With both teams having lost their opening two games the chances of making the playoff was slim. Both teams served up an entertaining game which was played before a sparse crowd. The City side won the game because they were more clinical in front of goal. Too many hurried passes which went to their opposite number was the order of the day.
Fergal Green got the scoring going with a well-placed free to raise the first white flag before Stephen Tully pulled a point back for the Falls Road side. Paudie McPartland pointed a free and added another from play to put his side two up. Fergal Henry, who is just out of minor, was showing his more experienced colleagues how to score when he was fouled and put the result free over the black spot. The same player then won the kick-out and was fouled and once again he split the posts to bring his side level.
The ever green Sean O’Neill showed all his class when he gained possession and broke through several tackles to put his side back in front. Once again Fergal Henry brought the sides level at four each and at this stage there was nothing between the sides. Stephen Tully pointed a free to put his side into a lead they were never again to lose and Paudie McPartland, playing at full-forward was causing the home defence all sorts of trouble and was rewarded with a point. Just before half time Glenavy keeper Jake Nelson made a fantastic save to keep out what looked a certain goal.
Half time score Glenavy 0.04 v 0.06 Davitt’s
After the break the visitors carried on from where they had left off with Paudie McPartland splitting the posts. Fergal Green and Sean O’Neill exchanged points before Fergal Henry and Conor Hamill closed the gap to a single score with points apiece. Paudie McPartland replied with two points for the visitors to put two between the sides once more. Davitt’s were now controlling the game and when the experienced Sean O’Neill finished a forty meter run with a splendid goal the game looked to have been won. I’m sure the Glenavy management wished they had a few more Fergal’s. With time ticking away Fergal Henry showed just how good he is when he landed three points from acute angles for the Chapel Hill side. From the kickout the final whistle sounded and Davitt’s had collected their first points of the campaign.
St.Joseph’s Jake Nelson; Liam Henry Ryan Malley; Sean McGirr (Pearse O’Neill); Mathew Hamill; Charles Gallagher; Patrick Fox; Oisin Hamill (Michael Kane)l; Patrick Gallagher; Conor Hamill;; Stephen Doone (Johnny Phillips); Ryan Phillips; Fergal Henry; Fergal Green; Alex Gallagher (Thomas Gallagher).
This game started in blazing sunshine, ended in a torrential downpour of biblical proportions and in between the two teams served up twenty seven points, some of which were very high calibre indeed. Sarsfields would have been seeking revenge from the narrow defeat suffered in last years Intermediate Football Championship at the hands of the same opposition but it was the home team who emerged victorious in a seven point victory that perhaps didn’t fully reflect the battle that ensued. The two defences were on top for long periods and the slippery conditions played havoc with pin point accurate passing around the danger zones at both ends. That said there were some great long range points in both halves.
The visitors were first on the scoreboard after two minutes with a point from their influential midfielder Niall McKenna, however that was to be the last time in the game they held the lead. Eoin Hynds levelled from a free a minute later and we then had a cat and mouse affair for seven minutes with both defences well on top leaving the umpires almost redundant at each end. Eamon Fyfe found a way through on ten minutes and Aiden O’Donnell followed up four minutes later with a free to put Con Magees ahead 0-03 to 0-01. On sixteen minutes Rian Lennon sidestepped his marker and split the posts from forty yards with a superb score off the outside of his right boot, very reminiscent of the point Maurice Fitzgerald scored from the sideline in the All Ireland 2001quarter final to force a replay v Dublin. Sars replied through Kevin McKernan who had a great hour’s football and would end up with five points to his name.
After the water break the home team notched up three score in succession, one each from Eoin Hynds and Aiden O’Donnell and then a collector’s item from full back Conor Carey who found himself a long way from home when he pointed with six minutes of the half left. Sarsfields defence too got in on the act with two points from their half backs Nial McAlea and Conor Laverty. Between which Eamon Fyfe pointed so when referee Vincent Boyle called a halt to the first half Glenravel were leading 0-08 to 0-04.
Aiden O’Donnell stretched the home team lead immediately on the restart and when Eamon Fyfe put six points between the teams a minute later the storm clouds, were gathering around the visitors, physically and metaphorically. But when leadership was needed, up stepped McKernan with three great scores in succession with a solitary response from Aiden O’Donnell. When Joseph mac an Phaill pointed for Sars on nine minutes the Glensmen lead was down to three points 0-11 to 0-08 and the city supporters started to believe. Again there was a six minute spell of defensive dominance before Con Magees went on the rampage and picked off five unanswered scores in succession, Fyfe and Hynds being the guilty party with a wonder score from the educated left boot of Eoin Hynds rivalling Rian Lennon’s earlier point for score of the game. Leading by 0-16 to 0-08 with four minutes left the Heavens opened leaving the players barely visible in the deluge.
That wasn’t enough to stop Kevin McKernan though who battled through the elements to reduce the deficit to seven. Eoin Hynds restored the eight point lead before Niall McKenna tapped over a forty five for the final score of the game. It was Niall’s second point, his first coming over an hour earlier to open the scoring and put Sarsfields into the lead. A lot had happened in that hour and unfortunately for the visitors it was predominantly around their goalmouth. Thankfully, Vincent Boyle called for the ball after four minutes of injury time and the home supporters seemed oblivious to the rain as they rejoiced a victory 0-17 to 0-10. Sarsfield’s long journey home not helped I’m sure by the lack of changing facilities.
Glenravel:: Shaun O’Boyle, Jonathan Fyfe, Conor Carey Jnr (0-01), Charlie Henry, Cathal Hynds, Eoin McCusker, Darragh Donaghey, David Higgins, Conor Carey Snr, Eoin Hynds (0-05), Sean McKay, Aiden O’Donnell (0-04), Ryan Lennon (0-02), Eamon Fyfe (0-05), Aiden McCafferty,
Sarsfields:: Michael Brady, Ethan Mervyn, Martin McPolan, Jack Daniels, Declan Laverty, Niall McAlea, Connor Laverty, Joseph Mc an Phill, Niall McKenna, Thoms Skillen, Kevin McKernan, Seamus Walsh, Ryan Carson, Garry Lennon, Niall McDonald.
All Saints continued with their recent rich vein of form when they proved to have too much fire power for visitors St. Teresa’s at Slemish Park today. The visitors were never able to match the pace and movement of the home team for whom Sean McVeigh was superb as sweeper.
The big number 8 broke up and instigated attacks in equal measures in a side who have benefited from the coaching of Damian Hagan since his arrival this year. The ex-Tyrone man and manager, Sean O’Brien will be disappointed in the manner they conceded two second half goals however but certainly not by their team’s performance.
All Saints kicked two wides in the opening two minutes, before Paddy McAleer made a great catch and then sent over with five minutes on the clock before Shea Mallon hit back with a St. Teresa’s point to tie the contest. Almost immediately Michael McCarry pointed to restore the home side’s lead but Niall McCann brought his side level once more with 8 minutes on the clock.
The sides looked evenly matched during the opening stages but slowly the Ballymena side began to get on top and a good move involving several saw Eoin Campbell break free but his well struck shot sailed over Jarlath Patterson’s crossbar when a goal looked eminent.
The home side were gaining in confidence and moving the ball well with always a player available and once again they opened up the visitors defence with Kavan Keenan up from defence finishing with a fine point to leave them 0-5 to 0-2 in front at the first water break.
On the restart Anto Taylor fired over a good point for the Glen Road side to reduce the deficit to two but once again All Saints found a quick reply and Michael McCarry punished a foul on Peter McReynolds to restore his side’s three point advantage with 19 minutes gone.
All Saints then received a setback when Ciaran McGarry went down following a challenge holding his ankle and after a lengthy stoppage he was replaced by Reece O’Mullan but it failed to disrupt their play as Michael McCarry extended their lead from another well struck free.
The home side were dominating at this stage and the visitors were caught cold when referee, Kevin Parke blew for a mark and Connell Lemon took advantage as he stepped forward to send between the sticks.
The visitors were doing everything in their power to stifle the movement of the home side but with only limited success and Peter ’Pizza’ McReynolds fired over the final point of the half to leave his side in a fairly comfortable 0-9 to 0-3 half-time lead.
The home side got off to a great start right from the second half throw in with Sean McVeigh breaking the throw in to Paddy McAleer and his sublime pass from just inside the halfway line found Peter McReynolds in full flight. Pizza but just as he was about to pull the trigger he was unceremoniously bundled over and referee, Kevin Parke pointed to the penalty spot.
Up stepped Kavan Keenan to stroke the resulting award to the net but the cheers had hardly died when St. Teresa’s hit back decisively and a teasing delivery from Conor O’Rawe dipped over the heads of the All Saints defence and Dominic Adams was on hand to finish to the net from the edge of the small square with only four minutes.
Things were moving at a fast pace and from the kick-out Brendan McDonnell replied with a point at the other end and from the resulting kick-out Peter McReynolds intercepted and sent Paddy McAleer in on goal but his rasping shot sailed over via the crossbar when a second goal looked on.
St. Teresa’s were still contesting every ball and a flowing move from deep in defence involving several players saw Sean Maguire on the end of the best point in the game but it failed to inspire his side and again the home side made deadly reply.
St. Teresa’s were relying heavily on the short kick-out but the home side were pushing up on it and for the second time in the half Peter McReynolds made a vital interception and he again combined with Paddy McAleer and this time the mid-fielder drilled his shot low to the net.
Jay Mallon pulled one back from a close range free going into the final quarter and when Sean Devine flicked a high ball to the All Saints net it looked like we might at last have a game on our hand.
It failed to bring the needed response from the visitors however with McAleer placing Conor Stewart for a 17th minute point with Darren McCann replying in kind at the other end to leave it 2-12 to 2-6 at the second water break.
On the restart Sean McVeigh hoisted a mighty point but Dominic Adams replied again for the visitors but it was the Ballymena side who continued to create the better openings and Conor Stewart fired home goal number three from close range.
It looked well and truly over at this stage but the visitors were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty but for the second time in a week Niall Shannon dived to his left to push away Niall McCann’s spot kick.
Jay Mallon fired over from a close range free with the last kick of the game but it is the Ballymena side who now have three wins from three starts to go joint top of group 2 with unbeaten St. Paul’s and these two are due to meet on the final day of the Group section on the 19th August.
All Saints: Niall Shannon, Mattie Downey, James Gillan, James McDonnell, Kavan Keenan, Ciaran McGarry, Connell Lemon, Sean McVeigh, Paddy McAleer, Peter McReynolds, Michael McCarry, Emmet Killough, Benny McDonnell, Eoin Campbell, Conor Stewart. Subs: Reece O’Mullan for Ciaran McGarry, Caolan Loughran for Eoin Campbell, Cormac Lemon for Kavan Keenan, Aidan Scullion for Brendan McDonnell, Joe Rafferty for Peter McReynolds
St. Teresa’s: Jarlath Patterson, Ryan Mallon, Anthony Vardell, Sean Maguire, Conor O’Rawe, Colm McGoldrick, Eoghan Hamill, Niall McCann, Darren McCann, Philip Maguire, John Mallon, Pierce O’Rawe, Paul Curran, Anton Taylor, Paul Johnston. Subs: Dominic Adams, Odhran O’Neill, Sean Devine, Philip Glennon.
Dunloy recorded a comfortable win in their second game of the Intermediate football championship making it two wins from two for the Cuchulainn’s and consigning Davitts to a second defeat in a row.
A brace of goals either side of each half killed the game as a contest but to Davitts credit they continued to battle right up to the final whistle.
Davitts started brightly and had Dunloy keeper Stephen McIlroy in bother with a high ball that was allowed to bounce which forced him to concede a 45. The resultant kick was scored but that was the last time the visitors would stay in front.
The lively Seaan Elliott was causing bother with his pace and he forced Aaron Slane into a good save. The warning signs were on the wall already for the visitors as Seaan and Keelan Molloy were being afforded too much space.
Molloy it was who would open Dunloy’s account with a fine score from range which was then doubled with a free by full forward Caolan Gillan. Not long after it was the dead ball of Gillan that further extended Dunloy’s lead to two points.
Davitts did create chances in this period but were guilty of shooting some bad wides that were to cost them as the game wore on. A further point by Caolan Gillan from play brought the last score before the first half water break.
Seaan Elliott then did what he had threatened to do in the first five mins as he scored a fine individual goal. The centre forward picked up the loose ball in the middle of the park where he soloed the full length to fire low past the keeper.
Christopher Gallagher got his first score of the evening with a free after Padraig McParland was brought down. Gallagher would go on to have a good game taking some fine scores for the visiting team.
However, the gaps showed again in the Davitts defence as a long ball into wing back Oran Quinn saw the defender in on goal to be brought down and a penalty given by referee Gerard Dougan. Caolan Gillan fired high into the roof of the net. Seaan Elliott tapped over another point and as the half time whistle approached the impressive Keelan Molloy scored the point of the game from near the side-line.
With the breeze at their backs Davitts needed to get off to a good start and the first score to keep themselves in contention but Dunloy had other ideas as they scored the goal that killed the game off. Caolan Gillan found Keelan Molloy wide on the left-hand side in a mile of space and he soloed though and unselfishly squared the ball to Chrissy McMahon to tap it into the empty net. Game over.
Davitts to their credit never dropped their heads and continued to press and create chances. Padraig McParland had a great chance but his vicious shot looked destined for the top left corner of the net but just skimmed the post. James Lindsay got a point back for the Belfast men which was followed up by two frees scored by Christopher Gallagher.
Both sides then rang the changes and emptied out the benches as time ran down.
Anthony Smith had a great chance to grab a goal but for a fantastic block by James Lindsay to deny the corner forward.
But with the game so stretched and Davitts pushed up so much another goal for Dunloy was always liable to come. A great cross field ball by full forward Gillan to sub Conal Cunning split the defence wide open and Cunning made no mistake.
Corner back Niall Hughes got this sides final score of the night and Anthony Smith Dunloy’s as full time was called.
A good win for the home side as they keep their winning run going. Defensively they were strong and gave very little away with no one putting a foot wrong. Up front Seaan Elliot, Keelan Molloy and Caolan Gillan played well and took some fine scores.
Davitts never gave up and battled hard for the hour but the pace and movement of the Dunloy forwards caused them problems. In midfield Sean Og O’Neill had a good game and up-front Christopher Gallagher and James Lindsay had a good hour.
In a game which was level on seven different occasions, the home team produce a magical eight minute spell late in the game with six unanswered points and appeared to have sealed the deal but late drama saw them pegged back and eventually limp over the line with two to spare. Both teams held the lead several times in a ding dong battle and when referee Sean Laverty called time on the first half Glenavy would have been very pleased to be a goal ahead, having weathered a green and white onslaught in the opening minutes.
Had the locals been more clinical in their finishing the scoreline at half time may have had a different look to it. Glenravel eventually caught their opponents up and passed them in the second half then lost the lead again before that final spurt, which eventually was enough to secure the win. Had this been a horse race it would surely be considered an epic. Glenravel came out of the stalls flying and should have had a few scores on the board by the time Eoin Hynds registered the first point of the game with a well taken free on seven minutes. The next six minutes would yield another couple of points for the home team, one from Aiden O’Donnell who had a fantastic hour’s football, and the other from Eamon Fyfe. A low scoring first quarter had Con Magees ahead 0-03 to 0-00. In truth, the margin should have been more as both teams adjourned for liquid refreshments.
The break certainly helped the visitors who’s physical dominance started to yield more fruit upfront. Patrick Gallagher got them off the mark on sixteen minutes and that was followed by a brace of points from big full forward Fergal Green to draw the sides level before his namesake, Fergal Heaney would edge Glenavy in front for the first time. Eamon Fyfe pulled one back for Con Magees but Patrick Gallagher would stretch Glenavy lead to two points on twenty eight minutes before his namesake, Alex Gallagher finished to the net with time almost up in the first half to put Glenavy in a commanding lead 1-05 to 0-04, but an Eoin Hynds free kick just on half time left a goal separating the teams.
Glenravel started the second half well with four unanswered points to retake the lead by the ninth minute. Aiden O’Donnell and Eoin Hynds delivering two each. Patrick Gallagher levelled the game from a free but Eamon Fyfe pointed a lovely score to put the home team back in front. Fergal Heaney levelled, but Eoin Hynds again edged the home team ahead with a well taken point. Heaney would level again in the same minute and then put Glenavy ahead with a good free eighteen minutes into the second half.
It was at this point the home team wrestled some level of control over an eight minute period returning six unanswered points with a plethora of scorers including Eamon Fyfe, Eoin Hynds, Ryan Lennon, Eoin McCusker and David Higgins to pull them 0-17 to 1-09 ahead, and only three minutes left on the clock. Glenavy brought on fresh legs to provide some impetus and needed goals which they duly went after with high balls raining in on the Glenravel goals, to see if their aerial dominance could pay dividends. It did just that, and one of their substitutes netted after a goalmouth scramble two minutes into injury time. The visitors would continue that strategy for the remaining three minutes of stoppage time, and it was nerve wracking viewing for the home fans, but Glenravel stood resolute and emerged victorious by a two point margin.
Glenravel:: Shaun O’Boyle, Cathal Hynds, Darragh Donaghey, Conor Carey Dnr, Conleth O’Loan, Eoin McCusker (0-01), Charlie Henry, David Higgins (0-01), Conor Carey Snr, Eoin Hynds (0-07), Sean McKay, Aiden O’Donnell (0-03), Aiden McCafferty, Eamon Fyfe (0-04), Ryan Lennon (0-01)
Glenavy:: Jake Nelson, Sean McGirr, Ryan Malley, Pearse O’Neill, Patrick Fox, Charles Gallagher, Fergus Cunningham, Michael Johnston, Oliver Brankin, Stephen Doone, Patrick Gallagher (0-01), Michael Kane, Fergal Heany (0-03), Fergal Green (0-04), Alex Gallagher (1-00) Referee:: Sean Laverty