Quick return to Division 2 on course for Rasharkin

ACFL Division 3

Rasharkin 0-10 Na Piarsaigh 0-06

St. Mary’s Rasharkin have made a good start to life in division 3 following relegation from division 2 last year with their priority to make a quick return to the higher grade getting off to a positive start.

The visitors to Cliftonville started off brightly and within a minute Tiernan O’Boyle had slotted over but Pearses levelled on 6 minutes and last year’s Junior Champions clearly had promotion ambitions themselves.

The Dreen side were quickest to settle however and added points through James Higgins and a collector’s item from Thomas McMullan but Pearses were quick to react as they replied with two of their own to bring it all square for a second time.

At this stage St. Mary’s found another gear and in a good 5 minute period of dominance they raised the white flag 3 times through Shane Hasson, Eamonn McNeill and Oisin Casey before Tiernan O’Boyle  split the posts from a ‘45’ to edge his side three ahead.

Both sides registered points in the closing minutes of the half with Tiernan OBoyle on target for Rasharkin to leave three between the sides as the half time whistle sounded.

Half time: Rasharkin 0-07 pearses 0-04

Tiernan O’Boyle extended the Rasharkin lead to four on the restart but the North Belfast side then enjoyed a period of supremacy but found it difficult to penetrate a strong Rasharkin defence.

The Dreen side looked in a bit of trouble when they lost Daniel Doherty to a Red card in the 48th minute but they dug deep to contain a Pearses attack who were enjoying a good deal of possession at this stage.

That possession finally paid off when the Belfast side fired over to close the gap to three but St. Mary’s closed shop at this stage and Oisin Casey fired over the insurance point to ensure there would be no way back for Na Piarsaigh.

Rasharkin: 1 Andrew Hasson, 2 Daniel Doherty, 3 Emmett McFerran, 4 Conor Hasson, 5 Fearghal Kennedy, 6 Donagh Quigg, 7 Fergus Quigg, 8 Ruairi O’Boyle, 9 Thomas McMullan, 10 James Higgins, 11 Eamonn McNeill, 12 Oran McMullan, 13 Shane Hasson,

14 Tiernan O’Boyle, 15 Oisin Casey.

Subs used: Colm Kennedy for James Higgins

Subs not used: Conor Higgins, Pearse McTague, Cormac McMullan, Gerard O’Hagan

Rasharkin Scorer:

Tiernan O’Boyle 0-04

Oisin Casey 0-02

James Higgins 0-01

Thomas McMullan 0-01

Shane Hasson 0-01

Eamonn McNeill 0-01

McMullan goal sends Rasharkin on their way

ACFL Division 3

Rasharkin 1-14 (17)  Laochra Loch Lao 0-4 (4)

It took a while for Rasharkin to shake off the early season rust but a goal from Oran McMullan in the 12th minute lit the fuse and from there until the end they never looked back.

By half-time they had opened up a 1-6 to 0-0 lead with Laochra Loch Lao chasing shadows at times as they struggled to contain the men from Dreen.

Eamonn McNeill added a point within 20 seconds and Shane Hasson 0-2, Ryan Lynch, Oran McMullan and Fergus Quigg all hit the target to leave Rasharkin leading by nine as Fionntan McCotter sounded the half time whistle.

HalfTime: Rasharkin  1-6(9)  Laochra Loch Lao 0-0(0)

The visitors needed to do much better in the second half and they did, managing 0-4 in a second half where St. Mary’s continued to call the shots and add to their ever increasing total.

Shane Hasson continued where he had left off in the first half with a converted free in the third minute before Tarlach Barclaigh finally got the visitors off the mark with a point in the 6th minute.

Rasharkin’s response was immediate and incisive as Shane Hasson and Eamonn McNeill 0-2 replied with three more for the Dreen side by the end of the third quarter and it was clear there would be no comeback for the Irish Language side.

Conhuir McGuckian brought the visitors total to 0-2 from a free in the 19th minute but once again the home side replied and Eamon McNeill, Oran McMullan and Shane Hasson all hit the target in the closing stages with Rian McShane tagged on a consolation point for a Lochra Loch Lao side who kept going to the end and will not5 come up against this level of opposition every week.

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson 2 – Pearse Kelly 3 – Emmet McFerran 4 – Conor Hasson

5 – Fearghal Kennedy 6 – Cathal Mooney 7 – Fergus Quigg 8 – Ruairi OBoyle 9 – Thomas McMullan 10 – Shane Hasson 11 – Eamonn McNeill 12 – James Higgins 13 – Killian O’Boyle

14 – Oran McMullan 15 – Ryan Lynch

Laochra Loch Lao: 1 Sean O’Heachain 2 Liam MacThrienfhir 3 Connor McCaffrey 4 Eamonn O’Coinn 5 Sean Mac An Bheatha 6 Connla O’Coinn 7 Padraig Fryers, 8 Rian McShane 9 Eanna O’Ceallaigh 10 Tarlach Barclaigh 11 Kevin Devine, 12 Coinhuir McGuckian, 13 Padi O’Tiamaigh 14 PJ O’Prey 15 Oisin MacCrabhagain

Referee: Fionntan Mc Cotter

Eire Og off to a winning start

ACFL Division 3

Eire Og 0-13 St Malachy’s 1-5

This was the first league game of the season with Woodlands the venue and great weather conditions for football. The Ogs started the game well with a pointed free from James JT Toal and a point from full forward Darragh Fox.

He was proving to be a handful for St Malachy’s full back until he had to come off with a knee injury sustained in a tackle for a loose ball. St Malachy’s got back into the game with two classy free kicks old style, off the ground from the versatile Ciaran Vernon.

Eire Og quickly restored their slight advantage with a well worked point stroked over the black spot by Ronan Donnelly. This however, was short lived as a high ball into the Og’s 14 metre line broke to Anto Dobbin who toe poked it past Ogs keeper Mark Hamill. 2 points up to St Mals.

This goal upset the Eire Og rhythm until points from JT and Ronan Donnelly restored Ogs to level scores on 1-2 to 0.5. Just before the short whistle, Ciaran Vernon put St Malachy’s into a 1 point lead when he eluded the challenge of Alex McKnight for one of the few times in the half to leave it 1-3 to 0-5 at half time.

The second half started well again for Eire Og with Alex McKnight winning the throw in by pushing ball into Ronan Donnelly’s hands. A couple of passes later and Donnelly received it back to strike a great point from just inside the proverbial ‘D’ .

The Ogs ground out a possession game as they pushed on with further points from Ronan Donnelly and two more from JT. Toal but St Malachys replied through Anto Dobbin and Ciaran Vernon, sandwiched in between the Ogs scores.

St Malachy’s were stubbornly sticking to their task with defence always well populated, but were never out of the game. Stephen Mullin then chipped in with two great points from play and two well worked points from The two Conor’s, McKenna and Erskine left the final score 0-13 to 1-5 in favour of Eire Og.

Overall from Eire Og perspective, a bit of rustiness which is to be expected at this stage. However, there is much improvement to be made in working scores and taking correct options, but a good second half where St Malachy’s were restricted to 2 points speaks well for their defence wherePaddy Loughran, Jarlath Devlin and Dermy Murray were solid

Kieran Ryan started in defence but was switched corner forward where he performed well and Caomhen Daykin at midfield and Eanna McNulty wereothers to perform well for the winners.

Eire Og 1. M Hamil 2. J Devlin 3. P Loughran 4. K Ryan 5. D Murray 6. A Knight 7 C Rice 8. R Donnelly 9 C McKenna 10 S Mullab 11 P Toal 12 C Smyth 13 J Melarkey 14 D Fox 15 C Erskine

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)