No goals but plenty of midges as Glenravel win local derby

O’Neill Sportswear Division 2 Hurling League

Glenravel 0-20  Ballymena 0-11

Neither side could raise a green flag over the hour’s hurling in this midge infested encounter at Fr Maginn Park but Glenravel had done enough to secure a good victory over neighbours Ballymena. Good opening quarters from them in the first and second half provided the launch pad for this victory though the visitors did not give up at any stage and went in search of goals towards the end but to no avail. 

All Saints went ahead in the opening minute when Eoin McGuigan pointed from out on the right hand side. This was cancelled out by a fine score from young Cormac McKeown but back came the visitors with their talisman Ciaran Neeson putting them ahead from a free after three minutes but that would prove to be the last time they led in this game. Glenravel would go on to dominate the remainder of the first quarter with points from Cormac McKeown (0-04), Conleth O’Loan (0-02), Declan Traynor and Declan McAuley with the opposition only managing a single point from Eoin McGuigan.

So at this point Glenravel led on a 0-09 to 0-03 scoreline and were looking comfortable. But Ballymena were having none of it and over the second quarter they went on to score five points, four from Neeson and one from Liam Cassley. In that time, Glenravel could only muster a couple of points from Conleth O’Loan so the sides went in at halftime with Con Magees ahead by three, 0-11 to 0-08 and all to play for in the second half.

In a mirror image of the first half, All Saints would score first in that second half again from the sweet striking of Ciaran Neeson but again the home side took control of the rest of the third quarter with six unanswered points from Declan Traynor (0-02), Ciaran McIlfatrick, Odhran McAleenan, Declan McAuley and Ciaran Laverty. Cormac Magill did pull one back for All Saints to leave the score at 0-17 to 0-10 in favour of Glenravel. Ciaran Laverty had taken over free taking duties for Glenravel and he nudged them ahead from a placed ball with ten minutes left on the clock. At this stage Ballymena were dropping everything short in search of goals but Glenravel’s defence led by the timeless Shan Lee Kerr, who had a fantastic hour’s hurling at full back, were in no mood to yield anything. All Saints only joy came from a point by Damian Gillan with eight minutes remaining. Glenravel managed the aerial unslaught well in defence and would come back with two further scores from Cormac McKeown and Ciaran Laverty to seal a good victory in the midgy mayhem of Maginn Park.

Both sides will face tough tasks this coming Sunday when Ballymena host Cloughmills and Glenravel travel to the city to face Lamh Dearg. Both games throw in at 2pm. 

Oisins back on top

O’Neill Sportswear Hurling League Division 2

Glenariffe Oisins 3-22 Patrick Sarsfields 2-12

Glenariffe bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat to Cloney Gaels as they beat Sarsfields at home in Wednesday evening’s Division 2 League game.

Goals at either end of the opening half put the Oisins in a strong position, Seanie McIntosh getting the first one in the opening minute, while Caolan O’Connor got the other one just second from the half time whistle to give his team a 3-10 to 1-07 half time lead, the other goal coming on 18 minutes from Alex O’Boyle, while corner forward Joe McGurk got the Sarsfields goal in the 11th minute.

Daniel Smyth got the opening point of the second half for Sarsfields, but the Oisins came back strongly with a point from Caolan O’Connor and two inside a minute by Seanie McIntosh. Two from Daniel McKernan frees kept the Belfast men in touch, but a run of points from Caolan O’Connor, Seanie McIntosh and Brogan O’Connor took the game beyond the Paddies and a late goal from penalty came too late to save the game.


Seanan McToal, Michael Haughey, Niall Murray, Daniel Kearney, Cathan Graham, Donall Kearney, Aaron Cosgrove, Kieran McKendry, Conor Patterson, Odhran Gillan, Caolan O’Connor, Alex O’Boyle, Oliver Kearney, Martin McAlister, Seanie McIntosh


Naoise O’Faolain, Darragh Coleman, Jack Daniels, Ronan McKenna, Caolan McKernan, Enda McCartan, Garry Lennon, Daniel McKernan, Daniel Smyth, Niall McAlea, Oisin Coleman, Joe McGurk, Gerard McKernan, Brenan Jackson.

Referee – Mark O’Neill

Gaels edge 6 goal thriller at Cherryvale

ACHL Division 2

Bredagh 3-20 Clooney Gaels 3-25

When Clooney Gaels are in town the action’s never dull and so it was at Cherryvale on Wednesday night as they edged out5 a 6 goal thriller to win by five points against a good Bredagh side.

The Down men will feel they should have got something from this contest and 3-20 would win most games but they just could not shake off the men from Ahoghill.

It was Bredagh who got off to a great hitting three early points and when their full-forward got in for an early goal things looked to be going the way of the home side.

Ronan Graham finally got the visitors off the mark with a point in the 5th minute but Bredagh continued to dictate matters and got through for a second goal, their number 14 again the man on target in the 12th minute.

In between Clooney Gaels had managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over with points from James O’Connell 0-3, and a Fionbarr O’Neill long range special but they were soon in trouble.

Bredagh struck their third goal of the contest to move 3-5 to 0-5 ahead after 14 minutes but Ahoghill started to enjoy a wee bit of success and replied with unanswered points from Bernard Graham and a couple of converted frees from ace marksman, James O’Connell.

Patrick Graham gave his side a glimmer of hope when he fired to the Bredagh net in the 20th minute and both sides exchanged points in the run in to half time with PJ O’Connell, James O’Connell, Ronan Graham and James O’Connell again the men on target for Ahoghill.

These scores brought Hugh Dobbins side back to within striking distance but the Gaels still looked to have it all to do as they turned around for the second half, trailing 3-11 to 1-12.

The first 20 minutes of the second half produced some excellent end to end hurling and point taking of the highest order with Fionnbar O’Neill, Eoin Graham, Owen Neeson, Eamonn Brady, James O’Connell from a ‘65’, Donal Graham, Ronan Graham and O’Connell again bringing the Gaels total to 1-20.

Bredagh were still hanging in there and leading by a point at this stage but the men from Clooney finished strongly to out-score their opponents 2-5 to 0-5 going down the home straight.

Not for the first time this season, James O’Connell set the ball rolling with a goal and his brother PJ added another to swing the contest in the way of the South West side who ran out five point winners in the end.

Cllooney Gaels scorers: James O’Connell 1-12, PJ O’Connell 1-1, Patrick Graham 1-0, Ronan Graham 0-3, Fionnbar O’Neill 0-2, Owen Neeson 0-2, Eoin Graham 0-1, Donal Graham, 0-2, Bernard Graham 0-1, Eamonn Brad 0-1

Lámhs move into mid-table with victory at Gort

ACHL Division 3 

Gort na Mona 0-15-2-20 Lámh Dhearg 

Kevin Herron reports from Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh

Goals from Gerard Smyth and Sean-Paul Gibson proved the difference as Lámh Dhearg completed a league double over Gort na Mona and moved into midtable with a 2-20-0-15 win at Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh on Wednesday evening.

The Lámhs got off to the perfect start when Gerard Smyth latched onto a long ball down the channel and cut in towards goal before dispatching his low shot to the net. 

Gort responded through a converted Michael Carlin free, though Adam Murray opened his account from the same scenario. 

Fionn Mervyn then dropped a high shot over the bar, Murray doubled his account from Smyth lay-off and Aidan McCague popped a shot over to give their side a 1-04-0-01 lead. 

A fantastic Neil Henry score from distance yielded the hosts second point of the evening, but they would find themselves a further point in arrears with Adam Murray sending over back-to-back points. 

The first after Daire Cunningham was felled and Murray converted his second free of the evening, the 18-year-old then chalked up his second from play within 60-seconds. 

Gort na Mona had their best spell of the opening half thereafter. Nathan Gibson slipped a pass to James Connolly to land a terrific score from distance. 

Despite Gerard Smyth swinging over a reply after Murray’s free dropped short, the hosts claimed back-to-back scores courtesy of a converted Michael Carlin free and David Dixon point from play. 

The visitors hit back with successive scores of their own through talisman Adam Murray and an angled Sean-Paul Gibson point. 

Five minutes before break both sides were reduced to 14-men when Gavin McKenna and Conor McConville were dismissed. 

In the aftermath frees were traded between Murray and Neil Henry, and two further Murray points before the break would ensure his side were 1-13-0-06 ahead at the interval. 

Lámh Dhearg extended their lead upon the resumption through a fine Fionn Mervyn point from range. 

Neil Henry responded, sending over a free from distance and in-between a further Adam Murray point- Henry would drop a 65’ over the bar as the duo evenly matched each other score for score. 

The Gort’s closed the deficit through a Emmet Loughran point and Michael Carlin free and although Adam Murray converted his fifth free of the evening, Loughran doubled his account to ensure that the hosts were still within touch, trailing 1-16-0-11. 

A 48th minute goal would give Lámh Dhearg a bit more breathing space. Odrán Waldron slipped a pass to Sean-Paul Gibson- who burst forward and sent in a shot that dropped and was spilled to the net by John Kelly in the Gort na Mona goal. 

The last ten minutes saw the sides evenly share the last eight scores. Adam Murray helped himself to his sides last four scores, two from play and two from frees to finish with a tally of 0-14 for the evening. 

Michael Carlin would convert his fourth free before the conclusion, James Connolly doubled his tally and Ryan Cahill and Noah McGivern would chip in also for the hosts who despite a spirited display- remain bottom of the table. 

Gort na Mona: J Kelly, L Dixon, C Devlin, C Healy, D Dixon (0-01), G McKenna, N Gibson, J Connolly (0-02), N McGivern (0-01), R Cahill (0-01), E Loughran (0-02), M MacMaoláin, J Monaghan, N Henry (0-04, 0-02f, 0-01 65’), M Carlin (0-04f). Subs: T O’Cadhlaigh for J Monaghan (HT). 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, SP Gibson (1-02), O Waldron, F Mervyn (0-02), A Ferris, E Stanley, C McConville, A Murray (0-14, 0-07f), M McGuigan, D Cunningham, G Smyth (1-01), A McCague (0-01). Subs: C Megraw for A McCague (55). 

Referee: Piarais McCaffrey (Naomh Gall)

Six goal Ardoyne win top of the table clash

Antrim Hurling League – Division 4

Ardoyne 6-15 Belfast Saints 1-15

Early summer sunshine, two unbeaten records to maintain and an increasingly tight finish to Div 4 of the ACHL saw a large crowd gather at Fennell Park to witness this top of the table encounter between previously unbeaten Ardoyne Kickhams and Belfast Saints.

Ardoyne got off to a quick start with 2 early points coming from Dan Moore and a further point from Pearse Hull. Kevin Grieve then took advantage of a mix up in the Ardoyne defence and rifled over Saints opening score. Further attempts at goal by Saints were met with a solid back line led by Baker and Clarke. A pointed free from Maguire left a point between the sides. A further exchange of two points from both sides included a beautiful individual point from Maguire for Belfast Saints.

At this stage the game was nip and tuck, but this dramatically changed with two quick goals from Ardoyne. Baker sent a long free towards the Saints posts and to the surprise of everyone the sliothar went straight into the net. The second goal came from a precision point ball from Hull in the middle of the field to Moore who rifled it to the net.

While Ardoyne were largely in control of the opening half, they were unable to shake off a dogged response from Saints for whom Maguire was inspirational with his energy and accuracy from frees. Three points from frees in succession clearly unsettled Ardoyne as the second quarter unfolded and although they responded with two points of their own from play before the half-time whistle through Keown and McVicker, it was clear that they were feeling the pressure.

Half-Time: Ardoyne 2-11  Belfast Saints 0-8

As the second half began it was Saints turn to assert their authority on the game. A disjointed display from Ardoyne saw Saints narrow the gap between the sides with a goal and three points to a two point reply from Ardoyne. A tussle in the midfield area saw the sliothar land inside the shorts of Keating of Belfast Saints. He was greatly relieved when the Ardoyne players decided not to play the ball where it landed.

Ardoyne supporters were rightly concerned as their team was starting to lose shape and this was exploited to the full by a Saints side now growing in confidence. Something was needed to stop the decline for Ardoyne. On to the pitch comes McKillen, and he instantly responded by two goals in quick succession. His first was one for the collection. A long range free from Baker from the Ardoyne full back line was superbly fielded by McKillen on the 21 yard line, who then turned his man before firing it to the back of the net. A further goal from Pat McGreevy turned the screws further on Saints and the Ardoyne lead was starting to look insurmountable.

As the game moved to its conclusion, Slattery provided an inch perfect pass for McGreevy, who added a further goal to his tally on the night to leave a five goal deficit between the sides. Ardoyne will be particularly pleased that 10 players contributed to their total score against 4 for Belfast Saints.

While Belfast Saints and Loch Mór will not give up at this stage, this league is increasingly looking like a straight shoot-out between Ardoyne Kickhams and Davitts. This Sunday’s encounter between the two sides at Davitt Park should be very interesting!

Ardoyne: 1 JP Agnew, 2 Pascal Clarke, 3 Paul Baker (1-1) 1f, 4 Paul O’Halloran, 5 Sean Searle, 6 Cathal Clarke, 7 Christopher McShane (0-1), 8 Dean Goodall (0-1), 9 Paul McGuigan (0-1), 10 Dan Moore (1-5), 11 Cahal Keown (0-2), 12 Pearse Hull (0-1), 13 Patrick McGreevy (2-2), 14 Oisin Mac An Bhiocaire (0-2) 1f, 15 Kealan McCallan, Matt McKillen(2-0)), Diarmuid Martin, Cormac Barnes, Joe McDowell, Piarais O’Neill, Conor Flannery, Stephen Hill, Eoghain Mac An tSearraig, Eamon Mac Lochlainn, Matthew Crommie, Padraig O Deorain Cormac Curran, Caolan Wallace, Enda Slattery, Aran Stewart

Belfast Saints: 1 Stephen O’Hara, 2 Jason Kennedy, 3 Stephen Carey, 4 Philip Glennon, 5 Matt Carlin, 6 Aodhan Dugan, 7 Brian Keatings, 8 Paul McClenaghan, 9 Ronan Carroll, 10 Nial McGettigan (0-1), 11 Mark Caldwell, 12 Conor O’Rawe (0-1), 13 Ryan Brammeld, 14 Phil Maguire (0-12) 8f, 1 ‘65, 15 16 Michael Kewley 17 Kevin Grieve (1-1) 19 Sean Quirk, Caolan McCool

Referee: Chris Brown