First half goals seal the deal for unbeaten Rossa

ACFL Division 2

St. Ergnat’s 0-13 Rossa 2-12

At half time things were looking good for top of the table Rossa as they led by 7 points and were playing with the aid of a strong breeze.  However it took injury time points from Sean Pat Donnelly and Dara Rocks to secure victory against a spirited and well organised Moneyglass outfit.

The unbeaten league leaders looked in pole position as Martin Quinn sounded his half time whistle as goals from Sean Pat Donnelly and Thomas Morgan saw them change ends 2-4 to 0-4 ahead and with a strong breeze in their favour in the second half they looked to have put themselves in an unassailable position.

There was a touch of good fortune in both the visitor’s goals with Donnelly’s effort after six minutes catching out the unsighted Benny Marron to open the scoring. Moneyglass responded with Colm Duffin pointing a 7th minute free and adding another from play in the 11th minute as the home side fought to get back into contention.

Both sides were guilty of some poor shooting as chances went a begging at both ends with Sean Pat Donnelly seeing his effort from a free go wide off an upright before the same player added a point from another free to move the visitors 1-1 to 0-2 ahead after 18 minutes.

The Shaw’s Road side were managing possession better however with Stephen Beatty driving them forward from mid-field and a pointed free from Colm Fleming saw them move three clear with 20 minutes gone.

Colm Duffin replied almost immediately with a point for the Marrion Hill side before Rossa struck with their second goal. Thomas Morgan, who had threatened from the start with his strong running took on the Moneyglass defence but appeared to have run out of road.

He broke clear however and his shot from a difficult angle dropped over Benny Marron and nestled in the top corner of the net. Indeed the league leaders looked like adding another as Stephen Beatty broke through but Benny Marron came off his line to deny the Antrim county man with a brave blocking save.

A superbly struck free from 50 meters from Dermot McErlain and a pointed free at the other end from Tomas Morgan concluded the first half scoring to leave Rossa 2-4 to 0-4 ahead at the short whistle and looking good value for that lead.

Colm Duffin for Moneyglass and Eoghan McMenamin for Rossa exchanged points at the start of the second half before Conor Boyd hit three great points for Moneyglass , while Rossa’s only reply came  from the fist of Sean Finch .

While a point from Niall Boyd and two points from county star Patrick McCormick kept up the Moneyglass momentum, points from Colm Fleming and Cormac McGettigan kept the South west team at arm’s length. A fine 21st minute point from target man Colm Duffin set up a great finish to the game and the home side looked well placed.

 However Rossa, with a 5 man move,  found their star forward Tomas Morgan at the edge of the small parallelogram and Morgan struck the score of the day with a Messi-like volley over the bar to keep the visitors in front .

Connaill Prenter‘s replied with a point but it was to be  the St Ergnat’s men’s final score but they will be delighted with their performance in the second half if not the result. However it was Rossa’s day and they will be pleased with their break away scores giving the Belfast men a win and both points.

Moneyglass: Benny Marron, Miran Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Peter McCormick, Jack McCoy, Conor Boyd, Padraig Mackle, Niall Boyd, Dermot McErlain, Sean Kelly, Paul Tohill, Patrick McCormick, Liam Brady, Colm Duffin, Conaill Prenter.

Moneyglass scorers: Colm  Duffin- 0-5, Conor  Boyd  0-3, Patrick McCormick 0-2, Dermot McErlain 0-1, Niall Boyd  0-1, Connaill Prenter  0-1

Rossa: Michael Byrne, Michael McGreevey, Ciaran Orchin, Niall Crossin, Richard Gowdy, Christopher McGuinness, Sean Finch, Stephen Beatty, Eoghan McMenamin, Sean Pat Donnelly, Michael Armstrong, Cormac McGettigan, Dominic McEnhill, Colm Fleming, Thomas Morgan.

Rossa scorers: Sean Pat Donnelly 1-3,Thomas Morgan 1-2, Colm Fleming 0-2, Eoghan McMenamin- 0-1, Sean Finch- 0-1, Cormac McGettigan-0-1, Dara Rocks- 1 point.

Referee: Martin Quinn.

Points shared at the Bear Pit

ACFL Division 2

Sarsfield’s 0-11  All Saints 0-11

All Saints travelled to the Bear Pit last night to take on Patrick Sarsfield’s in what looked like a difficult fixture and so it turned out to be. The Ballymena side have turned in some good performances this year and looked well placed when they led 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval with Michael McCarry leading the way with some fine scores.

After the break Sarsfield’s began to get on top with Niall McKenna, Daniel McKiernan and Dara McGuinness to the fore and slowly reined in the visitors lead but All Saints held on for what will be regarded as a good away draw as they now sit third in the table.

All Saints: 1.Steven McAvoy, 2. Matthew Downey, 3. Peter McNicholl, 4. Phelim Killough, 5. Joe Rafferty, 6. Damian Kelly, 7. Conell Lemon, 8. Sean McVeigh, 9.Emmett Killough, 10.Kavan Keenan, 11. Micheal McCarry, 12. Shea Obrien, 13. Conor Stewart, 14. Diarmuid Mcnally, 15. Brendan McDonnell. Subs: Eoghan Daly for Conor Stewart, James Gillian for Kavan Keenan, Rhys O’Mullan for Damian Kelly

All Saints Scorers: Diarmuid McNally 0-1, Brendan McDonnell 0-2, Kavan Keenan 0-1, Micheal McCarry 0-7

Rossa bandwagon roll on

Antrim Football League Division Two

O’Donovan Rossa 2-18  Rasharkin 1-9

Rossa’s bid for immediate return to the top flight continued on Wednesday night at Rossa Park when Rasharkin became their latest victims. Ahead from the early stages the Shaw’s Road men were five to the good at half time. (0-11 to 1-3). They forged ahead in the second half and second half goals from Dominic McEnhill and a Sean Pat Donnelly penalty put them twelve clear by the final whistle.

Rossa raced from the traps and were 0-6 to 0-0 ahead by the end of the opening quarter, as Dominic McEnhill led the line. Rasharkin were thread bare, with just sixteen players in the panel but Eamonn McNeill, who has just recently returned from injury, showed great leadership to drag his team back into the game with a couple of classy points. Rossa responded as McEnhill, Conal McDonald and Beaty popped over point to stretch the lead to 0-9 to 0-2 but quick thinking from McNeill saw him find Ryan Lynch with a free kick and Lynch raced in to drill the ball to the corner of the Rossa net.

Suddenly there was just four points between the sides, despite the home team’s dominance, but the men in blue and gold responded well and points from McGreevy and Morgan had them 0-11 to 0-3 in front by the short whistle.

If Rasharkin were to stay in touch they needed a good start to the new half but as it turned out it was Rossa who got it and after Stephen Beatty swung over a point Dominic McEnhill showed his class to deliver his team opening goal. Rasharkin were not dead just yet however and scored three of the next four points through Eamonn McNeill (2) and Lynch to close to within seven. That was as close as they would get though as Rossa were able to up the pace and comfortably maintain their advantage.

The Shaw’s Road men then finished with a flourish in gloom and after Stephen Beatty added another fine point from play, Thomas Morgan was fouled in the large ‘square’ and Sean Pat Donnelly slotted home the resultant penalty to seal another fine performance.

ROSSA: D Armstrong; M McGreevy, R Gowdy, N Crossan; P McGreevy (0-1), C McGuinness, S Finch; S Beatty (0-3), E McMenamin; T Morgan (0-5), M Armstrong, C McGettigan (0-1); D McEnhill (1-5), C Fleming (0-2 frees), C McDonald (0-1). Subs: J Cooley for P McGreevy (38), SP Donnelly (1-0 pen) for C McGettigan (44), D Grego for D McEnhill (54), O McVicker for S Beatty (56).

RASHARKIN: R Doherty; P Kelly, E McFerran, D Quigg; C Hasson, T Doherty, S Hasson; J Quinn (0-1), T McMullan; T O’Boyle (0-1), R Lynch (1-2, 0-1 free), G O’Hagan; E McNeill (0-5), C McFerran, F Kennedy. Subs: M Hasson for S Hasson (HT). Black card: C Hasson (14, replaced by B Og O’Neill).

REFEREE: Thomas Eastwood (Naomh Éanna)

Glenravel flying as the Airport men struggle!

Aldergrove 1-04  Glenravel 2-12

By Aodh O’Loan

Con Magees continued their current vein of good form with an impressive victory over Aldergrove in Crumlin on Wed evening. When referee Martin Quinn brought proceedings to an end in the evening gloom that inevitably follows an 8pm throw in at this time of year, the only thing louder than the away supporters’ cheers were the roars from jumbo jets overhead. 

Glenravel played the first half down the hill on the Crumlin pitch and totally controlled it from start to finish. After 20 minutes the visitors led by 1-06 to 0-00, all the scores coming from play with points from Sean McKay, Conor McNeill, Josh McKeown (2) and Declan Traynor (2). An uncharacteristic mistake in the slippery conditions from the normally very dependable full back Paul McCurry gifted a goal chance to Aldergrove and their centre half forward gave Johnny Fyfe no chance in the Glenravel nets. Declan Traynor, just back from injury, was creating havoc in the Aldergrove defence and was rewarded with his third score of the half 4 minutes from the short whistle. Conor McNeil extended the Glenravel lead from a free just before half time; this was the first score to come from a placed ball and left the away team comfortable at the break with a 1-08 to 1-00 lead. But how would both teams manage the change of ends given the significance of the slope on the pitch?

Aldergrove came out with purpose and their team huddle before the start of the second half sent everyone the message that they meant business. Their impressive right-half forward notched up the half’s first score and both sets of spectators started to wonder if the comeback was on. Aldergrove did start to dominate play in the opening minutes and had Glenravel keeper, Johnny Fyfe, not stopped a point blank shot five minutes into the second half, this game could have taken a different turn. Conor McNeill calmed the away supporters’ nerves with a well taken free before Aldergrove’s centre forward – their best player on the night – got one back to leave them trailing 1-02 to 1-11 after 40 minutes. McNeill struck two more points before the Aldergrove keeper made a magnificent save when Sean McKay was through one on one, however McKay reacted quickest and punched the ball over the bar to extend the away team lead. Aldergrove pulled one back but when Conor McNeil goaled in the 53rd minute after some very neat interchange from the Glensmen the game was over as a contest. Aldergrove did go on to score the final point of the game but it was too late to make a difference. 

Overall this was an entertaining game with both sides keen to play football. Over the hour, Glenravel adapted better to the slippery conditions and the sloped pitch and ran out deserved winners. 

Two on the trot for Con Magees

All County Football League Division 2

Glenravel 1-13  Dunloy 0-12

Glenravel Senior Footballers made it two wins on the trot as they put Dunloy to the sword in this Division 2 encounter at Maginn Park. A heavy rain shower half an hour before throw in made conditions difficult for both teams but the home team seemed to handle the slippery surface and ball better over the hour.

Glenravel started brighter and their big midfielder Conor Carey had the ball over the bar from some distance out 35 seconds into the game. Dunloy’s free taker, Caolan Gillan levelled 3 minutes later but within a minute, half back Conleth O’Loan nudged the home team in front with a well taken point form 40 yards out. Gillan again levelled from a 45 before Josh McKeown restored a slender lead for Glenravel from a tight angle. Half way through the first half, the same two players, Gillan and McKeown exchanged points to leave Glenravel still ahead by 1 on a 0-04 to 0-03 scoreline.

Dunloy centre half back Gabriel McTaggart was starting to exert some influence on the kick outs providing them with greater possession which Anthony Smith from play and Caolan Gillan from a free, took full advantage to nudge the visitors ahead for the first time. David Higgins levelled the game with a nice long range point from play but Chris McMahon replied for Dunloy to restore their lead with five minutes of the half remaining. Josh McKeown levelled for the home team on the stroke of half time to leave both teams level on 6 points each on the short whistle. A fitting scoreline for a very level game. 

Dunloy made several substitutions at half time, bringing on Deaglan Smith, Conor McKinley and Conal Cunning to try and strengthen their attack. However Con Magees corner forward Sean McKay was first on the scoresheet with a point from play 5 minutes into the half. A minute later Deaglan Smith scored a monster point from 50 yards to level the game. Josh put the home team back in front with a free but Conal Cunning restored parity within a minute and it was clear to everyone this game was going to go down to the wire. With 20 minutes left on the clock the home started to press for home with two points on the trot from Conor McNeill, the first a fantastic passing movement culminating in a point which really lifted the home crowd and team. The second was a close in free. Sean McKay followed up with a point and the home team were ahead by 3 halfway through the second half 0-11 to 0-08.

Deaglan Smith clawed one back for the visitors before Aiden O’Donnell replied to keep 3 between them.  Glenravel introduced James Duffin for Declan Traynor with 10 minutes remaining after Traynor suffered a leg injury a few minutes earlier. Dunloy were getting their second wind and the impressive Deaglan Smith score two points in succession in the 52nd and 55th minutes to reduce the margin to the minimum. The decisive score of the game came four minutes from time when Sean McKay netted for Glenravel to raise the largest cheer of the evening. Daragh Donaghy was introduced for Charlie Henry as we entered injury time and Dunloy started piling on pressure resulting in a pointed free from Anthony Smith to leave it a 3 point game. That pressure continued but the home side defended valiantly and in a breakaway five minutes into injury time, Sean McKay capped a fine evening’s performance with a good point under pressure to leave Glenravel victorious on a 1-13 to 0-12 final score.

This was a very good open game of football between two teams in challenging conditions given the pre match downfall with a combination of well taken scores both from play and frees from both sides. Referee Cathal McDermott deserves special mention as well as he kept the game flowing whilst retaining tight control and it must be said he had a fine performance himself on the whistle. 

Glenravel: Jonathan Fyfe, Kieran McKeown, Paul McCurry, Aiden McCafferty, Conleth O’Loan (0-01), Niall Swann, Charlie Henry, David Higgins (0-01), Conor Carey (0-01), Josh McKeown(0-04, 2f), Declan Traynor, Aiden O’Donnell, (0-01), Sean McKay (1-03), Martin McCarry, Conor McNeill (0-02, 1f)

Subs Used:: James Duffin, Daragh Donaghy 

Dunloy: Anthony Doran, Anton McGrath, Karl O’Kane, Patrick Kinsella, Jamie McFerran, Gabriel McTeggart, Ryan McGarry, Peter McQuillan, Kevin McQuillan, Christopher McMahon (0-01), Caolan Gillan (0-04, 4f), Eoin McMullan, Liam McCann, Anthony Smith (0-02), Eoghan McGrath

Subs Used: Deaglan Smith (0-04), Conal Cunning (0-01), Conor McKinley