Best performance of the season could put Naomh Comhghall back in the race

ACFL Division 3

Naomh Comhghall 2-14 Laochra Loch Lao 0-10

Naomh Comhghall produced their best performance of the season to overcome the challenge of high flying Laochra Loch Lao at Dunsilly on Wednesday night. The Irish language side have been in good form recently and a win here would have moved them into second place in the table but it was a win they never looked like gaining.

The Antrim town side dictated the contest from early in the game as they raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the 14th minute with the excellent Miles Divine leading the way with 0-3 and the other points coming from a James McCabe free and one from play by Tom Patchett.

Laochra Loch Lao’s only point at this stage came from Tarlach Barclaigh but two from Caoimhin O’Daimhin and Aaron Strain in reply to one from Tom Patchett had them back in contention and it seemed like they were coming into the game.

Both sides exchanged scores in the period leading up to half time with James McCabe and his midfield partner Louis Higgins adding to the Naomh Comhghall total and Conor McGucken and Tarlach Barclaigh replying for the Falls Road side to leave three in it at the break.

McGucken closed the gap to two with a point on the restart and for the first time Naomh Comhghall looked under a bit of pressure but they reacted positively and when Cian Devine rose with visiting keeper, Sean O’Heachain to get his fist to a tantalising delivery and finish to the net in the 5th minute the game changed dramatically.

Suddenly the home side were moving the ball around with great accuracy and breaking at pace as they opened up the visitors defence and James McCabe, Tom Patchett, Ruairi Higgins, Miles Divine and Patchett again hit unanswered points to open up a commanding 10 point lead by the 13th minute.

Two minutes later it was as good as over when the home side produced a great defence splitting move with Tom Patchett and Ruairi Griffin combining to set up Louis Higgins who drilled his shot low to the corner of the net.

Both sides emptied their bench at this stage and Laochra kept battling to the end and were denied a goal by a timely intervention from Cathal Donnelly and they kicked three of the final points of the game through the excellent Conor McGucken (0-3) but the final point of the half from Naomh Comhghall’s substitute Oisin Crilly brought the biggest cheer of the evening.

Despite this defeat Laochra Loch Lao remain in joint third place, one place above their conquerors on Wednesday night but the Antrim town men have a game in hand and on this performance could make a push for a promotion place during the second half of the season.

Naomh Comhghall: 1 Peter McAuley, 2 John Brady, 3 Cathal Donnelly, 24 Ryan McAuley, 5 Danan O’Hara, 6 Caolan McKeown, 7 Jarlaith McKeating, 8 James McCabe, 9 Louis Higgins, 10  Ruairi Griffin, 11 Miles Devine, 12 Patrick O’Connor, 13 Cian Devine, 14 Tom Patchett, 15 Niall Taggart, Subs: 16 Oisin Crilly,

Laochra Loch Lao: 1 Sean O’Heachain, 2 Liam MacTreinfhir, 3 Conor McCaffery, 4 Eamon O’Coinn, 5 Sean MacAnbheatha, 6 Connla O’Coinn, 7 Jack MacLomhair, 8 Eamonn O’Ceallaigh, 9 Cathal O’Ceallaigh, 10 Conor McGucken, 11 Padraig Fryers, 12 Tarlach Barclaigh, , Caoimhin O’Daimhin, 14 Aaron Strain, 15 Oisin MacCrabhagain  17 Niall MacAodha

Referee: Martin Quinn

Rasharkin remain on course for quick return to division 2

ACFL Division 3

O’Donnell’s 3-5 Rasharkin 1-15

Rasharkin travelled to MacRory Park last night for what looked like a difficult fixture and so it proved to be but in the end they came away with their unbeaten run intact and a quick return to division 2 football for next season very much on track.

Four points separated the protagonists at half time but there was just a goal in it when Charlie Hemsworth sounded his full-time whistle after a keenly contested game where Eammon McNeill made a major contribution with 0-7 for the Dreen side.

McNeill got the visitors off to a great start with a point in the 4th minute but they were rocked back on their heels when the home side replied with a goal with nine minutes gone.

Rasharkin closed the gap to the minimum through another point from Eammon McNeill but the home side were enjoying the better of the opening exchanges and moved two clear once more.

The visitors fought hard to get back into the game and did just that when they produced a good move which saw youngster, Oisin Casey drill his shot to the O’D’s net in the 19th minute to give his side the lead for the second time in the contest.

This score seemed to lift Rasharkin and they added points through Odhran Mooney and a monster of a point from veteran mid-fielder, Cathal Mooney and when Oran McMullan and Eammon McNeill added two more by the 23d minute they had put themselves in a commanding position.

The home side looked rattled but they gathered themselves up of the canvas and came storming back with a goal of their own through their corner-forward in the 24th minute and when they followed with a point the MacRory Park side were right back in contention.

It was visitors Rasharkin who finished the half on the front foot however with Cathal Mooney, Eammon McNeill and 18 year old Oisin Casey striking unanswered points to see them lead 1-9 to 2-2 at the interval.

The South West side increased their lead to five through a Shane Hasson point on the restart and Eammon McNeill added another before the home side replied with O’Donnell’s first score of the half in the 4th minute.

The visitors were still dictating the play and moving the ball around with confidence as Shane Hasson restored their six point advantage with a pointed free but the home side were still battling hard and replied with points to serve notice that they were still in contention with 16 minutes gone.

Once again the league leaders were able to respond with Eammon McNeill again on target and Killian O’Boyle added another after good work from Oisin Casey who was staking a claim for a regular starting spot on the Rasharkin team.

The visitors were looking very comfortable at this stage but O’Donnell’s were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty and their number 15 made no mistake as he fired past Andrew Hasson to close the gap to two with only minutes remaining.

It was Rasharkin who kept their heads however and a decisive counter with virtually the last play of the game saw Oisin Casey fire over the insurance point, the youngster finishing like a veteran to ensure there would be no way back for the home side.

This win moves Rasharkin to the top of the table on 14 points from seven starts with Pearses on the same number of points but having played two games more. Laochra Loch Lao are handily placed in third while O’Donnell’s sit in fourth, only three behind last night’s opponents.

Rasharkin:  1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Pearse Kelly, 3 – Emmet McFerran, 4 – Conor Hasson, 5 – Colm Kennedy, 6 – Donagh Quigg, 7 – Fergus Quigg, 8 – Thomas McMullan, 9 – Cathal Mooney

10 – Oran McMullan, 11 – Ruairi OBoyle, 12 – Shane Hasson, 13 – Oisin Casey, 14 – Eammon McNeill, 15 – Killian O’Boyle

Referee: Charlie Hensworth

Five from five for St. Mary’s Rasharkin

ACFL Div 3.

Rasharkin  5-7(22)  St Comgalls 1-3(6)

St. Mary’s Rasharkin made it five from five when they overcame the challenge of South West rivals, Naomh Comhghall Antrim in the ACFL Division 3 at a wet Dreen on Wednesday night.

The visitors matched their eventual conquerors during the early exchanges and a James McCabe goal in the 5th minute gave them the lead for the first and only time in the match with Rasharkin responding almost immediately with a goal of their own from Fearghal Kennedy.

It was Kennedy who had pointed the home side into an early lead when he cut in from the right and finished with his weaker left foot and his goal in the 6th minute followed a similar trajectory.

Tiernan O’Boyle extended that lead to two before Naomh Comhghall lost James McCabe to a ‘Black’ card in the 16th minute and Rasharkin took advantage as Tiernan O’Boyle sent an absolute bullet of a finish to the Antrim town net.

Naomh Comhghall finished the half with points from Tom Patchett and Niall Taggart but St. Mary’s replied through Eamon McNeill and the impressive O’Boyle to leave it 2-4 to 1-2 in favour of the Dreen side at half time.

The visitors must have fancied their chances of a comeback in the second half but the third quarter was something of a slow burner before Rasharkin were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute which Oisin Casey fired over to Naomh Comhghall’s relief.

It simply postponed the inevitable however as Eammon McNeill got in for their third goal from play, a minute later and when Cathal Mooney placed Oran McMullan with an inch perfect kick pass for their fourth it was as good as over.

Rasharkin refused to take their foot of the pedal as they pressed home their advantage with Shane Hasson pointing and then getting in for their fifth goal after the best move of the match in the 25th minute.

Hasson concluded the Rasharkin scoring with a late point with Michael McCabe replying with a consolation point for the Antrim town side who were badly off the pace for most of the second half.

Rasharkin sit in third place in division 3 with 10 points from 5 starts with Na Piarsiagh and Laochra Loch Lao a point and 2 points respectively above them but both have played 2 games more and, significantly both have lost to the South West men at Dreen this season.

Rasharkin: 1 – Andrew Hasson, 2 – Pearce Kelly, 3 – Emmet McFerran, 4 – Conor Hasson, 5 – Fearghal Kennedy, 6 – Donagh Quigg, 7 – Fergus Quigg, 8 – Ruairi OBoyle, 9 – Cathal Mooney,

10 – Oran McMullan, 11 – Tiernan O’Boyle, 12 – Killian O’Boyle, 13 – Conor Higgins, 14 – Eammon McNeill, 15 – Shane Hasson


off: Fearghal Kennedy  on: Colm Kennedy (Half time sub due to pulled hamstring)

off: Killian O’Boyle  on: Oisin Casey

off: Conor Higgins  on: James Higgins

off: Pearse Kelly  on: Pearce McTague

off: Fergus Quigg  on: Cormac McMullan

Naomh Comhghall: 1 Anthony Watson, 2 Caolan McKeown, 3 Ryan McAuley, 4 Ruairi Griffin, 5 Dylan Murdock, 6 Michael McCabe, 17 Danaan O’Hara, 8 Cathal Donnelly, 9 Aaron McGaw, 10 Oisin Crilly, 11 James McCabe, 12 Niall Taggart, 13 Tom Patchett, 14 Louis Higgins, 15 Eoin Lynott

Referee: Colin Mallon

Aggies edge local derby


StAgnes 1-11 Eire Og 0-12

The local derby was a well contested game with the Ogs getting off to a better start than the home team registering a two point lead.The Aggies soon settled and points from a Conal Turley free, Cornac McBride and corner forward David McGaharan edged them 0-3 to 0-2 ahead.

The visitors replied from a pointed free from their centre half forwad to leave the scoreboard Reading 3-3 at the halfway point.

The Aggies took the lead with a Ronan Carroll free and goalkeeper “Bob” Carroll on an upfield foray scored a great point. Declan McLarnon scored a good point from way out on the right wing, to move the home side 0-6 to 0-4 ahead as half time approached.

In first half injury time Eire Og scored two points leaving the match finely balanced at 0-6 apiece at the short whistle.

The home team got off to a flier at the start of the second half with three points in as many minutes and Matt Corr pointed to put the Aggies four ahead.

Going into the final quarter a Ronan Carroll free and a major from a free by the same man had the Aggies five in front and it looked all over

As in the first half the visitors rattled off three points in added time but the home team deservedly held to win a real entertaining game on a scoreline 1-11 to 0-12.

The home team management of Declan Crummey and Roy McLarnon were especially pleased after a poor performance the last time out.

Strong finishing St Malachy’s gain the verdict

                                                      ACFL Division 3

                                     St. Malachy’s 4-12 St. Agnes 1-9

A strong second half performance from David Birt’s St Malachy’s proved the answer as the men from the Markets secured the spoils of victory and what may prove to be a vital couple of points at the expense of the Aggies on Friday evening.

The home side found their visitors tough adversaries in the opening period which proved a close affair with only a point between the sides at the end of the first half.

An early goal from the Mal’s McManus and points delivered by CJ Vernon, who was to go on to raise  a half dozen in the contest,  Millar and Devine ensured a narrow advantage at the half way juncture.

The Aggies were certainly well in contention at the half way stage with the Markets men just 1-06 to 1-05 in front but the second half was to provide a different outcome.

The home side really nipped quickly away from the start traps in the second period and they were rewarded when Maneely nipped through to find the net after a couple of minutes following an excellent build-up.

St. Malachy’s really had the bit between their teeth as the second half progressed and after the accurate Vernon added back to back points Maneely raced through the visitor’s rear guard to add a second goal as his side took control.

With their side on top the home side’s management looked to the bench to give game time and it paid dividends as replacement McBride unleashed a thunderous delivery to the back of the net.

St Agnes fought to the end but despite their best efforts the home side’s defence stood firm and at the long whistle St Malachy’s crossed the finishing impressive 12 point winners.

St Malachy’s: S Turley, C Connolly, C Corr, S O’ Neill, D Casey, D Quinn, P Hanna (0-01), c Vernon (0-06), C Jordan (0-01), G Mc Manus (1-00), R Maneely (2-00), G Rice, P Turley, P Devine (0-02),P Millar (0-02)


F Mc Bride (1-00) for P Devine