All Saints travelled to Armagh on Sunday to face league leaders Cuchullian’s, in search of much needed points to help them move away from the relegation zone but once again it was a case of a good performance but no points.
The Ballymena side looked to be well in contention at the halfway stage when they trailed 2-13 to 1-10 with their goal coming from talisman, Ciaran Neeson who once again finished as the visitors top scorer.
The Armagh city side showed just why they are topping the division during the second half when they outscored their visitors 2-8 to 0-3 with All Saints unable to contain a rampant Saffron attack.
Manager Chris Dornan will have been pleased with aspects of his side’s play, particularly in the opening half and it is encouraging that a number of young players have made the breakthrough to senior with Archie McGreevey, Conor O’Rawe, Fintan Brady, Joseph O’Rawe, Tiernan McGurk and Diarmuid Casey lending their shoulder to the All Saints’ cause.
All Saints face another tough challenge tonight (Wednesday) when they travel to Armoy while league leaders Cuchullian’s travel to Fr. Maginn Park where they face Glenravel and will be hoping to continue their rich vein of form against the Con Magee’s
All Saints: 1. Anthony Mitchell 2. Dwayne McKee 3. Colum Neeson 4. Archie McGreevy 5. Conor O’ Rawe (0-1) 6. Luke O’ Rawe 7. Daniel Grey 8. Jack Magill 9. James O’ Boyle 10. Fintan Brady 11. Eoin McGuigan (0-2) 12. Ciaran Neeson (1-5 4f) 13. Damien Gillan (c) (0-3 1f) 14. Liam Cassley (0-2) 15. Joseph O’ Rawe
Subs used: Diarmuid Casey for Ciaran Neeson Tiernan McGurk for Liam Cassley Luke Walsh for Fintan Brady
Rasharkin’s burly full forward Conor McKeever gave a masterclass in free taking, scoring seven times from placed balls to help secure his team’s victory in a sun drenched Fr Maginn Park on Sunday. Ahead by a single point at half time, Rasharkin would stretch that lead to four by the time referee Declan McGarry called time in what was largely a good tempered game though that fell apart in second half injury time as McGarry issued three red cards after two separate unsavoury incidents as the final whistle approached.
Rasharkin got the opening score in the first minute of the game but one minute later Declan Traynor burst through their defence and unleashed a pile drive to the net much to the joy of the home support. Conor McFerran reduced the gap to a single point but Glenravel stretched their lead with points from Caolan Mullan and Conleth O’Loan. McKeever got the first of his personal ten point tally on eight minutes but that was quickly cancelled out by a Cormac McKeown point for the home side so with ten minutes played Glenravel led 1-03 to 0-03. Having found his range, Conor McKeever would go on to score the game’s next three points, two from placed balls, to level the game. Conleth O’Loan and Donagh Quigg exchanged two points each to keep things level but in the final minute of the half McKeever scored from a placed ball to put Rasharkin in front. Conleth O’Loan again pointed to level the game and it looked like both tams would retire to the changing rooms all square but one minute into injury time Conor McFerran scored the final point of the first half to give Rasharkin the lead 1-06 to 0-10, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish to the end of the game..
Conor McKeever continued where he’d left off with the second half’s opening two scores from placed balls to put three between the teams. Ciaran Laverty replied for the home team but then in a ten minute spell Rasharkin recorded four unanswered points, two each from Aidan and Conor McKeever to open up a six point gap. Cormac McKeown took over free taking for Glenravel and he scored the game’s next three points all from placed balls to leave three points between the teams as we entered injury time. Glenravel went in search of that elusive goal but it was the Dreen men who had the final say with an insurance point to put them four ahead. As tempers flared in the closing stages, referee McGarry had to issue three red cards, the visitors collecting two of those, before calling time with Rasharkin winning on a 1-10 to 0-17 scoreline.
Donagh Quigg was the star of the show as St. Mary’s Rasharklin swept aside the challenge of Gort na Mona at a sunny Dreen on Sunday. The Rasharkin number 12 was on fire as he racked up a personal total of 4-7 in a man of the match performance.
Conor McFerran got the home side on their way with a point in the 3d minute before Quigg got in for his first goal in the 4th minute and Conor McKeever and McFerran added further points to move the Dreen side six ahead before Neil Henry opened the visitors account from a free in the 6th minute.
It provided only temporary respite for Gort na Mona as Conor McFerran 0-2, Donagh Quigg 0-2, Conor McKeever 0-2 replied with points and when Quigg got in for his second goal in the 20th minute it was as good as over.
Sharp shooter Quigg was on fire and he would hit another two points before half time while Conor McKeever continued to contribute handsomely with two more and Cathair Henderson and James Higgins completed the first half scoring to leave it 2-14 to 0-1 in favour of St. Mary’s.
It was Conor McKeever who got the Rasharkin wagon up and running again as the action got underway as he got in for his side’s third goal with only 19 seconds of the new half gone and he and Donagh Quigg added points before Conor McFerran got Rasharkin’s fourth goal with just three minutes gone.
It was one way traffic as the men from Dreen continued to score at will and Donagh Quigg completed his hat-trick in the 5th minute before Emmet Loughran raised the visitor’s second white flag of the game in the 7th minute. Shane Hasson, Conor McFerran, Cathair Henderson and Donagh Quigg kept the scoreboard operator busy as they added further before Michael Carlin replied with a third point for the Enright Park side who were giving it everything but with little success.
Back came the home side with points from Donagh Quigg and Conor McFerran with Michael Carlin again responding from a free in the 23d minute to bring his side’s total to 0-4 but it would be the visitors final score.Donagh Quigg put the icing on a virtuoso performance as he brought his personal contribution to 4-7 with a goal and a point going down the home straight with Cathair Henderson and Conan McMullan concluding the scoring for the home side.
Con Magee’s completed a league double over Lámh Dhearg with a 3-24-3-10 win at Hannahstown on Sunday afternoon.
Conor Duffin’s early strike proved decisive at the break as the visitors were 1-10-0-08 ahead and 1-07 unanswered within the first ten minutes of the second half saw the visitors leave with the two points- despite Lámh Dhearg hitting three unanswered goals to put some respectability on the final outlook.
Con Magee’s got off to the perfect start within two minutes as they found the games opening goal.
Cormac McKeown slipped the ball across to Conor Duffin and he sent a driven shot to the roof of the net past Rhys Camlin.
McKeown would grab his sides first point of the afternoon and back-to-back Declan Traynor points made it 1-03 without reply for the visitors.
Ciaran Boyd would get the Lámhs up and running for the afternoon with a terrific, angled effort.
Duffin added to his early goal and registered his first point, although Adam Murray would convert successive frees.
Con Magee’s had re-established their six-point advantage by the midway point in the half. Sean McKay swung a high shot over the bar and then Rian Lennon closed down a clearance and returned the ball between the posts to give his side a 1-06-0-03 lead.
A foul of Niall McGarry allowed Adam Murray to drop over his third free of the half and although McKeown replied a few minutes later, Ciaran Boyd would send over another angled effort.
Cormac McKeown and Adam Murray traded further points and the last four scores of the half were evenly shared.
Con Magee’s had stretched their lead to seven through a further Cormac McKeown point and a converted free from Ciaran Laverty.
Fionn Mervyn responded with a fine point from range and talisman Adam Murray then took an offload from Aidan McCague and popped over to ensure the deficit was cut as Con Magee’s led 1-10-0-08 at the interval.
Con Magee’s made a lightning start to the second period, extending their lead through Cormac McKeown’s fifth point of the afternoon.
Things then got better when Declan Traynor took advantage of a defensive error and flashed a low shot to the net to move his side 2-11-0-08 ahead.
The visitors were on a roll and conjured up another six-unanswered points. Declan McAuley dropped over his first and others followed from talisman McKeown and second half goal scorer Traynor.
Ciaran Laverty then converted his second free of proceedings and Declan Traynor and Cormac McKeown popped over back-to-back scores in the space of 60-seconds to move their side 2-17-0-08 ahead 10 minutes into the second half.
Niall McGarry landed the hosts first point of the second period, but it wasn’t to generate any momentum as James Duffin, Declan Traynor and Cormac McKeown all sent over scores to move Con Magee’s further clear.
Lámh Dhearg did experience a mini revival and struck three unanswered goals. Micky McGuigan slotted home, reacting quickest after a shot had come off the large post.
Adam Murray then dropped a free over goalkeeper Ronan Donnelly and into the net and assisted in McGuigan netting a third a few minutes later to make it 2-20-3-09.
A Declan Traynor point put an end to the hosts momentum, and they pulled clear when substitute Conor Laverty poked a low ball past Camlin in the Lámh Dhearg goal.
Cormac McKeown would finish the day to 10-points, dropping over efforts in-between James Duffin point to finish their afternoon’s work.
Odrán Waldron ensured that the hosts would end the afternoon in double figures on the points tally with an effort from range that dropped over, but Con Magee’s had long secured the spoils and ensured a league double over the Hannahstown side.
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, SP Gibson, O Waldron (0-01), F Mervyn (0-01), C Boyd (0-02), N McGarry (0-01), A Ferris, A Murray (1-05, 1-03f), M McGuigan (2-00), A McCague, E Stanley, D Cunningham. Subs: C Megraw for A Ferris (60).
Con Magee’s: R Donnelly, C Mullan, S Lee-Kerr, B O’Neill, C Lennon, E McCusker, M McDonnell, R Lennon (0-01), D McAuley (0-01), J Duffin (0-02), C Laverty (0-02f), C McKeown (0-10, 0-01f), C Duffin (1-01), D Traynor (1-06), S McKay (0-01). Subs: C Quinn for S McKay (39), C Laverty (1-00) for C Duffin (47), E Butler for D McAuley (49).
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).