St. Patrick’s back in the grove

Antrim Senior Football Division Three

O’Donnell’s 0-7

St Patrick’s, Lisburn 1-20

At the start of the present division 3 campaign, post Covid-19 St. Patrick’s Lisburn were one of the favourites to take the title but things got off to a bad start when they lost on the opening day to fellow favourites, Rasharkin.

Following the lockdown they looked very much back in the grove as they proved much too good for O’Donnell’s at McRory Park on Sunday with the home side having little answer to the sharp moving Lisburn men.

Michael Fegan had impressed early on for the visitors and found the net in the 14th minute but he blotted his copy book when he was shown Red along with O’Donnell’s Sea Og McVeigh following an off the ball incident.

It didn’t unduly upset the visitors as they continued to control matters with the entire starting front six and both midfielders on the score sheet for St Patrick’s as they cruised home in an impressive display against an O’Donnell’s team that showed the odd glimpse of what they can do, but their moments were few and far between.

Francis McMeel was to reel off eight points in this game and he got the visitors off and running from a free in the opening minute but Cailean Walsh replied at the other end before putting his side into the lead from play shortly after.

McMeel hit back with two of his own – both from play – before Aaron Thmpson chipped in from a free forSt. Patrick’s as they edged two ahead after 12 minutes.

O’Donnell’s hit back with Patrick Meenan finding the target to leave just one in it, but the visitors responded in devastating fashion and Fegan took a pass on the overlap in the 15th minute before blasting to the net.

It was from a kick-out that the goalscorer and McVeigh tangled, prompting referee Martin Quinn to dismiss both as Thompson and McMell added points for the visitors to leave it 1-6 to 0-3.

Naomh Padraig were now in almost total control and two McMell frees either side of a Chris Morgan score helped them into a 1-9 to 0-3 lead at the half.

McMeel picked up where he left off after the restart, scoring from play and a free before Conall Donegan – a half-time sub for the hosts replied with a point.

Cailean Walsh added a free, but O’Donnell’s needed much more to get back into this game and that spark wasn’t to come as St. Patrick’s began to pull clear.

Chris Morgan added a couple of points for the visitors as both teams emptied their bench with Dominic Devine then getting in on the act with a good score to leave it 1-14 to 0-5 entering the final quarter.

Following the brief stoppage for water, Conor Dixon took over the free-taking role and split the posts for St Patrick’s whilst O’Donnell’s goalkeeper Conor Walsh converted a long free and Josh McMullan burst through to reply at the other end.

Donegan hit his second of the day for O’Donnell’s with five minutes remaining but this was to be their last score as Naomh Padraig finished with a flurry and Ben McMullan, Dixon (free), Mark Torbitt and Shane McEvoy raised white to seal an impressive victory  and register the first victory for Cormac McKenna’s side in their third outing of this 2020 league campaign.

O’DONNELL’S: Conor Walsh (0-1 free); Joeseph Rafferty, S O’Donnell, G Sloan; C McGuigan, C Walsh, C McKissock; C O’Donnell, S McVeigh; P Meenan (0-1), John Rafferty, J McKenna; J Walker, J O’Donnell, Cailean Walsh (0-3, 1 free). Subs: C Donegan (0-2) for C McGuigan (HT), D Walsh for J Rafferty (42), S Seawright for P Meenan (44).

ST PATRICK’S: P O’Neill; Jack McMullan, P Burns, P Craig; S McEvoy (0-1), T O Meallaigh, C Burns; M Fegan (1-0), D Devine (0-1); B McMullan (0-1), F McMeel (0-8, 4 frees), C Morgan (0-3); A Thompson (0-2, 1 free), Jack McMullan (0-1), M Torbitt (0-1). Subs: C Ewing for Jack McMullan (42), C Dixon (0-2, both frees) for A Thompson (50), R Kennedy for D Devine (51), M Cherneck for C Burns (51), O Gorman for F McMeel (51).

REFEREE: Martin Quinn (Naomh Éanna)

Lynch goals secure victory for Rasharkin

ACFL Div. 3

 St Mary’s Rasharkin: 5-7(22)

St Malachys: 3-8(17)

St. Mary’s Rasharkin came out tops in a tight encounter against visitors St. Malachy’s at Dreen today. The men from the Markets pushed the home side all the way but Rasharkin prevasiled in a tight contest.

Shane Hasson got Rasharkin off to a good start with a goal in the 6th minute but the visitors replied with a goal of their own, a minute later. An Andrew Hasson goal from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute saw the men from Dreen edge a point clear at the interval just when it looked like the visitors would carry a two point lead into the break.

Half Time:

St Mary’s Rasharkin: 2-2(8)
St Malachys: 1-4(7)

Exchanges continued to be tight and robust during the second half as the goals continued to flow. Majors from Eamon McNeill in the 33d minute and another from Ryan Lynch appeared to have put the home side in control but the visitors were having none of it as they responded with two goals of their own but with the game tightly balanced Ryan Lynch popped up with his second goal of the game to secure victory.

Best in defence for Rasharkin were Conor Doherty and defence while the stars in attack were Ryan Lynch and Eamon McNeill.

St Mary’s Rasharkin

1 – Ryan Doherty

2 – Daniel Doherty

3 – Emmet McFerran

4 – John Henderson

5 – Conor Doherty

6 – Donagh Quigg

7 – Fergus Quigg

8 – Jack Quinn

9 – Andrew Hasson

10 – Ferghal Kennedy

11 – Tiernan O’Boyle

12 – Liam Quigg

13 – Shane Hasson

14 – Eammon McNeill

15 – Ryan Lynch

Subs:

1st Half
27mins Gerard O’Hagan for Shane Hasson (Hamstring Injury)

32mins Thomas Doherty for Fearghal Kennedy (Hamstring Injury)

2nd Half
55mins Ruairi O’Boyle for Tiernan O’Boyle

Action continues in divisions 2 & 3

Football League Fixtures (Sunday March 15th)

With both the county footballers and hurlers in action at the week-end, the fixtures as established by the CCC may well be subject to change.

The Hurlers play Kerry in Croke Park in the Division 2A final while the footballers are away to Wicklow in a ‘must win’ division 4 game.

Division Two (all games at 1.00pm)

Kickham’s Ardoyne v St James Aldergrove

Newly promoted Ardoyne have struggled in their opening two games. They lost out to Tir na nOg in the opening round and fared no better last time at St Teresa’s and they are faced with a similar searching task again as reigning Intermediate champions Aldergrove visit.

Aldergrove did lose their opening game to Dunloy and the Crumlin men will be hoping to make amends on this their first trip to the city in 2020.

Ardoyne will hope to open their account but they may well struggle this time with an away win the most likely result.

St Teresa’s v Tir na nOg Randalstown

This one features likely contenders for honours in the division as St Teresa’s, who were relegated from division 1 last year play hosts to Tir na nOg who have been up there in contention in this grade for a while.

Tir na nOg have recorded a couple of wins to date with victories over Davitt’s and Ardoyne and they will be hoping to retain that winning habit.

St Teresa’s did open account at the expense of the visiting Ardoyne last time and that victory suggested they are well prepared and intent on a quick return to the top flight.

A close affair does seem in prospect in a game which could go either way, but ground advantage may just tilt the balance in favour of the Glen road men.

Cuchullian’s Dunloy v St Paul’s

A win at Crumlin in the opening round of the league strongly suggested that Dunloy have wintered well and the dual club look to have an eye firmly fixed on the big ball at present.

That win underlined current well-being as they welcome newly promoted St Paul’s to Pearse Park.

All Saint’s proved too strong for the Shaw’s road men last term and this looks like another stern test as they take the road to the country.

Dunloy will start this one as strong favourites and they may well gain another positive result.

All Saints Ballymena v Patrick Sarsfield’s

All Saints were impressive in a win over St Paul’s in the opening round but will face a much stiffer test against the visiting Sarsfields.

Sarsfield’s lost out to the visiting Moneyglass last time and they will be hoping for a better result at Quinn Park.

The Ballymena men will start as favourites and they should secure another couple of points.

Division Three (all games at 1.00pm)

Eire Og v St Patrick’s Lisburn

St Patrick’s Lisburn, the reigning Junior champions have suffered back to back defeats in their two outings to date and they will be seeking to turn the proverbial corner in this one as they visit Eire Og.

St Agnes v Patrick Pearses

St Agnes have started the season very much on the positive with back to back wins over O’Donnell’s and St Patrick’s ensuring table topping status at present.

The Woodlands men will be looking to keep on the winning trail here as the play hosts to Pearses and they may well prove up to that task.

St Comgall’s Antrim v Cardinal O’ Donnell’s

Adrian Dougan’s St Comgall’s got off the mark with a win over Laochra Loch Lao last time and they may well retain the winning habit again in this one as Mc Crory Park residents O’ Donnell’s pay a visit.

St Malachy’s v Laochra Loch Lao

St Malachy’s opened their account with a win over Ballycastle in round one and although this looks a tougher assignment the men from the Markets may well gain another brace of points over visitors Laochra Loch Lao.

McCabe inspires St. Comgall’s to opening day win

ACFL Division 3

Laochra Loch Lao 1-5 St. Comgall’s 0-16

A fine exhibition of point taking by half-forward James McCabe inspired St. Comgall’s Antrim to an opening day win over Laochra Loch Lao in division 3 and the Antrim town side will be hoping it will set them up for a good season.

McCabe scored seven of his side’s 16 points and with Paddy O’Connor also making a substantial contribution with four Laochra Loch Lao struggled to keep pace with the Antrim men. Peter McAuley and Tom Patchett added two apiece with Conoir McAuley also on target and with Adrian Dougan back at the helm St. Comgall’s could again be amongst the challengers for honour in the division.

St. Comgall’s: Ben Johnston, Stephen Webb, Arron McGaw, Dannan O’Hara, Rory Griffin, Dylan Murdock, Caolan McKeown, Daryl McNeill, Oisin Crilly, Paddy O’Connor 0-4,Conor McAuley 0-1, James McCabe 0-7, Rory McLarnon, Peter McAuley 0-2, Tom Patchett 0-2, Subs: Michael McCabe for Stephen Webb, Colm Logue for Oisin Crilly, Colm Griffin for Dannan O’Hara, Paddy Cooke for Rory McLarnon

Rasharkin make it two from two as Pearses pay the penalty

ACFL Division 3

Pearses 3-7 Rasharkin 3-9

Rasharkin footballers made it two wins from two starts when they travelled to Pearses on Sunday and recorded a good win over the Belfast side. The men from Dreen looked to be coasting when they led 2-5 to 0-4 at the half way point but Pearses came with a late rally to close the gap to two in the end but the St. Mary’s defence stood strong to take the points.

Cahir Henderson was the man who led the way with a goal from the penalty spot in each half, one requiring a follow up after his initial effort came back of the cross-bar and another from Ferghal Kennedy saw the ‘Hoops’ seven to the good at the halfway point but like last week, they allowed the opposition back into the game.

The North Belfast side struck three second half goals including a penalty of their own but the introduction of Tomas Doherty and Andrew Hasson from the bench and a solid performance from Conor Hasson saw the Dreen side over the line.

Rasharkin:

1. Ryan Doherty

2. Aidan McKeever

3. Daniel Doherty

4. John Henderson

5. Emmett McFerran

6. Conor Hasson

7. Fergus Quigg

8. Jack Quinn

9. Thomas McMullan

10. Liam Quigg

11. Ferghal Kennedy

12. Dylan O’Doherty

13. Gerard O’Hagan

14. Tiernan O’Boyle

15. Cathair Henderson

Subs:

Andrew Hasson for Liam Quigg

Colm Kennedy for John Henderson

Thomas Doherty for Dylan O’Doherty

Conor Doherty for Aidan McKeever

Killian O’Boyle for Cathair Henderson

Rasharkin Scorers:
Tiernan O’Boyle: 0-3
Liam Quigg: 0-1
Ferghal Kennedy: 1-1
Dylan O’Doherty: 0-1
Gerard O’Hagan: 0-2
Cathair Henderson: 2-0 (2 Penalties) 
Andrew Hasson: 0-1