Tir na nÓg take another step towards promotion

Antrim Football League Division 2

Tir na nÓg 1-15  St Teresa’s 1-9

Tir na nÓg took another stride towards winning the Division 2 Football League when they beat St Teresa’s in Wednesday evening’s league tie at Whitehill. This puts the Randaltown men on 16 points with eight wins from eight and they now hold a three point lead on All Saints with just three games left to play. The men in blue travel to Ardoyne next Wednesday evening, and if they collect full points there they can seal promotion two nights later when they visit Glenravel on Friday 2nd July.

Tir na nÓg made a dream start when centre back Barry McCormick soloed through to blast the ball to the St Teresa’s net in the opening minute and when Darragh Fegan added a point a minute later they were four to the good. Paul Curran opened the visitors account in the eighth minute with a fine strike from out on the left wing, and though Fegan answered it a minute later left-half-back Conor O’Rawe breathed new life into the St Teresa’s challenge in the 12th minute when he drilled a low shot to the net.

The home team responded well as they hit three points on the trot to lead by 1-5 to 1-1 at the first half water break and when full forward Kevin Sheerin got the first point after the resumption the gap was out to five.

However St Teresa’s found their touch again and hit three in a row through John Mallon, Niall McCann (2) to cut the gap back to just two, though a strong finish to the half by the home team saw Aaron McNeilly, Sean Duffin and Daniel Martin all find the target to pull their team 1-9 to 1-4 clear by half time.

When Sheerin, McCormick and McNeilly pointed early in the second half the home side were eight clear and cruising, but St Teresa’s are dogged competitors and four excellent points from the sweet left foot of John Mallon cut the deficit in half, and they had a great chance of a goal when a high ball dropped in front of full forward Sean Maguire on the edge of the ‘square’. However the spin of the ball took it away from the number 14 and the chance was gone.

Darragh Fagan settled any nerves the home team  may have had with a point on 60 minutes and Christy Sheerin added another in injury time to wrap it all up.

All Saints keep pressure on league leaders with win over Glenavy

ACFL Div.2

All Saints 2.15 Glenavy 1.14.

Despite an outstanding performance from Glenavy’s Fergal Henry All Saints did just enough to collect both points this evening at Slemish Park against a Glenavy side who have only won 1 league game this season.

The first score of the game came after 7 minutes of play with Rory McVeigh finishing to the net following a soccer style run by Kavan Keenan.  This goal was followed by points from McDonnell (0.2) and McReynolds (0.1) as the home side took a 1.3 to 0.0 lead after 12 minutes.  Fergal Henry, who was the dominant forward on show, got Glenavy’s 1st score in the 12th minute, followed by another score by McDonnell and a point in response from Fergus Cunningham as the water break approached.  At the water break, All Saints lead by 5 points on a score line of 1.4 to 0.2.

After the water break, both sides traded points with All Saints scores from McDonnell & Keenan and Henry again with a further 2 points leaving 5 between the teams.  In the 23rd minute, Saints then extended their lead to 6 points with a free from McDonnell following a strong run by McKillop.  This was to be their last score of the half however with Glenavy then narrowing the gap with 3 unanswered scores from Henry (0.2) and Fergal Green. The visitors then lost a player to a black card for 10 minutes with 3 minutes remaining to the half time break with All  Saints leading 1.7 – 0.7 at half time.

Sean McVeigh scored the first point of the 2nd half to extend the lead to 4 points but Glenavy despite being a man down reduced the gap to a point with scores coming from Henry (0.2) and Thoma Gallagher following a Mark.  The home side replied with 2 good scores from McKillop and another from McVeigh before another reply from a Henry free on the 2nd water break left the score 1.10 to 0.11 in favour of All Saints.

Saints management introduced the experienced McCarry to the game as the final quarter approached to stem the influence of Gallagher.  On the restart, Saints picked off 3 quick scores from Keenan, McCarry (free) and Lemon with a good score from play.  The visitors replied from another mark by Thomas Gallagher but 2 further points from McCarry and McLarnon left All Saints 6 points up after 52nd minutes. 

The visitors refused to give up however and reduced the gap to 3 following another good piece of play by Henry to put Gallagher through to finish to the net.  This left the game back in the melting pot with 5 minutes remaining and the home side were looking decidedly shakey at this point.

However, the hard running Conal Lemon capped a good display with a superb individual goal to put the Saints 6 ahead as the full time whistle neared and settle his side again.  The final 2 scores of the game came from that man Henry who finished with 2 frees and 0.10 for the evening. 

 This was a keenly contested game and All Saints were worthy of their 4 point win and keep the pressure on league leaders Tir na nOg with 3 games remaining.  Glenavy showed in patches the football they are capable off and in Henry, they had the best player on view.

All Saints: Conor Brennan, Matt Downey, James Gillan, Michael Read, Kavan Keenan (0.2), Peter Mc Nicholl, Conal Lemon (1.1),Sean McVeigh (0.2), Emmet Killough, Shea O Brien, Peter McReynolds (0.1), Ronan McKillop (0.1), Oisin Connolly, Rory McVeigh (1.0), Brendan McDonnell (0.5)

Subs:

Joe Rafferty for Matt Downey (HT)

Michael McCarry (0.2) for Oisin Connolly (40 mins)

Aidan Scullion for Michael Read (40 mins)

Ciaran McLarnon (0.1) for Peter McReynolds (48 mins)

Glenavy: Lorcan Murphy, Jonathan Phillips, Ciaran Loney, Liam Henry, Sean McGirr, Patrick Gallagher, Ruairi Forester, Peter Treanor, Stephen Doone, Rian Phillips, Charles Gallagher, Fergal|Green, Fergal Henry, Fergus Cunningham, Thomas Gallagher. Subs: Michael McCourt, Jake Nelson, Declan Doone, Chris Grant, Oisin Hamill

 Glenavy Scores:

F Henry 0.10 (0.4F)

Fergal Green 0.1

Fergus Cunningham 0.1

Thomas Gallagher 1.2

Referee: Jarlath O’Donnell (Glenravel)

McConnell’s late penalty gives Aldergrove victory

Antrim Football League Division 2

Adergrove 3-15 Con Magees 3-14

A goal from an injury time penalty by Caoimhin McConnell saw St James Aldergrove snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when they faced Con Magees Glenravel in Wednesday evening’s Antrim Division 2 game in Crumlin. The Glenrvel men had led at the first half water break, at half time and at the second half water break but the home side timed their run perfectly and McConnell’s late strike saw them earn both points in a thrilling game.

A Declan Traynor goal had helped Glenravel to a 1-8 to 0-6 lead at half time, and during a hectic third quarter Ryan Owen goaled for the home team and Rian Lennon for the visitors to leave just a point between the sides at the second half water break (1-12 to 2-10).

In the final quarter Glenravel appeared to have gained an edge when Conor McNeill grabbed their third goal but a Ryan Owens goal brought the home team to life and McConnell’s penalty goal gave them victory, a result that sees his team leapfrog Glenravel into fourth spot in the table.

All Saints prove too strong for understrength Dunloy

ACFL Division 2

Dunloy 0-5 All Saints 3-21

All Saints travelled to their old rivals Dunloy in need of a victory to keep pressure on the league leaders with  Dunloy seeking their first league win of the campaign.

The first quarter was relatively even with the sides exchanging scores with Lemon, McKillop, McVeigh and McCarry on the scoreboard for All Saints with Dunloy scores coming from Eoghan McGrath and McQuillan in midfield to leave the score at the first water break 0.4 to 0.2 in favour of All Saints.

The visitors continued to chip away at the scoreboard registering a further 3 points from McCarry (0.1) and McKillop (0.2) to Dunloys 0.1 coming from Ciaran Doherty but the crucial score came on the stroke of half time. A cross field centre from half back Keenan was punched to the net by Rory McVeigh. Dunloy had an immediate chance to reduce the half time deficit but were thwarted by a fine save by Conor Brennan in the All Saints goal to leave the half time score 1.7 to 0.3 and All Saints firmly in the driving seat.

On the 2nd half restart, the floodgates opened as All Saints took control and increased their lead at the 2nd water break to 3.12 to 0.4 with the goals coming from Oisin Connolly and a penalty from Kavan Keenan after a foul on Ronan McKillop.

In the final quarter, Dunloy registered their final score of the game and All Saints used the opportunity to run their bench. 

As the game petered out as a contest, the visitors finished with a further 9 points to leave the final scoreline All Saints 3.21 Dunloy 0.5.

All Saints management will have been pleased to have 11 different score takers and only registering 3 wides.  The win keeps the pressure on the league leaders with 4 games remaining.  Dunloy will be a different team when they have their dual stars back.

All Saints team and scorers:

  1. Conor Brennan
  2. Matt Downey
  3. Peter McNicholl
  4. James Gillan
  5. Kavan Keenan (1.2)
  6. Joe Rafferty
  7. Conal lemon (0.2)
  8. Sean McVeigh (0.1)
  9. Emmet Killough
  10. Ciaran McGarry (0.1)
  11. Shea O Brien (0.2)
  12. Michael McCarry (0.2)
  13. Ronan McKillop (0.5)
  14. Oisin Connolly (1.0)
  15. Rory McVeigh (1.3)

Subs:

Michael Read for Peter McNicholl

Aidan Scullion (0.2) for Michael McCarry

Ciaran McLarnon (0.1) for Shea o Brien

Joe Rocks for James Gillan

Dunloy: Conor Mc|Gilligan, Cathair McCloskey, Oran Corrigan, Callum Mullan, Daithi Cree, Callum Scullion, Anton McGrath, Kevin McQuillan, Peter McQuillan, Karl Fitzpatrick, Caolan Gillan, Ryan McFarlane, Daithi McGuigan, Christopher McMahon, Eoghan McGrath, Ciaran Doherty

Late Sheerin point retains Tir na nOg’s unbeaten record

ACFL Division Two

St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 1-08 Tir na nOg 1-09

A late point by full forward Kevin Sheerin secured a full return of the points and ensured Tir na nOg retained their unbeaten record following a close encounter at Marian Hill last night.

The home side staged a strong second half comeback after a poor opening period and looked to have secured a share of the spoils when the visitors had Christy Sheerin dismissed.

The momentum was now with Moneyglass and Colm Duffin fired over a 59th minute equaliser but the Whitehill Blues had the last say and that late Kevin ‘Scamper’ Sheerin point claimed the verdict.

The game had started as it was to continue at frantic championship pace and it was the visitors who were first to strike when Dara Feagan defied distance and an acute angle to fire between the posts from away out on the left wing to open account.

The Randalstown men with an unbeaten record to date, arrived to the Marian Hill in a positive mood and a second point despatched by Aaron McNeilly underlined early supremacy.

The home side returned fire in the 11th minute as Ryan Doyle finished a well contrived move to find the net and take the lead but this was short lived as a Caoimhinn Duffin point secured parity at the first water break.

Colm Duffin pointed the home side ahead on the restart but in the event it was the visitors who were to dominate the remainder of the half.

An excellent Aaron McNeilly point secured parity again for the Whitehill men and Dara Feagan followed suit from away out on the left hand side before Ciaran O’ Neill came forward to finish between the posts and the visitors had nipped into a two point lead.

A Colm Duffin point reduced the deficit again for the Marian Hill men as the end of the opening period approached but in the event it was the visitors who finished in style and when Ciaran Mc Keown finished to the net it ensured a 1-06 to 1-02 fully merited interval advantage.

Having made most of the running in the opening half and with the breeze behind in the second, the visitors were in a strong position but the home side were having none of it and the introduction of Aiden McErlaine was to provide impetus.

St Ergnat’s began the second half on a positive note and Ryan Doyle fired between the posts in the opening minute and Colm Duffin added another following a foul on the incoming James Mc Meill.

The home side were gaining in confidence and when Sean Kelly fired over after Aiden Mc Erlaine came wide to collect, only the minimum separated the sides.

Tir na nOg were struggling to regain their composure but replacement Ciaran Duffin came first to collected and add a good point with his first touch and only a point separated the sides when Ryan Boyd sent Colm Duffin in to raise a 16th minute white and ensure a tense last quarter.

An excellent finish by Sean Redmond allowed the Whitehill men to take a two point lead but when Christy Sheerin was shown a second yellow and the inevitable red the pendulum had swung in favour of the home side.

As the last quarter progressed a good Jervis Weir strike reduced the gap to one and Moneyglass were in the ascendancy as the end approached.

 The home side pushed for home and created a couple of clear cut opportunities to regain parity on the board before a 59th minute Colm Duffin point saw his side draw level.

As the game moved into time added on the visitors created one final opportunity with replacement Ciaran Dobbin placing Kevin Sheerin and the big full forward calmly stroked between the posts to claim victory and retain their unbeaten record.

Moneyglass: Gavin Murray, Peter Mc Cormick, Tiernan Duffin, Jervis Weir (0-01), Patrick Mc Cormick, Conor Boyd, Fergal Duffin, Colm Duffin (0-05), James Mc Meill, Seanachan Duffin, Niall Boyd, Sean Kelly (0-01), Ryan Doyle (1-01), Jack Mc Coy

Subs

Aiden Mc Erlaine for J Mc Meill

Tir na nOg: S P Mc Atamney, Sean Redmond, Ciaran Mc Grellis, Peter Cullen, Ciaran O’ Neill (0-01), Darren Mc Cormick, Caomhinn Duffin (0-01), Christy Sheerin, Ryan O’ Neill, Aaron Mc Neilly (0-02), Sean Duffin, Dara Feagan (0-03), Ben Martin, Kevin Sheerin (0-01), Ciaran Mc Keown (1-00)

Subs

Ciaran Dobbin (0-01) for C Mc Keown

Brandon Mc Larnon for Darren Mc Cormick

Kevin Kerr for R O’ Neill

Referee D Mc Keown (St Gall’s)