St. Gall’s edge tempestuous encounter

ACHL Division 2

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills 1-18 St. Gall’s 2-19

St. Gall’s finished strongly to edge out St. Brigid’s Cloughmills in a bad tempered encounter in Cloughmills on Sunday. Referee Francis Traynor was the busiest man on the field as matters threatened to get out of hand and dismissed two players from either side as things boiled over, seven minutes from half time.

Traynor’s actions took the heat out of the situation for as time and with both sides reduced to 13 men the game opened up and we had some periods of great hurling and excellent passages of play.

Liam Kearns opened the scoring with a Cloughmills point in the 4th minute but a minute later Ronan Crossan struck with the opening goal for the visitors. Mickey Devlin for Cloughmills and Jackson McGreevey for St. Gall’s exchanged points and at this stage we were being treated to some great scores.

Further points from Geoffery Laverty and Micky Devlin for the home side and a couple from Lorcan O’Ciaran and Patrick Friel at the other end saw the Milltown side lead 1-5 to 0-4 after 15 minutes and Rory Laverty and Jackson McGreevey exchanged further points to leave four between the sides at the first water break.

On the restart Jackson McGreevey extended the St. Gall’s lead with a massive point from a 70 meter free but controversy ensued a couple of minutes later when a long ball from Aaron Smylie appeared to drop to the St. Gall’s net with the visitors appealing that it had gone over but dropped through a hole in the top of the net.

After consultation referee Traynor awarded a point and Liam Kearns followed with a converted free to leave it 1-7 to 0-7 in favour of the Belfast men with 23 minutes gone. Jackson McGreevey pointed another massive free to extend that lead to four before the game exploded with players from both sides getting involved in an unseemly confrontation.

When the dust settled the man in the middle dismissed Jackson McGreevey and Gregory McGreevey from St. Galls with Conor Laverty and Aaron Smylie for St. Brigid’s following in the walk to the side-line.

When the dust settled Micky Devlin send a great side-line cut between the uprights and a Ruairi Laverty goal in the 34th minute and a late point from Eoin Dobbin saw the ‘Biddies’ leading 1-11 to 1-9 at the break and we looked to have a thriller on our hands for the second half.

When Liam Kearns struck the first point of the second half the home side had moved three in front for the first time and looked to be taking control but Chris Dornan’s side had other ideas and they hit back immediately with a couple of frees from Mark Napier and Ciaran McCaffery.

It was nip and tuck throughout the second half with Rory Laverty, Liam Kearns and substitute Johnny Duffin hitting a series of excellent points for St. Brigid’s and Ronan Crossan and Mark Napier on target for the Milltown side and at this stage it was still anyone’s game.

The turning point in the contest came with five minutes remaining when a Lorcan O’Ciaran shot from out on the right wing appeared to be heading over the bar but it took a cruel dip and deceived Adam Mooney in the Cloughmills goals and ended in the net.

Both sides exchanged points in the run in to the final whistle with substitute Dubaltach Wilson firing over the insurance point for St. Gall’s to leave them winners by four points.

Cloughmills: Adam Mooney, Steven Martin, Martin Dobbin, Joseph Smyth, James Doherty, Conor Laverty, Aaron Smylie, Rian Dobbin, Geoffery Laverty, Michael Devlin, Reece Watt, Eoin Dobbin, Liam Kearns, Corey Blair, Ruairi Laverty. Subs: Shane McKendry, Cookie McGuckian and Johnny Duffin.

St. Galls: Kurtis McGreevey, Lorcan O’Ciaran, Aodhan Gallagher, Ciaran McCaffery, Ewan Rush, Niall O’Neill, Daniel Churchill, Jack Hopkins, Fergus Donnelly, Patrick Friel, Jackson McGreevey, Gregory McGreevey, Ronan Crossen, Antoin McCaffery, Mark Napier Subs: Marcus Donnelly, Dubaltach Wilson.

Referee: Francis Traynor (Loughgiel)

Sheerin goal settles the Tir na nÓg nerves

Antrim Football League Division 2

Tir na nOg 1-18 Aldergrove 1-08

Tir na nÓg’s great unbeaten run in Division 2 continued on Sunday at Whitehill when they beat visitors Aldergrove by ten points to make it five wins out of five.

Tir na nÓg were on top from the throw-in and points from Darragh Fegan, Aaron McNeilly (2) and Caoimhin Duffin had them four clear by the seventh minute. The visitors got on the scoreboard with a point in the eighth minute but Toland and Fagan fired over for Whitehill to stretch their lead to 0-6 to 0-1 by the 12th minute.

Aldergrove pulled a couple of points back but Tir na nÓg always had an answer and they pushed on to lead by 0-12 to 0-3 at half time.

The visitors got back into things midway through the second half and when they got a goal from a penalty they were suddenly back in contention. However big Kevin Sheerin settled the home supporters nerves shortly afterwards when he fired to the net at the other end and from then on it was plain sailing for the blues.

PICS BY DAMIAN McKEE

Three Majors the difference at Creggan

ACHL Division 2B

 CLOUGHMILLS    3.12    CREGGAN        0.12

The sun shone and the temperatures soared as Cloughmills arrived in Staffordstown hoping to rise from the bottom of their group.  With 3 goals separating the 2 teams at the final whistle, they did just that.

 It was the homeside who raised the 1st green flag as Morgan Nelson, on the 1st touch of the ball, landed a point from a 20 metre free with 2 minutes gone.  The visitors were quick to equalize when Corie Blair levelled proceedings with a superb point from play.  As the afternoon drew on, both teams traded points edging towards the 1st waterbreak.  Nelson added an additional 2 pointed frees to his tally while Thomas McCann got his first point of the day. 

Cloughmills were matching Creggan point for point with Reece Watt, Michael Devlin and Eoin Dobbin all getting on the score sheet leaving the minimum between both sides.  When their teams returned to the field it was Cloughmills who dominated for the remaining 15 minutes of the 1st Half.  Ruairi Laverty left his marker for dust running 30 yards before releasing the ball giving Creggan’s net-minder, Emmet Long, no chance, one on one.  The men from North Antrim’s confidence grew when Eoin Dobbin and Ruairi Laverty added 2 and 1 point respectively to put some distance between both sides. 

 Creggan’s response was another pointed free from Nelson and a point for Michael Maguire from play.  With 2 minutes to go to the short whistle, Corie Blair caught a pass from 20 metres out and made no mistake, with his head down, charging towards the home side’s goal with 2 of his team mates on tow.  Long saved the 1st attempt and also the 2nd attempt but in the ruck Blair pulled on the ground delivering the ball to the back of the net.

HALF TIME SCORE:    CLOUGHMILLS    2.08     vs    CREGGAN     0.06

After the re-start Creggan had a purple patch reducing the deficit to 4.  Nelson added 2 more pointed frees to his tally while Thomas McCann and the 2 Rice brothers, Kevin & Ciaran, got a point a piece.  Cloughmills’ 2nd half tally of wides increased to 7 and it wasn’t until the 43rd minute did Michael Devlin got the 1st of his Team’s 2nd half points. 

In fact Devlin was the only player to score in the 2nd half for the visitors adding 3 further points and a goal to put clear blue water between the sides.  While Creggan went in search for goals they were hampered by a breeze at their back over hitting the ball putting it over the end line on several occasions. 

As the game drew to a close, Thomas McCann added to his tally with 2 points from frees while Nelson got the last score of the match.

O’Connell goal snatches it for the Gaels

ACHL Div.2A

Clony Gaels 1-18 Emmet’s Cushendun 1-16

Emmet’s Cushendun were left wondering how they had let this one slip against Cloney Gaels in Cloney last night. The North Antrim side led from start to finish and were two in front going into injury time when James O’Connell got on the end of a pass from Donal Graham to fire to the net.

The visitors made all the early running and deservedly led 1-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes with Harry Kilgore getting the goal in the 4th minute and adding a point with David Kilgore 0-2 and Aidan Corbett their other marksmen while Cloney Gaels only reply came from mid-fielder, Frankie Neeson.

After the first water break the Ahoghill side had a wee bit of success and points from PJ O’Connell and Ronan Graham cut the visitors lead to two but Cushendun came back with three of their own to re-establish their dominance on the game.

David Kilgore was the man who led the Emmet’s charge as he fired over two great points in the 21st minute and he added another in the 24th minute to bring his personal tally to 0-5 as his side continued to impress.

Points from Conrad McDonnell, Callum Kilgore and Conleth McNeill saw the sea-siders establish a very convincing seven point lead as half time approached but the home side dug deep to hit back with late points from James O’Connell, Bobby Magee and Colla McDonnell to cut the gap to seven at the turn over.

Cloney Gaels looked to be getting on top when they hit the first four points of the second half through Dan O’Neill, James O’Connell, Donal Graham and James O’Connell again to close the gap to three but Cushendun were not about to throw in the towel and they replied through Conleth McNeill and Harry Gilgore to move five ahead once more.

This Ahoghill side are never beaten however and they responded with points from Dan O’Connell 0-2, PJ O’Connell, Patrick Graham and Thomas McGlone and the momentum seemed to have swung the way of the home side again but this excellent Cushendun side quite simply refused to bend the knee. Conleth McNeill fired over at the other end and then Harry Kilgore lofted a ‘65’ between the uprights and at this stage the Emmet’s looked to have done enough to take the points.

Donal Graham had an opportunity to level the game on 29mins but a wonderful save from Cushendun keeper Gareth Magee from point blank range was put out for a ’65’ which O’Connel fired wide but Cloney staged one last attack and in the 32 minute Donal Graham won a high ball and laid it off to the in rushing James O’Connell who sidestepped a defender an drove the ball across the keeper into the back of the net.

Another couple of hard earned points for Cloney Gael but the feeling at the final whistle must have been as much about relief as anything else and they will be the first to admit that they were pushed to their limits by a very good Cushendun side.

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Cloney Gaels: Martin Graham, James Magee, Bernard Graham, Diarmaid Graham, Fionnbar O’Neill, Neil O’Connell, Eamonn Brady, Francis Neeson, Thomas McGlone, Owen Neeson, Ronan Graham, PJ O’Connell, Colla McDonnell, Donal Graham, James O’Connell

Subs: Patrick Graham for Colla Mc Donnell. Dan O’Neill for Owen Neeson. Dominic Neeson for Ronan Graham. Gerard Graham for PJ O’Connell

Emmet’s Cushendun: Gareth Magee, Sean Hamilton, Aidan Corbett, Jack McKay, Conor McHugh, Donal O’Hara, Thomas Scally, Matthew McCartan, David Kilgore, Eoin Magee, Harry Kilgore, James Morgan, Callum Kilgore, Conleth McNeill, Dominic McQuillan.

Cloney maintain unbeaten record

ACHL Div. 2A

Glen Rovers 1-12 Cloney Gaels 0-27

Cloney Gaels maintained their unbeaten run in division 2A of the hurling league when they travelled to Armoy on Sunday and recorded a comprehensive victory over the Glen Rovers. The Ahoghill men were in a strong position when they led by 0-14 to 0-9 at the half way stage and although Armoy hit back with a second half goal, they never really looked like making a serious challenge.

The visitors led 0-7 to 0-4 after 21 minutes with Donal Graham 0-2, James O’Connell 0-3, PJ O’Connell and James again splitting the posts while the home side replied through Ciaran McCormick, Sean Dillon and a couple from Trevor Linton.

James O’Connell was in fine form for the visitors, both from play and from frees and he added three more before half time with his brother PJ adding a couple to his total and Donal Graham and Dan O’Connell completing the Gaels first half total.

Trevor Linton was Glen Rovers greatest scoring threat and he weighed in with three more to take his first half total to five with their other point coming from PJ McBride but at half time the smart money was on the Ahoghill side.

The visitors began on the front foot at the start of the second half and a couple of points from Owen Neeson and another from James O’Connell saw them move eight clear with only three minutes of half gone before Eoin O’Boyle and Sean Dobbin replied with a couple of quick scores to lift their side’s hopes.

Turlough McBride fired home the game’s only goal in the 13th minute and it looked like we would be in for a tight finish but Cloney Gaels responded with a flurry of point with PJ O’Connell 0-2, Francis Neeson and James O’Connell 0-2 all on target and Trevor Linton replying at the other end to leave it 1-12 to 0- 22 with eight minutes remaining.

Linton’s point was to prove the Armoy side’s final score as Ahoghill continued to find the target with unerring accuracy and PJ O’Connell, Colla McDonnell 0-2, Eamon Brady and James O’Connell fired over unanswered points to leave the visitors well clear at the final whistle.

Cloney Gaels sit joint tops with Sarsfields who they drew with on day one of the league and they were good value for this win with PJ and James O’Connell providing the greatest scoring threat in a solid all round team performance.