All Saints win in Castlewellan

2023 Ulster Intermediate Football Club League Group D

Round 3 


Sun 26 Feb 2023


St. Malachy’s High School Castlewellan

Drumgath      0-8

All Saints Ballymena 1-7

All Saints continued their good start in the Ulster Intermediate Club Football League when they travelled to Castlewellan on Sunday afternoon and recorded their second win in three games to remain unbeaten in Group D.

Following an opening day draw in a tempestuous affair away to Keady, All Saints entertained Clann na Banna on day two and had two to spare over the Banbridge side and on Sunday it was another County Down side who entertained the Ballymena men with the result very similar to last week.

A young experimental All Saints side overcame a dogged Drumgath challenge at Castlewellan on Sunday. Facing a strong breeze in the 1sf half. All Saints led at the break 1.2 to 4 points with the goal coming from Patrick Ferris.

The 2nd half was nip and tuck, with Drumgath coming to within a point as they used the breeze to their advantage.  

However, All Saints closed out to win the game on a score line of 1-7 to 0-8 thus maintaining their unbeaten record in the Ulster Intermediate league.  Their final group game is Wolf Tones from Armagh for a place in Semi Finals.

Encouraging performances from youngsters Darach Bradley and Archie McGreevy the main positives from an otherwise dogged performance by an experimental All Saints side.

Team and scorers:

Ryan Stewart, Archie McGreevy, James McDonnell, James Gillan, Pat Ferris, Eoin Walsh, Shaun O Callaghan, Emmet Killough, Rory McVeigh, Darach Bradley, Michael McCarry, Charlie Metrustry, Brendan McDonnell, Luke O Rawe, Conor Brennan.

Subs used: Ronan McKillop, Daragh Mussen, Matthew Downey, Ryan Thom. 


Pat Ferris 1.0

Brendan McDonnell 0.2

Michael McCarry 0.1

James McDonnell 0.1

Emmet Killough 0.1

Ronan McKillop 0.1

Darach Bradley 0.1


Christopher Morgan 

All Saints edge game of two halves

Ulster Intermediate Football League

All Saints 0-9 Clann na Banna 1-4

In what turned out to be the proverbial, game of two halves, it was All Saints Ballymena who made all the early running against visitor Clann na Banna at Quinn Park on Sunday morning. With the slight breeze at their back an understrength Ballymena side threatened to run away with it during the opening 30 minutes but were forced to hold on for a narrow win in the end.

With only a handful of their regulars in the starting line-up, Baker Bradley’s side made a strong start with team captain Emmet Killough settling them with an excellent early point and Michael McCarry moving them two in front from a 5th minute free.

James McGrath got the Banbridge side off the mark with a point in the 9th minute but the home side responded through Benny McDonnell before Michael ‘Gooch’ McCarry hit the next four scores of the game with an imperious exhibition of free taking.

The visitors fought hard to get into the game but could find no way through a solid looking All Saints defence where full-back, James Gillan and youngster, Archie McGreevey cut out anything that came their way.

All Saints keeper, Ryan Stewart gets down to save a first half penalty

They were thankful to returning keeper, Ryan Stewart who pulled off a number of good saves including a 28th minute penalty but the visitors will feel they should have been much closer than the 0-7 to 0-1 deficit they took into half time.

All Saints lost full-forward Peter McReynolds to injury, only two minutes into the second half and it proved a serious setback to the home side as ‘Pizza’ had been proving a willing target man with his pace and intelligent movement.

Slowly Clann na Banna started to get a foothold with team captain, Malachy Magee splitting the posts in the 9th and 10th minutes but when Michael McCarry pointed a 13 meter free for his 5th point of the game normal service looked to have been restored.

The Banbridge side were starting to believe however and when Liam Vaughan raced clear for a point in the 24th minute the momentum was very much with them. Indeed Vaughan might have had a goal but blazed over with only Stewart in the home goals to beat.

Rory McVeigh, All Saints clears his lines under pressure from James McGrath, Clann na Banna

The goal that they had threatened did arrive as Donal Scullion took advantage of a quick free from mid-field after Rory McVeigh had been penalised for charging and the Clann na Banna substitute found himself in the clear to fire past Ryan Stewart and leave just a point between the sides with only a minute of normal time remaining.

All Saints looked in trouble but to their credit they rallied and James McDonnell moved forward from defence to screw over a good point from a difficult angle to see his side take both points following a draw away to Keady last week.

All Saints who defeated Clann na Banna in the Ulster Intermediate football league at Quinn Park on Sunday morning

All Saints: Ryan Stewart, Eoin Walsh, James Gillan, Archie McGreevey, Rory McVeigh, James McDonnell, Cal O’Brien, Emmet Killough, Luke O’Rawe, Conor Corr, Michael McCarry, Charlie Metrustry, Brendan McDonnell, Peter McReynolds, Connor Brennan.

Subs: Joshua Blair for Peter McReynolds,

Clann na Banna, Banbridge

Clann na Banna: Eamon McNally, Liam Og Magennis, Odhran McMullan, Dara Scullion, Callum Burns, Michael Mallon, Shane Nelson, Eoin Scullion, Fergal Vaughan, Garrett Campbell, Liam Vaughan, Taylor Hill, James McGrath, Connor Lenaghan, Malachy Magee.

Subs: Donal Scullion and Shane Haughey

Referee: Ritchie Leahy

Dunloy falter as Dungloe power through

AIB Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship

Quarter Final

Dunloy 0-7 Dungloe 1-11

Saturday 12 November

Brendan McTaggart reports from Fr McGuigan Park, Ahoghill

For 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon, Dunloy dared to dream.  Three points ahead at the short whistle having controlled much of the first half, the Cuchullains were well placed to cause an upset against the Donegal champions.

But the turnaround in the second half was bewildering.  Dungloe dominated the middle third and put Dunloy under huge pressure.  That three point lead was gone after just over five minutes.

Two controversial red cards for the Cuchullains and a major from substitute Damien McGowan ensured Dungloe powered to victory in the closing stages.

With a strong wind blowing mainly across the pitch, it was the Donegal men who made a bright start.  Danny Rodgers leaving his position between the sticks to kick the opening score from a ’45 while Daire Gallagher doubled their score to leave them two clear after three minutes.  That would be their last score for 20 minutes however as Dunloy grew into the game.

Playing quick ball into the forwards, their opening score from Nigel Elliott was quickly added to by Conal Cunning’s first of the game.  Coby would give Dunloy the lead for the first time in the game in the 9th minute, his second of the match and a familiar pattern of play.  Molloy with the assist and Coby coming out in front and evading the Dungloe challenges.

Frees apiece from Coby and Molloy took Dunloy into a three point lead before Dungloe scored their first from play.  Rodgers long range free dropping short and Dunloy scrambled.  Eoin McFerran looked like he was fouled as Dungloe pressed by the ball fell to Barry Curran who split the uprights with his first of the match.

Dunloy continued to control the game and after a period of possession they worked the angle for Keelan Molloy to fire his second point of the game and give them a three point lead at the short whistle.

It was the minimum the Cuchullains deserved for their first half efforts.  Dungloe struggled with the movement of the Dunloy attack while the Cuchullains were winning more than their share of ball in the middle third.

The second half belonged to the Donegal champions however.  They upped their intensity and physicality while playing with power and precision in attack.  The Dunloy lead was eradicated inside six minutes with Sweeney, Barry Curran and Daniel Ward (free) bringing the Donegal men back on terms.

Dunloy were under huge pressure and looking to ride out the Dungloe storm.  While Dungloe were dominant, Dunloy were defending well and putting them under pressure where possible.  The Donegal men had just retaken the lead in the 49th minute when the referee took centre stage.  Substitute Caolan Gillan seeing red for an innocuous challenge.  Referee Anthony Marron saw things differently, deeming Gillan to have landed on top of the Dungloe player with intent and issuing a red card. 

The Cuchullains barely had time to reorganise when they were dealt another hammer blow.  Conor Kinsella involved in an off the ball incident with Daire Gallagher.  There didn’t look to be much in the incident, both players ending up on the turf at different times but Marron issued Kinsella a second yellow card having consulted with his umpires and the Dungloe man walked free.

The closing minutes belonged to the Donegal men, making the numerical advantage count,  Two points within 60 seconds from Sweeney and Barry Curran was followed by the only goal of the game.  A long ball from Sweeney was deflected into the path of Daniel Ward who played Damien McGowan through on goal.  He made no mistake to fire beyond Chrissy Brogan in the Dunloy goal to ultimately seal their place in the next round.

Sweeney’s fourth point of the half was followed closely by Daire Gallagher’s second free to leave it 1-8 without reply for Dungloe and giving them an eight point lead in the last minute of the hour.

Dunloy looked for goals with a number of frees dropping on the edge of the square but all they could show for their efforts was a free from substitute Anthony Smith.

Dungloe progress as Dunloy faltered in the second half.  Not the ending of the season they would have wanted in the big ball but the vast majority of the squad cast their minds towards the Ulster Club hurling final in three weeks time.


Dunloy: Chrissy Brogan; James Scally, Aaron Crawford, Conor Kinsella; Oran Quinn, Kevin McQuillan, Anton McGrath; Ryan McGarry, Eoin McFerran; Nigel Elliott, Eoin Gillan, Chrissy McMahon; Conal Cunning, Keelan Molloy, Seaan Elliott

Subs: Ciaran McQuillan for A McGrath (22); Caolan Gillan for C McMahon (HT); Michael Smith for E Gillan (42); Anthony Smith for E McFerran (56)

Scorers: C Cunning 0-3 (1f); K Molloy 0-2 (1f); N Elliott 0-1; A Smith 0-1 (1f)

Dungloe: Danny Rodgers; Jason McBride, Chrissy Greene, Gerard Walsh; Mark Curran, Conor O’Donnell, Karl Magee; Darren Curran, Barry Curran; Dyan Sweeney, Daire Gallagher, Matthew Ward; Ryan Brennan, Daniel Ward, Aaron Ward

Subs: Damien McGowan for M Ward (45); Jordan Saville for J McBride (57); Noel McBride for M Curran (57); Darren O’Donnell for D Sweeney (57); Rory McLaughlin for D Gallagher (60); Ciaran Sharkey for D Ward (60)

Scorers: D Sweeney 0-4; B Curran 0-3; D McGowan 1-00; D Gallagher 0-2 (2f); D Ward 0-1 (1f); D Rodgers 0-1 (1’45)

Referee: Anthony Marron (Monaghan)

Cuchullains Prepare for Ulster Series

Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship

Dunloy v Dungloe (Donegal)

Date: Saturday 12 November 2022

Venue: Ahoghill

Throw in: 1:30pm

Brendan McTaggart speaks with Dunloy manager Anthony McQuillan ahead of the Cuchullains Ulster Championship quarter final against Donegal champions Dungloe

Saturday will mark five weeks since Dunloy defeated Con Magees in the Intermediate championship final and their reward is a trip into the Ulster trail and a quarter final pairing with Donegal champions, Dungloe.

Conal Cunning’s scoring power has been a big boost to Dunloy this season

Having stepped down from the senior championship two years ago, Dungloe saw off the demons of last year’s final defeat after a reply to see off Naomh Columbs in the Tir Chonail final.  They will start as favourites for Saturday’s quarter-final but Dunloy manager Anthony McQuillan has belief in his own squad that they can cause an upset: “We’ve always had good teams over the years but I can’t remember ever having a bench with so many game changers on it and that’s what we have now” he told us when we caught up with him.  One such game changer who would have been in the starting 15 is Deaglan Smith.  The dual star damaged his ankle in the hurling championship semi final win against St John’s and it looks like Saturday’s game will come too soon for him but McQuillan told us that picking his 15 for Saturday is an incredibly difficult task.

With playing at provincial level on both codes, it brings its own set of difficulties but McQuillan told us its business as usual at Pearse Park: “Football only lads got 10 days off after our final and the dual players got the same after the hurling final. 

“The lads had put in a monumental shift for the better part of 10 weeks or more.  Every match they were out fighting like dogs for our club.  Non-dual clubs were playing every fortnight, these lads were playing every week and it’s not just the game time.  There’s the preparation that goes into playing in championship matches, getting into the right frame of mind to play a different code, a different opposition.  It was tough going and the lads definitely needed that time away.”

With the dual commitments and the numbers of dual players involved, McQuillan and his management team welcomed the five week break but has told us that he also sees the negative side of it: “That is our biggest fear (loss of momentum).  Ideally and from a selfish point of view, I’d have liked this game three weeks after the county final but look, we’re looking at the positive nature of this.  It’s another two weeks where we can prepare for this game and another two weeks where any niggles that might be lingering can be cleared up.”  The Dunloy manager continued by telling us how they have managed their dual players: “We have split up the week and make sure that our dual players have no more than two grass sessions a week.  One hurling and one football but in the run up to this game, we’ve had everyone together for the past week.”

Notorious for playing a more attacking brand of football and utilising their main assets in the forward line, McQuillan told us they don’t plan to change too much for Saturday’s game: “We’ve trained and worked hard all year to develop how we play and it would be madness to change that now.  We met together last night (Thursday) to try and get our match ups sorted but to be honest, we don’t know much about Dungloe.  We’ve read some match reports from their championship and have an idea on who their main threats will be but our game plan won’t deviate too much from what you seen in the Antrim championship.”

A ‘home’ venue was a welcome sight for the Cuchullains.  A 20 minute journey to Fr McGuigan Park, Ahoghill and a ground where the vast majority of the squad have fond memories of playing.  McQuillan added: “Playing in Ahoghill is a massive positive for us.  I think it’s something like a two and a half hour drive from Dungloe whereas it’s only 20 minutes down the road from us in a ground that we know and have played plenty on.

“The lads are looking forward to the challenge that Dungloe will bring.”

The last time Dunloy reached the provincial stage at this grade, they reached the decider only to come up short against a talented Ballinagh side.  On that journey, they defeated Kinawley of Fermanagh and Newbridge of Derry in the semi final before coming up short against the Cavan champions.  The Cuchullains will be hoping for a similar Odyssey into Ulster in 2022.

Cassidy: “I have to hold my hands up, the best team won.”

Con Magees manager Joe Cassidy speaks with Brendan McTaggart at the final whistle in Dunsilly

Watching the opposition celebrate at the end of a final is never easy.  One look at Joe Cassidy and you knew he didn’t want to be there.  Both he and Paul Downey stood side by side wondering just how it got away from them at Dunsilly against a Dunloy side who never dominant.  “Very disappointing,” started Cassidy: “more so for the lads.  They didn’t turn up or do themselves justice.  That’s not taking anything away from Dunloy, they were the far superior team.  If it hadn’t of been for Jamie (McEvoy) in goals, they could have had at least three goals.  Jamie kept us in it.”

Dunloy’s domination of the middle third of the pitch and ability to win turn over ball in the Glenravel half allowed them to apply unrelenting pressure.  The Con Magees manager was left scratching at their lack of competitiveness in midfield: “Where we’ve done the business in the last three games in terms of pressing opposition kick outs, I mean we dominated Ballymena on their kick outs and the same with Sarsfields.  Today, we didn’t do that and that allowed Dunloy to get the advantage on us.  When you’re playing chasing shadows with the athlete’s that Dunloy have you’re always going to be in bother.”

Trailing by six at half time, the Con Magees took a little longer than the allotted time.  Cassidy said it was a time for cool minds as they looked to get a way back into the final: “We were trying to get our team sorted out.  We were making a few changes, we knew where the problems were.  There was no point in roaring or shouting, that wasn’t going to do anyone any good or turn the game around.  It was about trying to sort out where the problems where.

“It was always going to be an uphill battle, you were going to need a goal at some point to get a bit of momentum.  We could never get that.  We got a couple of points but we needed a goal and at that you’re grasping at straws.  The damage was done in the first half.  Dunloy had six kick outs and got out with five of them.  The last day against Sarsfields we completely blitzed their kick out and that’s the most disappointing thing from today.”

Despite defeat, reaching the Intermediate final should be seen as progress for the Glenravel side.  Cassidy continued: “They are a very young side.  Probably, this time last year would they have taken progress to an Intermediate Final, possibly.  But when you get to a final you want to win it and I genuinely believe we wouldn’t be far away but I have to hold my hands up, the best team won.”

Despite the silver lining from defeat, Cassidy wasn’t pulling any punches when he said: “That’s for Glenravel people to decide that (progress).  Every manager is going to say the same sort of garbage at the end of the season.  They’ve got to their first Intermediate final in whatever number of years it is so from that point of view its progress.  They won an U20 championship last year, they are building.  They have a good group of minors coming below that again.  Sometimes you have to lose one to win one, at it’s really how they kick on from here but it’s very hard to say there’s been progress when you get to a final and you’re well beat.”