Moneyglass motor clear in second half

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors – IFC ROUND 2

Moneyglass 2-13 Sarsfields 0-8

Report by Gary Duffin

Pics by Elaine Kelly

Moneyglass hosted Sarsfields in the second round of the Intermediate Championship tonight and it turned out to be a comfortable victory for the St Ergnats men, though it has to be said the first half was a tight  affair. Moneyglass opened the scoring with a point from Conall Prenter after two minutes and went two up with a fine score from corner back Peter McCormick, but the Paddies hit back with a free from Niall McKenna and equalised with a good score from Garry Lennon.

The visitors were crowding their defence and scores were hard come by but St Ergnats added another two from Dermott McErlain and Jimmy McMeel. Darragh Gorman pulled one back for the visitors but this was cancelled out by a point from Sean Kelly for the Marian Hill men. Garry Lennon notched up his second of the game for the Paddies but Moneyglass had the final say of the half when Conall Prenter fired over his second point to leave the half time score Moneyglass 0-6 Sarsfields 0-4.

The Moneyglass management team seem to solve a few problems during the half time team talk because their troops stormed out of the blocks in the second half notching up to 2-05 without reply to all but seal the win. Two points from Colm Duffin and one each from Eamonn Kelly and Jack McCoy A second from Peter McCormack preceded two goals for the now dominant St Ergnat’s outfit, the first coming from Dermott McErlain and the second a neat finish from Conal Printer.The game was over as a contest but Sarsfields battled to the end with Kevin McKernan kicking over 3 points and Ethan Mervyn grabbing another. Niall Boyd kicked one over for the hosts and Colm Duffin finished the scoring with his 3rd of the night.Final score


Mark Carey, Pete McCormick, Tiarnan Duffin, Eamonn Kelly, Fearghal Duffin, Conor Boyd, Jervis Weir, Seanchann Duffin, Colm Duffin, Jack McCoy, Jimmy NcMeel, Dermott McErlain, Conor O’Kane, Conall Prenter, Sean Kelly.  Subs Niall Boyd, Donal Laverty, Paul Tohill, Ryan Doyle.


Michael Brady, Jack Daniels, Martin McPolin, Ethan Mervyn, Conor Laverty, Darragh McGuinness, Kieran McCullagh, John Savage, Niall McKenna, Declan Laverty, Ryan Carson, Garry Lennon, Kevin McKernan, Niall McAleese, Darragh Gorman.Subs Stephen Harbinson and Conor Hurley

Tolan penalty sends Tir na nÓg on their way

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors

IFC Group 2- Round 2

Tír na nÓg: 1.13 (16) St. Patrick’s Lisburn: 0.07 (7)

Tír na nÓg recover after a defeat on Sunday to take the spoils at Whitehill this evening with a 9 point win over St. Patrick’s Lisburn. Despite St. Patrick’s getting the first score after 4 minutes, after 8 minutes Tír na nÓg had the ball in the back of the net from a penalty and never looked back. Aaron Thompson looked lively from the beginning. After winning a 13 metre free he tried to hit it quickly and it was easily stopped by the home side. On his second attempt he pointed after 4 minutes. After a lazy foul on Aodhan Tolan, Charlie Hemsworth firstly signalled a free but on inspection changed his mind and awarded a penalty for Tír na nÓg.

Tolan stepped up himself and despite going the right way Peter O’Neill couldn’t reach far enough to deny the major. The McMullan brothers Ben and Josh looked dangerous as they jinked in and out of the Tír na nÓg defence. Ben reaped the rewards when he pointed after 10 minutes. Brother Josh was then fouled and Thompson spilt the posts from the dead ball. Tír na nÓg shifted up a gear and hit 4 scores in a row prior to the water break through Aaron McNeilly (free), Darragh Fagan (mark) and brothers Caoimhin & Sean Duffin. As the game restarted both teams struggled to find their range and it wasn’t until additional time at the end of the half that Tír na nÓg added another two scores onto their tally from Fagan and McNeilly (free) to leave the margin 6 at half time.

Cathal McOscar Photography

As the second half began Eamon Óg McAllister fielded a high ball and was fouled. He regained his composure and pointed the resultant free. After a very awkward fall, McAllister was lucky to walk off the pitch and not carried off on a stretcher. Jack McMullan and Mark Chemek did their best to deny the blues and forced the kick on numerous occasions. Ciaran McKeown and Shane McEvoy traded points in the third and fourth minute. Substitute Conor Dixon was introduced for the visitors and made an immediate impact. After a foul on McMullan he scored the free. 5 minutes later he threw a lovely dummy and pointed after sending the defender the wrong direction. Fagan got his first free of the game after a foul on McNeilly before the second water break. Tír na nÓg now led by 6 points. In the last quarter of the game Tír na nÓg kicked a further 4 points from McNeilly (x2- 1 free), Fagan and Sean Duffin. Lisburn were reduced to 14 men after Josh McMullan was cautioned for the second time for continuous fouling. Ben McMullan got the last score of the game but Tír na nÓg held out for a comfortable win. On Sunday Tír na nÓg have their second home game when the host St. Paul’s, St. Patrick’s are on the road again as they travel to Rasharkin. Both games throw in at 2pm.

Tír na nÓg 1. SP McAtamney 2. N. Cassidy 3. C. McGrellis 4. P. Cullen 5. C. O’Neill 6. S. Duffin 7. C. Duffin 8. R. O’Neill 9. B. McCormick 10. A. McNeilly 11. C. Mckeown 12. C. McKeown 13. E. Óg. McAllister 14. D. Fagan 15. A. Tolan 16. M. Dempsey 17. D. Mallon 18. B. Magee 19. D. O’Kane 20. K. Kerr 21. C. Dobbin 22. K. Sheerin 23. P. Sheerin 24. M. Tolan 25. D. Martin Subs: K. Sheerin for E. Óg McAllister, D. O’Kane for C. Logan, M. Tolan for C. McKeown Scorers: A. Tolan (1.0), A. McNeilly (0.4- 3 frees), D. Fagan (0.4- 1 free), C. Duffin (0.1), S. Duffin (0.2), E. Óg McAllister (0.1- 1 free), C. McKeown (0.1)

Lisburn 1. P. O’Neill 2. P. Law 3. T. Burns 4. J. McMullan 5. M. Torbitt 6. M. Cherneck 7. S. McEvoy 8. M. Fegan 9. S. O’Suilleabhain 10. B. McMullan 11. F. McMeel 12. C. Morgan 13. A. Thompson 14. J. McMullan 15. D. Devine 16. P. Casey 17. C. Burns 18. O. Goreman 19. C. Ewing 20. S. Burns 21. P. Ferris 22. D. Cartland 23. C. Dixon 24. E. Fay 25. P. McMahon 26. S. Brannigan 27. L. McKeown Subs: C. Dixon, E. Fay, C. Ewing, O. Gorman Scorers: A. Thompson (0.2- 1 free), B. McMullan (0.2), S. McEvoy (0.1), C. Dixon (0.2-1 free)


St Paul’s edge tight derby

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors IFC Group 2

St Pauls 1-11-1-08 St Teresa’s

Pics and report by Kevin Herron

St Pauls held their nerve late-on as they quelled a St Teresa’s fightback to claim a 1-11-1-08 victory over their close rivals at the Shaws Road on Wednesday evening.

A Liam McLarnon goal had put the hosts in the driving seat early on and St Pauls held a narrow advantage at the break. Four unanswered points at the beginning of the second period increased St Pauls lead -though St Teresa’s grew into the game in the final quarter of an hour and a Niall McCann penalty and free from John Mallon had the game tied at 1-08 apiece going down the home straight.

But Paddy Linden’s side registered the final three points of the game to make it back to back Championship victories, as last year’s beaten semi-finalists look on track to make a top-two finish in the group.

Both sides had claimed weekend victories over St Pat’s Lisburn and Rasharkin respectively ahead of the first competitive mid-week game on the season.

St Teresa’s were first to register through a converted John Mallon free but St Paul’s hit straight back with the opening goal of the game as Liam McLarnon got on the end of a high ball over the top and showed composure with a neat finish to the corner of the net past Simon Harney to give his side a 1-00-0-01 lead.

St Teresa’s almost responded with a goal of their own a few minutes later but Kiefer Toolan was on-hand to turn away Joseph Rainey’s dangerous effort after Anton Taylor had slipped the full-forward in on goal.

Conor Burns extended his sides lead at the other end though Mark Small responded after John Mallon’s short free to Anton Taylor came off the large post.

Colm McLarnon and Conor Burns nailed back to back frees- with Niall McCann replying from the same scenario after his side claimed a forward mark.

A further point followed from the visitors- courtesy of Paul Curran who was alert to a wayward kick-out from Toolan and opted for a point.

St Teresa’s were in the ascendancy and a terrific angled point from Niall McCann ensured that just two-points separated the sides at the break (1-04-0-05).

St Pauls made a bright start to the second period with Conor Burns adding a further two scores- a fine point from play and a converted free.

Liam McLarnon saw his shot deflected over the bar for a point and a converted free from younger sibling Colm had St Pauls 1-08-0-05 ahead approaching the midway point in the second-half.

St Teresa’s first score of the second period came courtesy of a Niall McCann 45’ and John Mallon converted his second free of the evening in the aftermath.

The visitors had caused St Pauls a few hairy moments from the high ball into the area and with little under ten minutes remaining referee Danny O’Neill spotted an infringement in front of the St Pauls defensive third and signalled for a penalty.

Niall McCann seized responsibility and sent Toolan the wrong way to net a goal that reduced arrears to the bare minimum (1-08-1-07).

The sides were tied 1-08 apiece a few minutes later as John Mallon kept his cool to pop over his third free of the contest.

St Paul’s didn’t panic however and nudged themselves back in front as Conor Burns lay-off to substitute Mick Connolly was popped over the bar.

Further points from McLarnon brothers Liam and Colm ensured that their side would run out three-point winners on a score line of 1-11-1-08.

Both sides are in action again at the weekend as St Paul’s travel to Tir na Nog hoping to continue their winning start, while St Teresa’s will hope to get back on track but face a tough assessment on the road to Ballymena All-Saints.

St Paul’s: K Toolan, N Ward, S Bradley, A Kavanagh, J Duffy, D Burns, D Magee, C O’Hanlon, J Farrell, P Lowe, M Connolly (0-01), D Lavery, C Burns (0-04, 0-01f), L McLarnon (1-02), C McLarnon (0-04, 0-02f). Subs: N Peoples for D Lavery (54).

St Teresa’s: S Harney, R Mallon, A Varndell, S Maguire, P Maguire, C McGoldrick, E Hamill, N McCann (1-03, 0-01f, 0-01 45’), D McCann, J Mallon (0-03f), A Taylor, P O’Rawe, M Small (0-01), J Rainey, P Curran (0-01). Subs: L Gault for M Small (36), C O’Rawe for P Curran (48), S Devine for A Varndell (54).

Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona)

Sharp Saints prove too strong for depleted Rasharkin

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors IFC Group 2

All Saints 1-15 Rasharkin 0-5

All Saints had too much knowhow and sharpness for a young and inexperienced Rasharkin in Round 2 of the Larkin Cassidy Solicitors Intermediate Football Championship at Dreen tonight. The visitors opened on the offensive, moving the ball at pace and were 0-2 up inside four minutes through the majestic Paddy McAleer.

The home side had a great opportunity to get right back into contention when referee, Vincent Boyle pointed to the penalty spot after Ryan Lynch was unceremoniously dragged down but Niall Shannon in the visitor’s goal got down to save Andrew Hasson’s spot kick.

Brendan McDonnell for the visitors and Eamon McNeill for the Dreen men exchanged points before Peter ‘Pizza’ McReynolds stroked a ‘45’ confidently between the uprights as the visitors began to take control.

At the other end the usually dependable Eamon McNeill was having a bad night, firing a number of efforts wide of the target before Connell Lemon moved forward to increase the visitors lead to four with a good point in the 13th minute.

Pearse Kelly replaced Conor Doherty in the Rasharkin defence and as the referee called for the water break Caolan Loughran came into the All Saints attack for Rory McVeigh but these changes made little difference to the flow of play.

The home side certainly lacked nothing for effort but were finding it difficult to pierce a well organised All Saints defence with Sean McVeigh breaking up a number of attacks and instigating quick counters which were paying dividends.

On the restart Paddy McAleer stroked over his third followed by his fourth point of the half as the visitors moved six clear and Michael McCarry added another from a side-line free and a difficult angle to leave it 0-8 to 0-1.

Thomas Doherty, who had replaced the injured Andrew Hasson, announced his arrival with a good point and Kavan Keenan for All Saints and Eamon McNeill for Rasharkin exchanged late points to leave it 0-9 to 0-3 at the short whistle.

                                                                                   NO BETTER

It didn’t get any better for the home side on the restart though to their credit they never dropped their head and continued to battle but the visitor’s defence remained rock solid and well organised.

Michael McCarry’s 35 meter free was pushed wide for a ‘45’ with Pizza McReynolds stroking his second award of the night effortlessly between the uprights before Ryan Lynch responded with a point for the home side from a free in the 5th minute.

Lynch fired over a good point from play to cut the gap to five points but any hopes of a revival were soon dismissed as Michael McCarry stroked over a couple of frees at the other end before Caolan Loughran rose to fist home a Conor Stewart delivery and suddenly the visitors lead had been extended to ten points.

The Slemish Park side were now moving the ball around with great confidence and always seemed to have a man free and Ryan Doherty in the St. Mary’s goals had to be sharp and brave to deny Kavan Keenan a second goal.

Both sides emptied their bench at this point but it was All Saints who continued to call the tune with Emmet Killough getting forward for a point which bisected two well struck frees from Michael McCarry to conclude the scoring.

All Saints are at home to St. Teresa’s on Sunday while Rasharkin will be hoping to open their account when they entertain Naomh Padraig Lisburn at Dreen on the same day.

Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Conor Doherty, Emmet McFerran, Liam Quigg, Fergus Quigg, Conor Hasson, Tiernan O’Boyle, Jack Quinn, Andrew Hasson, Ruairi O’Boyle, Eamon McNeill, Colm Kennedy, Cathair Henderson, Ryan Lynch, Gerard O’Hagan. Subs: Pearse Kelly for Conor Doherty, Thomas Doherty for Andrew Hasson, Donagh Quigg for Pearse Kelly, Daniel Doherty for Cahair Hernderson

All Saints: Niall Shannon, James Gillan, Peter McNicholl, James McDonnell, Kavan Keenan, Ciaran McGarry, Connell Lemon, Sean McVeigh, Paddy McAleer, Peter McReynolds, Michael McCarry, Emmet Killough, Conor Stewart, Rory McVeigh, Brendan McDonnell. Subs: Caolan Loughran for Rory McVeigh, Matty Downey for Peter McNicholl, Eoin Campbell for Peter McReynolds, Reece O’Mullan for Sean McVeigh

Referee: Vincent Boyle (Dunloy)

Tir na nOg were Ulster champions-2019

If, like me you are twiddling your thumbs and suffering from GAA withdrawal owing to the wide sweeping effects of the Coronavirus and, worse still no or little news from the Saffron Gael, then I really feel for you.

Yes I know there are more important things than sport and I recognize and agree with all the precautions that we are collectively taking to minimize the effects of this very serious pandemic but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a wee read on your favourite GAA site.

At this time on a Sunday for more years than I care to remember, like many of you I would have been heading to a game, trusty camera and notebook on tow and earlier this week my plan was to be in Aughrim, hoping to catch the best of the action from Wicklow v Antrim in the Allianz NFL Division 4 and confident of an Antrim victory but Covid 19 has put those plans on hold for now.

Like my fellow Saffron Gael reporters and photographers I join the rest of you praying that this awful illness will pass and that the majority of us will survive the worst of it but unfortunately some of us will not.

As I stated earlier we are not going to be able to participate or view Gaelic Games for some time so I thought we might take a look back at what was happening at this time last year-old news is better than no news!

Around this time in 2019 I made the trip to Balinderry, a wet and cold day as I recollect with wind and sleet beating down-no change there then, but the trip turned out to be worthwhile.

Tir na nOg, Randalstown had participated in the Ulster Intermediate Football league and performed admirably to reach the final where they were to meet St. Patrick’s Gortin of Tyrone.

The Whitehill side went into this game as underdogs but turned in a top class performance to beat the favourites. This is the report and some of the photographs we posted from that game.

Tir na nOg keep their cool to collect first Ulster title

Ulster Intermediate Football League (final)

                  Tir na nOg (Antrim) 2-10 St Patrick’s Gortin (Tyrone) 2-02

Tir na nOg kept their cool against an indisciplined St. Patrick’s, Gortin to collect their first Ulster Intermediate football league title at cold and windy Balinderry today. The Tyrone side were very much architects of their own downfall, losing two players to straight reds during an opening half where they played into the driving wind.

The Tyrone side had entered the game as strong favourites but the dismissal of midfielder Ruairi Kennan at the end of the first quarter and team captain and full forward, Brian Mc Garvey in the 29th minute left them facing an uphill battle.

Tir na nOg had the strong breeze behind them in the opening period but the concession of a fifth minute goal and another in the latter stages of the half looked likely to cause them problems.

Early replacement Ciaran Dobbin made quick impact after being introduced for Ryan O’Neill who had suffered a facial injury, when he signalled arrival on the scene with a 25th minute point before quickly making the addition of a goal.

The Whitehill lads did have numerical advantage and a four point lead,1-07 to 2-00 at the short whistle but conditions, and the strength of the breeze against ensured nothing could be taken for granted.

Despite being reduced in numbers the Red Hand side started the second half on the offensive but Damien Hagen had the Whitehill men ready for action and although a 41st minute Ciaran Brolly point reduced the deficit that was to be as close as they were to get.

Tir na nOg were fully primed for rear guard action with team captain Christy Sheerin and the pace laden Sean Redmond leading the way.

The Antrim lads stood strong in defence and used their extra men to good effect. Their slick counter attacking produced points from Leigh Martin, Ciaran McKeown, and Ciaran Logan before minor star Ciaran O’ Neill, a second period replacement, blasted to the back of net to ensure the silverware was on the way to Randalstown.

In far from ideal conditions Tir na nOg and Gortin took to the field in Balinderry today to decide the destination of the Ulster intermediate football league title.

St. Patrick’s had impressed en route to the decider with eye catching wins over Castledawson and Tir na nOg, Portadown  and entered today’s final as firm favourites

Tir na nOg, with the gale force westerly breeze in their favour the opening half got off to a good start with mid-field general Christy Sheerin firing between the posts seconds into proceedings.

The Antrim side added a second point via Leigh Martin in the 3rd minute but despite the positivity offered from a good start Tir na nOg were in arrears by the 6th minute as Gortin corner man Sean Og McAleer rose to punch a Sean McKenna cross to the back of the net.

Brian McGarvey who had been assigned a ‘go anywhere role’ linked up with Sean McAleer and Tony Mossey to open the way for the corner forward to fist into the net.

Tir na nOg regained the initiative as back to back points from a Daniel Martin long range effort and a sweetly struck Leigh Martin delivery ensured they sneaked ahead, 0-04 to 1-00 and their chances were further enhanced when the opposition were reduced to 14 when Ruairi Keenan was shown red for an off the ball incident.

Another well delivered Leigh Martin score increased the Tir na nOg lead but the advantage was soon to become deficit when the Tyrone men grabbed a second major.

A strong interception from corner back Cormac Bradley initiated the score but it was a sublime inch perfect pass from Ciaran Brolly which opened the way for Sean Og McAleer to grab his second goal and make it 2-00 to 0-05 after 25th minutes.

The Whitehill side had been forced into replacing Ryan O’ Neill with what looked a bad facial injury but his replacement, Ciaran Dobbin was about to signal arrival.

The fleet footed substitute took up position in the corner and had the ball over the bar in the 27th minute after Darren McCormick interception in the central zone.

Dobbin was soon to add a second score as Christy Sheerin rose to collect the resultant kick-out before transferring to the former who quickly rounded his marker before firing firmly into the corner of the net.

The Randalstown men had regained advantage and an interception and adept delivery from Sean Redmond opened the way for a further score as Michael Dempsey split the posts.

The Antrim side had gone four points clear in the latter stages, but with the elements to face in the second half that lead looked precarious.  Gortin’s tackling was reckless at times and the Tyrone men were further reduced in number when Brian McGarvey was shown red following a strike on an opponent.

Gortin started the second half on the offensive and it was only a last minute intervention by Aaron McNeilly on his own goal line that prevented Shane Clarke finding the net.

Fiachra McNulty sent Ciaran Brolly in to raise white in the 40th minute for Gortin to reduced the gap to three but Damien ‘Scotchy’ Hagen’s men were soon back in formation and standing tall in defiance.

Christy Sheerin and Sean Redmond led by example and a fast counter and a foul on Aaron McNeilly led to the ever accurate Leigh Martin dispatching the resulting free over the bar in the 47th minute.

Martin’s score was negated at the other end a few minutes later when Sean Mc Aleer strode forward to finish in style but the Whitehill Blues quickly responded with team captain Christy Sheerin to the fore.

Ciaran Dobbin was denied by the base of the post when he shot low and hard in the 54th minute but Ciaran McKeown came strong on the right hand side to fist between the posts a minute later.

Tir na nOg had a four point advantage as the decider moved into the last five minutes and the Whitehill Blues were now in control all over the field.

Gortin kept battling but the Antrim side were immoveable and when Ciaran Logan added a 57th minute point they looked in charge.

St Patrick’s continued to battle but the Tir na nOg defence stood firm and another well laid counter attack saw replacement Ciaran O’Neill place Ciaran Logan who fired to the net and the die was cast.

Despite the addition of six minutes of injury time there was no further employment for the scoreboard attendant as Tir na nOg kept possession as they ran down the clock.

The silverware was Randalstown bound and to Whitehill and the club rooms of Tir na Nog in their centenary year as they passed the post full value for a 2-10 to 2-02 winning advantage’

Tir na nOg: Sean P McAtamney, Daniel Martin (0-01), Niall Cassidy, Sean Redmond, Barry McCormick, Caoimhinn Duffin, Darren McCormick, Ryan O’ Neill, Christy Sheerin (0-01), Malachy Og Duffin, Aaron McNeilly, Peter Cullen, Darragh Fegan (0-02), Leigh Martin (0-02), Sean Duffin


Ciaran Dobbin (1-01) for Ryan O’Neill

Michael Dempsey for Ronan O’Neill

Ciaran Logan (1-01) for M Duffin

Ciaran O’Neill for D Martin

Ronan O’Neill for S Duffin

Gortin: Cathal McCullagh, Cormac Bradley, Patrick McCullagh, Peter Bradley, Peter Keenan, Fiachra McNulty, Sean McKenna, Ruairi Keenan, Paddy Northern, Tony Mossey, Ciaran Brolly, Laurence Hollywood, Sean Og McAleer, Brian McGarvey, Shane Clarke.

Referee Enda McFeely (Dun na nGall)

Over the coming days and weeks we will continue to look at games from the past and keep you updated on what is happening at present and, God willing, the Coronavirus will pass and we will be able to get back to normality.