lack of scoring power proved their downfall once again as they failed to raise a flag in the opening half with Davitts in a strong position when they led 0-5 to 0-0 at the short whistle.

In a low scoring encounter at Quinn Park, the visitors secured a well-earned point. Davitts arrived at Quinn Park with a game plan set out to frustrate the hosts and it worked to perfection. 

In the early exchanges. All Saints dominated possession and probed the Davitt’s rear-guard with little success with the visitors continuously frustrating and turning over attacks. Despite dominating possession, a disappointing All Saints didn’t raise a flag in the 1st half. 

Davitts played a possession based game and their patient approach with counter attacks paid dividends. Playing with the breeze in the first half, they registered 5 points (0.3F) to no score at half time. 

The 2nd half started in a similar fashion with All Saints eventually registering on the scoreboard 5 minutes into the 2nd half, Davitts responded to maintain their 5 point lead. 

An improved All Saints eventually started to gain some momentum and registered a further 6 points without reply to take the lead 7-6 heading into the closing stages.

All Saints couldn’t hold onto their lead and Davitts registered the final score of the game as the final whistle approached to earn a well and deserved point.

All Saints will be hoping for an improved performance as they travel to Chapel Hill in mid-week whilst Davitts travel to Crumlin to face league challengers Aldergrove. 

All Saints: 1. Ryan Stewart 2. Eoin Walsh 3. James Gillan 4. Cal O’Brien 5. Kavan Keenan 6. Shaun O’Callaghan 7. James McDonnell 8. Sean McVeigh 9. Shea O’Brien 10. Ciaran McGarry 11. Peter McReynolds 12. Brendan McDonnell 13. Ronan McKillop 14. Micheal McCarry 15. Emmet killough

St Pauls stage fightback at the Cricky

O’Neill’s Sportswear ACFL Division 2B 

Ardoyne 1-11-2-08 St Pauls 

Kevin Herron reports from Fennell Park 

St Pauls battled back from seven points down in the first half and six at the beginning of the second period to claim a point in a 1-11-2-08 draw with Ardoyne at Fennell Park on Saturday afternoon. 

The Shaws Road outfit were only ahead once over the course of the afternoon through an early Lorcan Philips point. 

The hosts replied with the game’s opening goal through Aidan McNeill- who reacted quickest after his sides first shot came off the large post and he was waiting to thump the rebound into the roof of the net. 

Conor McLaughlin would swing over his sides first point following Kevin Lynch’s layoff and Cormac Mullan then converted a free to open up a four-point advantage after 10 minutes. 

Philips would double his tally through a converted free, but Ardoyne then responded with four unanswered points that saw them 1-06-0-02 ahead approaching the break. 

Three of the scores came in close proximity as Kealan McCallin and Oisin McVicker produced fine points and a fisted effort from Eoghan Corrigan followed. 

Kevin Lynch was then illegally held up as he attempted to get his shot away and Cormac Mullan would double his tally from the placed ball.

St Pauls hit back on the 23rd minute through a fortuitous Tiernan Auld goal. Auld dropped a high ball in and Ardoyne keeper Tiernan Hughes lost sighting as he attempted to compete with the St Pauls attacker in front of him- the ball evaded both and snuck underneath the crossbar to make it 1-06-1-02. 

Philips would add a further point before the break from the placed ball as St Pauls had wiped the deficit by more than half. 

Despite conceding the goal and point without reply before the break, Ardoyne regained the initiative and extended their lead with three unanswered points at the beginning of the second period. 

Goal scorer Aidan McNeill swung over a point from close range, Cormac Mullan dropped over his first from play and Conor McLaughlin clipped over his second of the afternoon to give the hosts a 1-09-1-03 lead. 

James Farrell and Liam McLarnon got St Pauls up and running with back-to-back scorers in response, though a converted 45’ from Mullan gave Ardoyne a five-point cushion with little over a quarter of an hour remaining. 

McLarnon converted a close range free and then dropped a 65’ over the bar to make it a three-point game. 

The hosts had the chances to extend their lead- though were guilty of wastefulness in front of goal and they would pay the price five minutes from time when Seán MacCorriadh was gathered in front of goal and swept his low drive into the corner to draw the sides level at 1-10-2-07. 

Ardoyne inched ahead again through Mullan’s third free of the contest, but they couldn’t hold out and in injury time Niall Ward popped the ball off to Pearse Magee to grab the equaliser and ensure St Pauls would salvage a point for their afternoon’s effort. 

Ardoyne: T Hughes, O McVicker (0-01), M McGreevy, C McLaughlin (0-02), J McNeill, E Corrigan (0-01), K McCallin (0-01), SJ Rooney, D McCormick, A McNeill (1-01), B O’Neill, C Mullan (0-05, 0-03f, 0-01 45’), K Lynch, C McDowell, C McNeill. Subs: M McAuley for SJ Rooney (40), O McKee for C McDowell (56). 

St Pauls: J Rodgers, A Kavanagh, T Auld (1-00), P Magee (0-01), M Duffy, N McStravick, D O’Sullivan, S MacCorraidh (1-00), N Ward , M Munce, C Hughes, J Farrell (0-01), L Philips (0-03, 0-02f), L McLarnon (0-03, 0-01f, 0-01 45’), P Doyle. Subs: C Killyleagh for N McStravick (22), P Lowe for C Hughes (HT), S Rooney for M Duffy (38), F Ireland for L McLarnon (53). 

Referee: Fionntan McCotter (Sarsfields)

Davitt’s secure top half finish with victory over Glenavy

O’Neill’s Sportswear ACFL Division Two 

Davitt’s 3-11-1-08 Glenavy 

Kevin Herron reports from Davitt Park 

Davitt’s joined Glenavy in the top half of the Division 2 table with a 3-11-1-08 win over the Chapel Hill side at Davitt Park on Sunday afternoon.  

CJ Sullivan scrambled in a goal for the hosts in first half injury-time- moments after Finn Shannon had reduced the deficit to a single point and further second half goals from Anthony Rowntree and Sullivan saw the hosts run out winners. 

Glenavy were first off the mark through a point from Finn Shannon after the youngster collected a short free, escaped attention and guided his shot over the bar. 

CJ Sullivan swivelled and popped over the equaliser and the sides traded further scores through converted frees from Gerard Slane and Fergal Henry. 

Davitt’s would hit four unanswered points to power ahead in proceedings. The first three were fisted efforts, two either side of a water=break from Padraig McParland and another from Jack Scally after the ball was switched from one side of the field to the other. 

Gerard Slane doubled his account for the half, dropping a free between the posts and at the other end Fergal Henry doubled his tally from the same scenario after Patrick Gallagher was felled. 

The hosts restored their four-point lead through a fine McParland point and that was the margin that would separate the sides at the interval despite a frenzied finish to the half. 

Glenavy thought they had did enough to bring things down to a one-point game after Ruairi Forsester burst forward and slipped the ball off to Thomas Gallagher and he in turn found Finn Shannon to float a fantastic shot that dipped over the stretch of Liam McGivern and into the Davitt’s net. 

Finn Shannon’s shot floats over Davitt’s keeper Liam McGivern

A minute into injury time at the end of the half Davitt’s responded with a goal of their own. Padraig McParland found Niall McParland on the loop and his attempted shot was scrambled in at the back post by CJ Sullivan to ensure his side were 1-07-1-03 ahead at the midway point. 

CJ Sullivan scrambles in an immediate goal at the other end before the break

Davitt’s made a fantastic start to the second period and extended their lead within 60-seconds of the restart. 

Jack Scally dropped the ball underneath the crossbar and Anthony Rowntree did just enough to flick the ball away from Glenavy goalkeeper Stephen Daly and a covering defender on the line to give his side a 2-07-1-03 lead. 

For the third time in proceedings, free-takers Slane and Henry traded scores with each-other. 

Midway through the second half the points were surely safe for the hosts when a third goal arrived. 

Michael Connolly played a terrific pass into CJ Sullivan- who claimed a mark and then made his way towards goals. 

Despite being fouled and shooting from a difficult angle, Sullivan’s thunderous drive went in off the underside of the bar and gave his side a 3-08-1-04 advantage. 

Sullivan thunders in his second of the afternoon

Substitute Jay Maguire floated a shot over the bar to extend the lead further, but Fergal Henry was afforded an advantage and dropped over his first point from play, that was followed by a converted free off the ground by substitute Feargal Green. 

Glenavy would see out the remaining minutes a man light after referee Paul Burns showed a second yellow-card to Oisin Hamill. 

The final four scores were evenly shared between the sides. Padraig McParland converted a free and Jay Maguire saw his goal-bound shot turned over the bar instead of under. 

On both occasions the 14-men hit back, Fergal Henry with his second point from play of the half and Darragh Doherty then dropped a free over the bar with the final kick of proceedings as Davitt’s ran out 3-11-1-08 winners at the conclusion. 

Davitt’s: L McGivern, C Rainey, J Park, C Toner, J Scally (0-01), A Hargan, D Mooney, M Connolly, N McParland, CJ Sullivan (2-01), G Slane (0-03f), D Wallace, N Maginn, P McParland (0-04, 0-01f), A Rowntree (1-00). Subs: C Browne for C Rainey (36), M Toner for G Slane (40), J Maguire (0-02) for D Wallace (40), A Slane for L McGivern (49). 

Glenavy: S Daly, D McAlister, O Hamill, S O’Neill, D Doherty (0-01f), L Henry, R Forester, M Johnston, P Gallagher, E Philips, T Gallagher, D Armstrong, F Henry (0-05, 0-03f), D Gallagher, F Shannon (1-01). Subs: F Green (0-01f) for D Gallagher (43), N McCann for D Armstrong (43), C Grant for E Philips (50). 

Referee: Paul Burns (St Comgalls)

St. James right back in the promotion race

ACFL Division 2

St. James 4-16 St. Paul’s 4-8

St. James Aldergrove put themselves right back into the promotion race when they had eight points to spare over visitors St. Paul’s in this rearranged phase 1 fixture in Crumlin on Sunday. St. James took control early in the contest but St. Paul’s ability to score goals kept them in contention until late in the contest.

Anthony Kidney pointed the Crumlin side ahead and Seamus McGarry followed with a goal in the 6th minute to put them in early charge. St. Pauls cause wasn’t helped when they lost a player to a Red card shortly after and they were forced to play with 14 men for the remainder of the game.Seamus McGarry moved the home side five ahead before Patrick Doyle finally opened the visitors account with a goal in the 17th minute but further minors from McGarry 0-3 and Declan Gough had Aldergrove in almost total control by the 26th minute.

The Shaw’s Road side were struggling to get a foot hold but Liam McLarnon added their second score from a point but it brought an immediate reply as Declan Gough and Conleith O’Toole fired over at the other end.A second St. Paul’s goal from Patrick Doyle just before the break gave the visitors renewed hope with Declan Gough replying with the final point of the half for the home side to leave them 1-9 to 2-1 ahead at the break.

St. James opened the second half as they had the first and Anto Kidney gave them the perfect start as he finished to the net after four minutes with Patrick Doyle replying immediately with a point for St. Paul’s.The home side continued to call the shots with Gerard Mallon, Cormac McGarry and Ryan McCarthy extending their lead with three unanswered points.

Jack McAufield in the St. Paul’s goals then brought off a great save to deny the Aldergrove men as they continued to press before Lorcan Phillips pulled one back for the visitors with a great point in the 9th minute.This score seemed to lift the visitors and Sean O’Neill in the home nets brought off a good save to deny them but they continued to press and were awarded a penalty which Patrick Doyle tucked away.Phillips followed immediately with a point to close the gap to six as the referee called for the second water break and at this stage it looked far from over.

It was St. James who grabbed the initiative again going down the home straight however as Kian Jones finished a good move to the visitor’s net with Conor Hughes and Lorcan Phillips for St. Paul’s and Conor Browning and Seamus McGarry for Aldergrove exchanging further pointsAnother pointed free from the excellent McGarry and a Ryan McCarthy goal sewed matters up for the home side but St. Paul’s battled to the end and were rewarded with a late goal from Liam McLarnon which only served to put a better look on the final score-line .

 Aldergrove: 1 Sean O’Neill, 2 Aiden Ervine, 3 Eoin Gough, 4 Conleith O’Toole, 5 Conor Browning, 6 Chris McVeigh, 7 Gerard Mallon, 8 Brian McQuillan, 9 Ryan Owens, 10 Declan Gough, 11 James Trowlen, 12 Andy Flood, 13 Seamus McGarry, 14 Anthony Kidney, 15 Oisin Graham. 18 Cormac McGarry, 19 David Aiken, 21 Kian Jones, 24 Corey Fogarty, 25 Ryan McCarthy

St. Pauls: 1 Jack McAufield, 2 Aodhan Kavanagh, 4 Tiarnan Auld, 5 Miceal Duffy, 7 Pearse Magee, 8 Sean McCrory, 9 Niall McStravick, 10 Diarmaid O’Sullivan, 11 Conor Hughes, 12 Barry Burns, 15 Conall Duffy, 16 Nial;l Ward, 17 Patrick Doyle, 18 James Farrell, 20 Jonathan Rodgers, 21 Lorcan Murphy, 27 Lorcan Phillips, 28 Liam McLarnon

Referee: Richard Leahy

Aldergrove win well, despite slow start

O’Neill’s Sportswear Division 2 Football League

Aldergrove 2-8 Glenavy 0-6

It may have taken them nineteen minutes to raise their first flag but when they did get going there was no stopping Aldergrove in their local derby clash with Glenavy at Crumlin on Wednesday evening.

By the time Seamus McGarry had raised the home team’s opening flag, Fergal Henry had Glenavy two ahead, the first one coming from a 5th minute free and the other from play on fifteen. Henry added another on 25 minutes to put his team back in front, but Brian McQuillan came back with one for the home team from play and Fearghal Burke added one from play to put their team 0-4 to 0-3 ahead at the short whistle.

That lead was increased to two early in the second half when substitute F Hanna sent over a point, and though Henry came back with one for the visitors a minute later, Andy Flood stuck for the home team on 52 minutes when he fired home the first goal of the game. Glenavy’s only scorer on the night Fergal Henry kept his team in touch with the fifth of his six points midway through the second half, but when substitute Conleith O’Toole got Aldergrove’s second goal soon afterwards there was no way back for the visitors.

Henry kept his team in the hunt with his sixth point of the game but Aldergrove finished strongly and two points from McGarry and Hanna saw them run out winners by eight in the end.