Saints in a strong position going into final game

OB Construction IFC Group 1

St. Teresa’s 0-7 All Saints 3-18

Unbeaten All Saints travelled to the Glen Road on Sunday expecting a tough test but instead had little difficulty in dealing with a depleted St. Teresa’s side who had only 15 players with no substitutes.

The Ballymena side have been going well in this year’s championship and were determined to get the job done and came racing out of the starting blocks to dominate proceedings from the first whistle.

The Slemish Park outfit led 2-6 to 0-1 at the first water break and went on to extend their lead to 16 points at half time as St. Teresa’s struggled to deal with the pace of the opposition.

Conor Stewart and Brendan McDonnell led the scoring charge with county youngster Stewart hitting 1-3 and the mercurial McDonnell 2-1.

Things slowed down a bit after the break with All Saints adding a further 0-8 and the pleasing aspect for management team, Sean O’Brien and Damian Hagan will be the spread of scores from all over the field.

James McDonnell score 0-2 from left back with Kavan Keenan 0-2, Ronan McKillop 0-2, Michael McCarry 0-4, Sean McVeigh, Paddy McAleer, and Conal Lemon all on the score-sheet.

This win will help significantly improve All Saints score difference and leaves them in a strong position to advance to a semi-final place.

All Saints face Con Magee’s Glenravel in their final group game on the 3d October and if they avoid a heavy defeat they should advance to the semi-final though their management are unlikely to contemplate anything other than a win to keep their unbeaten run going.

All Saints:

Conor Brennan

Matt Downey

Peter McNicholl

James McDonnell (0.2)

Kavan Keenan (0.2)

Emmet Killough

Ciaran McGarry

Sean McVeigh (0.1)

Paddy McAleer (0.1)

Ronan McKillop (0.2)

Michael McCarry (0.4)

Conal Lemon (0.1)

Brendan McDonnell (2.1)

Conor Stewart (1.3)

Peter McReynolds

Subs: James Gillan for Peter McNicholl 35 mins

Shea O Brien for Paddy McAleer 40 mins

Joe Rafferty (0.1) for Matt Downey 42 mins

Rory McVeigh for Peter McReynolds 42 mins

Oisin Connolly for Ronan McKillop 45 mins

St. Joseph’s and Naomh Padraig share the spoils

OB Construction Intermediate Championship

St. Joseph’s Glenavy 1.11 v 1.11 St.Patrick’s Lisburn

Local rivals Glenavy and Lisburn played out an interesting draw at Chapel Hill on a beautiful autumn day. Both sides gave it everything in an effort to win the game with scores level on four occasions.

Early in the first half an accidental clash when Lisburn keeper Peter O’Neill and Glenavy full forward Michael McCourt collided resulted in the Glenavy player leaving the pitch because of possible concussion. A long stoppage resulted which upset the rhythm of play.

Fergal Henry opened the scoring with an excellent point from play but Conor Dixon had the sides level with a pointed free. The home side’s Martin Lawlor fell awkwardly and had to leave the pitch with an injured his ankle and was replaced by Pearse O’Neill. Conor Dixon pointed a beauty to put his side one up but from Lorcan Murphy’s quick kick out the ball landed with Ciaran Loney who went on one of his solo runs before splitting the posts to bring the sides level. Conor Dixon was on the mark again when he gained possession to land a beauty between the uprights and Rory Kennedy put his side two in front when he raised the white flag. As things began to liven upGlenavy keeper Lorcan Murphy made an excellent stop to keep his side in the game. Oisin Hamill closed the gap with an excellent point and the hard running Pearse O’Neill brought the sides level for the third time with a well worked point.

We then had the lengthy stop with the injury to Michael McCourt who was replaced by Conor Hamill. The home side then scored the only goal of the game with the build-up starting through Liam Henry’s intervention. The ball was passed through several players before it reached the other Henry, brother Fergal who gave the visiting keeper no chance as the ball nestled in the net.  Fergal Henry then gained possession from the kick-out and quickly landed it back over the crossbar. Stephen Doone thought he would get his name on the score sheet when he landed a beauty between the posts before Rory Kennedy closed the gap with a pointed free for the final score of the opening half.

halftime score St. Joseph’s 1.06 v 0.06 St.Patrick’s.

The second half started with the visitors in the ascendancy with two points from Rory Kennedy and a ppointed free from the reliable Conor Dixon. The excellent Fergal Henry pointed from an acute angle but we then had three unanswered points from the visitors to bring the sides level for the fourth time. Josh McMullan and Conor Dixon with two were the Naomh Padraig marksmen

. At this stage both sides were giving it everything in search of the win and Ciaran Loney and Fergal Henry edged their side two in front going into added time. To their credit St.Patrick’s had other ideas when first Conor Dixon pointed and then they turned the screw and were rewarded with a goal from the hard working Conor Dixon. The score with time almost up was Glenavy 1.09 v 1.11 Lisburn. To their credit the home side finished strongly and were rewarded with points from Fergal Henry and Fergal Green to tie the contest. Both sides deserve great credit for the effort their players put in. Final score St.Joseph’s 1.11 v 1.11 St.Patrick’s

St.Joseph’s: Lorcan Murphy; Liam Henry; Oisin Hamill; Stephen Doone; Ruairi Forester; Ciaran Loney; Matthew Hamill; Patrick Gallagher; Michael Johnston; Darragh Doherty; Charles Gallagher; Matthew Lawlor; Fergal Green; Michael McCourt; Fergal Henry.. Res. used Timmy Honeyford; Pearse O’Neill; Conor Hamill..

St.Patricks; Peter O’Neill; Patrick Craig; Thomas Burns; Jack McMullan; Josh mcMullan; Shane McEvoy; Oisin Gorman; Sonan O’Sullivan; Conor Ewing; Mark Clement; Ben McMullan; Conor Dixon; Niall Dixon; Kevin Gallagher. Res. Used; Kevin Gallagher; Sean Burns; Eoin Fury. Res. Used:  Kevin Gallagher; Sean Burns and Eoin Fury.

Referee: Marty Quinn 

Dunloy firmly back in the hunt

OB Construction Antrim IFC Group 2

Sarsfield’s 0-9 Dunloy 0-11

Pics: Bernie McAllister

Cuchullain’s Dunloy travelled to the Bear Pit on Sunday knowing that nothing other than a win would do if they were to maintain their qualification ambitions and win they did.

The visitors produced a gusty second half comeback to keep their Intermediate Championship ambitions alive and qualification from Group 2 will now be decided on the final round of games in a fortnight’s time

The home side led by three at the break and again 11 minutes into the second half, but Sarsfield’s were unable to shake off the challenge of a determined Dunloy who finished on top.

Sarsfield’s, playing against the breeze in the first half, wasted no time in getting off the mark when Gary Lennon fired over the bar with just 16 seconds on the clock.

The hosts had an opportunity for an early goal but Mícéal Ferris was off target, but they doubled their lead when Rian McShane fisted over the bar moments later.

Dunloy opened their account on six minutes when a delightful punt pass from Karl Fitzpatrick set up Christopher McMahon for a well-taken point.

Lennon and Fitzpatrick then exchanged frees before Dunloy had their first goal chance with Keelan Molloy firing wide after Dunloy intercepted Michael Brady’s short kick-out.

Sarsfield’s were on top at this stage but wasted a number of opportunities before Niall McKenna got them back on track with a converted free on 24 minutes while Thomas Skillen landed a great point to move his side 0-5 to 0-2 ahead.

Molloy and McKenna exchanged frees to leave Sarsfield’s 0-6 to 0-3 ahead at the half-time interval.

Dunloy made a bright start to the second half and drew level within five minutes as Molloy gotr them on their way and Seaan Elliott and McMahon hit two points in quick succession to tie the game at 0-6 each.

Lennon hit back with a point for the Paddies and an inspirational point from McKenna moved the home side two clear once more and they appeared to again be getting on top.

The home side then had appeals for a penalty turned down when Daniel McKernan was brought downbut referee Ray Matthews was well-placed to make the call and Lennon tapped over the resulting free as Sarsfield’s moved 0-9 to 0-6 ahead on 41 minutes.

The home side looked to be in a strong position at this stage but they failed to score in the final quarter and Dunloy closed the gap back to a single point before the water break with Molloy (free) and McMahon on target.

The North Antrim side finished strongly with a great score from Elliott and they took the lead minutes later with Molloy finishing off a brilliant attack involving Eoin O’Neill and substitute Declan Smyth.

Sarsfield’s could not find a response and a late free from Molloy sealed the victory as and it remains all to play for ahead of the final round of games on Sunday, October 3.

Dunloy visit Glenavy and St Paul’s host Naomh Padraig with both teams needing handsome wins to overhaul Sarsfield’s at the top of Group Two and it could be down to the calculator to decide who advances to the semi-finals.

SARSFIELD’S: M Brady; P McPeake, M McPolin, M Johnston; E Mervyn, D McKernan, L Mitchel; C Murray, N McKenna (0-2, 0-1f); R McShane (0-1), G Lennon (0-5, 0-3fs), M Ferris; T Skillen (0-1), N McAlea, K Floyd.

Subs: C Laverty for Skillen (20), K Carson for McAlea (25), S Walsh for Floyd (50), E Quinn for McPolin (56), C Glenholmes for Mervyn (56).

DUNLOY: C McGilligan; C McCloskey, C Kinsella, E McFerran; O Quinn, A Crawford, A McGrath; R McGarry, R McFarline; E O’Neill, K Fitzpatrick (0-1, 0-1f), S Elliott (0-2); C McMahon (0-3), K Molloy (0-5, 0-3fs), S Dooey.

Subs: K McQuillan for McFarline (HT), D Smyth for Quinn (35), A Smyth for Dooey (37).

REFEREE: R Matthews (Rossa).

Tir na nÓg get back to winning ways

Tir na nOg bounced back from their recent defeat to All Saints in the OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship to record a four point victory over Con Magees, Glenravel in what was a dour hour’s football.

Ferocious defensive tackling in the opening half from the Randalstown men choked any creativity Glenravel could muster and that combined with some poor ball into the forward line led eventually to the home team’s downfall. 
Tir na nOg went ahead in the opening minute from big midfielder Darren McCormick and that was a lead they would hold onto the entire game. After seven minutes, Randalstown’s full back Ciaran McGrellis found himself far from home when he fisted a point from ten yards out and Ciaran Dobbin increased the visitor’s lead to three with a point on eleven minutes. A minute later Eoin Hynds put over the best score of the game when under intense pressure and off balance his trusty left footed effort sailed over the green spot from forty five yards.

Sean Duffin who scored Tir na nÓg’s goal

Eamon Fyfe followed up a minute later to reduce the gap to a minimum before Sean Duffin, who had an impressive performance throughout the hour, restored a two point lead for the Whitehill men. Eamon Fyfe was being well marshalled by the intense Randalstown tackling but still managed to pop over a score just after the water break but Duffin and Aaron McNeilly stretched Randalstown’s lead to three points on a 0-06 to 0-03  score line.

Aiden O’Donnell and Daragh Fagan traded points before the game’s decisive score off the boot of Sean Duffin who found the net one minute before half time and suddenly Tir na nOg had a six point lead. Callum Higgins and Aiden O’Donnell put over a couple of points between which Randalstown midfielder Darren McCormick pointed, all of which took us to half time with the visitors leading 1-08 to 0-06. 

Eamon Fyfe who top scored for Glenravel

Brothers Eamon and Johnny Fyfe got Glenravel off to a good start in the second half with points on three and six minutes but Randalstown bounced back with three unanswered points in the next five minutes to restore their six point lead with only fifteen minutes remaining. They focussed from there to the end of the game in a defensive strategy with one further point from Sean Duffin the only score they recorded in that fifteen minute period. Eamon Fyfe pointed two nice frees and Aiden O’Donnell got the final score of the game to leave four between them in the end. 
In truth the result was more important than the means in this game which did little to advertise the free flowing game that Gaelic football can be. In the end, Tir na nOg had a little more experience and used that to good effect. Both teams now get a well deserved break before embarking on the final two games late September in this round robin league. 

St Paul’s championship race back on track

OB Construction IFC Round3

Glenavy 2-4 St Paul’s 1-10

After losing their opening game to neighbours Sarsfields St Paul’s faced an uphill struggle to make the knock-out stages and when they trailed Dunloy by seven points in last week’s game the mountain appeared to be getting even steeper. However a fantastic fight back by the Shaw’s Road men saw them come away from Dunloy with both points in the bag and on Friday evening they took another step towards the play offs with a three point win over Glenavy at Chapel Hill.

It was the home team who started the stronger in this game and despite the fact that Fergal Henry rattled a shot off the St Paul’s crossbar they came back with a point from the same player from a 45 to take the lead.

St Paul drew level when Liam McLarnon point but Glenavy went in front again when Rory Foster fired in a goal and Johnny Philips put them four clear as the went to the water break with a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.

St Paul’s responded well and points from Aaron Traynor and Colm McLarnon cut the gap back to a point and when Conal Duffy broke through for a goal they were 1-4 to 1-2 in front at the break.

St Paul’s increased their lead after half time with points from Liam Larnon, Aaron Duffy and Colm McLarnon to go five clear, but when Glenavy’s Mal Doherty scored his team’s second goal Glenavy were right back in the game. An exchange of point by Conor Hughes for the visitors and Mattew Lawlor for Glenavy left two between the sides and when Glenavy’s Fergal Henry pointed the gap was down to the minimum.

It looked like anyone’s game at this stage but St Paul’s finished strongly and points from Liam and Colum McLarnon saw them home with a goal to spare.