St Comgall’s back in the title race

O’Neill’s ACFL Division 3

St. Comgall’s 7-13 Pearses 4-11

Following defeat last time out to Ardoyne, St. Comgall’s got themselves back in touch in the promotion race with this win over Na Piarsiagh in a high scoring encounter at the Chapel field.

This match started off at a hectic pace with Naomh Comhghall going ahead with 2 goals by Conor McAuley in the first 2 minutes but Pearses weren’t going to lie down and from the kick-out pushed up and got a goal of their own with the match barely 5 minutes old

.Naomh Comhghall responded and increased their lead with 5 points but Pearses responded with 3 of their own to keep in touch. Naomh Comhghall hit the goal trail again with majors from Conor McAuley, who was proving a handful for the visitors defence and paddy Quinn and looked to have secured the points when they led 4-08 to 1-08 at the breakSt Comgalls V Pearse's GAC 22-07-2018 4Pic by Eelco Westerhuis

The second half was a score for score affair with St. Comgall’s adding 3-5 and their opponents 3.03 to leave the final score 7-13 to 4.11 for the Antrim town side. Manager James brazier will be happy with his side’s scoring return but not so pleased at the amount they conceded.

The former Aldergrove player will be pleased at the fact that all six forwards scored but will be looking for defensive improvement if his side are to be in the shake up for honours come season’s end.

St. Comgall’s find themselves in third place after this win on 17 points from 12 starts as they trail St. Patrick’s Lisburn on 20 from 13 starts and Kickham’s Ardoyne also on 20 but with 12 played. St. Malachy’s have also climbed into contention for a promotion spot on 17 from 13 starts while Con Magee’s Glenravel could be the dark horses as they sit on 16 but have only played 11.

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Pics by Eelco Westerhuis

McNeill on fire as Ardoyne climb to the top of the table

 

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Aiden McNeill who scored 0-10 as Kickham’s Ardoyne defeated St. Comgall’s Antrim at Dunsilly on Wednesday night.

O’Neill’s ACFL Division 3

St. Comgall’s 0-10 Ardoyne 0-16

Aiden McNeill fired over points from all angels and distances to push Kickham’s Ardoyne to the top of division 3 in what looks like the tightest race for the title in recent years. Both sides went into this contest with only a point separating them but it was Paddy Murray’s side who displayed the greater will to win and they were well worth their six point victory.

It was St. Comgall’s Antrim who made the better start however at Dunsilly and the early exchanges suggested that they were quite capable of taking the spoils of victory over a side they have crossed swords with many times in recent years.

Dylan Murdock pointed the home side in front in the 4th minute before Aiden McNeill equalised from a free in the 5th minute. St. Comgall’s began to take control however as Ruairi Griffin restored their lead with a point in the 7th minute and Miles Devine extended that lead to two from a 9th minute free.

The Antrim town side were enjoying the better of the exchanges at this stage but hit a couple of bad wides but when Ardoyne replied from a sublime long range effort from Aiden McNeill things began to turn in the visitors favour.

McNeill stroked a ‘45’ effortlessly between the uprights to tie the contest and then Gary McKernan set up McNeill with a defence splitting pass but the number 13’s shot flew just wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

St. Comgall’s looked to have recovered from that let off as Miles Devine fisted over in the 19th minute to restore their lead but almost immediately McNeill brought matters level again from another pointed free.

Ardoyne forward, McNeill was giving a superb exhibition of point taking and he edged his side ahead for the first time in the 23d minute but St. Comgall’s might well have been back on terms as they broke forward from the resulting kick out but Louis Higgins’ effort came back of an upright and was cleared to safety.

Slowly though the visitors were taking command with Conor McDowell proving very effective in the sweeper role and Ciaran McNeill extended their lead with a good point before Miles Devine replied with a St. Comgall’s point to leave just one between the sides.

Conor McAuley was wide from a ‘45’ and Devine from play as tempers became a bit frayed and referee Cathal McDermott issued a number of cards. As things settled Cormac Mullan pointed a late free to leave Ardoyne two in front at the break.

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When the action resumed again it was Aiden McNeill who extended the visitors lead to three from a close range free in the 4th minute and after Gary McKernan had blasted wide it was McNeill again and Cormac Mullan who added two more as Ardoyne began to open up the Antrim defence with their strong direct running.

The lively Shane Og Gribben briefly turned the tide with a good St. Comgall’s point in the 12th minute, their first of the half and Aiden McNeill for Ardoyne and Dylan Murdock for St. Comgall’s exchanged further minors to leave four between the sides with 13 minutes gone.

St. Comgall’s were still enjoying plenty of possession but were much to slow and methodical in their build ups and the visiting defence was dealing with nearly everything that came their way and breaking at speed.

Cormac Mullan for Ardoyne and Ruairi Griffin for St. Comgall’s exchanged points as the card count continued to rise but despite losing a couple of players Ardoyne finished strongly with points from Mullan and McNeill 0-2 to finish convincing winners 0-16 to 0-10.

This win moves the Kickham’s onto equal points with leaders, St. Patrick’s Lisburn on 18 points but the Kickham’s have a game in hand while Glenravel move to 16 points after their win over St. Malachy’s but they have two games in hand over St. Patrick’s.

St. Comgall’s and St. Malachy’s sit just a point further back in what is proving the tightest division 3 for many years and it looks like the race for the title could go right down to the wire.

St. Comgall’s: Mark Morgan, Callum McCabe, James McLornan, Paul Flannagan, Ryan McAuley, Peter McAuley, Shane Og Gribben, Darryl McNeill, Louis Higgins, Ruairi Griffin, Dylan Murdock, Oisin Crilly, Conor McAuley, Patrick Cooke, Miles Devine. Subs: Rory McLarnon, Danaan O’Hara, Colm Griffin

Kickham’s Ardoyne: Patrick McCullough, Niall Conwell, Gerard Og McFarlane, Pearse Marley, Conor Carter, Padraig Lynch, Kevin Lynch, Gary McKernan, Davison Alan, Cormac Mullan, Joe McNeill, Conor McDowell, Aiden McNeill, Ciaran McNeill, Kealan McCallan, Subs: Jim Og McAuley, Kevin McLaughlin, Conor Magee,  Kevin McLaughlin, Sean Joe Rooney

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St Patrick’s back in the title race after win over Con Magees

O’Neill’s All County Football League Division 3

Con Magees Glenravel  1-6 St Patrick’s Lisburn 1-10

St Patrick’s Lisburn got themselves back into the title race in Division 3 when they travelled to Glenravel on Wednesday evening and beat the Con Magees by 1-10 to 1-6, a result that sees them draw level with their opponents in the league table, though Glenravel do have a game in hand. At half time the home team appeared to be in a good position when they went in leading by 1-5 to 0-6, but in perfect conditions for football they managed just one point in the second half, and it came from a free deep into injury time.

Eoin Fay gave St Patrick’s an early lead with a point from a free but a point from Conor McNeill on five minutes had the home side level, and when Conleth O’Loan grabbed a goal two minutes later they appeared to be in charge. However the Lisburn men hit back with three points on the trot from Fay, and the McMullan brothers to tie the scores midway through the first half.

The home team appeared to be back in control of the match when they hit four without reply, two apiece from Declan Traynor and Conor McNeill, to open an 0-8 to 0-04 lead with half time just minutes away, but St Patrick’s finished the half strongly with points from Josh McMullan and Fay to leave just two between the sides at the break. (Con Magees 1-5 St Patrick’s 06)

5Conleth O’Loan scores Glenravel’s goal during the opening half. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

Con Magees squandered a few good chances to increase their lead early in the second half and they were made to pay when Niall Ward pointed for the visitors to close the gap to the minimum on 36 minutes. St Patrick’s took the lead midway through the second half when Francis McMeel cut up the right wing and fisted a high ball into the Glenravel square where full forward Josh McMullan rose highest to punch the ball to the net.

Another Niall Ward point put the Lisburn men three clear and when corner forward Francis McMeel fired over the gap was out to four. Conor McNeill got Glenravel’s first score of the second half three minutes into injury time to leave just a goal between the teams but St Patricks had the final say and a pointed free by Conor Saunders left them winners by a four point margin.

CON MAGEES – Shaun O’Boyle, Conor Carey, Paul McCurry, Michael Laverty, Joshua McKeown, Eoin McCusker, Mark O’Connor, Conor Mhor Carey, David Higgins, Conleth O’Loan, Kieran McKeown, Declan Traynor, Conor McNeill, Martin McCarry, Gareth McKeown.

Subs – Ciaran O’Connor for Gareth McKeown; Paul Mulholland for David Higgins; Sean Paul McKenna for Conleth O’Loan.

ST PATRICK’S – Peter O’Neill, Martin Kennedy, Thomas Burns, Jack McMullan, Tighearnan O’Meallaigh, Mark Chernek, Tomas Fay, Mark Torbitt, Denver Taggart, Ben McMullan, Niall Ward, Parick Saunders, Joshua McMullan, Francis McMeel.

Referee – Vincent Boyle (Dunloy)

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Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Con Magees stay top in tight promotion race

All County Football League Division 3

Con Magees 3-17 Ballycastle 1-11

Con Magees kept their place at the top of a very congested Division 3 league table when they beat Ballycastle in Friday evening’s league game at Fr Maginn Park. After falling behind to a Mark Higgins point for the visitors the home team dominated the remainder of the first half and with Conor McNeill and David Higgins in fine scoring form they pulled away to lead by 1-11 to 0-4 by half time. The goal came from David Higgins on 11 minutes and he also contributed two points, while McNeill accounted for six points with Gareth McKeown and ‘big’ Conor Carey getting the other, while the Ballycastle points came from Mark Higgins (3) and Thomas McIlroy.

Con Magees v Bcastle - 14

David Higgins, Conor McNeill and Declan Diamond pointed early in the second half to increase the Con Magees lead even further before another point from Mark Higgins and a great individual score from TT Butler got Ballycastle going again. Higgins pulled two more back, one from a free and the other from a 45, and Higgins was unlucky not to grab a goal after good work by TT Butler had put him clear in front of the target. Higgins did manage to get through for a goal midway through the second half and midfielder Caolan McCaughan added two late points, but the home team came back with two goals of their own through David Higgins and Marty McCarry to keep their top place, just a point ahead of St Comgall’s, St Patrick’s Lisburn, St Malachy’s and Ardoyne who are all snapping at their heels.

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Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Six of the best for high riding Con Magee’s in Division 3

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Con Magee’s Glenravel who defeated Na Piarsaigh at Fr. Maginn Park on Sunday.

Photographs: Neal O’Boyle

ACFL Division 3

Con Magee’s 4-10 Na Piarsaigh 0-11

Con Magee’s Glenravel made it six wins from six starts in division 3 of the All County Football League when they entertained Pearses at Fr. Maginn Park on Sunday. The Glenravel men have been setting a fast pace in this division this season and even at this early stage look favourites for promotion to division 2.

Sunday’s win follows a good away win over last year’s beaten JFC finalists, St. Patrick’s Lisburn who sit two points behind the Glensmen but have a game more played and Laochra Loch Lao, St. Malachy’s, St. Agnes and Eire Og have all been put to the sword this season by a young and skilful Con Magee’s.

Perhaps their biggest challenges have yet to come however with last year’s relegated sides, St. Comgall’s, Antrim and Kickham’s, Ardoyne still to play and when Glenravel travel to Antrim on 27th May this game could provide their sternest test to date but on recent form it is a game they look well capable of winning.

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The beaten Na Piarsaigh team