Rasharkin are crowned champions

ACFL Division 3

Rasharkin 8-14 Eire Og 0-4

There was an inevitability about this one from the time Eammon McNeill fired home Rasharkin’s opening goal in the 6th minute and the big crowd who turned up at Dreen to see their side crowned division 3 champions were not disappointed.

The home side finally received confirmation that they were to be awarded the points when St. Agnes were unable to field early in the season so the mathematics were simple, win this one and Rasharkin are league champions. Loss or even draw and O’Donnell’s could pip them for the title.

To their credit Eire Og arrived at Dreen with nothing to play for but pride and despite suffering a heavy defeat in the end, they played some good football at times.

The visitors lacked a cutting edge in attack and surprisingly failed to use the long basll to their advantage in the opening half when they had a strong wind at their backs.

Playing into the wind, Rasharkin played some delightful football as they moved the ball around at speed through the hands and continuously created openings which inevitably led to scores.

They led 1-2 to 0-1 after six minutes with Oran McMullan and Fergus Quigg getting them on their way before Eammon McNeill finished clinically to the net.

Conall Smyth got the Og’s on their way with a good long range point but the visitors continued to play the possession game and were inevitably turned over as McNeill added a couple of points before Oran McMullan got in for Rasharkin’s second goal at the end of the opening quarter.

Adam McKenna raised the visitor’s second flag when he pointed a free in the 16th minute but Eammon McNeill replied with a point before firing home his second and his sides third goal with 8 minutes remaining to the break.

Tiernan O’Boyle fired a ‘45’ majestically between the posts into the wind and Thomas ‘Tucker’ McMullan raised a cheer of approval from an appreciative home crowd when he fired to the net in the 27th minute.

A minute later young mid-fielder O’Boyle got in for his side’s fifth goal and with the wind to face in the second half, it looked like an exercise in damage limitation for the city side.

It didn’t get any easier for Eire Og as matters got underway again with Eammon McNeill completed his hat-trick with a goal in the 2nd minute and Ryan Lynch added a point before the excellent Thomas McMullan added his second goal and his side’s seventh in the 12th minute.

To their credit Eire Og never gave up or resorted to foul tactics as they continued to play a possession game with limited success and they did break forward on several occasions but were unable to apply the finish.

A minute after McMullan’s goal, Ryan Lynch fired home their 8th and it would be their last as the Rasharkin management gave game time to their bench.

Killian O’Boyle, Eammon McNeill and Oran McMullan added points for the home side before Eire Og’s were finally rewarded for their efforts as Brendan Shannon fired over their third point in the 20th minute.

Ryan Lynch and substitute, Jack Quinn replied for the home side but Eire Og were still battling against impossible odds and were rewarded with a point from Conall Smyth.

The Dreen side would finish as they had started however with Ryan Lynch and Killian O’Boyle concluding the scoring with late points before the big home crowd joined their heroes on the field for the celebrations.

County committee member, Barney Herron was there to present the cup to a delighted Rasharkin captain, Thomas McMullan and afterwards the youngsters from the club joined in the celebration photograph

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Pearse Kelly, 3 – Daniel Doherty, 4 – Conor Higgins, 5 – Colm Kennedy, 6 – Conor Hasson, 7 – Fergus Quigg, 8 – Cathal Mooney, 9 – Ruairi O’Boyle

10 – Oran McMullan, 11 – Thomas McMullan, 12 – Oisin Casey, 13 – Tiernan O’Boyle, 14 – Eammon McNeill, 15 – Ryan Lynch

Eire Og: 1 Mark Hamill, 2 Jarlath Devlin, 3 Eanna mcNulty, 4 Oran McMenamin, 5 Stephen Erskine, 6 Alexander Dixon-McNight, 7 Adam McKenna, 8 Conall Smyth, 9 Ronan Donnelly, 10 Gavin Donnelly, 11 Brendan Shannon, 12 Kevin Comber, 13 Joseph Melarkey, 14 Stephen Mullin, 15 Christopher Carberry

Referee: Richie Leahy.

Rasharkin back on track after big win over St Malachy’s

Antrim Football League – Division 3

St Malachy’s 0-6 Rasharkin 2-14

Rasharkin got their Division 3 promotion hopes back on track after last week’s defeat to O’Donnell’s when they travelled to Cherryvale on Wednesday evening and beat St Malachy’s

The Dreen men were slow getting started and were 0-4 to 0-0 behind in the early stages but once they found their feet there no stopping them and they turned up the pace in the second half to win in the end by fourteen points.

St Malachy’s had the better of the early exchanges and scored the first four points of the game through Jack McGovern Paul Divine, Ronan Maneely and Ciaran Vernon. Rasharkin were creating plenty of scoring chances, but wayward shooting, and a couple of smart saves by the Mal’s keeper Sean Turley were keeping the Dreen men at bay.

However once they finally found the target through corner forward Tiernan O’Boyle the score began to flow and further points from Eamon McNeill (2), Ryan Lynch and Conor Higgins had them 0-5 to 0-4 ahead at the break.

They stretched their lead to four early in the second half as Eamon McNeill, Ruairi O’Boyle and Tiernan O’Boyle added points, but Shea Lynch pulled one back for St Malachy’s to leave just three between the sides. McNeill and Ruairi O’Boyle pushed Rasharkin five ahead and when man of the match McNeill got in for a goal there was no way back for the Mal’s.

Ronan Maneely pulled one back for the home side but it was to be St Malachy’s final score and Rasharkin added a further 1-4 without reply, the goal coming from Cathal Mooney to run out winners by 14 points in the end.

O’Donnell’s put the party on hold

ACFL Division 3

St. Mary’s Rasharkin 0-10  O’Donnell’s 1-12

Photographs: Mark Hasson

It should have been a night of celebration at Dreen on Wednesday night. A win for Rasharkin would have moved them three points clear in the league with a game in hand but O’Donnell’s spoiled the party.

The MacRory Park side arrived at the South West venue having suffered only one defeat throughout the league (to last night’s opponents) and knowing that only a win would suffice if they were to maintain a realistic chance of winning the league and that is just what they achieved.

The unbeaten league leaders were first on the scoreboard when Oran McMullan pointed them ahead after 21 seconds but O’Donnell’s came back with a point from Patrick Meenan to draw level.

The home side suffered an early blow when Emmet McFerran was shown a Black card in the third minute but moved ahead once more as Oran McMullan fired over his second point of the contest.

Back came the O’D’s as Scott Thompson fired over but Eammon McNeill edged the Dreen side ahead again before the visitors hit the front for the first time with points from Sean Pat Donnelly and Marc McKenna with 20 minutes gone.

Once again Rasharkin rallied and Oisin Casey kicked a couple of good points from play but as game swung from end to end it was the Whiterock Road side who came back again.

Centre Half, Connor Walsh got forward for a good score and Sean Pat Donnelly added another to nudge their noses ahead once more but the final score of the half fell to Eammon McNeill whose late point saw the sides head to the dressing room level at 0-06 each.

With all to play for, the sides returned to the action and Donagh Quigg pointed in the 5th minute to restore the Rasharkin lead following a great run from corner-back, Donagh Aka Quigg.

Things appeared to be turning the way of league leaders St. Mary’s when Eammon McNeill, Ryan Lynch (f) and Oran McMullan hit three on the bounce to move them four ahead after 16 minutes and it looked a long way back for O’Donnell’s.

The MacRory Park side were not about to throw in the towel and they showed just why they are serious challenge for the league title as they came back to dominate the final qwuarter, holding their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the game.

They opened their second half account with a point in the 17th minute and when the excellent Patrick Meenan followed with a goal, two minutes later they had drawn level and Rasharkin looked shell shocked.

The O’D’s now had the wind in their sails as they sensed victory And Sean Pat Donnelly edged them ahead with a point in the 23d minute and they might have followed with a second goal but Conor Hasson pulled off a great block to deny Scott Thompson, who collected to send over.

Hasson’s heroics failed to lift his colleagues however and O’Donnell’s were now in full flight as they added three more points going down the home straight with Gearoid McKernan, Patrick Meenan and Marc McKenna adding late points to leave the visitors convincing six point winners in the end.

This excellent win sees O’Donnell’s move to the top of the league with 29 points from 16 starts, one above Rasharkin who now sit n 28 points from 15 starts and the race for the title is likely to go down to the final day.

O’Donnell’s have Pearses at home and St. Malachy’s away in their remaining games while Rasharkin travel to St. Malachy and finish with a home game against Eire Og with their fate still very much in their own hands.

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson 2 – Pearse Kelly 3 – Emmet McFerran 4 – Donagh Quigg 5 – Fearghal Kennedy 6 – Conor Hasson 7 – Fergus Quigg 8 – Cathal Mooney 9 – Ruairi OBoyle 10 – Oran McMullan 11 – Thomas McMullan 12 – Oisin Casey 13 – Tiernan O’Boyle 14 – Eammon McNeill 15 – Ryan Lynch

O’ Donnell’s: 1 Conor Murphy, 2 Joseph Rafferty, 3 Stephen Seawright, 4 David Mackle, 5 Kevin Kennedy, 6 Connor Walsh, 7 Gearoid McKernan, 8 Fearghal McNerny, 9 Joe Wilson, 10 Keelan Loughran, 11 Sean Pat Donnelly, 12 Scott Thompson, 13 Patrick Meenan, 14 Cailean Walsh, 15 Marc McKenna

Referee: Gregory Walsh (Aghagallon)

Rasharkin march on

ACFL Division 3

Rasharkin  9-15 Wolfe Tones 0-9

Rasharkin’s relentless march towards the division 3 title continues and it seems that no one can stop them. Cardinal O’Donnell’s will have other ideas as they sit a point behind the men from Dreen but with a game more played.

St. Mary’s sit on 28 points from 14 starts while their nearest challengers, O’D’s have 27 from 15 starts with that defeat coming at MacRory Park back on the 26th April to the Rasharkin men and their meeting in the South West next Wednesday night will go a long way to deciding the destination of the league title.

On Wednesday night it took St. Mary’s a while to get going at Valley Parade with the home side kicking the opening two points through Gerard McDonnell and Vincent Lismore and when Rasharkin came back with a point from Tiernan O’Boyle and a goal from Eamonn McNeill the Tones replied again to close the gap to one through McDonnell.

Slowly though the visitors began to settle into their rhythm as Eammon McNeill 0-2, Fearghal Keneddy and Ryan Lynch struck points and when Lynch followed with his side’s second goal at the end of the opening quarter the league leaders never looked back.

Suddenly gaps began to appear in the Wolfe Tones’ rear guard as Oran McMullan, Ryan Lynch (penalty) and Oisin Casey added further goals and by half time Rasharkin were out of site as McNeill added two further majors to put his side 7-8 to 0-3 ahead.

Rasharkin began the second half on the front foot again with unanswered points from Ryan Lynch, Oisin Casey, Killian O’Boyle, Ruairi O’Boyle and Fearghal Kennedy before Declan O’Neill and Jonah Magill replying with points for the city side.

Antrim’s newest club were enjoying their best spell in the game at this stage and they matched Rasharkin point for point for a time before losing two players to Black cards and Rasharkin put the game to bed in the closing stages with further goals from Oisin Casey and Jack Quinn.

O’Donnell’s visit Dreen next Wednesday night and nothing other than a win for the MacRory Park side will suffice. A win for the league leaders would put matters to bed but there was only a goal between the sides in the first game back in April and the Whiterock Road side will travel believing they can keep their promotion hopes alive.

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Pearse Kelly, 3 – Emmet McFerran, 4 – Donagh Quigg, 5 – Fearghal Kennedy, 6 – Conor Hasson, 7 – Fergus Quigg, 8 – Cathal Mooney, 9 – Ruairi OBoyle, 10 – Oran McMullan, 11 – Thomas McMullan, 12 – Oisin Casey, 13 – Tiernan O’Boyle, 14 – Eammon McNeill, 15 – Ryan Lynch

Referee: Sean Elliott (Lamh Dhearg)

Lynch hat-trick paves the way for Rasharkin victory

ACFL Division 3

St Comghall’s 1-12 Rasharkin 6-9

A Ryan Lynch hat-trick and further goals from Donagh Quigg, Oisin Casey and Tiernan O’Boyle kept the Rasharkin promotion race on course when they visited Antrim on Saturday evening to take on Naomh Comhghall in a game that certainly produced a barrow full of scores.

Lynch, who has been in fine form since his return to the side this season led the way against an Antrtim town side who were in descent scoring score themselves but were too easily penetrated at the other end.

St Comghall’s raced into an early 3 point before Shane Hasson slipped over Rasharkin first score from a free.

The town again pushed it out to 3 before corner back Donagh Quigg hit a much needed major to leave the scores level.

Anothe point for St Comghall’s brought another leveller from Oran McMullan and at this stage of proceedings there was nothing between the sides

Rasharkin began to get on top however and Oisin Casey popped in behind the defence to slip the ball past St Comghall’s  keeper the gap would widen when referee Ryan O’Reilly signalled for a penalty that was sent to the net by Ryan lynch for his first of the evening.

Rasharkin were now 7 clear and looked to be in control but 3 unanswered points from the home side brought deficit back to 4.

Naomh Comhghall were playing some good football and a Shane Hasson pointed free in the 27th minute brought a late rally from the home side who finished the half with 3 unanswered point to leave just one in it at the break.

Half time: Rasharkin 3-03 St Comghall’s 0-11

So with the game finally balanced, the next 30 minutes would test Rasharkin’s resolve and they son faced a more daunting test  with only 5 minutes of second half gone as the home side were awarded a penalty that they tucked away to move into a two point lead.

Rasharkin held their nerve however and replied with had points from a Shane Hasson free and another from substitute Tiernan O’ Boyle to level the scores and these scored seemed to spark the league leaders into life.

Tiernan O’Boyle was having an impact since his introduction and he sent a 45 straight between the posts before Ryan lynch hit the top corner of the Naomh Comhghall net and points from Lynch asnd O’Boyle moved Rasharkin further in front.

The momentum was now very much with the men from Dreen and with 53 minutes gone they were awarded a penalty and again that man Ryan lynch stepped up to apply the finish and complete his hat-trick.

Shane Hasson converted another free before Tiernan O’Boyle sent a rifling shot to the net which would prove to be St. Mary’s final score.  

It was done and dusted at this stage however with Naomh Comhghall replying with a consolation point in injury time and Rasharkin’s unbeaten run in tact following this 12 point win.

Rasharkin scorers:

Donagh Quigg 1-00, Oisin Casey 1-00, Ryan Lynch 3-01, Tiernan ‘O’Boyle 1-03 (1f), Shane Hasson 0-04 (4f’s), Oran McMullan 0-01

Rasharkin: 1 Andrew Hasson, 2 Pearse Kelly, 3 Daniel Doherty, 4 Donagh Quigg, 5 Fearghal Kennedy, 6 Conor Hasson, 7 Fergus Quigg, 8 Cathal Mooney, 9 Ruairi O’Boyle, 10 Shane Hasson, 11 Thomas McMullan, 12 Oran McMullan, 13 0isin Casey, 14 Eamonn McNeill,

15 Ryan lynch

Rasharkin subs:

Cormac McMullan for Oran McMullan 34 mins

Tiernan O’Boyle for Thomas McMullan 34 mins

Cormac McMullan

Tiernan O’Boyle

Jack Quinn

Killian O’Boyle

Colm Kennedy