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

Eire Og take points with win over Aggies

O’Neill’s All County Football League – Division 3
Eire Og Doire achaidh played some good football in their win over rivals St Agnes at Pairc Naomh Una on Sunday May 13th.
The Ogs started well with a well taken point from play by the lively Conor Ellis and another from a free kick by Conor Mc Kenna for a foul on the 20 metre line.
St Agnes hit back shortly afterwards with a well taken free kick of their own from Conor Gilligan. Eire og were well on top with Caomhan Daykin starring at midfield but the team were struggling to get scores on the board in a scappy first half of stop-start football.
The Ogs missed a few simple point chances to extend their lead and show their dominance, but Erskine and Joe Hughes made it 0.4 – 0.1 as the half drew to a close. However, The Aggies stuck doggedly at it and Conor Gilligan scored another free and a point from play to leave the half time score with just the minimum between the teams in a low scoring first half. Young Ronan Donnelly was having a great game at centre half back for Eire Og while veteran Joe George kept Aggies full forward Deaglan Crummy quiet. A quiet unremarkable first half of Gaelic football.
The second half started with a bang for the Ogs with 4 unanswered points, from Conor Erskine, Conor McKenna (2, 1 free kick) and young Adam McKenna.
St Agnes’ were not giving up though and finally got on the second half scoresheet with a fine strike from Christopher McKee The game was becoming a bit more tense now with a few silly fouls from both sides but referee Mc Cartan was quick to stop any altercations. Ciaran Rice was using his skill and speed to kick start attacks for the Ogs even though he had taken a knock to his jaw towards the end of the first half. Daykin was ruling the midfield with his strength and power.
Eire Og got to grips with the Aggies attack and broke away on numerous occasions to score further second half points with Conor Erskine getting 3 from play and a further free from 20 metres. Conor Ellis added 2 more from play and Gavin Donnelly knocked over a great team point also. The Aggies kept going and reduced the deficit with a few points of their own from Conor Gilligan and Cormac McBride. Conor Mc Kenna stroked a couple of further frees over the bar for the Ogs to keep a good distance between the two teams. He could have put further daylight between the teams when he was fouled inside the ‘large parallelogram’ (as Michael O’Hehir used to call it) but he stroked the penalty wide of the goal after an unusual long run up!! Matthew Corr in goals for St Agnes was well relieved.
The game finished after a bit of indiscipline from both sides as sometimes happens when two rival teams meet. Final score was St Agnes 0.8 Eire Og 0.17. Well done to both sides.
Great performances from the younger Ogs against a quite experienced St Agnes, especially, Conor Erskine, Jarlath Devlin, Gavin Donnelly, Adam McKenna and Cronin Rogers. Experienced players Kieran Ryan in goals, Ciaran Rice, Ciaran McAreevy, Fra Grimley , Conor Mc Clean, Joe Hughes, and old hands Joe George and Fearghal Gribben all supported the young lads brilliantly. However, Ronan Donnelly takes the plaudits on this occasion with his man of the match performance at Centre Half.
A lot of credit must also go to Coach Seamus McKenna who has the lads well marshalled and ready for the games.
Scorers: Conor Erskine 4 points, Conor Ellis 3 points, Joe Hughes 1 point, Gavin Donnelly 1 point.
Team: Kieran Ryan, Ciaran Rice, Joe George, Fearghal Gribben, Adam McKenna (0-1), Ronan Donnelly, Ciaran McAreevy, Conor McKenna (0-7 5f), Caomhan Daykin, Jarlath Devlin, Conor Erskine (0-4 1f), Joe Hughes (0-1)Conor Ellis (0-3), Fra Grimley, Gavin Donnelly (0-1). Subs, Conor McClean, Cronin Rogers.

St Comgall’s battle back to take both league points

Naomh Padraig 1-11 Naomh Comhghall 1-12

St Comgall’s fought back from a bad start to take both league points in Sunday’s Division 3 game in Lisburn. The game started badly for the Antrim men when Lisburn scored a goal straight from the throw in and it got worse for the visitors as they fell 1.04 to no score behind after 10 minutes.

Fielding a much changed team than lined out in the previous games things were not working out, but switches were made and St. Comgall’s got their first score after 15 minutes and pulled back 2 more points to get back into contention. However the Lisburn side kept up the pressure and increased their lead to 1.09 to 0.04 at half time.

St Comhghalls V Lisburn 6-5-2018 (4)

Things improved for Naomh Comhghall after the change of ends as the Antrim side sorted out their defence and cut-out the first half mistakes and took the game to Lisburn with the defence keeping the home side at bay. Naomh Comhghall now attacked at will and kept the scoreboard ticking as the pressure mounted.

The Antrim town side spurned a glorious goal chance when Rory McLarnon won a Lisburn kick-out and raced through on the Lisburn goal, before unselfishly passing to Conor McAuley whose shot was turned around the post. However all was not lost as Ciaran Quinn pointed the resultant 45 to keep the pressure on the home side. The turning point came for Saint Comgall’s when Paddy O’Connor won the Lisburn kick-out and blasted to the net to give his side a 1.09 to 1.07 lead

St Comgall’s kept up  the pressure and pulled away to take a 1-12 to 1-10 lead. Lisburn closed the gap with a point to leave just the minimum between the sides, but it was to be the last score of the game as Naomh Comhghall held on for a hard earned two points.

ST COMGALL’S

1              Ben Johnson

2              Paul Flannagan

3              Paddy OConnor

4              Joe Webb

5              Ryan mc Auley

6              Paddy Quinn

7              Shane og Gribben

8             Oisin Crilly

9              Daryl mc Neill

10           Ruairi Griffen

11           Ciaran Quinn

12           Miles Devine

13           Conor McAuley

14           Lewis Higgins

15           Rory Mc Larnon

16           Colm Logue

17           Colm Griffen

18          Richie Leahy

substitution Colm Griffen for Lewis Higgins

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Pics by Eelco Westerhuis, St Comgall’s GAA

Elliott’s second half goal proves decisive

Laochra Loch Lao 0-8 v 1-13 Eire Og @ Colaiste Feirste 02.05.2018

An early second half goal by Peter Elliott killed off any potential resistance from Division 3 newcomers Laochra Loch Lao in what was ultimately a straightforward victory for Eire Og. The Ogs have been hugely depleted by injuries so far this season but are now starting to find their form, following an impressive display against Lisburn with a more accomplished and hardworking performance on Wednesday evening.

An early free from Laochra started the scoring, however two quick Peter Elliott points from play settled Eire Og into their rhythm, and it was a lead they would keep for the remainder of the game. The home side were finding it very difficult to find space against a tight Eire Og defence who were on top throughout. Laochra were dangerous from placed balls, however the swirling wind took a few efforts wide, and Eire Og took full advantage with a point from full forward Vesali, and 2 fine efforts from Conor McKenna.  The home side added a few points themselves but were otherwise well marshalled by the Og defence, with both Conor Ellis and Ciaran Rice also able to break forward on many occasions. Another McKenna point, followed by an Elliott point from a free left the score 0-4 v 0-7 in the Ogs favour at Half time.

HT – Laochra 0-4 v 0-7 Eire Og

The second half started similar to the first with the home side opening the scoring, however two more Elliott points followed, before some excellent work by both Stephen Carson and Kayvan Vesali, resulted in Vesali robbing possession from the home defence, before cutting back a lovely ball to an unmarked Elliott, who finished to the top corner of the net from around 20 metres out. Eire Og were now in total control and a Stephen Carson point was followed by an excellent point from young centre forward Conor Erskine, who left his marker for dust before finishing brilliantly from a difficult angle. Erskine then responded to a point for the home side with another well taken score to cap an impressive all round performance. The home side tired in the closing stages having been made to work hard throughout for every score, and the Ogs seen the game out with some excellent play. Young forwards Erskine and Devlin showed pace and skill throughout and gave the home defence plenty to think about, maintaining possession well to help see the game out. The last kick of the game saw another Elliott point, from a difficult angle, finish the scoring and the match.

An excellent all round performance from a young, growing team who were again short of 7 or 8 regulars, with the defence on top throughout. Both McKenna and McIlroy won their midfield battles, and along with a lively half forward line, supplied good service into an inside forward line that looked like scoring every time they were on the ball.

Eire Og:

Kieran Ryan, Ciaran Rice, Joe George, Conor Ellis, Adam McKenna, Ronan Donnelly, Ciaran McAreavey, Conor McKenna (0-3), Ruairi McIlroy, Conor Erskine (0-2), Jarlath Devlin, Joe Hughes, Peter Elliott (1-06 0-4f), Kayvan Vesali (0-1), Stephen Carson (0-2)