Naomh Eanna cause an upset

Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship Group 4

St Galls 1-8 Naomh Eánna 1-10

Paul McIntyre reports from the Bog Meadows

Glengormley’s Naomh Eánna caused the first major shock of this year’s Northern Switchgear sponsored Antrim Senior Football Championship. Trailing by six points at the second half water break, St Galls looked to be a good bet to make it two wins from two and top group 4 at the midway point. However, a red card to St Galls Jackson McGreevy turned the game on its head and Naomh Eanna dug deep to record a richly deserved two-point win.

Speaking after the game Naomh Eanna manager Frank Fitzsimmons praised his side’s character and work ethic. ‘There was big questions asked there in the second half and to come from six points down at Miltown, and to come back and win by two, but it was the character they showed’ that pleased Fitzsimmons. The former Antrim manager also refused to get carried away, and not rule out St Galls from still making an impact in this year’s championship. ‘St Galls are still in transition but I watched them last week against Gort na Mona and they are still a tasty outfit and they could put you to the sword very easy, but it’s another win in the group for us which is big for us to beat St Galls in any day, but in a championship group stage it’s massive.’

Both sides started with two inside forwards as Mark Kelly dropped back to the middle third for St Galls while Eoin Nagle dropped a little deeper for Naomh Eánna as the set up to limit supply to CJ McGourty. It was a slow start to the game as both sides found it rather difficult to find their range, with St Galls going closest by twice hitting the frame of Declan Breen’s post.

Odhran Eastwood kicked Naomh Eánna into the lead on 6 minutes from a free only for CJ McGourty to reply in kind for St Galls. Both place kickers exchanged frees again before Kevin Niblock scored from a ‘Mark’ to edge St Galls into the lead after 11 minutes. Eastwood landed another free before Ruirai Scott converted a ‘45’ to give Naomh Eanna a slender one-point lead, 0-4 to 0-3 at the first half water break. On the resumption Stephen O’Connor finished a flowing team move which also involved Nagle and Peter Healy, for a two-point lead, but it was St Galls who saw out the half the stronger.

CJ McGourty kicked a ‘45’ after seeing his quickly taken free being pushed away by Breen in the Naomh Eánna goal before Eoghan McCabe’s score saw the sides turn around at 0-05 each.

St Galls called for reinforcements at the break and introduced Terry O’Neill and Aodhan Gallagher to the action. And the changes did initially breathe new life into their attacking game and on 34 minutes Niall Burns palmed the ball to the net after being set up Conor Stinton. McGourty added his sixth score of the day for a six-point lead on 38 minutes, but remarkably this was to be their final score. Four minutes later came McGreevy’s dismissal, both cards for dissent, which was quickly followed by the second half water break.

At this point Naomh Eánna introduced Ethan Gibson and his first cut of the action was to punch the ball into the St Galls net. Kristian Healy ran along the end line before picking out the replacement unmarked at the back post.

All the momentum was with the Enda’s now and Eastwood kicked two further frees to level it as the clock turned red. Scott then showed class to kick the score of the day with the outside of his right foot before the Healy brothers combined for Kristian to seal a famous win for the men from Hightown.

Teams:

St Galls: Louis McCormick, Conor Burke, Ryan Irvine, Marcus Donnelly, Shane O’Hagan, Jackson McGreevy, John McCaffrey, Sean Burke, Thomas Bunting, Eoghan McCabe (0-1), Kevin Niblock (0-1 1Mark), Conor Stinton, CJ McGourty (0-6, 5f, 1 ‘45’), Niall Burns (1-0), Mark Kelly.

Subs: Aodhan Gallagher for Thomas Bunting & Terry O’Neill for John McCaffrey both HT, Michael Pollock for Conor Stinton & Niall O’Neill for Sean Burke both 50 minutes, Conaill Murray for Marcus Donnelly 55 minutes.

Naomh Eánna: Declan Breen, Conor McAuley, Conan Lyttle, Killian Jennings, Ryan Kennedy, James McAuley, Ciaran Thompson, Michael Morgan, Niall McKeown, Peter Healy, Eoin Nagle, Kristian Healy (0-2 1’45’), Ruirai Scott, Stephen O’Connor (0-1), Odhran Eastwood (0-6 5f, 1 Mark, ).

Subs: Padraig Hamilton for Killian Jennings HT, Ethan Gibson (1-0) for Ryan Kennedy 50 minutes, Adam Lamb for Michael Morgan 60 minutes.

Referee: Mr Brendan Toland.

Moneyglass win vital clash with Dunloy

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors IFC Group 1 – Round 3

Moneyglass 1-13Dunloy 2-08
Garry Duffin reports from Marian Hill

Sunday saw the meeting of the two “in form” sides in this group of the Intermediate Championship. Moneyglass had their South West rivals Dunloy visiting and it proved to be a tight affair.


The game started slow with a few wides for both sides as they tried to find openings in each other’s packed defences.
Moneyglass finally made the breakthrough after five minutes when Colm Duffin slotted over a free from 26 metres.  Dermot McErlain then won the ball from the resulting kick out and raced through to put the home side two in front and four minutes later Paddy McCormick used his pace to forge an opening and put the hosts three clear.
Twelve minutes were on the clock before Cuchullains raised a white flag through Keelan Molloy and they reduced the deficit to one almost immediately with a fine point from Seann Elliott before Conor Cunning took advantage of a Moneyglass mistake to level the game.


After the water break young Jack McCoy pointed before Colm Duffin kicked over another free to edge the home side two ahead. As time ran out Conor Cunning scored his second to leave the game with the minimum between the sides at half time.


From the second-half throw-in Moneyglass worked the ball to the very impressive Dermot McErlain who put blues two up again and their advantage was extended two minutes later when county star Colm Duffin slotted over another free.
A few more wides ensued from both sides before Keelan Molloy narrowed the gap to just two points again.
Seanchann Duffin then decided to join his brother on the score sheet with a fine solo effort before Keelan Molloy added his third “minor” for Cuchullains. Then the action really started. Dermot McErlain ripped through the Dunloy defence to leave the simplest of finishes to the net for Paul Tohill, but Dunloy then won their kick out, worked the ball upfield and the size 5 was smashed to the top corner of the net by Ryan McFarlane.


Moneyglass then lost their subsequent kick out and the ball was pounced upon and hammered into the net by midfielder Kevin McQuillan. Moneyglass were shell-shocked and now found themselves one point in arrears but to their credit they kept a calm head and tacked on four unanswered points from sharp shooting Colm Duffin. 
With time running out Eoghan McGrath and Dermot McErlain exchanged points before Conal Cunning added his third point to bring proceedings to a close with St Ergnats holding onto their unbeaten status by a two point margin.
MONEYGLASS
Mark Carey, Peter McCormick, Tiarnan Duffin, Eamonn Kelly, Ferghal Duffin, Conor Boyd, Jervis Weir, Seanchann Duffin 0-1, Colm Duffin 0-7  (0-6 f), Paddy McCormick 0-1, Jimmy McMeel, Dermott McErlain 0-3, Jack McCoy 0-1, Conal Prenter, Sean Kelly.

SUBS – Conor O’Kane Paul Tohill 1-0 Ryan Doyle Kevin Marron 

DUNLOY – Stephen McIlroy, Conor Kinsella, Adrian Scullion, Karl O’Kane, Callum Scullion’ Oran Scullion’Kevin McQuillan 1-0, Ryan McGarry, Keelan Molloy 0-3, Seán Elliot 0-1, Ryan Mcfarane 1-0, Christopher McMahon, Conal Gunning 0-3, Anthony Smith.

SUBS – Anton McGrath, Kevin McAllister, Liam McCann, Eoghan McGrath, 0-1

Aghagallon tops in derby game

Northern Switchgear SFC Group 3

St Mary’s Aghagallon 6-12 St Joesph’s Aldergrove 1-7

St Mary’s hosted local rivals Naomh Seamas and although the Crumlin men have found the going tough so far this year, both sides went into this game knowing form means nothing in derby games, with the county’s intermediate champions hopeful of taking some points on the short journey home.


When Seamus Mc Garry raised the first white flag of the day it looked like game on, however Aghagallon replied with a goal that was an indication of things to come.Great work by Adam Loughran on the “45” line saw him lay the ball off to Ruairi Mc Cann and when he took the return pass, he carved through the Aldergrove defence with pace and power and placed the ball into the net. Ruairi Loughran pointed to finish some great link up play between Jamie Lamont and Gareth Magee and Magee got the next one from a free after Mc Cann was fouled. The momentum was all with the men in green and they used it to great effect to build up a half time lead leaving the visitors a mountainto climb. Magee turned provider when he found Mc Cann at the far post and the big full forward palmed the ball in to raise the second green flag with ten minutes on the clock. Mc Cann was in fine form and most of St Mary’s scores in the first half came as a result of his willingness to make himself available for every pass.St Mary’s third goal came through him, Adam Loughran played the ball into him, and timed his run perfectly to take the return and he got his second major. Gareth Magee scored a free when Mc Cann was fouled again bringing us to the water break with the scores 3:03 to 0:01.Ruairi Loughran picked off a nice point from range. Aldergrove got their goal when Christopher Mc Steen turned well to lay off a lovely weighted fisted pass to Kain Jones who shot across goal to beat Luke Mulholland at the far post. Any hopes of a comeback were killed off with Mc Cann finishing the half with a point and a goal.

Half time 4:05 to 1:01
As the sides lined out for the second half Aldergrove switched their defence to try to nullify Mc Cann. Eunan Walsh collected in mid field and as he carried the ball forward looked for Mc Cann, although he didn’t collect it cleanly, he did enough to return the ball to Walsh who powered through and drove into the net. His midfield partner Jack Lenehan joined him on the scoreboard when he made himself available for a pull back by Caolan Farr and split the posts. Mc Cann was having to come deeper to retrieve the ball and when he was fouled thirty metres from goal, a quick free kick caught the Aldergrove defence napping and Jamie Lamontwas on hand to score the final goal of the day. Ruairi Loughran and Adam Loughran kept the score ticking with a point a piece before Seamus Mc Garry registered the visitor’s first score of the second half. Aghagallon made a couple of changes and it was no surprise Mc Cann was given a well-earned break. Magee added to his tally and as we approached the water break the visitors lost their discipline with yellow cards to Gerard Mallon, Christopher Mc Veigh and Andrew Flood in quick succession, all bourne out of frustration.Gareth Magee made sure the fouls were punished as he got two frees. Just before the water break Aldergrove did breach the home rear guard but as Mc Garry closed in on goal his powerful shot rose just over the bar.When play restarted Aldergrove enjoyed their best spell of the game Mc Steen with one and, Mc Garry with two, reduced the deficit. Conleth Mc Alinden was rewarded for his efforts when he got a lovely point. Careless play in the Aghagallon defence presented Mc Steen with the last score of the game and he finished with style.
The difference on the scoreboard at the final whistle will count for nothing in the return fixture at the end of the month and Naomh Seamas will continue to improve as they find their feet back in senior football.


St Mary’s – Luke Mulholland, Ryan O Neill, Daniel Donnelly, Aidan Mulholland, Michael Mc Stravick, Patrick Branagan, Jamie Lamont (1:00), Jack Lenehan (0:01), Eunan Walsh (1:00), Caolan Farr, Adam Loughran (2:01), Mark Mc Afee, Gareth Magee (0:05 4f), Ruairi Mc Cann (2:01), Ruairi Loughran (0:03)
Conleth Mc Alinden (0:01) for Ruairi Mc Cann, Paul Mulholland for Pat Branagan, Steven Branagan for Aidan Mulholland, Liam Russell for Caolan Farr, Callum Fitzpatrick for Mark Mc Afee
Naomh Seamus – Christopher Taggart, Emmet Irvine, Fredia Carson, Christopher Mc Veigh, Gerard Mallon, Chris O Kane, Andrew Flood, Ryan Owens, Daniel Bell, Seamus Mc Garry (0:05 2f), Christopher Mc Steen (0:02), Ronan Hanna, Conal Quinn, Kain Jones (1:00), Corey Fogarty

Cargin leave it late but remain unbeaten

Northern Switchgear Senior Football Championship

 (Round three) Group three

Erin’s Own Cargin 1-09 St Brigid’s 1-06

Cargin left it late to keep their unblemished record intact but the last quarter introduction of the McCann brothers, Michael and Tomas helped them gain advantage over a determined St Brigid’s in Toome today.

The South Belfast visitors arrived in the South West in determined mood and in fact stood shoulder to shoulder with the reigning champions for much of the game, giving as good as they got with the sides level entering the final quarter.

The visitors won a lot of broken ball around midfield and a clinical approach saw central defender Michael Cummings find the net in the 19th minute and an upset looked possible.

Cargin were able to respond however with Michael Magill goal but back to back points from Ronan McGrady in the early minutes of the second half saw the sides level at 1-04 apiece.

Cargin introduce Michael and Tomas McCann for the final quarter and with the former pulling the strings in the central zone and Tomas raising a white flag shortly after arrival, late points from Pat Shivers and Sean Og O’ Neill saw them cross the line at 1-9 to 1-6.

A damp afternoon and a heavy shower greeted St Brigid’s as they took on Cargin in the third round of the new look senior championship.

The Toome men have remained undefeated thus far and were fancied to retain their positive record whilst St Brigid’s needed the points to keep their qualification hopes alive.

The home side have a lengthy injury list but got off to a good start with an early Ronan Gribbin point. The visitors were quick to reply as Paddy Finnegan pounced on a wayward pass before firing between the posts.

Cargin took the lead for the second time in the 7th minute as David Johnston combined with Jamie Gribbin before firing over and the hard working centre forward set up Kieran Close a few minutes later and he finished in style to make it 0-03 to 0-01.

The home side were on top in the early stages but St Brigid’s were gaining advantage in the vital central zone and winning a lot of breaking ball.

The Visitors took the lead in the 19th minute through a Michael Cummings goal.

The centre half combined with Peter Lundy, Ronan McGrady and Ethan Carelton and he made no mistake from close range.

Cargin went further behind shortly after when Paul Gowdy made an interception and finished with a point and St Brigid’s were 1-02 to 0-03 ahead.

Cargin responded however and a point from Jamie Gribbin restored order and when Michael Magill rose highest on the edge of the square to send a Pat Shivers delivery to the back of the net they were back in front, 1-04 to 1-02 at the break.

The visitors were first away at the start of the second half and back to back points from centre forward Ronan McGrady brought the sides level once more.

A Kieran Close free which punished a foul on Mark Kelly saw the home side take the lead again and Ronan McGrady and David Johnston exchanged further points to leave it 1-06 to 1-05 in favour of Erin’s Own at the second water break with the points still up for grabs.

St Brigid’s were soon back on terms on the restart as Peter Henvey raised a 50th minute white and at this stage Cargin introduced Michael and Tomas Mc Cann and their nephew Sean Og O’ Neill.

Michael McCann made immediate impact at mid-field as a Sean O’ Neill point restored their lead, Tomas McCann picked himself up after being fouled to add another and when Pat Shivers despatched a 45 metre free kick directly between the posts that was that as the Toome men crossed the line 1-9 to 1-6 ahead.

Cargin: Shay Bovill, Gerard Mc Corley, Justin Crozier, Brendan Laverty, David Johnston (0-01), James Laverty, Ronan Gribbin (0-01), Kevin Mc Shane, Pat Shivers (0-01), Paul McCann, Jamie Gribbin (0-01), Kieran Close (0-02), Mark Kelly, Michael Magill1-01)

Subs

Michael McCann for P McCann

Tomas McCann (0-01) for M Clarke

Sean Og O’ Neill (0-01) for K Close

St Brigid’s: Kevin Mc Govern, Sean McKenna, Conor King, Dermot McLaughlin, Paddy Finnegan (0-01), Michael Cummings (1-00), John Toner, John Donnelly, Peter King, Peter Lundy, Ronan McGrady (0-03), Paul Gowdy (0-01), Ruairi Brolly, Joe Finnegan, Ethan Carelton

Subs

Peter Henvey (0-01) for P Lundy

James Smith for J Finnegan

Ryan Tweedie for E Carelton

Declan Mc Garvey for D Mc Laughlin

Referee D McKeown (St Gall’s)

Creggan win but are pushed all the way by the Clooney Reds

Northern Switchgear SFC – Group One

Creggan 1-10 Ahoghill 0-8

Sunday August 2

Brendan McTaggart reports from Páirc Uí Cíceam

Creggan made it two wins from two on Sunday afternoon with a five point victory over Ahoghill and a score line that doesn’t reflect just how close a contest this one actually was.  The Kickhams men failed to register a score in the opening 28 minutes of this Group One meeting with their south-west counterparts starting superbly and having raced into a five point lead.

The decisive score of the game came in the 46th minute.  Conor Small’s second goal in as many games giving the Kickhams men the lead for the first time in the match and they were able to control the contest from that point onwards. 

It was a harsh score line for the visitors who kept Creggan quite for long periods.  Defensively they were superb and their attacking movement was causing Creggan all sorts of problems.  The pin point kickouts from Francis Neeson was backed up with the Reds movement in the middle section to nullify the threat of the Kickhams midfield but the home side made tactical changes and with the introduction of Conor Small and Odhran McLarnon, they turned the tide.

It was an incredible start by the Ahoghill men who played with intensity, vigour and precision.  James O’Connell opened the scoring before Daniel O’Neill doubled their tally with the next attack in the second minute.  The St Mary’s side started like a house on fire while Creggan seemed lethargic by comparison.  The home side weren’t helped with a number of wides, six in the opening 15 minutes but that was due to the organisation in the Ahoghill defence. 

James O’Connell’s second point of the contest gave his side a three point lead before the first water break that came at an opportune time for the home side.  The resumption of play was more of the same however.  PJ O’Connell splitting the uprights before Eoin Graham hit the score of the game in the 26th minute.  Wide on the right and some 35 yards from goal, the Ahoghill full forward split the posts with the outside of his boot.  The crowd behind him knew it was over before the umpire had the chance to raise the white flag. 

Creggan made changes and looked to their bench to try and get a foothold in the game.  They finally opened their account in the 29th minute thanks to a Paddy Cooey point and it signalled an awakening in the home side.  In the seven minutes of injury time, they landed a further three points thanks to Cooey (free), Conor Small and Ruairi McCann to leave just one point between the sides.

Indeed it could have been better for the home side during their purple patch but for the brilliance of Francis Neeson between the posts for the visitors.  McLarnon providing a defence splitting pass for Conor Small but the Ahohgill ‘keeper got his angles perfect and made a point blank save.

Half time Ahoghill 0-5 Creggan 0-4

In a cagey opening to the second half where both defences were on top, we had to wait until the 12th minute after the restart for the opening point.  Daniel O’Neill with his second of the afternoon only for Ruairi McCann to answer for the home side.

The complexion of the game changed two minutes later, however.  The only goal of the game and a Creggan lead for the first time.  Odhran McLarnon collecting turnover ball from Liam Quinn before spotting the rampaging run of Jamie McCann down the left.  The Creggan half back found Conor Small in space and he made no mistake when one on one with Ahoghill ‘keeper Neeson.

A Marty Johnston point after the second half water break opened a three point lead for the home side who looked to have a stranglehold of the contest but Ahoghill were relentless in their pursuit of gaining the scores they needed to get back into the game.  Two from PJ O’Connell (one free) by the 57th minute reduced the Creggan lead to the minimum but that was to be their final score of the contest.

Creggan looked more assured with their lead and were able to dictate the play.  Cooey took his tally to 0-5 for the hour with three further frees with a Liam Quinn point sandwiched in between to add gloss to the score line for the home side by the final whistle.

Ahoghill will be hoping to return to winning ways when they make the short journey down the Largy Road to Portglenone on 12th August in what could be a pivotal match in the group.  Creggan return to championship action a week later when they welcome the Casements to the Staffordstown Road knowing one point from their remaining two games could be enough to seal a place in the knockout stages.

TEAMS

Creggan: Oisin Kerr; Aidan Maguire, Ricky Johnston, Eunan McAteer; Sam Maguire, Thomas McCann, Jamie McCann; Conor McCann, Kevin Small; Ruairi McCann, Liam Quinn, Fintan Burke; Tiarnan McAteer, Paddy Cooey, David McGuckin

Subs: Marty Johnston for E McAteer (12); Conor Small for T McAteer (28); Odhran McLarnon for T McCann (28); Conor McCann for F Burke (55); Matthew Rodgers for S Maguire (58)

Scorers: Paddy Cooey 0-5 (4f’s); Conor Small 1-1; Ruairi McCann 0-2; Liam Quinn 0-1; Marty Johnston 0-1

Ahoghill: Francis Neeson; Eamonn Brady, James Magee, Stephen O’Connell; Fionnbar O’Neill, Thomas McGlone, Bernard Graham; Martin Graham, Neil O’Connell; PJ O’Connell, Eoin Graham, James O’Connell; Diarmuid Graham, Donal Graham, Daniel O’Neill

Subs: Dominic McAteer for M Graham (51); Patrick Dougan for Donal Graham (inj)

Scorers: PJ O’Connell 0-3 (2f’s); James O’Connell 0-2; Daniel O’Neill 0-2; Eoin Graham 0-1

Referee: Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)