Fyfe’s super block keeps Sarsfields at bay

OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship (semi final)

Con Magee’s Glenravel 0-14 Patrick Sarsfield’s 0-10

Con Magees Glenravel qualified  for the intermediate football championship final for the second year in succession, where they will meet near neighbours All Saint’s in two weeks’ time. Although there is no disputing the fact that they fully deserved their semi-final success over Patrick Sarsfield’s at the Toome venue on Saturday, they depended on their defensive qualities to get them over the line on a sodden Toome sod.

Joe Cassidy’s men appeared to be home and hosed as the match clock ticked close to conclusion with a three point cushion, but a Garry Lennon inspired Paddies were not about to settle for second best.

Sarsfields Garry Lennon who gave a man of the match display, scoring eight of his team’s ten points

Lennon, who had impressed throughout, appeared to be in for a goal in the 54th minute only to be denied by the Glenravel net minder Jonathan Fyfe who came out to make a smashing intervention, and when the ‘Bear Pit’ residents were back on the goal trail a few minutes later it was the turn of centre back Sean Higgins to make a superb blocking tackle to deny replacement Daniel Smith.

Both sides had impressed in their respective trips to the last four of the competition and when they crossed swords in Toome on Saturday last a good crowd gathered in anticipation. Despite the gloomy forecast.

the Sarsfield’s men had the favours of the stiff southerly based breeze for the first period but despite the strong elements in their favour they were on par at 0-02 apiece at the end of the opening ten minutes.

Glenravel opened their account in the second minute via a point from corner forward Eamon Fyfe, who was to impress throughout, while back to back white flags raised by Kevin McKernan, who also impressed in the green and black and an Eoinn Hynds point for the Glensmen, ensure level parity 0-02 apiece after ten minutes.

Despite the strength of the elements little was to separate the sides in the early stages, but as the Glensmen were on top in the central zone where Cathal Higgins was dominant with Rian Lennon ever ready to nip forward, back to back points from Eamon Fyfe ensured a 0-04 to 0-02 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.

The Sarsfields men came back as the short blast approached and it was to be the city lads who were to finish the stronger with their ‘go to’ receiver Kevin Mc Kernan busy in providing openings.

A few exellent points fom the Con Magees saw them open a gap, but Brian Healey and Niall McKenna hit points apiece to cut the gap to the minimum at the end of the first period, and after having faced the stiff breeze the Glenravel men went in at the break with a 0-07 to 0-06 lead.

With the breeze at their backs Glenravel nipped quickly out of the starting blocks in the second half as Daniel McQuillan, David Higgins and Cormac McKeown extended their advantage to four points. When that gap was stretched to five the Con Magees fans in the good sized attendance must have felt they were well on track for a final spot. However the Paddies came back with three unanswered points via the excellent Garry Lennon, and just two points separated the sides with less than ten minutes on the clock.

The free flowing moves of the early part of the half were now gone for the Glenravel men and the Paddies upped the ante as they went in search of the scores that would bring them right back into contention. When they cut the gap back to just two it looked like anyone’s game and when corner forward Brian Healy got in on goal the Glenravel fans held their breath. Any connection seemed certain to finish in the net, but Healy’s shot was blocked by the knee of the Con Magees custodian Johnny Fyfe who turned the ball around the post for a 45.  

Still the pressure was on the Glenravel men as they struggled to end a long scoreless spell, but the impressive Eamon Fyfe settled the nerves with a well taken point from a 45 and they added the insurance point in added time to set up a final meeting with Ballymena in two weeks’ time.


Jonathan Fyfe, Charlie, Henry, Sean Higgins, Conor Carey, Rian Lennon (0-01), Niall Swann, Declan Traynor, Cathal Hynds, Callum Higgins (0-01), Cormac Mc Keown, Eoin Hynds (0-02), Daniel Mc Quillan, Aidan O’ Donnell (0-01), David Higgins (0-01), Eamon Fyfe (0-06)

Subs – Conleth O’ Loan, Senan Black, Eamon Ward, Conor McNeill, Eoin Mc Cusker


Michael Brady, Caolan Mc Donnell, Joe Mc Nally, Martin Mc Polin, Philip McPeake, Daniel Mc Kernan, Liam Mitchell, Caolan Mc Kernan, Cormac Murray, Sam Walsh (0-01), Niall Mc Kenna (0-01), Conor Glenholmes, Kevin Mc Kernan, Garry Lennon (0-08), Brian Healey

Referee – Sean Laverty (Moneyglass)

All Saints recover from sluggish start to advance to the decider

OB Construction Antrim IFC, semi-final

All Saints, Ballymena 3-10 St Teresa’s 2-7

All Saints went into this semi-final against St. Teresa’s at Hightown as favourites and eventually proved the pundits right but will need to show vast improvement if they are to overcome the challenge of Con Magee’s, Glenravel in the final in two weeks-time.

The Ballymena men played with a fairly strong wind on their back in the opening half but looked nervous in the early stages with far too many passes going astray as they kicked half a dozen wides in the opening quarter.

It was the Glen Road side who adapted much better to the conditions during the opening period as they raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 19 minutes.

John Mallon kicked St Teresa’s into an early lead from a free, but it was All Saints who were enjoying the better of the possession in the opening quarter.

However their possession was not manifesting itself in scores as they hit 6 early wides and dropped another into the keeper’s hands before they finally got off the mark in the 17th minute through Ronan McKillop.

By this time, St Teresa’s had a second on the board through Paul McGoldrick as they were making more of their attacking efforts. The West Belfast men stretched their lead as Sean Maguire found Anton Taylor to turn and curl over, while Niall McCann kicked a free to extend the gap to three.

All Saints were beginning to settle after an untidy opening 20 minutes and Ronan McKillop pointed from a free with their second and they had drawn level by half-time at 0-4 each as Connell Lemon split the posts and McKillop landed his third of the day with the final act of the opening period.

After a fairly forgettable opening 30 minutes, the second half came to life with the Slemish Park side finding their fluency despite playing into the breeze and Patrick Ferris put them ahead for the first time as he soloed through for an early point.

Two minutes later came their opening goal as a long ball broke and it was Kavan Keenan who fired high into the top corner. To make matters worse for the Glen Road side they had Anthony Varndell red carded for what appeared to be dissent.

All Saints Ciaran McGarry followed him shortly after as parity on the field was restored and St. Teresa’s came back strongly as Anton Taylor set up Paul McGoldrick who finished to the net from close range to close the gap to two points.

That was as close as they would get however as Ronan McKillop and Cal O’Brien replied with points before Luke Cassin responded to leave three in it after 17 minutes of the second half.

St Teresa’s looked to be in for an equaliser as Taylor broke along the end line but the All Saints defence got in to smother his effort before clearing their lines.

All Saints responded decisively and Mc|Killop kicked another free before a well-executed attack saw Sean O’Callaghan felled as he broke through with referee, Brendan Toland pointing to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Kavan Keenan to send Murtagh the wrong way as he placed his spot Kick in the corner of the net and the South West side looked in for a third major as a stray kick-out was collected by Shea O’Brien but the All Saints man fluffed his lines.

The third goal was not long in coming however as the All Saints pressure began to tell and substitute Ciaran Campbell put McKillop in to finish to the net with four minutes remaining.

Kavan Keenan got his marching orders in a confrontation that followed immediately after and it will rule him out of the final and with time almost up Robbie Gallagher took advantage of a slack pass as the Ballymena side ran down the clock to slot home a consolation goal.

A good win for Liam Bradley’s side but there will be aspects of his side’s performance that are unlikely to please the former Antrim supremo and he will feel that there is much work to be done before they face Glenravel in the final.

St. Teresa’s: C Murtagh; A Dugan, P Johnston, R Mallon; C O’Rawe, E Gault, S Maguire; L Cassin (0-1), A Varndell; J Mallon (0-1 free), N McCann (0-2, 1 free), P Maguire; M Small, A Taylor (0-1), P McGoldrick (1-2).

Subs: D McCann for E Gault (33), R Gallagher (1-0) for M Small (38), R Hamill for R Mallon (58), C McGoldrick for L Cassin (58)

All Saints: R Stewart; E Walsh, J McDonnell, C O’Brien (0-1); P Ferris, S O’Callaghan, J Rafferty; S McVeigh, E KIllough; S O’Brien, R McKillop (1-5, 0-2 frees), C Lemon (0-1); B McDonnell (0-1), K Keenan (2-1), C McGarry.

Subs: M Read for E Walsh (20), L O’Rawe for E Killough (49), C Campbell for C lemon (51), M McGreevey for B McDonnell (58), M Downey for R McKIllop (60)

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

Will Dunloy’s great run continue or will Casements end their semi-final duck

Championship Semi finals (Previews) 22nd, 23rd, 24th September)

The penultimate stages of the football championships occupies the week-end ahead with semi-final games in all of the grades, Senior, Intermediate, and Junior scheduled.

Dunsilly is the venue for both the senior semis, with the Cargin and St Enda’s venues hosting the intermediate semis and the junior games at Rasharkin and O’ Donnell’s.

Friday 22nd September

Northern Switchgear S F C (semi-final)

Dunsilly 1 (7.30pm)

The championship action gets under-way on Friday evening and a big crowd is expected at Dunsilly in an all South West encounter as Casement’s Portglenone meet Dunloy with the prize of a place in the 2023 county senior final as reward for the winner.

The Cuchullian’s endured a poor season in the league and were relegated from division 2 but have really turned it around in the championship and are one game away from a county final.

A win over St Gall’s at Milltown seemed to ignite the spark and although they lost to Creggan next time out, the Dunloy men made the pundits sit up and took notice when they came from off the pace to gain a win over Lamh Dhearg in the quarter final.

A superb victory over a fancied Hannahstown outfit, who had impressed with a win over Casement’s earlier in the competition, and Anthony McMullan, who is assisted in the managerial role by Ballinderry man, Stephen McGeehan, will look to the likes of Seaan Elliot, Conal Cunning, the Smith brothers and Nigel Elliot as they go into action at Dunsilly.

Casement’s have enjoyed a good season to date and have secured the division 1 league title for the first time and went on to defeat Creggan in the quarter-final of the championship.

That one proved to be a close encounter but a late goal for the Bannsider’s proved the key to open the way and a place in the semi-finals against the Cuchullian’s.

John McKeever will hope for another strong showing for his side with Niall McKeever again likely to partner Niall Delargy at mid-field while Jonny Convery and the Delargy brothers in defence and Paddy Kelly, Aiden Mc Aleese, Michael Hagen and Oisin Doherty will carry a strong attacking threat.

Casement’s will start as slight favourites and although the Cuchullian’s will be well prepared for action the Bannsider’s may just edge this one.

Sunday 24th September

Dunsilly 1 2.00pm

Erin’s Own Cargin v St Brigid’s

The action returns to Dunsilly on Sunday with the defending champions, Erin’s Own Cargin meeting city rivals St Brigid’s in a game which is certain to attract a big crowd to the Antrim venue.

The Cargin men are undefeated in the the group stages and the opening knock out games but they had to dig deep in the quarter final, which was a repeat of last year’s decider against Aghagallon, and it took a late Tome Shivers point to get them over the line.

Ronan Devlin will hope for a return to the starting fifteen for John Carron and Mark Kelly for this semi-final clash but Michael Mc Cann is not expected to be ready for this one.

The mid field general had surgery on a troublesome back injury and hasn’t figured this year after and it is likely to be a few more weeks before he can be considered for selection.

Ronan Devlin will look to the likes of Kevin O’ Boyle, Justin Crozier, James Laverty, Kevin Mc Shane, Jamie Gribbin, Pat Shivers, and the McCann brothers Paul, and Tomas to lead them to the decider.

St Brigid’s, like Cargin have yet to endure defeat in this year’s championship having passed the Aghagallon test before proving too strong for a good Rossa side and they will approach this one with confidence.

The Musgrave Park side have been boosted this year by the transfer of several players from Lavey and this has certainly added strength and depth to their squad and the Downey influence added to the Finnegan brothers, Reuben Carelton, Jack Dowling, Ronan Boyle, Paul King, and James Smith make them a formidable opponent.

 Cargin have a lot of experience at this stage of the championship and the Toome men may well advance to another decider but they could face a stiff test from an improving St. Brigid’s.

Saturday 23rd September

OB Construction I F C Semi Finals

Cargin 4.00pm

Patrick Sarsfields v Con Magees Glenravel

Con Magees are going well at present and have already won division 2 of the ACFL and will play their football in division 1 next season and are just two games away from a unique double.

Sarsfield’s have made steady progress over the past few seasons and lost to Saturday’s opponents at the same stage of the competition last year. They recorded a five point win to neighbours St Paul’s in the quarter-final but looked in a spot of trouble at one stage before finishing strongly with Kevin Mc Kernan helping himself to a few excellent scores as they ran out 1-13 to 1-08 winners.

Ironically Sarsfield’s are still in the running for a double of their own with their hurlers in the semi-final of the Intermediate Hurling championship. The McKernan’s, Gary Lennon Niall McAlea and Niall McKenna are just a few of the players involved in both codes and they have momentum going into Saturday’s semi-final.

Con Magees have had an excellent season and they will turn to Eoin and Catha Hinds Aiden O’ Donnell, Cormac Mc Keon, and Callum Higgins, Cormac McKeown and the superb Eamon Fyfe to see them through to a second consecutive final.

Much will depend on the lessons learned from last year’s semi-final and this may well be a close encounter but the Con Magee’s men are awarded the vote.

Hightown 4.00pm

All Saint’s Ballymena v St Teresa’s

St. Tewresa’s made a slow start in their quarter final against Aldergrove but grew in confidence as the game progressed before running out 2-12 to 1-13 winners.

The Glen road side went into this one as underdogs with Aldergrove well ahead of them as the league concluded and were given little chance by most of the pundits.

St Teresa’s gained in confidence as the second half progressed however with Philip Maguire leading by splendid example to run out winners by two points. Conor O’ Rawe, Anton Taylor, and Declan Gough were all in great form at McDonald/Doherty Park and long serving manager, Liam Mc Goldrick will have his side well motivated for Saturday’s semi-final against All Saints.

All Saints have enjoyed an indifferent 2023 but have run into a bit of form in the championship, despite being without county pair, Paddy McAleer and Conor Stewart.

Peter ‘Pizza’ McReynolds is another who is likely to miss out but their home win over Ardoyne should give them confidence going into this weekend’s meeting with St. Teresa’s at Hightown.

After a shaky start where they might have conceded a couple of early goals, they settled to win fairly comfortably in the end but there will have been a few aspects of their game that didn’t please Liam Bradley and his management team.

Connell Lennon, James and Benny McDonnell,  Cal O’ Brien, Emmett Killough, Luke O’ Rawe, Sean McVeigh and Ronan McKillop are just some of the players that can swing it All Saints way but they should be wary of a rejuvenated St. Teresa’s.

League form would suggest an All Saints win in this one but, as we have seen on several fronts this year, league form counts for little when it comes to the championship and the Ballymena side will have to be at their best if they are to advance to the final.

Graham Tarmac J F C (semi finals)

Mc Crory Pk 3.00pm

Cardinal O’ Donnell’s v Eire Og

Eire Og have enjoyed a descent league campaign but will start as underdogs as they take on League runners-up, O’Donnell’s at MacRory Park. The South Belfast side recorded a good win over Wolfe Tones but that victory was made easier by the dismissal of two of the Wolfe Tones side.

James Toal, Conor Darkin, Dermot Murray and Gavin Donnelly were in top form in that quarter-final victory and will carry Eire Og’s hopes into Saturday’s semi-final.

O’ Donnell’s finished second in the league to Rasharkin and were the only side to record a win over St. Mary’s this year and will start as firm favourites and they should gain the verdict to book a place in the decider.

Dreen 3.00pm

JFC Semi-Final

St Mary’s Rasharkin v St Malachy’s

St. Mary’s go into this one with the league title already under their belts and anything other than a win here would be a major surprise. Under the management of Stephen Hardy, John McTaggart and Paul Baird they are chasing the league/championship double in what has been a great season for the men from Dreen.

Having impressed throughout the 2023 season they are now on the cusp of a place in the junior championship decider as they welcome South Belfast based St. Malachy’s to Dreen.

The current management will pin their hopes on Andrew Hasson, Donagh Quigg, Ruairi O’Boyle, Eamonn McNeill, Shane Hasson and Ryan Lynch to lead them through to this year’s decider.  

A late Ciaran Vernon point saw St. Malachy’s pip a fancied Laochra Loch Lao in the quarter-final and they will turn to players like Vernon, Anthony Dobbin, Stephen Carson and Shea Lynch to carry their challenge against Rasharklin.

Rasharkin will start this one as firm favourites and barring a major upset they should gain a place in the decider.

Strong finish sees Sarsfield’s through to the semi-final

OB Construction Antrim IFC quarter-final

Sarsfield’s 1-13 St Paul’s 1-8

Sarsfields produced a strong closing quarter to overcome the challenge of neighbours, St. Paul’s in a very competitive OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship at the Bear Pit on Saturday evening.

The home side kicked six of the final seven points of the game with ace marksman, Kevin McKernan leading the way to earn themselves a place in the semi-final where they will meet Con Magee’s for the second year in succession.

This game was played with real championship intensity and was not for the faint hearted as every ball was contested as if their lives depended on it and it was St. Paul’s Liam McLarnon who put his side ahead with a point in the second minute.

Sarsfield’s wasted a chance to get back on level terms as Phillip McPeake shot wide when well-placed and the home side were guilty of a number of misses at this early stage while Jack McAufield in the visitors goals was dealing with everything that came his way.

The Sarsfield’s pressure was starting to tell however and McAufield was finally beaten in the 8th minute as Conor Glenholmes sent Daniel McKernan through for the game’s opening goal.

Garry Lennon followed from a pointed free and then Caolan McDonnell came forward from defence to add another from play before St Paul’s kicked St. Paul’s first point for 13 minutes to leave a goal between the sides.

Mark Munce then collected a long pass out of defence before laying the ball off to the overlapping Lorcan Phillips and Phillips made no mistake as he applied a cool finish.

The home side responded with Niall McKenna and Gary Lennon bisecting the St. Paul’s posts and another from a Phillips free had the hosts 1-4 to 1-3 ahead as Ray Matthews sounded his half time whistle.

There had been little to separate these two neighbours and deadly rivals during the opening half and that theme continued on the restart as Cormac Murray extended the Sarsfield’s lead with Liam McLarnon and Phillips from another free bringing the sides level.

The same player edged the visitors in front from another free but Sarsfield’s came back strongly as Kevin McKernan equalised before edging the ‘Paddies’ in front again from a free.

It still looked anybody’s game as Lorcan Phillips continued to display his free taking ability from another free to bring the Hoops level once more and a further exchange from McKernan and Phillips left it on a knife edge going into the final quarter.

A Phillips free briefly put St Paul’s ahead, but Kevin McKernan came more into the game, opening his account from play and then a free nudged Satsfield’s back in front before Phillips tied it up once more as the game entered the final quarter.

The home side seemed to find another game going down the home straight however with Cormac Murray converting after a mark and substitute, Conor Moley added another from play.

Kevin McKernan added another from a free and McPeake followed with another before Jack McAufield brought off a good save as Sarsfield’s threatened again.

A free from Patrick Doyle kept St. Paul’s in touch and they might have had the goal they needed when Liam McGoldrick climbed above the pack to get his fist to a dropping ball but his effort rebounded of an upright and was cleared to safety.

Daniel McKernan was then show ‘Black’ but Sarsfields were in no mood to relinquish their hard earned advantage as they stood strong in defence and Caoimhin McDonnell made victory secure from a break away as he fisted over.

Sarsfields will now meet Glenravel in a repeat of last year’s semi-final which the Con Magee’s won while All Saints face a St. Teresa’s side who made a few sit up and take notice with their win over Aldergrove on Saturday in the other quarter-final.

Sarsfield’s: M Brady; C McDonnell (0-2), J McNally, M McPolin; P McPeake (0-1), D McKernan (1-0), L Mitchell; C McKernan, C Murray (0-2, 1 mark); E Marvyn, N McKenna (0-1), C Glenholmes; N McAlea, G Lennon (0-2 frees), K McKernan (0-4, 2 frees).

Subs: S Walsh for N McAlea (40), C Moley (0-1) for E Mervyn (43), K Floyd for C Glenholmes (50)

ST Paul’s: J McAufield; A Kavanagh, S Rooney, Conall Duffy; M Duffy, J Farrell, N Ward; C Hughes, C McLarnon (0-1); D Quinn, M Munce, L Phillips (1-4, 0-4 frees); S Mac Corraidh, L McLarnon (0-2), P Doyle (0-1 free).

Subs: Caoimhin Duffy for D Quinn (HT), D O’Sullivan for M Duffy (39), N McStravick for C Hughes (44), B Burns for S Mac Corraidh (44), A Finnegan for L Phillips (55)

Referee: Ray Matthews (Rossa)

Sensational Super T’s seal semi-final spot

OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship Quarter-Final

Saturday 9th September

Report by Niall Kelly 

St Teresa’s 2-12   Aldergrove 1-13

A hot and humid Pairc Úi Dhoctairtigh played host to a pulsating encounter in which the hosts ripped up the script to secure a meeting with Ballymena in the Semi Finals in a fortnight’s time. Few would’ve honestly given the Glen Road side much of a chance with eight positions separating them in the league and the fact that Aldergrove with so much firepower in their arsenal, harboured serious Championship hopes. Nevertheless, the quiet optimism from the home dugout and inspired performances across the pitch for the men in blue and yellow helped them over the line to clinch a memorable win.

Proceedings were mirroring predictions in the early stages and with barely five minutes on the clock, Aldergrove had already mounted a four-point lead and were playing with a vigour and swagger that matched their Championship credentials. However, fast forward 50 minutes later and roles were reversed as Robbie Gallagher’s emphatic finish to the net bolstered the host’s lead to five points with the same number remaining on the clock. Despite a dogged resurgence from the men in red, Naomh Teresa held out to send the raucous home crowd into raptures at Fiontann McCotter’s final whistle.

Aldergrove enjoyed the lion’s share of the early stages and it was a likely source who opened the scoring in ex county ace, Seamus McGarry. The visitors then dealt the home side a hammer blow on the fifth minute. A delicious diagonal ball from Gerald Mallon was fetched superbly on the edge of the square by Ronan Hanna who nonchalantly rounded the keeper before firing in from close range.

St Teresa’s responded through the trusty left boot of Jay Mallon but the men from Crumlin continued to launch marauding attacks from deep with Declan Gough putting the finishing touches on two of these before Hanna struck again. This seemed to stir the hosts from their slumber as they kicked into gear with their formidable half-forward line doing most of the damage. Jay Mallon doubled his tally before Niall McCann curled over the first of five for the afternoon.

The hosts were doing their utmost to nullify the threat of McGarry from play but were powerless to stop his pinpoint accuracy from the dead ball. The Aldergrove number fourteen increased his side’s lead to six with five minutes of the half left and again it was looking ominous for the hosts.

With the short whistle fast approaching, the game took a dramatic turn as St Teresa’s were handed a lifeline with a penalty for a foul on Anton Taylor. Hearts were in mouths as Shane O’Neill pulled off a superb save in goal, only for Jay Mallon to make amends, courageously diving in to fist the ball to the net on the rebound. Game on.

Ronan Hanna responded once more for the visitors but now it seemed the pendulum of momentum was swinging favourably for the hosts as Mallon struck once more before Conor O’Rawe put the gloss on a flowing, intricate move just before the interval to leave the scores 1-05 to 1-07 in favour of the visitors.

The end of the first half served as a warning to Aldergrove as to what would come in the second as Niall McCann opened the scoring on the 32nd minute before man of the match, Philip Maguire levelled proceedings minutes later. Inspired and spearheaded by Maguire, St Teresa’s were now clicking seamlessly across the pitch with much more impetus and purpose to their passing.

The trusty right boot of McCann was to come to the fore again as he twice judged the ever-increasing breeze to curl over perfectly from range to give his side a lead that they would refuse to relinquish for the remainder.

Aldergrove seemed somewhat shellshocked at the bombardment their defence was under as they couldn’t seem to gain yards. They did however get some reprieve when Declan Gough fired over to finish a blistering counter, illustrating the attacking potential present within their armoury. Buoyed by this, they began to pepper the St Teresa’s box and Ryan McCarthy was desperately unlucky not to find his side’s second major after being denied by a superb save from St Teresa’s net-minder, Ciaran Murtaugh.

As the game continued to sway to and fro, Maguire’s influence on proceedings was growing in prominence and his lung-busting, driving run paved the way for Conor O’Rawe to double his tally. The St Teresa’s number 12 then turned provider for Anton Taylor who fisted over the bar from close range on the 50th minute to increase the lead to four.

The game was being played at a frantic pace as Aldergrove continued to probe for avenues to claw back the lead. Step forward McGarry once again, who unleashed a monstrous effort from distance before substitute Cormac McCarthy emulated his captain with another pearler of a point.

Five minutes now remained with the game tantalisingly in the balance. Aldergrove seemingly were now in the ascendancy but St Teresa’s substitute Robbie Gallagher had other ideas. The number 19 negotiated himself just the right amount of space on the 21-yard line to latch on to another Maguire pass. With a flurry of red defenders baring down on him, Gallagher let fly with an audacious effort which nestled perfectly in the bottom right of the despairing O’Neill in goal, triggering an almighty roar from the unwavering home support.

To their credit, as they had done all game, Aldergrove refused to lie down and straight away sought about launching a revival. Red shirts were now camped in the St Teresa’s half as the onslaught began. Conor Morris pointed for the visitors before McGarry despatched from a free as the game approached injury time. With just a kick of the ball in it, the visitors continued to search for that all-elusive goal which just wouldn’t come. McGarry split the posts once more from range but it wouldn’t be enough as St Teresa’s held firm to cling on for victory.


St Teresa’s:

C Murtaugh; A Dougan, P Johnston, R Mallon; C O’Rawe (0-02,) E Gault, S Maguire; L Cassin, A Vardell; J Mallon (1-03,) N McCann (0-05,) P Maguire (0-01;) M Small, A Taylor (0-01,) P McGoldrick

Substitute Scorer:

R Gallagher (1-00)


S O’Neill; E Gough, C McVeigh, A Irvine; C Browning, A Flood, E Hamill; R Owens, B McQuillan; D Gough (0-03,) J Trowlan, G Mallon; O Graham, S McGarry (0-06,) R Hanna (1-02)

Substitute scorers:

C McCarthy (0-01) C Morris (0-01)