McKenna stars as Sarsfield’s seal the deal at Creggan

ACHL Division 2

 Creggan 3.13 v Sarsfields 3.19.

Niall McKenna was the star of the show as Sarsfield’s came out tops in a thrilling contest against Creggan at their Staffordstown Road ground on Wednesday evening. In the battle of second against third it was Sarsfield’s who outscored the home side in the second half with McKenna contributing  1-11 of his sides total to lead his side to a win that keeps their outside chances of winning the division alive.

 Sarsfields remain in second place with this six point win but they didn’t get things handy as Creggan led 1-03 to 0-01 with 10 minutes gone as they made a bright start to this encounter.  As the half progressed the Stewartstown Road side played their way into contention and by half time the sides were level at 1.08 apiece. 

Jack Daniels raised the 1st flag from throw in, sprinting down the wing to deliver a fine point off the hurl just seconds into the game.  It took the home side a further 2 minutes to respond – a point delivered off the hurl of Conor Small while Kevin Rice bagged a goal running through the opposition from mid-field to deliver the ball at point blank range, giving the keeper David Ward no chance to respond.

The home side increased their tally with further points by Aidan McKeown and Rice again to go 4 points clear but their lead didn’t last long as the City side increased their tally with 3 unanswered points from Niall McKenna and a goal from Ryan Carson.

Creggan hit back to take the lead once more with 4 points from Oran McCann (all frees) and with 25 minutes gone, the home side led by 4 points.  Sarsfield’s rallied and it was again left to Niall McKenna to narrow the gap with 3 points from play to leave them just one behind.  Oran McCann added another point from play while Carson got the final score of the half to level things.

Creggan’s dead ball specialist, McCann, got the home side up and running in the 2nd half with a pointed free just seconds in to give his side back the lead but the visitor’s response was immediate with Niall Carson bearing down on goal to pull the trigger from 10 yards out. Creggan’s keeper, Emmett Long made a point blank save but the rebound was doubled into the net by Ryan Carson to put the City side 2 points ahead. 

Following Carson’s goal Sarsfields began to dominate, scoring the next 4 points with Mark Rea, Ryan Carson and Niall McAlea all on target from play.  Creggan were now struggling for scores with a few wayward shots when there were better options available and it took another 10 minutes to get their next score,  a point from Oran McCann but this did little to deter the visitors as they continued to increase their tally. Mark Rea added a point before the excellent McKenna followed with a goal to leave the Kickham’s a mountain to climb.

 Creggan were now 7 points in arrears but they produced a strong finish to push the opposition right to the wire. Points from Conor Small (0.02), Ciaran Rice (0.01}, Mark McCann (0.01) and a consolation goal from James Dougan closed the gap but it just wasn’t enough as the visitors had plenty left in the tank with further points from Niall McKenna (0.04), Caolan McKernan (0.01), Ryan Carson (0.01) and Aaron Stewart (0.01).

Sarsfields are level with St. Enda’s on 20 points but the Glengormley side have a game in hand and with only a couple of games remaining look favourites to take the division 2 title which would leave Sarsfields in a play-off against the team that finishes second bottom in division 1.

Glenariffe keep good run going with win over Tir na nOg

ACHL Division 2B

Glenariffe Oisin 1-16 Tir na nOg 1-8

Oisin, Glenariffe kept their recent good run going when they proved too good for visitors Tir na nOg in an at times niggly contest in Waterfoot tonight. The opening exchanges were fairly even but It was the Whitehill side who made the better start with Ciaran Logan pointing them ahead after 20 seconds.

A goal from the same player in the 21st minute briefly put the visitors two in front but Oisins struck with a goal of their own from Alex O’Boyle just on half time to take a four point lead into the dressing room.  Glenariffe extended their lead on the restart with a point from the excellent Alex O’Boyle and they went on to dominate the third quarter and led by ten going into the closing stages.

The visitors were first off the mark with Logan on target after 20 seconds and Kevin Sheerin pointed a third minute free to put them two ahead. The home side took a time to find their range, shooting a number of wides before Alex O’Boyle got them off the mark and two further scores from O’Boyle in reply to another from Ciaran Logan saw the sides level with 17 minutes on the clock.

Conor Patterson gave Glenariffe the lead as Alex O’Boyle began to open up the visitors defence with his strong running and he added another point after being fouled himself but Tir na nOg responded with a good goal from the dangerous Ciaran Logan to hit the front again with nine minutes remaining to the break.

Things were beginning to heat up as the free count mounted with referee Francis Traynor doing his best to keep a lid on it as he issued a couple of yellow cards but it was the home side who finished the half strongly with Paddy Burns getting on the end of a long clearance from Randal McDonnell to fire over in the 28th minute.

Caolan O’Connor, who had a great game at mid-field, extended the Oisins lead and Alex O’Boyle put them in a strong position when he fired to the net in the 30th minute. Tir na nOg attempted to respond but had a late score ruled out for a square ball decision and at half time the home side led by four.

On the restart the mercurial O’Boyle extended that lead to five and then six with Kevin Sheerin replying from a free in the third minute following a foul on the hard working Ciaran Logan. The home side were gaining in control as the half progressed and it took a smart save from Kevin Kerr to deny the Oisins as they began to turn the screw.

Glenariffe continued to press however as Alex O’Boyle added a couple more points from frees before Tir na nOg substitute, Eamon Og McAllister replied with a good point from play. Kevin Sheerin added another in the 38th minute to briefly lift the visitors hopes but Glenariffe were in no mood to let their lead slip further.

And it was that man O’Boyle who led the way with points in the 40th and 41st minutes, the second a superb effort from near the side line and Conor McAllister followed with two more as the Oisins began to turn the screw.

The Tir na nOg defence was coming under increasing pressure with Ryan O’Neill, Brendan Kerr and Ciaran O’Neill doing everything in their power to stem the tide but Oisins struck with another point from Aaron Cosgrove in the 49th minute to move 10 in front and it was as good as over.

It was to be the home sides last score and Tir na nOg finally got some reward for their efforts as they finished strongly with the game’s final two points and it was fitting that they came from their best player on the night, Ciaran Logan but it only served to put a better look on the scoreline.

This win edges Glenariffe ahead of Cloney Gaels on score difference in division 2Bbut the Waterfoot side have a game in hand and appear to be hitting a rich vein of form going into the championship. Tir na nOg have a number of players to come back into the side and will be hoping to get them all on board come championship time.

Oisin: Sean McToal, Daniel Haughey, Randal McDonnell, Michael Haughey, Niall Murray, Michael Gettens, Shane O’Connor, Caolan O’Connor, Aaron Cosgrove, Conor Patterson, Conor McAllister, Tom Quinn, Paddy Burns, Paul McDonnell, Alex O’Boyle. Subs: Seamus McDonnell for Paddy Burns, Alex McDonnell for Paul McDonnell, Oliver McLarnon for Tom Quinn

Tir na nOg: Kevin Kerr, Brendan Kerr, Ryan O’Neill, Neil Shannon, Conor Fitzgerald, Ciaran O’Neill, Tony Martin, Caoimhinn Duffin, Emmet Martin, Pearse Sherrin, Kevin Sherrin, Malachy Duffin, Niall Devlin, Ciaran Logan, Michael Higgins. Subs: Eamon Og McAllister, Stephen Carey, Sean McKinnley

Referee: Francis Traynor (Loughgiel)

Same again at Staffordstown

 Report & Photographs: Joe Rice

ACHL Division 2A

 Creggan 0-15 Eoghain Ruadh 1-12

Kickhams Creggan hosted Eoghan Ruadh, Dungannon, on Saturday afternoon for the 2nd leg of the League fixtures.  Although Creggan were missing six starters from the corrosponding away game, the result was the same as these teams shared the spoils once again. 

The visitors arrived with an air of confidence and soon got proceedings going with a point in the 1st minute from Damien Casey.  Brannon Molloy increased their tally in the 3rd minute before Kiefer Morgan stunned the home support running through the defence to bag a goal.    From the throw in, Creggan struggled with their accuracy, Oran McCann, Liam McCann, Tommy McCann and Ruairi McCann were all off target as they struggled to open account

.  It was almost 10 minutes before Teddy McKeown pointed for the home side raising a cheer from their supporters while Dungannon’s tally increased  with two frees and a 65 from Damien Casey and with 15 minutes gone they led the home side 1.05 to 0.01.  Tiernan Morgan increased the visitors’ tally with a fine point from distance. and at this stage of the game Creggan looked badly out of sorts as their wide tally increased.   Their 2nd score of the half came from a free by Oran McCann 20 minutes in.   Casey and Morgan responded respectively with a point each but with 5 minutes left of the 1st half Creggan finally rallied with Ruairi McCann pointing from play in the 25th and 26th minute and Oran McCann added another on the 28th minute.

HALF TIME SCORE:  Creggan 0.05 v Dungannon 1.08.

Referee, Colm Murray, must have had plans as he was eager to get the 2nd half going but it was a further 5 minutes before a flag was raised as Conor Small pointed from play in the 35th minute.  This score seemed to lift the home side and they went on to add another 9 points in the second half. Oran McCann 0.04, Teddy McKeown 0.02, Conor Small 0.02 and Ethan Carey Small 0.01 were thew Creggan scorer with the visitors held to just  four during a second half in which Kickham’s held the upper hand.

 Damien Casey  from a free and two  65s and Malachy Mulgrew were the Eoghan Ruadh scorers, Mulgrew’s point the final score of the contest coming in the 2nd minute of extra time to easrn the visitors a share of the spoils.  The resulting puck out was claimed high by Oran McCann but as he was about to pull the trigger the final whistle sounded.

Creggan will be disappointed by the result but on the day both sides played their part in making this this a good game and on reflection a draw was possibly a fair result.

 CREGGAN – No.1 Emmet Long, No.2 Jake McAteer, No.3 Aidan Maguire, No.4 Danaan O’Hara, No.5 Martin Johnston, No.6 Liam McCann, No.7 Ciaran Rice, No.8 Ruairi McCann 0.02, No.9 Aidan McKeown 0.03, No.10 Ethan Carey Small 0.01, No.11 Oran McCann 0.06, No.12 Conor Small 0.03, No.13 Dermot Mulholland, No.14 Morgan Nelson, No.15 Thomas McCann, No.16 Mark McCann, No.18 Enda Maguire, No.20 Eoghan Grant.  SUBS – Enda Maguire for Martin Johnston, Mark McCann for Dermot Mulholland.

 EOGHAIN RUADH – No.1 John Devlin, No.2 Sean Donaghy, No.3 Stephen Donnelly, No.4 Padraig Mallon, No.5 Lorchan Devlin, No.6 Mark Winter, No.7 Patrick McHugh, No.8 Martin Devlin, No.9 Tiernan Morgan 0.02, No.10 Damien Casey 0.08, No.11 Piaras McErlean, No.12 Bannon Molloy 0.01, No.13 Matthew Mulgrew, No.14 Kiefer Morgan 1.00, No.15 Ben Gormley, No.16 Patrick McKillion, No.17 Cathal McErlean, No.18 Cormac McHugh, No.19 Padraig Hughes, No.20 Sean McGeary, No.21 Matthew McCann, No.22 Paul Lavery, No.23 Brian Rush, No.24 Terry McIntosh, No.25 Eoin Lougue.

Referee: Colin Murray

Impressive Gaels blow depleted Whitehill men away

ACHL Division 2B

Tir na nOg 1-08 Cloney Gaels 7-23

Cloney Gaels moved to the top of Division 2B when they proved far too strong for a depleted Tir na nOg in a one sided affair at Whitehill today.

The home side went into action missing more than a few who were attending a stag week-end and in the event Ahoghill men showed no mercy easing over the winning line with a big winning margin.

The home side got off to a promising start and back to back Emmett Martin points from placed efforts in answer to one from PJ O’ Connell saw them earn early advantage but such was not to linger.

A Pearce Downey goal aided by a slick Donal Graham delivery saw the visitors hit the front and from that point there was no looking back.

The Whitehill men added a second point via centre forward Ciaran Logan but with the skill laden PJ O’ Connell leading the way in attack the Cloney men piled on the pressure to move into a six point advantage by the end of the opening quarter.

O’ Connell, who was outstanding throughout raised a trio of white flags with Donal Graham and Patrick Graham adding points apiece to make it 1-06 to 0-3.

The home side came under increasing pressure as the opening half developed with their visitors unrelenting in applying pressure and after Pearce Downey fired inches wide of the target Patrick Graham got in for his sides second goal and it was already looking ominous for the home side.

The irrepressible PJ O’ Connell followed with another trio of points before ‘Bobby’ Magee’s clearance led to a further white raised by the hard grafting Eoin Graham.

The home side enjoyed a bit of success in the closing stages of the half and a late point from their best on view, Ciaran Logan was followed by goal from the same player as his low left sided delivery found the corner of Aodhan Graham’s net.

The rampant Cloney men led 2-10 to 1-4 at the break but the late flurry from the Whitehill men possibly ignited a spark of hope, and a better showing in the second half.

Tir na nOg started the second half as they had finished the first with an early long range point from Ciaran Logan but they only flattered to deceive as Cloney Gaels came back with a vengeance.

Frankie Neeson added a superb long range 32nd minute point, PJ O’ Connell followed with another brace and Patrick Graham followed suit before PJ O’ Connell and Pearce Downey combined to send the ever vigilant Donal Graham en route to a 38th minute goal to see the Gaels move 3-14 to 1-05 ahead.

It was much a case of backs to the wall for the hard pressed Whitehill men as the game proceeded and further white flags raised in turn by PJ O’ Connell (2), Donal Graham, Frankie Neeson were followed by a 46th minute Pearce Downey goal.

As the last quarter progressed the die had long since been cast although Emmett Martin’s 47th minute point for the home side halted the ‘one way traffic’ for a time, Hugh Dobbin’s charges were soon back in the scoring groove. Frankie Neeson directed another long range effort between the posts and Patrick Graham’s huge 75 meter delivery went all the way to the back of the net.

Substitute Darren O’ Kane added a point to the home side’s total and the hard grafting Ciaran Logan followed suit but the Ahoghill men returned to the offensive as PJ O’ Connell added to his ever increasing personal haul before Donal and Eoin Graham bagged goals apiece.

The Gaels continued to press in the latter stages of  the game with late replacement, Martin Graham bagging a long range effort and Patrick Graham followed suit before PJ O’ Connell signed off with a huge point from a sideline cut from just outside the ‘45’ metre line which sailed majestically between the posts.

Brendan Toland’s full-time whistle sounded from the resulting puck out to leave the visitors convincing winners and they move above Oisins on score difference at the top of the table though the Waterfoot men have a game in hand.

Tir na nOg: Brian O’ Neill, Neil Shannon, Ryan O’ Neill, Daniel Martin, Brendan Kerr, Conor Fitzgerald, Tony Martin, Stephen Carey, Sean McKinlay (0-02), Emmett Martin (0-03), Ciaran Logan (1-02), Michael Higgins, Aaron McNeilly, Declan Mallon, Simon Carey

Subs

Darren o’ Kane (0-01) for S Carey

Jim Carroll for N Shannon

Clooney Gaels: Aodhan Graham, Stephen O’ Connell, Bernard Graham, Diarmuid Graham, Eamon Brady, Neil O’ Connell, James Magee, Fionnbar O’ Neill, Frankie Neeson (0-02), Tom Mc Glone, Patrick Graham (2-03), PJ O’ Connell (0-13), Eoin Graham (1-02), Pearce Downey (2-00), Donal Graham (2-02)

Subs:

Martin Graham (0-01) for N O’ Connell

Sean Mc Mahon for S O’ Connell

Dominic Neeson for F O’ Neill

Referee B Toland (Lamh Dhearg)

St. Enda’s stay tops after win at Creggan

Report & Photographs: Joe Rice

ACHL Division 2

 CREGGAN 1.11 v ST. ENDA’S 1.13.

St. Enda’s travelled to Kickhams Creggan today hoping to maintain their place at the top of the table but found the opposition a lot tougher than when they met in their previous meeting where Enda’s had the game over by half time.

With 15 minutes gone Creggan led by two points and after 25 minutes they were level at 5 a piece but by  half time the visitors had moved one ahead.

John McGoldrick for St. Enda’s raised the first flag from a free before  his team mate, Oliver Breen added another  to put the Glengormley men two in front.  It took the home-side almost 5 minutes to get their 1st score, Oran McCann opening their account from a free.  This was followed 2 minutes laterwith another from Ruairi McCann and the same players added points apiece as creggan went two in front.

Their luck would change as Sam Maguire was carried off injured and replaced by Marty Johnston as  St. Enda’s got the next score,  a 65 from John McGoldrick who added 2 further points from frees before the break.   Creggan’s Morgan Nelson responded to level and on the blow, Jason Higgins pointed from distance to put the City side one ahead at the break.

HALF TIME SCORE – CREGGAN 0.06 v ST. ENDA’S 0.07.

The home side were slow to come out for the second half but when they did they hit the ground running. Aidan McKeown levelled and seconds later Kevin Rice bagged a major to stun the visitors.  It was again left to McGoldrick to steady the ship and he did so with 2 points from play and 1 from a free to edge St. Enda’s back in front. 

Morgan Nelson scored a fine point from play to increase his tally for the home side while Rory Donaghy (St. Enda’s) responded with 2 fine points of his own.  As the game headed towards the final third 2 points separated the teams with Creggan on the offensive with several attempts on goal without success.  Oran McCann bagged a further 2 frees for the Kickham’s but these were answered by Rory Donaghy and Conor McStocker who both pointed from play.   Creggan cut the gap to one with 5 minutes remaining but Donaghy and McStocker pointed again to edge their side two points ahead.

  The home side were thrown a lifeline in the dying seconds with a 20 metre free,  Oran McCann driving his attempt low only to be deflected for a 65.   The 65 was dropped in around the house but once cleared the Referee blew for full-time.

 CREGGAN – No1 Emmet Long, No2 Jake McAteer, No3 Aidan Maguire, No4 Dannan O’Hara, No5 Ciaran Rice, No6 Liam McCann, No7 Ethan Carey Small, No8 Ruairi McCann (0.02), No9 Aidan McKeown (0.01), No10 Kevin Rice (1.0), No11 Conor Small (0.01), No12 Oran McCann (0.05), No13 Morgan Nelson (0.02), No14 Sam Maguire, No15 Thomas McCann, No16 Enda Maguire, No17 Mark McCann, No18 Marty Johnston (0.01), No20 Aaron Hughes, No21 James Dougan, No22 Eunan McAteer, No23 Oliver Duffin, No24 Owen Grant.

 ST. ENDA’S – No1 Martin Curran, No2 Niall O’Connor, No3 Rian Gillen, No4 Michael McGivern, No5 Ruairi Diamond, No6 Mark Donaghy, No7 Matthew O’Hare, No8 Ryan Bogue (0.01), No9 Joseph Maskey, No10 Jason Higgins (0.01), No11 Ruairi Donaghy (0.03), No12 Oliver Breen (0.04), No13 Conor McStocker (0.02), No14 John McGouldrick (1.05), No15 Cillian MacSheoinin, No17 Brendan Carmichael, No20 Eoin Jennings, No22 Daniel Lowry, No24 Patrick Ross, No25 Michael McQuillan.

Referee: John Carson (Ruairi Og)