Moneyglass edge closer to league title

Homefit Antrim Football League – Division 2

Moneyglass 1-07  Glenravel 1-05

Moneyglass all but secured the All County Division 2 title with this victory over Glenravel at Marian Hill on Sunday. They now sit five points clear of their nearest rival, All Saints, with three games remaining. Indeed those two go head to head in the final outing of the season but by then surely the men in blue and yellow will already have been crowned Division Two  champions. This was a low scoring game played in a continuous cycle of sunshine and showers rendering underfoot conditions pretty treacherous. Both teams were guilty of fairly wayward shooting at times but the players will point to a combination of greasy surface and robust defending in explaining the paltry scores from open play.

Moneyglass started brightly with a point from Jack McCoy inside the opening minute before the visitors levelled and took the lead on five and six minutes, Aiden O’Donnell and Eamon Fyfe the providers. Moneyglass were awarded a penalty one minute later when Glenravel keeper Jamie McEvoy was adjudged to have fouled Connlaodh McCann inside the square but much to McEvoy’s relief the normally accurate Seanchann Duffin stroked the ball wide of the left upright and Glenravel were let off the hook. McCann would make amends with a point on nine minutes but that was after Fyfe had once again nudged Glenravel ahead one minute earlier. Eoin Hynds and Colm Duffin would exchange points so the first quarter ended with Con Magees ahead 0-04 to 0-03. A further eight minutes would pass scoreless but the game sprang into life when Dermot McErlaine’s low drive ended up in the back of the Glenravel net for the game’s opening goal. Two minutes later however the visitors swept down the field and a fine movement was awarded with a goal when Charlie Henry pounced to score from close range. Both teams retired to the comfort of the changing rooms with Glenravel a point to the good 1-04 to 1-03.

On the resumption, Moneyglass fired over two points in quick succession from the boot of Colm Duffin to regain a slender lead. With twenty minutes remaining, Conleth O’Loan side stepped his marker and pointed to bring the sides level once more. The final quarter was very uneventful, only producing two scores, both from frees for Moneyglass to leave them winners by two points.

McDonnell leads All Saints to victory

ACFL Division 2

All Saints 3.12 – Ardoyne 1.7

All Saints kept themselves in the race for a promotion play-off place following this comprehensive win over Ardoyne at Fennell Park today. In what looked like a difficult assignment on paper the Ballymena side dominated the opening half and had matters more or less sewn up as the half time whistle sounded.

Ardoyne performed better in the second half and added 1-6 to their first half meagre total of a point but never looked like overturning the visitors lead.

All Saints dominated this game from start to finish and registered 3 goals in the first half to take a 14 point lead at half time.

Playing into the breeze in the 1st half, the visitors played some good football on the front foot with goals coming from Shea O Brien (penalty) and two goals from the in-form Brendan McDonnell.

Ardoyne only registered one point in the 1st half from an Aidan McNeill free and it was the Slemish Park side who had the hard work done as they led 3.6 to 0.1 at the break.

Ardoyne started the 2nd half better and registered 5 points in the opening10 minutes. They certainly put it up to the visitors for a spell and narrowed the gap to 9 points at one stage when their centre half forward found the net but that was as close as they got.

Brendan McDonnell was in excellent form for Baker Bradley’s side finishing the game with a personal tally of 2-5 and proved a real handful for the Ardoyne defence.

The Ballymena side reasserted their authority in the closing stages to run out winners by 11 points and with three home games to finish their league programme their destiny is very much in their own hands.

They welcome Davitt’s to Slemish Park on Wednesday night while third place St. Paul’s entertain league leaders St. Ergnat’s at Shaw’s Road and with only three points separating second and fourth these games are sure to be keenly contested

All Saints: Niall Shannon, Matt Downey, James McDonnell, James Gillan, Connell Lemon, Paddy McAleer, Cormac Lemon, Emmet Killough, Ciaran McGarry, Conor Stewart (0.3), Ciaran Campbell, Shaun O’Callaghan, Brendan McDonnell (2.5), Owen Campbell (0.1), Shea O Brien (1.1)

St Pat’s Lisburn take a big stride towards league title

St Patrick’s Lisburn 1-13 O’Donnell’s 1-8

Division 3 table toppers Naomh Padraig Lisburn took a giant stride towards sealing the league title when they beat O’Donnell’s on Wednesday evening at Kirkwood Park.

The win, their eighth in a row, virtually seals the title for the Lisburn men who are four points clear of their nearest rivals with just two games left to play.

Their visitors to Kirkwood Park on Wednesday evening made Naomh Padraig work for their win. They took the lead in the second minute with a Darragh Walsh point, and it was a further eight minutes before Naomh Padraig drew level with a pointed free from Conor Dixon. Within a minute O’Donnell’s were back ahead as Richard McAvoy scored from play, but points from Ben McMullan and Conor Ewing put the Lisburn men in front for the first time.

An Eoin Dixon point on 18 minutes put the home team two to the good, but two minutes later O’Donnell’s were back ahead when Richard McAvoy fired the ball to the St Patrick’s net. A great run from half back saw Oisin O’Gorman level matters again and Eoin Dixon put his team back in front, but three in a row from the Whiterock Road men pushed them two clear as the game entered added time at the end of the first half. St Patrick’s needed a lift going into the break and they got it when Conor Dixon showed his class as he sidestepped the O’Donnell’s goalkeeper and fired to the net to give his team the upper hand at the interval.

O’Donnell’s came out strongly at the start of the second half and two points from Cailean Walsh gave his team the edge yet again. Points from Eoin Dixon and Josh McMullan midway through the half finally settled the home side nerves, and though Eugene Gallagher responded with a point for O’D’s the home side pushed on to hit the last three points of the game, one from Colm Burns and two from Eoin Dixon to seal the win and take a big stride towards the league title

St. James’ edge it despite sparkling Henry performance

ACFL Divion 2B

St.James’ Aldergrove 0.11 v 0.10 St.Joseph’s Glenavy

When these keen local rivals met in the opening phase of the league back at the end of March it was Glenavy who won by three points Last night, despite a personal contribution of 0-8 from Glenavy’s Fergal Henry it was Aldergrove who emerged victorious to claim the bragging rights – at least until the next time.

Both sides deserve great credit for the effort that was put in to win this local derby. The home side came out on top because they ruled the first half and led by five at the interval. The highlight of the game was Glenavy’s Fergal Henry raising the white flag on eight occasions.

Conor Morris playing at full-forward for St. James raised the first white flag and this was quickly followed by an Aaron Connor point. Fergal Henry had his first score when he split the posts to reduce the lead but the home side ruled the next fifteen minutes with four points from Oisin Graham, Conor McManus, Ronan Hanna and Corey Fogarty to put their side five in front.

Fergal Henry chipped in with a pointed free for his second of the game for the visitors but Conor Morris and Ronan Hannah responded with two excellent points for the home side.

Once again the visitors closed the gap to five when Fergal Henry added a pointed free as the referee blew the halftime whistle with the scores at 0.08 v 0. 03 in the home sides favour.

The second half started with the visitors showing they meant business with Fergal Henry adding three points with two from open play and a pointed free. Malachi Doherty got in on the scoring act with a well taken point before Ronan Hanna pulled a point back for the Crumlin men.

Once again Fergal Henry closed the gap with a point from an acute angle and Malachi Doherty pointed a 45 as St. Joseph’s began to get on top. The momentum was now very much with the visitors as Fergal Henry pointed a free to put his side one up with time running out.

At this stage Glenavy looked on their way to the double over their near neighbours but to their credit the home side finished the stronger with points from Michael Blaney and the ever alert Ronan Hanna hitting the winner. .

St.James: Shane O’Neill; Aidan Mulholland; Michael McCarthy; Eoin Gough; Chris Browning; Brian McQuillan; Declan Gough; Oisin Graham; Conor Browning; Coret Fogarty; Michael Blaney; Aaron O’Connor; Ronan Hanna; Conor Morris; Chris McVeigh.

St.Joseph’s: Lorcan Murphy; Darragh Doherty; Conor Hamill (Shay O’Neill); Oliver Brankin; Michael Fox; Mathew Hamill ( Mathew Lawlor); Patrick Fox; Michael Johnston ( Martin Nelson); Fiontáin O’Boyle; Malachi Doherty; Patrick Gallagher; Pearse O’Neill; Niall McCann; Fergus Cunningham ( Michael McCourt); Niall McCann.

Referee: Paul Burns (Naomh Comhghall)

Moneyglass in pole position going down the home straight

ACFL Division 2A

Davitt’s 0-5 St. Ergnat’s 2-8

These sides met three days previous in Marian Hill and only a point separated them in the end as Moneyglass completed their first faze games four points clear of their opponents and the close nature of that encounter suggested that Davitt’s would provide a stiff test on home soil last night.

The league leaders failed to read the script however and goals from Conaill Prenter in the first minute and Connlaodh McCann just before the short whistle put them in a strong position going into the second half.

Despite losing Danny McErlain through injury early in the game, Gary Murray took over in nets and performed admirably with Aaron Slane pointing a free in the 11th minute to finally open Davitt’s account but Colum Duffin replied with a point for the visitors to keep them three ahead with 14 minutes on the clock.

Deaglan Mooney replied immediately with a point for the home side and when keeper Slane fired over his second free in the 17th minute, Davitt’s appeared to be gaining a bit of traction but that was as good as it got for the Davitt’s Park side.

The St. Ergnat’s defence shut shop at this stage with Conor Boyd, Peter McCormick, Sean Kelly and Jack McCoy denying the opposition space or opportunity and a Colum Duffin point after 25 minutes and a goal from youngster Connlaodh McCann just before the break put them in a strong position.

Five behind at the break, Davitt’s needed a good start to the second half if they were to eat into the St. Ergnat’s lead but it took them nine minutes to raise a first white flag through Sean Og O’Neill by which time Conal Prenter and Jack McCoy had extended the visitors lead with points for the visitors.

The expected Davitt’s comeback never materialised as the Moneyglass defence continued to dominate and the home side would add only one further point through Conor John Sullivan with Jack McCoy, Colum Duffin 0-2 and Connor O’Kane adding points for the visitors as they ran out convincing winners.

This win put Moneyglass in pole position with 21 points from 12 starts while All Saints win over Glenravel on the same night moves them into second place, one point above Davitt’s and two ahead of Glenravel and St. Paul’s who both have 14 points from 12 starts.

With four round of games remaining promotion is very much in the Moneyglass court and it looks like the race by the chasing pack is for second place which this year would see the successful side involved in a promotion-relegation playoff with the second bottom team in division 1.

.Davitt’s keeper, Aaron Slane on one of his trademark runs out the field

Davitt’s: 1 Aaron 2 Slane, Conor Toner, 3 Paul McKinney, 4 Natrhan McKinney, 5 Gerard Slane, 6 Niall McParland, 7 Jack Scally, 8 Anthony Rowntree, 9 Ryan Park, 10 Caomhan Slane, 11 Sean Og O’Neill, 12 James Lindsday, 13 Marcas Toner, 14  Conor John Sullivan, 15 Deaglan Mooney, 18 Anthony McLaughlin, 19 Jason Park, 20 Oscar Deery, 21 Tony McGrattan

Moneyglass: 1 Danny McErlain, 2 Sean Kelly, 3 Peter McCormick, 4 Callum McStocker, 5 Jack McCoy, 6 Conor Boyd, 7 James McCormick, 8 Tiernan Duffin, 9 Seanchann Duffin, 10 Fearghal Duffin, 11 Dermot McErlain, 12 Patrick McCormick, 13 Connlaodh McCann, 14 Colum Duffin, 15 Conaill Prenter, 17 Miran Neeson, 18 Connor O’Kane, 20 Jamie Duffin, 21 Niall Boyd, 22 Luke O’Donnell, 25 Eoin McErlain, 26 Jimmy McMeel, 29 Tyler Cassidy

Referee: Patrick Tumelty (Lamh Dhearg)