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

Belfast Saints make it four out of five

Antrim Hurling League – Division 4

Belfast Saints 1-17 Loch Mór 2-13

Pics by Martin Brunty

The newly formed St Agnes and St Teresa’s combination Belfast Saints recorded their fourth win from five league games with a brilliant home win at Woodlands versus opponents Loch Mór. 

The Glenavy/Crumlin travelling team started hot taking the lead hitting 1-2 inside the first 5 minutes without reply. 

Belfast Saints key man Philly Maguire got the home team on the score board with two points in a row at the 13min mark in the first half.

A further Declan McLarnon point sparked the game into life. 

Maguire added to his scoring hitting a brilliant goal and a point inside 15mins of the first half. Now a one point game at 1-5 to 1-4 to Loch Mór.

Another from Maguire and Saints forward James Halloran on the 28th min mark brought game 1-8 to 1-6 score at half time with the home side the happier of the two. 

At the second half restart a Philly Maguire point, followed by a Loch Mór goal and point put the away side 2-9 to 1-7 in front with 5 minutes played. 

A further 4 scores from the Saints coming from Maguire, Mark Caldwell, one from Ronan Carroll and Brian Keatings brought the Saints back into the game on the 17th minute mark. A 1-13 to 2-11 game with a point between the sides.

Loch mor added to their tally, taking a two point lead on the 20th minute of the second half with score at 2-12 to 1-13.

But it was the Belfast Saints who finished stronger in the last 10 minutes with Maguire and Ronan Carroll hitting points pushing them into a 1-17 to 2-13 lead, with referee Charlie Hemsworth blowing the whistle for full time.

Fantastic game to watch and despite being behind on a number of occasions the Saints never gave up against a youthful Loch Mór and snatched victory at the very end. 

Final score 

Belfast Saints 1-17

Loch Mór 2-13

Saints Scorers 

Philly Maguire 1-11

Ronan Carroll 0-2

Brian Keatings 0-1

Mark Caldwell 0-1

James Halloran 0-1

Declan McLarnon 0-1

Narrow victory for Glen Rovers

Armoy 3-13  Glenravel 1-16

Armoy emerged victorious in this Division 3 on a narrow three point margin but in truth the game could have gone either way. A strong breeze blew down the Armoy pitch which might have had an impact on the game as the sides amassed a total of thirty wides, fifteen each over the hour. Indeed both sides were more wayward in their shooting when they had wind advantage! 

Glenravel settled well playing up the hill and into the wind and at the end of the first quarter held a three point advantage  1-05 to 1-02. Their scores all coming from Conleth O’Loan and Cormac McKeown whilst Conor Christie and Trevor Linton were on target for the home side. The second quarter however was totally dominated by Armoy who were buoyed by a fortuitous goal that looped into the Glenravel net – perhaps the defenders were blinded by the strong sun – but that goal energised the Glen Rover’s men and they would go on to record another five points without reply all from play. Again Linton was on target and he was ably assisted by Colin Lordan and Conor Christie giving Armoy a half time advantage of 2-08 to 1-05.

Ciaran Laverty and James Duffin would reduce the deficit to four points at the start of the second half before PJ McBride pointed a free from distance. Once again Cormac McKeown and Conleth O’Loan got on the scoresheet for the visitors who were starting to make inroads in the game. Half way through the second half the score of the game came from a sideline cut by Chris Quinn once again narrowing the gap to three however Armoy would goal shortly after that  and again the gap was back to six. Glenravel were starting to mount some persistent pressure on the Armoy rearguard with further points from Conleth O’Loan, Cormac McKeown and Ciaran Laverty but the visitors gifted two scores to their opponents after sloppy defensive play and there was daylight between the teams once again. Glenravel went in search of a goal and were unfortunate when Ciaran Laverty’s pile drive scimmed past the right hand post with Conor Devlin in the Armoy nets beaten. Had that gone in who knows how the game would have ended. As it was, Glenravel finished with a couple of scores from Cormac McKeown and Ciaran Laverty but they couldn’t get level and had to accept the narrow three point defeat.  

Ardoyne maintain unbeaten streak against league leaders

ACHL Div 4

Ardoyne 2-16 Davitts 2-08

Report and pics by Brian McKee

Both teams started this game determined to hold on to their unbeaten records, but it was the men from Ardoyne who emerged victorious at the end of a hard fought game. Ardoyne maintained their discipline in a tense game, giving away only one point from frees over the course of the hour’s play, to overcome their rivals from the west of the city by an eight point margin.

Davitts started the game well and moved into the lead from a point by Caoimhin Heaney. Ardoyne hit back with four points before Michael Lismore found the net for Davitts. Oisin McVicker was dominant around the midfield and half forward line and he provided the pass for Dean Goodall to flick the ball to the Davitts net for Ardoyne to start stamping their authority on this game.

Paschal Clarke and Paul Baker held strong in the Ardoyne back line and the whistle for the end of the first half saw Ardoyne enter the break at 1-8 to 1-4 ahead.

Half-time Score: Ardoyne 1-8 Davitts 1-4

The second half commenced with Davitts showing their intent to take points from this game. They pressed Ardoyne for the first ten minutes of the half, but a series of magnificent saves from JP Agnew in the Ardoyne goals was an indication that this game was not going in favour of the Falls Road team.

Michael Lismore scored his second goal of the day to bring Davitts back into the game, but a further goal by McVicker reignited the Ardoyne momentum and they moved six points ahead. Aran Stewart was on top form for Ardoyne and his points from play and frees took their toll on Davitts who continued to push for goals, but they couldn’t find a way through a very solid Ardoyne defence. Ardoyne finished the game strongly to run out worthy winners by 2-16 to 2-8.

Ardoyne: JP Agnew, Pascal Clarke, Paul Baker, Cormac Curran, Sean Searle, Caolan Wallace, Christopher McShane, Paul McGuigan, Dean Goodall(1-0), Dan Moore, Oisin Mac An Bhiocaire(1-3), Pearse Hull(0-1), Matt McKillen(0-1), Aran Stewart(0-11, 10 frees), Kealan McCallan, Diarmuid Martin, Cormac Barnes, Paul O’Halloran, Joe McDowell, Piarais O’Neill, Conor Flannery, Stephen Hill, Eoghain Mac An tSearraig, Eamon Mac Lochlainn, Setanta Marley

Davitts: Gearoid Cosgrove, Jason Park, Tomas Mac Corsain, Antoin McLaughlin, Christopher Gallagher, Stephen McGivern(0-2), Jamie McNally, Peter Og Carleton, Caoimhin Heaney(0-1), Colm McKee(0-1), Deaglan Mooney(0-1), Michael Lismore(2-2), Caoimhin Rainey, Chris Cunningham, Marcas Toner, Jay Maguire(0-1)

Referee: Eamon Mulvenna

Loughbeg still searching for first win

ACXHL Division 4

Davitt’s 3-16 Loughbeg Harps 0-10

Loughbeg Harps are still looking for their first win in division 4 of the ACHL and after losing to Belfast Saints in their opening game they came up against a strong Davitt’s in Belfast on Sunday. The final score would suggest a fairly heavy defeat for the Duneane men but once again there were encouraging signs that the Harps are improving game by game.

Most of the damage was done by the Davitt’s Park side in the opening half and one of the top contenders for division 4 honours had matters more or less sewn up at the halfway stage when they led 2-9 to 0-3 but Loughbeg showed a lot of improvement during the second half.

Conall Prenter was their only scorer during the opening half when he converted two frees and added another from play and he continued to provide Loughbeg’s greatest scoring threat during the second thirty minutes, adding five to his first half total with Ronan Devlin and Garry Murray getting their names on the scorecard.

Next up are Loch Mor Dal gCais at Magherafelt Leisure centre on Sunday and the Harps management will be looking to build on their second half performance at Davitt’s Park but it might not be too long before they get their first win.

Loughbeg Harps: 1 Rory Taggart, 2 Gary Maybin, 3 Diarmuid Scullin, 4 Sean Carey, 5 Adrian McErlain, 6 Paul McChrystal, 7 M McLoskey, 8 Ronan Corey, 9 Colm McStocker, 10 J O’Loughlin, 11 Brian McManus, 12 Conall Prenter 0-8, 13 Ronan Devlin 0-1, 14 Gary Murray, 15 Paul Quinn, 16 Brendan Prenter, 17 Francis Boyd, 18 Mark Walsh, 19 Adrian Hegarty,