Davitt’s and Glenavy share the spoils

ACFL Division 2B

Davitt’s  1.14 St. Joseph’s  1.14

Report: Terry Cormican

With both sides on ten points at least a point was needed to guarantee division two football next season for both sides. A highly entertaining game resulted in the point secured to escape a relegation battle. Played on a 4G pitch on a very hot evening the players deserve the highest praise in keeping their supporters on tender hooks until the final whistle. Once again the country side allowed a seven point lead to vanish and were relieved when substitute James Gallagher equalised with the last kick of the game. 

Fergal Henry cut in from the wing to split the posts for the opening score but Caomhan Slane levelled the game with a well worked point. Thomas Gallagher and Michael McCourt pointed to edge the hill side two in front but Aaron Slane, the Davitt’s goalkeeper replied with the first of his five pointed frees. The visitors slowly got on top however, enjoying their best spell of the game scoring 1.04 without reply. Thomas Gallagher took a pass from his brother Anthony and gave the home keeper no chance when he rattled the back of the net and Ciaran Loney with two and Fergal Henry landed points to give their side a sizeable lead.

Instead of kicking on they let the Belfast side back into the game with a pointed free from their keeper Slane. A long kick into the big square allowed James Lindberg to add a point and again route one football paid dividends as Niall McPartland gained possession and finish to the net. Padraig McPartland landed a pointed free from an acute angle to leave the minimum between the sides and Thomas Gallagher and Caomhan Slane exchanged points to leave the halftime score 1.07 to 1.06 in the orange men’s favour.

On the restart Padraig McPartland levelled the scores and Caomhan Slane put the home side in front for the first time before Niall McCann levelled the scores with a well taken point. Once again indiscipline in the visitors defence cost them dearly when the home keeper came up and pointed a free  and the sides were level when Niall McCann gained possession and split the posts.

 Davitt’s were now exerting a lot of pressure on the Glenavy defence and were rewarded with a pointed free from Aaron Slane. The visitors rallied however and James Gallagher, who had entered the fray and Niall McCann put their side one up with ten minutes remaining.

It was obvious this one was going to go down to the wire as Padraig McPartland and James Lindberg put their side one up with a point apiece but James Gallagher pointed a free to level the scores for the seventh time. Jake Nelson brought off an excellent save at the expense of a forty five which Aaron Slane pointed for his fifth point to edge Davitt’s ahead entering added time and it looked like they would claim the points. To their credit the visitors kept plugging away and were rewarded when Ryan Malley stole up from corner back to score an excellent point. This was Ryan’s first senior game having stepped up from minor and he proved he was worthy of selection.

From the kick-out Davitt’s won the ball in the middle and quickly transferred it to Padraig McPartland who kept his nerve to put his side ahead again but in an exciting finish James Gallagher gained possession from the kick-out and returned it over the bar to level the scores at 1.14 apiece. The final whistle blew to the relief of both sides and their supporters. A word of praise is not out of place for referee Conall James Roberts who did an excellent job.

Glenavy:  J. Nelson; R. Malley; J. Phillips; M. Kane; R. Phillips; P. Gallagher; C. Grant; P. Traynor; M. Johnston; M. McCourt; N. McCann; A. Gallagher; T. Gallagher; C. Loney; F. Henry.

Subs:C. Hamill; F. Cunningham; P. O’Neill; D. Shannon; J. Gallagher.

Young Saints find their shooting boots as championship approaches

ACFL Division 2A

All Saints 0-20 Sarsfields 0-14

A youthful All Saints found their shooting boots last night when they outscored Sarsfields in an entertaining, open game of football at Slemish Park. Ronan Ward made a recent return to the side after a long layoff due to injury and gave an assured performance at full-back while Eoghan Daly on the ‘40’ was another who impressed.

Like Ward, Daly has returned to duty following a long term injury and both players will be useful additions as the championship lurks just around the corner. Daly was flanked by youngsters Shea O’Brien and Kavan Keenan and all three made their contribution to last night’s win.

Another player making his return after injury was Eoghan Campbell who marked his return with a point as all six starting forwards got their names on an impressive score sheet.

It was their most experienced player, Sean McVeigh who made the biggest contribution on the night however, finishing with 0-7 from mid-field and with Emmet Killough they held sway in this department for most of the game.

In a performance that will have pleased the All Saints management and handed them a welcome selection problem leading up to their championship meeting with St. James’ Aldergrove, Rory McVeigh added his weight as target man and contributed two points while mister reliable, Brendan McDonnell added three to his seasonal total.

All Saints have two home games remaining to complete their league campaign and face difficult opponents in league leaders Rossa and Cuchullain’s Dunloy and will reflect on a point dropped at home to Moneyglass and their failure to field against Tir na nOg with some regret .

1.Emmet McAllister,2. Joe Rocks,3. Ronan Ward, 4.James Gillan,5. Ciaran McGarry, 6. Damian Kelly, 7. Connell Lemon, 8. Sean McVeigh, 9. Emmett Killough, 10. Kavan Keenan, 11. Eoghan Daly, 12. Shea Obrien, 13. Eoin Campbell, 14. Rory McVeigh, 15. Brendan McDonnell.

All Saints scorers:

Eoghan Daly- 0-3

Sean Mcveigh- 0-7

Kavan Keenan- 0-2

Brendan McDonnell- 0-3

Shea O’Brien- 0-1

Rory Mcveigh- 0-2

Eoin Campbell- 0-1

Connell Lemon 0-1

Lisburn lord it over lacklustre Con Magees

All County Football League Division 2B

Glenravel 1-10     Lisburn 1-1

Report by Aodh OLoan – Pics Neal OBoyle
St Patrick’s Lisburn recorded their first league points of the season in a facile victory over an understrength  Glenravel team in Fr Maginn Park on Wednesday evening. These teams have seen a lot of each other in the past two years with both securing promotion from Division 3 last year and meeting in the Junior Championship final in 2018. Their journey in Division 2 however has been very different as the Glensmen have secured their place in this Division next year whilst their Lisburn opponents  look doomed to drop back to Division 3 when the books close on this season. So the result was a bit of a surprise when referee Vincent Boyle called time on this one amidst the balmy heat of a mid-summer evening in the tenth Glen. 

Pic by Neal OBoyle

 Niall Ward opened for the visitors with a neat score from play and three minutes later Aidan O’Donnell levelled from a free. Glenravel were seeing plenty of the ball at this stage but weren’t troubling the score keeper as they recorded three wides in as many minutes before Conor Dixon nudged Lisburn ahead again only to be pegged back on level terms when Conor Carey levelled for the locals. Glenravel would rue those missed chances as Lisburn started to dictate the play. They were going short on their kickouts and enjoying a wealth of possession which they converted into four consecutive scores without reply to open up a four point gap. Francis McMeel (2), Niall Ward and Conor Dixon providing the points. Aiden O’Donnell reduced the gap from a free but in the 32nd minute Lisburn carved open Glenravel’s defence and Josh McMullan finished to the net to put them 1-06 to 0-03 ahead. The alarm bells were ringing for the local lads and not even a well taken free from Aiden O’Donnell on the stroke of half time could reduce their tension as they went in five points behind having been well and truly over turned in the first half.

Stern words I’m sure from the Glenravel mentors seemed to have stirred their charges into action as they opened the second half with a superbly taken goal after twenty three seconds. Suddenly we had a game on our hands with only two points separating the teams. That however proved to be a false dawn for the home team who would not close the gap any further throughout the following thirty minutes. Lisburn were winning  a lot of the midfield battles and would nullify that goal with four unanswered points in a six minute spell. Conor Dixon getting three in succession and Aaron McDonald the other. Eamon Fyfe pointed for Glenravel but Josh McMullan and Francis McMeel extended the Lisburn lead to seven points and the home supporters could see the writing on the wall. Aiden O’Donnell (free) and Niall Ward exchanged points half way through the second half to maintain the seven point gap but there then followed a five minute period of local dominance with the home team scoring four in quick succession through Conor Carey, David Higgins, Aiden McCafferty and Aiden O’Donnell. Now trailing by three points and six minutes at least left on the clock could Glenravel push on and steal an unlikely victory? Lisburn slowed the game down and clawed their way back in to it; when Conor Dixon and Francis McMell extended their lead to five points Glenravel knew their race was run.  Vincent Boyle called for the ball after four minutes of added time and Lisburn had won by a margin of five points on a 1-15 to 1-10 scoreline.
A disappointing evening for the home fans who would have had expectations of victory given the league positions of these teams. Glenravel fielded a very experimental side due to injury and holiday and they never quite got into the game. Both teams have two games left to rescue something from the season but as it stands it looks like only Glenravel will be in the same Division next year. 

Glenravel: Conleth O’Loan, Aiden McCafferty (0-1), Michael Laverty, Christopher Laverty, Ruari Lennon, Niall Swann, Jonathan Fyfe, Martin McCarry, David Higgins (0-1), Conor Carey (0-2), Kieran McKeown, Aiden O’Donnell (0-5f), Josh McKeown (1-0), Eammon Fyfe (0-1), Caolan Mullan
Subs: Declan McAuley for Christopher Laverty, Gareth McKeown for Eammon Fyfe
Lisburn: Peter O’Neill, Shane McEvoy, Thomas Burns, Mark Torbitt, Sean Casey, Aaron McDonald (0-1), Ben McMullan, Niall Ward (0-3), Eoin Fay, Josh McMullan (1-01), Declan Burns, Conor Dixon (0-6  1f), Mark Chemek, Francis McMeel (0-4  2f)

Aldergrove go tops in Division 2B as Glenravel falter

ACFL Division 2B

Aldergrove 2-19 Rasharkin 2-12

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

St. James Aldergrove move to the top of division 2B following this seven point win over Rasharkin in Crumlin last night and Glenravel’s surprise defeat to bottom club Naomh Padraig in Glenravel while Rasharkin find themselves stuck in the relegation zone.

The visitors made a bold bid to earn some needed points as they matched the opposition during the opening half and an Eamon McNeill goal on the cusp of half time saw them level at the short whistle and they must have fancied their chances of pushing on in the second half.

It was St. James’ Aldergrove who stepped it up a gear after the break however and with Seamus McGarry and Brian McQuillan causing problems in attack they pushed on to win by seven points as the Rasharkin challenge faded.

Eamon McNeill led the Rasharkin challenge and after Shane Hasson had opened the visitors account McNeill raised white flags in the 6th, 11th and 29th minute and with Brendan Etherson adding a couple from full forward and Killian O’Boyle also on target, McNeill’s goal in stoppage time gave the Dreen side a real lift.

Aldergrove had led most of the way during the opening thirty minutes with Ryan Owens, McQuillan, McGarry, Conor Morris and Seany Fay involved in everything good they produced but McNeill’s goal left them with all still to do in the second half.

Aldergrove stepped it up a gear after thre break and goals from Seamus McGarry and Brian McQuillan gave them control with McQuillan finishing with 1-5, McGarry 1-4, Conor Morris 0-5, Ryan Owens 0-3 and Chris McSteen the men on target.

The visitors were never able to reproduce their first half effort however and despite a goal from substitute Johnny McAleese and points from Conor McFerran, Gerard O’Hagan and Ryan Lynch it was the Crumlin side who pushed on, adding 2-9 to their first half total.

Ferdia Carson, Oisin Graham, Christopher McVeigh, Daniel Bell, Ryan Owens, Seamus McGarry, Brian McQuillan and Seany Fay were prominent as James pulled away to win fairly comfortably in the end and they look to be running into a bit of form with the championship just around the corner.

Aldergrove: Shane O’Neill, Paul Cushley, Ferdia Carson, Ronan Wilkinson, Oisin Graham, Christopher McVeigh, Eamon McCourt, Daniel Bell, Ryan Owens, Seamus McGarry, Brian McQuillan, Conor Morris, Seany Fay, James Trowlen,

Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Colm Kennedy, Emmett McFerran, Dominic McFerran, Pearce Kelly, Conor Hasson, Fergus Quigg, Shane Hasson, Thomas McMullan, Killian O’Boyle, Eamon McNeill, Thomas Doherty, Gerard O’Hagan, Brendan Etherson, Conor McFerran.


Johnny McAleese for Killian OBoyle (44th min).

Ryan Lynch for Gerard O’Hagan (46th min)

Liam Quigg for Colm Kennedy (55th min)

Rasharkin scorers:

Shane Hasson 0-1 (4th min)

Eamon McNeill 1-4 (Points: 6th, 11th, 29th and 51st min. Goal: 30th min before half-time)

Brendan Etherson 0-2 (9th and 24th min)

Killian OBoyle 0-1 (25th min)

Gerard O’Hagan 0-1 (34th min)

Conor McFerran 0-2 (41st and 42nd min)

Johnny McAleese 1-0 (49 min)

Ryan Lynch 0-1 (57th min)

Aldergrove Scorers:

Brian McQuillan 1-5

Seamus Mcgarry 1-4

Conor Morris 0-5

Ryan Owens 0-3

Chris McSteen 0-2

Brilliant Booter seals win for Dunloy

ACFL Division 2A

Dunloy 3-12 Moneyglass 1-13

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy

Who says championship dress rehearsals are supposed to be drab affairs?  Someone forgot to tell Dunloy and Moneyglass.  This one had it all on Wednesday evening with drama aplenty.  Red cards, contested decisions, cracking scores, glaring misses and a super-sub performance that sealed the deal for the home side.

Step forward Caolan Gillan.  ‘Booter’ was introduced by the Cuchullains management when they trailed Moneyglass by three points in the 46th minute.  By full time Booter had helped himself to 2-3 and the home side to two league points.  An incredible ending to what was already a cracking game of football.

The St Ergnat’s men came to Pearse Park knowing that a win would seal second place, opening an unassailable lead over their opponents on Wednesday night.  That coronation of sorts will have to wait as the 14 man Cuchullains fought back in the last quarter of this contest to leave five points between the sides at the end of 60 plus pulsating minutes of football.

The home side had the better of an entertaining first half and held a three point lead after the opening 11 minutes.  Seaán and Nigel Elliott splitting the posts either side of a brace from Conal Cunning (one free), Moneyglass’ sole score coming from Liam Brady in the same time.

Both were showing plenty of attacking intent in the opening exchanges with Dunloy edging the play but they were off target on too many occasion to have their play reflected on the scoreboard, hitting 10 wides overall in the first half.

Moneyglass thought they had scored the opening goal of the game in the ninth minute, Colum Duffin’s smart effort incredibly coming off the underside of the crossbar twice before the Dunloy defence cleared to safety.  The St Ergnat’s men didn’t have long to wait before raising the green flag however, Seanchann Duffin rising superbly to collect a long ball and holding off the challenge of two Dunloy defenders, managed to squeeze the ball below Sean Doherty in the Dunloy goals.

Conaill Prenter split the posts to give the visitors the lead for the first time midway through the first half but Dunloy began to find their range in front of the target, Keelan Molloy and Conal Cunning both scoring a brace of points to open a three point lead once again for the home side.  A free from Seanchann Duffin temporarily reduced that lead to two before the home side were reduced to 14 men.  Already on a yellow card, referee Cathal McDermott adjudged Oran Quinn attempted to trip a Moneyglass player and cut his game short by issuing another yellow, much to the dismay of the Cuchullains management.

The game sat precariously before the first turning point.  Seanchann Duffin was brilliantly denied a goal by Doherty between the posts before moments later the home side scored their first goal.  The Cuchullains countering before Molloy fed Seán Elliott and the Dunloy man showed great composure to find the back of the net despite the presence of the Moneyglass defence.

A brace of scores from Seanchann Duffin, taking his tally to 1-3 for the half left the home side ahead by three at the short whistle.

Half time: Dunloy 1-8 Moneyglass 1-5 

The visitors made a superb start to the second half and kept the Cuchullains scoreless for 18 minutes.  Maintaining a high press and putting the Cuchullains under pressure from their kickouts, the St Ergnat’s were back on terms after just three minutes.  James McMeel, Seanchann Duffin (free) and Colum Duffin with the scores.  Playing with a slight wind at their back they were picking holes in the Dunloy defence with Conaill Prenter, Seanchann Duffin and Colum Duffin all inspirational in dragging their sides fortunes around.  It could have been better for the visitors but for marauding wing half Eamonn Kelly blazing wide after instigating a precise passing move through the Dunloy defence.

Moneyglass had all the momentum and fully deserved their two point lead on the basis of their efforts in the opening quarter of the second half, after Peter McCormick and Liam Brady fired over from distance in the 42nd minute.  They should have had another goal however and for the life of me I’ve no idea how Prenter managed to miss the target in the 44th minute.  Another superb move allowed St Ergnat’s to cut through the Dunloy defence and with Prenter on the run, he wrong footed the Dunloy defender and Doherty in goals.  His effort went wide however and Dunloy breathed a collective sigh of relief.  A goal at that stage would have been curtains for the home side but instead, the final quarter belonged to Caolan Gillan.

Seán Elliott scored the home sides first point of the second half in the 48th minute minutes after Seanchann Duffin’s fifth white flag of the match.  Dunloy dragged themselves back into the game though with a 51st minute penalty.  Karl Fitzpatrick moved to the edge of the square caught a high ball and with goal on his mind, the Moneyglass defence were overzealous with their tackling.  Referee McDermott awarded a penalty and Booter despatched the spot kick with confidence to the bottom right hand corner.  With Deáglán Smith pulling the strings from midfield, Dunloy opened a three point lead, Booter with a brace of points (one free) before Moneyglass had one last throw of the dice.  The home side were keeping a high press but the St Ergnat’s men broke and with Colum Duffin landing a brace of white flags, they reduced the deficit to the minimum in the last minute of normal time.

That was their last score however as Dunloy and Booter took over in the five minutes of injury time that was added.  He raised his third white flag from his second free before putting the result of the match beyond doubt with Dunloy’s third goal.  Conor McKinley sending a long ball to Conal Cunning who sprinted through on the Moneyglass goal.  Seeing Booter in space, he passed square and the Dunloy sub added gloss to the score line for the home side.

An incredible last 15 minutes between two evenly matched sides.  Moneyglass still look like they will seal second place but this was another indication that the Cuchullains are one of the most dangerous sides in the Division.  The championship contest between these two sides will prove to be a cracker.


Dunloy: Sean Doherty; Aaron Crawford, Jamie McFerran, Conor Kinsella; Chrissy McMahon, Gabriel McTaggart, Oran Quinn; Shane Dooey, Karl Fitzpatrick; Keelan Molloy, Nigel Elliott, Deáglán Smith; Seán Elliott, Conor McKinley, Conal Cunning.

Scorers: Caolan Gillan 2-3 (1-00 pen, 2 f’s); Seán Elliott 1-2; Conal Cunning 0-4 (1 f); Keelan Molloy 0-2; Nigel Elliott 0-1.

Moneyglass: Mark Carey; Miran Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Peter McCormick; Jack McCoy, Sean Kelly, Eamonn Kelly; Colum Duffin, Niall Boyd; James McMeel, Paul Tohill, Conaill Prenter; Liam Brady, Seanchann Duffin, Gavin Murray.

Scorers: Seanchann Duffin 1-5 (4 f’s); Colum Duffin 0-3 (1 f); Liam Brady 0-2; Conaill Prenter 0-1; James McMeel 0-1; Peter McCormick 0-1.

Referee: Cathal McDermott (Tír na nÓg)