Lisburn beat Pearses to seal the Division 3 title

Homefit Antrim Football League – Division 3

Pearses 0-9 St Patrick’s Lisburn 0-17

St Patrick’s Lisburn sealed the Division 3 League title at the Crickey on Wednesday evening when they beat Pearses in their final game of the season. The Lisburn men were on top for most of the game and lead by 0-7 to 0-3 at half time. Pearses came back into the game in the early part of the second half but Naomh Padraig were able to up the pace when threatened and they pulled away in the last quarter to win by 8 points.

Pearses lead early on with points from Sean Moreland and Stephen Fitzsimons, but once they settled their nerves they started to clock up the scores. Denver Taggart, Ben McMullan, Conor Dixon, Francis McMeel, Oisin Gorman, Conor Ewing and McMullan again saw them open up an 0-7 to 0-2 lead by the 23rd minute. The scoring dried up at this stage for the visitors and Pearses kept themselves in contention with their point of the game to trail by four at half time.

Pearses stayed in touch in the early stages of the second half with points from Fionn Grew, Aidan Bannon and Oisin Grew, but on each occasion McMeel, Conor Dixon and McMullan came back with a reply to keep the gap at four. The tension was building but the new champions reacted well as Adam Patterson, Conor Dixon and McMeel found the target.

Pearses kept plugging away but the Lisburn side finished strongly Dixon, McMeel and Ben McMulan showed off their skills to see their team over the line with eight to spare to spark great scenes of celebration.

 Mals on top in Championship rehearsal

ACFL Division 3

St Malachy’s 0-13 Laochra Loch Lao 1-06

With the prospects of coming together in the opening round of the championship later in the year St Malachy’s stood firm to gain victory over their opposition in that one when they recorded a three point verdict over the visiting Laochra Loch Lao on Wednesday evening.

Little had separated them in recent meetings over the past couple of seasons and those who anticipated much of the same in this latest coming together were proved quite correct.

The opening period did go according to script with little separating them and in the event both defences proved strong in their respective rear guard actions but the home side’s unit, a mix of youth and experience was to gain the edge.

A foul on Mc Givern was suitably punished when Vernon despatched the placed ball between the posts but in the event this score received prompt reply in kind at the other end.

Such tit for tat activity was indeed to provide the script for the opening period as Vernon was to supply a further three points from frees and the visitors adding a couple in response and the Market’s side concluded the first thirty minute period 0-04 to 0-03 ahead.

St Malachy’s refreshed by the interval respite started the second period on a very positive note and when Mc Givern, Quinn, and Vernon raised respective white flags and Mc Cavanagh followed suit the South Belfast men looked on their way.

The visitors were not about to cry enough hover and back they came with a brace of points to signal intent just at the three quarter mark.

Big Rick followed with a point for the Mal’s in reply but the men from the West side of the city followed quickly with the only goal of the encounter to leave only a score between the sides.

In the event when questions were being asked of the South Belfast men St Malachy’s were to provide the answer in a positive fashion.

With their visitors pushing hard in search of victory or even a share of the spoils, Colly Connolly stood tall between the posts and made a quick intervention to defy and clear his lines and the issue was resolved shortly after when Vernon added his 9th score of the game and a late point ensured a 0-13 to 1-06 victory for St Malachy’s

An excellent game between a couple of committed sides with the forthcoming meeting again in championship in a few weeks promising another thriller in prospect.

St Malachy’s: C Connolly, S Carson, C Corr, D Quinn (0-01, M Connolly, P Hanna, A Dobbin, C Vernon (0-09), J Mc Givern (0-01), R Mannelly, G Mc Glennan, P Carlisle, P Smith (0-01), K Mc Kavanagh (0-01)

Another good win for St. Malachy’s

ACFL Division 3

Wolfe Tones 1-08 St Malachy’s 1-18

Following a good win gained over the Aggies in their previous game St Malachy’s travelled to Wolfe Tones and recorded another good win. Although it took the Markets men a while to get it together they won convincingly in the end with a ten point winning margin.

They got off to a good start with points apiece from Stevie Carson and Charlie Vernon.

The impressive Vernon was to complete the hour with nine points but despite the positivity of the opening burst the visitors were not to move much further ahead of the home side.

Wolfe Tones gave as good as they got for the remainder of the half and little seperated the sides at the end of the first period despite Dobbin, Quinn, Mc Cavanagh and Quinn all adding to the visitors haul they were just a couple ahead, 0-08 to 0-06 at half time.

St Malachy’s made a good start to the second half with Vernon leading the way as they hit an unanswered five points and the visitors looked on the way to the points.

The home side were in no mood to give up the ghost however and back they came with a point before a smashing finish from their full forward found the back of the net and the home side were very much back in contention.

The Mals looked in a spot of bother for a time but in the event a fine approach and a smart finish from Paul Millar found the back of the net and the men from the South side of the city were back in control.

St Malachy’s dominated the closing stages with Wolfe Tones forced to defend in depth but to no avail as Mc Givern, Mc Cavanagh, Mc Glennan, and late replacement Lynch adding points apiece.

At the conclusion the St Malachy’s had pulled away to record a healthy 1-18 to 1-08 verdict.

A good win for the Mals having been forced to go into action with several missing from the panel, and those tasked with the team management more than grateful to the lads who stepped up to the mark  playing a major part in ensuring victory on the road.

St Malachy’s: S Turley, P Carlisle, C Connelly, C Corr, D Quinn (0-01), M Connelly, P Hanna, S Carson (0-01), A Dobbin (0-01), J Mc Givern (0-01), C Vernon (0-09), G Mc Glennan (0-01), P Devine (0-01), K Mc Cavanagh (0-03) P Millar (1-00)

Subs

S Lynch (0-01) for Millar

St Comgall’s keep league hopes alive

Homefit Antrim Football League – Division 3

St Comgall’s 0-15 O’Donnell’s 2-7

St Comgall’s kept themselves in the hunt for the Division 3 title when they beat O’Donnell’s in Wednesday evening’s final league game at Dunsilly. The Antrim side appeared to have blown their chances when they lost out to Naomh Padraig in Lisburn two weeks ago, but Lisburn’s subsequent defeat by St Gall’s on Sunday last has opened the gate for the Antrim Town side yet again and they did what they had to do on Wednesday evening against visitors O’Donnell’s.

St Comgall’s had to work hard for their win and after going ahead with points from Miles Devine and James McCabe they were rocked back on their heels when O’Dee’s hit back with a point from Patrick Meenan and a goal from corner forward Ciaran McKissok.

St Comgall’s Eoin Lynott is forced to punch the ball over his own crossbar as O’Donnell’s pile on the pressure early in the second half

Four on the trot, three from Miles Devine and one from Dylan Murdock, put the home team two in front, but the game swung again when O’Donnell’s centre forward Patrick Meenan grabbed his team’s second goal to edge them a point ahead on 21 minutes. To their credit St Comgall’s reacted well and hit the last four scores of the opening half, two of them from Miles Devine, one from Kian Devine and the other from Niall Ward to lead by 0-10 to 2-1 at the interval.

O’Dee’s came back to level early in the second half as Jonathan McKenna, Patrick Meenan and Fergal McNerney all knocked over points, but Oisin Crilly and Miles Devine responded for the home team to put them two in front again. On 56 minutes O’Donnell’s Eugene Gallagher appeared to be in for a goal but his shot rebounded off the post, but Patrick Meenan pointed from a free soon afterwards to close to within one.

St Comgall’s Conor McAuley in action against O’Donnell’s David Mackell

St Comgall’s Miles Devine and O’Donnell’s Patrick Meenan exchanged points to keep the gap at one, but the home team finished strongly with points from Devine, PJ Quinn and Oisin Crilly to secure the win.

The win brings the Antrim town side level with Naomh Padraig on points with their rivals, but the Lisburn men have played a game less and need a win or a draw to secure the title when they play Pearses at the Cricky next Wednesday evening.

 Goals the key as the Mals open their account

ACFL Division 3B

St Malachy’s 4-15 St Agnes 0-10

Three second half goals proved the key to success as St Malachy’s came from behind to gain a full return of the points as they gained a first win in the second phase of Division 3 with a win over the Aggies on Wednesday evening.

Only a couple of points had separated the sides when their paths crossed in the first phase of the competition and another close encounter looked in prospect looked in prospect during the opening quarter last night.

The Aggies in fact had the better of things in the opening minutes and the Woodlands side nipped away to lead 0-03 to 0-02 at the end of the opening quarter.

As events progressed the Markets men began to gain the upper hand and started to turn the screw in the latter stages of the half.

A slick combination involving Turley, Carson and Millar in sequence saw the ball delivered to the stylish Carson to plant the leather in the back of the net.

The visitors were stunned at the onslaught which followed and with Connor and Mc Cavanagh much involved in the action the home side added a seven point haul in the closing minutes to ensure a healthy 1-10 to 0-05 interval advantage.

The second half saw a replication of what had been seen in the opening minutes of the game with the Aggies leading the way and a couple of early points hinted at comeback for the visitors.

The Mals had other ideas however as all-out offensive saw them find the back of the Aggies net in a matter of a few minutes with Vernon, Mc Kavanagh, and Mc Givern raising green flags apiece and the end was nigh.

Mc Givern’s goal was a class laden effort which was preceded by a dazzling left sided approach before his crisply struck finish found the roof of the net and that was that.

St Agnes to their credit were not about to make any concession despite the odds being firmly stacked against them and a big deficit facing them as they rallied to the cause again.

They added a further three points in succession in the closing minutes but at this stage it was all over with the St Malachy’s men crossing the winning line points secured on a final score which read 4-15 to 0-10.

St Malachy’s

St. Malachy’s: S Turley, S Carson, C Corr, P Hanna, M Connolly, D Casey (0-01), C Vernon (1-02), A Dobbin (0-01), J Mc Givern (1-03), A Connor (0-05), G Mc Glennan (1-00), K Mc Kavanagh (1-02), P Millar (0-01), F Brennan