All Saints keep their foot on the accelerator

ACHL Division 4

All Saints 3-16 St. Brigid’s 1-9

All Saints kept their foot on the accelerator in the race for the division 4 title with a second comprehensive win in three days when they overcame a spirited challenge from St. Brigid’s in Ballymena on Wednesday night.

Once again the deadly duo of Damian Gillan and Ciaran Neeson led the way in the scoring stakes but it was a solid defensive display from the home side that provided the platform from which this 9th win of the season was achieved.

The hard working Gary Miskella and Vinny Esler worked tirelessly in mid-field, helping out in defence when required and supplying plentiful ball to their attack.

All Saints led 1-5 to 0-2 at half time with both St. Brigid’s points coming from frees and at this stage the Musgrave Park side must have felt they were in with a shout but the league leaders really opened up in the second half.

Damian Gillan who was in fine form in All Saints win over St. Brigid’s on Wednesday night

Conrad Duffin was the All Saints first half goal scorer while Damian Gillan 0-2, Cormac Lemon, Ciaran Neeson and Luke O’Rawe were all on target for the home side during the opening half.

Gillan added 0-5 to his first half total, all but one coming from play while Neeson, who had been well marshalled during the opening 30 minutes cut loose in the second with 2-3 to put his side in complete control.

The game marked the return to action of Liam Cassley from the substitute’s bench and he got his name on the scorecard and if the former Intermediate Championship winner with Cloughmills commits to the cause then he would prove a useful addition to an All Saints side who have gone from strength to strength this year.

All Saints: Ciaran Cassley, Daniel Gray, Colum Neeson, Kevin Brady, Padraig Magill, Luke O’Rawe 0-2, Cathair Cunning, Gary Miskella, Vinny Esler, Ciaran Neeson 2-4, Damian Gillan 0-7, Cormac Lemon 0-1, James O’Boyle 0-1, Conrad Duffin 1-0, Terence Diamond. Subs: Eoin Magee, PJ O’Kane, Liam Cassley, Sean O’Rawe, Daniel McCoy, Daire Hasson,  

Loch Mor on top in hard fought encounter  


Loch Mór 1-15  Latharna Óg 1-7

Loch Mor Dal gCais  had to grind out a hard fought win in a match that won’t win any awards for free flowing, champagne hurling. With the league splitting after the next two rounds of matches this game was huge in the context of their season and securing a top half of the table finish. An achievement which was surely on the agenda of today’s opposition so it really was all to play for. This set the tone for what was, on the whole, a cagey affair.

Loch Mór started well with some really great pockets of inter play between the middle 8, leading to some early points which really settled the lads into the game. One of note was Ruairi Moran’s long range strike from right half back, sailing inside the right upright. 

The game had a real stop/start feel to it which was difficult to build momentum but the lads stuck to the task. In a game littered with throw-ins and frees this was a game you needed your free taker on top form and Darragh Turley did not disappoint. Deadly accurate as ever he racked up a personal tally of 1-8 which was massive in swinging the game Loch Mór’s way.  Some early injuries forced a few changes but that didn’t dent the lad’s grit and determination to take everything from this game. 

A real thorn in Latharna’s side was Cormac Dwyer with his trademark Ox-like runs from the middle of the field, eventually drawing the fouls with several yellow shirts hanging off him but unable to stop his run. That seemed to be the theme of the day with Latharna unable to cope with Loch Mór running at them and forcing the foul or laying it off to the man in space to tap over the bar.

Having gone in at the break ahead, the lads stated the second half bright enough but a goal by the away side caused them to gain a bit of traction. The defence stood strong and kept the attacks out, turning them over and quickly breaking up the pitch. One such break had Darragh Turley on the end of it and a quick low drive to the keepers left really was the nail in the coffin for Latharna. It sucked all momentum out them and a few more points from play, Marty Braniff delightfully pinging one from the left wing, made it a comfortable win in the end. 

This win leaves Loch Mor Dal gCais in second place in the league and on this form they are sure to be strong contenders for the title. 


Cormac Dwyer 0-1

Darragh Turley 1-8

Ruairi Moran 0-1

Ruairi Bannon 0-2 

Conor Jones 0-1

Mathew Jones 0-1

Marty Braniff 0-1

Loch Mor’s final game before the split is on Wednesday night against St’Paul’s.

Saints make it 8 from 8

ACHL Division 4

All Saints 7-19 Henry Joy’s 3-4

All Saints made it 8 wins from 8 starts when they proved too strong for new boys Anrai Seoighe at Quinn Park today. The Falls Road side arrived in Ballymena with only 15 men but shocked the home side when a long range free from Joe McQuillan travelled all the way to the All Saints net through a pack area.

All Saints had opened with the game’s opening point from James O’Boyle and replied through a Ciaran Neeson free and a ‘65’ from the same player to leave matters all square by the 7th minute as the league leaders settled into the game.

The visitors hit the front once more when McQuillan pointed another free in the 8th minute but when the excellent Damian Gillan replied with a goal at the other end the Quinn Park side started to dominate.

Damian Gillan and  Daniel Gray, added points before Ciaran Neeson rifled the sliotar to the Henry Joy’s net in the 14th minute to move his side 25 to 1-12 ahead and the pace and movement of the home side was starting to open up a hard working visitors defence.

Joe McQuillan replied from a pointed free to bring his side’s total to 1-2 but All Saints finished strongly and points from Ciaran Neeson 0-2, Damian Gillan, John Magill and Cormac Lemon had them 3-11 to 1-3 ahead at the break, the visitors other point coming from the excellent McQuillan.

It didn’t get any better for the Belfast men on the restart with Neeson pointing in the 3d minute and Gillan adding a 4th minute goal and when Neeson pointed a 50 meter free the All Saints lead had moved to 16 points and the result looked sewn up even at this early juncture.

Anrai Seoighe could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel but they continued to battle for every ball and received a boost when Joe McQuillan’s long range free ended in the home net with the towering Connor O’Neill possible getting the final touch.

Straight from the puck out play switched to the other end and Terence Diamond fired past Stiofen Murphy to restore the home side’s 16 point advantage as the flood gates opened with Ciaran Neeson hitting three points in succession and Vinny Esler and Kevin Brady adding further goals as the opposition began to tire.

To their credit Henry Joy’s kept battling to the end and were rewarded when Joe McQuillan got through for their third goal in the 26th minute to add to an Eoin O’Neill point but the final score of the game fell to top scorer Neeson who netted with time almost up to bring his personal tally to 3-9.

This win keeps All Saints in top place, four points ahead of Loch Mor Dal gCais who recorded a fine 1-15 to 1-7 win over Latharna Og today and Kickham’s Ardoyne who sit in third place after their win over St. Gall’s but have a game in hand.

All Saints: Ciaran Cassley, 2 Dwayne McKee, 3 Chris McAffee, 4 Kevin Brady, 5 Cathaoir Cunning, 6 Colum Neeson, 7 Daniel Gray, 8 Cormac Magill, 9 Vinny Esler, 10 Cormac Lemon, 11 Damian Gillan, 12 Ciaran Neeson 13 James O’Boyle, 14 Jack Magill, 15 Terence Diamond.

Anrai Seoighe: 1 Stiofen Murphy, 2 Shane O’Reilly, 3 Matthew Carlin, 4 James Jacobson, 5 Kurtis Maguire, 6 Pol O’Hagan, 7 Rian McCreight, 8 Joe McQuillan, 9 Adam O’Rourke, 10 Raymond Burns, 11 Stephen McIlhatton, 12 Sean McIlhatton, 13 Colum Lowry, 26 Connor O’Neill, 15 Eoin O’Neill

Referee: Brendan Toland Lamh Dhearg

Six of the best for All Saints

ACHL Division 4 – Round 5  (22-05-22)                                                                                              Na Naoimh Uile 3:20  Ciceam Ard Eoin 1:16

All Saints Ballymena continued their strong showing in the ACHL D4 with a ten point win over Ardoyne at Slemish Park on Sunday to make it six wins from six starts and consolidate their position at the top of the league table.

The game was a lot closer than the margin of victory might suggest however as Ardoyne put up dogged resistance for much of the game before Ballymena pulled ahead with a flurry of scores in the final quarter.

A strong wind influenced the shape of the game – Ardoyne played with the wind in their backs in the first half and pressed hard for scores as Ballymena concentrated on a containment strategy.

Oisin McVicker posed the greatest threat to the home side with scores from play and placed balls to give the visitors an early three point lead. This was negated when Ciaran Neeson nipped under a dropping ball to flick the ball to the net but Ardoyne responded with a series of frees and a well taken goal by McVicker.

The Ballymena defence marshalled by the central spine of Chris McAfee, Colum Neeson and Luke O’Rawe held solid and bolstered by Terence Diamond, who dropped back from the full forward line, prevented Ardoyne from settling into a rhythm. Ballymena kept in touch with points from James O’Boyle, Damian Gillan and Ciaran Neeson and capped by a goal from Cormac Magill which brought the side level as the half time whistle blew

Half Time: Na Naoimh Uile  2:07 Ciceam Ard Eoin 1:10

Ballymena will have felt happier at the restart as they now had wind advantage however the second half continued to be nip and tuck as the home side maintained a defensive strategy, playing deep and packing the middle third.

The congestion seemed to suit Ardoyne and the game developed into a stalemate before a piece of telepathic interplay between Ciaran Neeson and Damian Gillan produced the score of the game.

A long delivery was collected by Neeson on the edge of the large rectangle, he evaded his marker and headed for goal while Gillan ghosted to his right leaving Pascal Clarke, isolated in front of goal and in a dilemma as to whom he should watch. As Neeson continued goal ward Clarke made his move and advanced on the number thirteen. Neeson slipped the ball to Gillan who with the poise of a dancer side stepped the keeper and deftly slotted the ball to the net – poetry in motion.

In the last quarter All Saints finally found their mojo with a purple patch in which they threw off the shackles and broke out of their defensive mode to play with freedom and attacking flair, racking up ten points (and a disallowed goal) in as many minutes.

Final Score: Na Naoimh Uile  3:20 Ciceam Ard Eoin 1:16

In the end an impressive result for Ballymena which places them firmly in poll position with an unbeaten record of six from six as the league enters the second half of the round robin stage.

Ballymena: 1. Chris Mcafee, 2. Dwayne McKee, 3. Colum Neeson, 4. Kevin Brady, 5. Daniel Gray, 6. Luke O’Rawe (0:02), 7. Cathaoir Cunning, 8. Gary Miskella, 9. Vinnie Esler,

10. Cormac Lemon, 11. Cormac Magill (1:01), 12. James o’Boyle (0:02),

13. Ciaran Neeson (1:10), 14, Damian Gillan (1:03), 15. Terence Diamond,

16, Anthony Mitchell, 17. PJ O’Kane, 18. Joseph O’Rawe (0:02), Daniel McCoy,

Ardoyne: 1. JP Agnew, 2. Sean McGearty, 3. Pascal Clarke, 4. Sean Searle, 5. Caolan Wallace, 6. Martin McLaughlin, 7. Paul McGuigan, 8. Pearse Hull, 9. Jim Og McAuley,

10. Daniel Moore, 11. Aran Stewart, 12. Cormac Curran, 13. Oisin McVicker, 14, Paul Baker, 15.Dean Goodall,

17, Enda Slattery, 18, Paul O’Halloran, 19. Fiachra McVicker, 20. Brendan Harkin,     21. Patrick Dorrian, 22. Eamon McLochlainn, 23, Setanta Marley, 24, Stephen Hill.

Og’s emerge victorious in game of two halves

ACHL Division 4

Latharna Og 2-17 St Galls 1-13

Latharna Og emerged victorious as the proverbial game of two halves took place last night as the wind howled from South to North in the townland of Ballytober. One side scored three points against the wind in the first half and the other side scored five against the wind in the second. The first side to score was Latharna Og as Ryan O’Donnell fired the sliotar into the breeze and over the bar.

St Galls announced their arrival with a goal sandwiched between two points before that man Conor O’Boyle gained ground on the left wing then riffled a score between the uprights. St Galls had their best period of the game dropping 5 wind assisted points out of the sky and over the bar.

The midfield duo of McKendry and O’Donnell added a point apiece to the tally but these were cancelled out by two St Gall’s points before Ciaran Martin pointed just before the players took refuge in the changing rooms from the elements at half time.

The scores on the doors at half time were 0-5 to 1-10in favour of the visitors

Late comer and top scorer Michael Lismore joined the proceedings for the second half as Latharna Og attacked the Cairncastle end with the wind in their sails. Before the second half was 3 minutes old the unpunctual Lismore planted the sliotar in the Gall’s net.

Ryan O’Donnell then pointed from play but St Galls replied immediately from a free to maintain a 5 point distance.

Latharna Og not only recovered the deficit but ventured two points ahead as the McKillop twins, Lismore, McAlister 0-2 and O’Donnell 0-2 all fired balls over the unanswered points into recently repaired catching net.

Heavy rain then joined up with his old pal howling wind to make the weather conditions even more unpleasant. St Galls drew level with two points just as the blustery rain started and it looked like this one was going to go right down to the wire.

The pressure was onbut Latharna Og kept their composure to do the simple things right against the conditions. The Larne side were awarded a sideline around the 65 meter line and Ryan O’Donnell reacted quickly to send the ball backwards into the path of onrushing corner back Darren Martin.  Martin was still in his own half but his well struck, lonmg range effort nestled in the back OF THE St. Gall’s net


This took the wind out of the St Galls sails and the victory was sealed with 4 further points from Phil McKendry, Ronan McKillop, Jack McAlister and Ryan O’Donnell. Next up Latharna Og finish the week taking a Sunday drive down the coast road to play Cushendall.

Latharna Og: Craig D Martin B Petticrew Carson M Petticrew C McKillop McNeill O’Donnell McKendry O’Boyle R McKillop K McKillop Shields McAlister C Martin

Subs: Lismore Darragh

Scores: 0-6 Ryan O’Donnell 1-1 Michael Lismore 0-4 Jack McAlister 1-0 Darren Martin 0-2 Phil McKendry 0-1 Ronan McKillop 0-1 Ciaran Martin 0-1 Cathal McKillop 0-1 Conor O’Boyle