All Saints, Ballymena continued their recent good run of results when they travelled to Falls Park on Sunday and came out winners by two points in a high scoring thriller against Loch Mor Dal gCais.
Loch Mor made the running during the opening half and looked well placed at half-time when they led by 2-9 to 1-9 but the Ballymena men were beginning to find a bit of form and they stepped matters up after the break.
In an end to end contest the scores continued to come thick and fast with All Saints Ciaran Neeson proving almost un-markable and he was the difference between the sides in the end.
At the second water break the teams could not be separated and went into the final quarter locked at 2-13 apiece.
The Slemish Park side turned the screw during that closing period with the superb Neeson finishing the game as top scorer with an impressive tally of 2-14 over the hour and Cory Lyttle proving to be a useful addition to the side this year getting the other goal.
All Saints: Ciaran Cassley, Dwayne McKee, Chris McAfee, Kevin Brady, Sean O’Rawe, Colum Neeson, Terrence Diamond, Padhraig Magill, Vincent Esler, Cormac Magill, Gary Miskella, Daire Hasson, Cory Lyttle, Damian Gillan, Ciaran Neeson. Subs: Luke O’Rawe for Daire Hasson (half-time)
After losing their opening two games, All Saints Ballymena have got their act together and their facile win over a weakened Eoghan Ruadh of Dungannon at Quinn Park on Sunday was their third on the trot and things appear to be progressing in the right direction for the Ballymena side.
All Saints led by 1-13 to 0-1 at half time by which stage it was well and truly over but the home side refused to take their foot off the pedal on the restart and continued to amass an impressive total throughout the second half.
Ciaran Neeson was the man on fire as All Saints ran riot against the Tyrone side’s second string and the visitors were unable to deal with his skill and pace as he fired over points from every angle. Cormac Magill was another in fine scoring form as he sent over 0-07 of his side’s total with youngsters Cory Little and Daire Hasson weighing in with 1-1 apiece.
Jack Magill and Gary Miskella also made useful contributions in a good all round All Saints performance as they look forward with some confidence to a visit to Loch Mor Dal gCais at Falls Park on Sunday week
All Saints: Ciaran Cassley PJ O’Kane Chris McAfee Dwayne McKee Colum Neeson Luke O’Rawe Terence Diamond Vincent Esler Padhraig Magill Cormac Magill Gary Miskella Jack Magill Kevin Brady Ciaran Neeson Daire Hasson
A hard fought away opener for St Brigid’s first competitive league fixture. Early points from Oisin McDonnell and Phelim Lennon saw the teams neck and neck for much of the opening quarter, but Eoghan Rua settled themselves with two goals before half time which left St Brigid’s with a tough hill to climb. Whilst the night didn’t go their way, an extremely confident performance from the full-back line of Murdoch McKibbon, Tom Dunford, and Chris Quinn bodes well for the future, and a classy late goal from Rory Flanagan showed that St Brigid’s also have an eye for goal. A late point from Dee McClarnon completed the scoring. Ferghal Leydon had a captain’s performance in midfield throughout. The final analysis – nobody likes a loss, but there’s a lot to be encouraged about as competitive senior hurling gets underway at St Brigid’s..
Kickham’s Ardoyne made an impressive start to this year’s division 4 league campaign when they visited Quinn Park, Ballymena and came away with a resounding victory. The North Belfast side are under the management of Ollie Bellew this term and it was clear from the start that the former St. Gall’s and Eoghan Ruadh mentor has his side in good shape.
Right from the first whistle they took the game to All Saints with Oisin McVicker firing over a splendid point from out near the left hand touchline. Daniel Moore added a second and Enda Slattery followed with a third as the visitors started at breakneck speed.
Oisin McVicker struck a ‘65’ directly between the posts and a couple more from Daniel Moore had the North Belfast men six in front with only 10 minutes gone.
It was all Ardoyne as the home side struggled to put a meaningful attack together with players struggling with their lifting and striking and being afforded no time by a hungry Kickham’s unit.
The home side might have fallen further behind when keeper, Ciaran Cassley was closed down as he attempted to clear his lines with the loose ball breaking to McVicker but his first time ground shot sailed agonisingly wide of the upright. All Saints sent Ciaran Neeson into the fray after 18 minutes in an attempt to get something going in attack but it was the visitors who registered the next score through Hugh Grieves in the 20th minute.
Neeson finally raided the first white flag for the Quinn Park side when he pointed a 24th minute free and his side began to enjoy more possession in the closing stages of the half with Vinny Esler and Ciaran Magill adding further points in reply to a third of the half from the impressive McVicker for the visitors.
Six in arrears and perhaps fortune not to be trailing by more, All Saints needed a good start to the second half but in the event it was Ardoyne who continued to call the tune with Oisin McVicker putting them in a strong position when he fired to the net with only three minutes of the new half gone.
Ryan Thompson (0-2) added points by the 7th minute before Ciaran Neeson replied from a free to momentarily lift the siege but their relief was short lived as Jim McAuley fired home goal number two for the visitors after robbing full-back Christopher McAffee who at times looked to be playing he Ardoyne attack on his own.
To their credit the home side kept battling away but they were cumbersome and hesitant in possession but Luke O’Rawe did lift their spirits as he soloed through for a good point just before the second water break.
After the break it was Ardoyne who continued to impress however and their movement, speed and skill must have been pleasing to new manager Bellew as McVicker, McAuley and McVicker again tagged on points before Ryan Thompson got in for their third goal with five minutes remaining.
They refused to take their foot of the pedal however with McVicker capping a man of the match performance as he fired over a couple more with full-back, Paul Baker getting in on the act as he split the uprights from 50 yards
Jimbo McAuley completed the visitors scoring with Ciaran Neeson getting a consolation goal for the Quinn Park side when his shot deceived Ardoyne keeper JP Agnew before dipping to the net.
A great start for Ardoyne under the guidance of Ollie Bellew and on today’s performance they will be serious contenders in Division 4. They were strong all over the field and have power and pace in abundance with Oisin McVicker, Ryan McVicker, Jim McAuley, Paul Baker, Pascal Clarke, Daniel Moore and Enda Slattery their best on view.
Spare a thought for All Saints. They have lost a number of key players from last year and on today’s performance they look to be short on fitness and confidence and a lot of work needs to be done on the training field if they are to compete against this level of opposition.
Ciaran Cassley did little wrong in goals and Christopher McAffee was a colossus at full-back with Vinny Esler, Luke O’Rawe, Colum Neeson and substitute Ciaran Neeson others who tried hard but in the end could do nothing to turn the Kickham’s tide.
Davitt’s dominated Wednesday evening’s Division 4 Hurling League game against Belfast rivals St Agnes at Davitt Park, running out winners by 3-22 to 1-3.
On their magnificent new pitch the home side were in control from start to finish and boosted by a goal from Don Whelan they raced to a 1-12 to 1-2 half time lead.
After the break there was not let up for the Aggies as Davitt’s continued to pick off their scores with ease and 1-2 form Cormac Maguire, a goal from Michael Rowntree and five points from Stephen McGivern saw them run out winners by 25 points.
Stephen McGivern 0-8, Cormac Maguire 1-3, Peter Carleton 0-1, Don Whelan 2-5 (2fs), Colm McKee 0-3 Michael Rowntree 1-1, Alan Rainey 0-1
Joseph McCaffrey, Charlie McHenry, Tomas Og Toland, Ruairi McIlroy, Caoimhin Heaney, Thomas Maguire, Christopher Gallagher, Peter Og Carleton, Michael Og Rowntree, Colum McKee, Don Whelan, Martin Tully, Cormac Maguire, Stephen McGivern, Alan Rainey.
Christopher Fay, Ben Carlin, Martin Robb, Daniel McConnell, Brian Keatings, Ronan Carlin, Matt Carlin, Anthony Mulvenna, Conor Pelan, Adam O’Rourke, Mark Caldwell, Cormac Flannery, James Halleron, Conor McLean, Kevin Grieve