Aldergrove off to a winning start in emotional night in Crumlin

LGFA Division 1

St. James’ Aldergrove 2-11  Gort na Mona 1-7

The wife and sister of Darren O’Neill R.I.P., former manager of St. James’ Aldergrove promotion winning team were joined by their club chairman as they led the Aldergrove team onto the field in Crumlin last night for their first game in division 1

The Aldergrove Senior football team joined with the visiting team from Gort na Mona and spectators to observe an impeccable minutes silence before the game for the man who did so much to promote ladies football in Crumlin.

The former manager would surely have smiled down from his heavenly home as his former charges produced a sterling second half performance to overcome a strong challenge from a Gort na Mona side who looked to be well in contention at the halfway stage with the scores tied at 0-8 to 1-5.

Orla Rooney and Caitlin Taggart pointed Aldergrove into an early lead but the visitors hit back through a Ciara Maguire goal before their keeper Orlaith Lennon pulled off one of several good saves she was to make over the hour.

Aldergrove returned to the offensive and Rooney added two more to her total and Aoife Taggart got her first of the night to move the Crumlin girls two ahead before Ciara Maguire replied with a point at the other end to keep her side in touch.

An Aoife Taggart point for St. James’ brought a quick reply from the visitors through Gabrielle Monaghan and Jordan McCullough before Colleen McGuinness produced a lung bursting run for the point of the half for the home side.

The visitors had the better of the closing stages of the half however as Duailtin Ni Cathaill hit two fine points in reply to one from an Aoife Taggart free to leave it all square as the half time whistle sounded.

HT 0-8 TO 1-5

We looked set for a cliff hanger as the second half got underway as Aoife Taggart for the home side and Stacey Meighan for Gort na Mona exchanged further points but it was the Crumlin side who stepped up their intensity to take control.

Substitute Katie McArt fired to the Gort na Mona net with virtually her first touch of the ball and when Paula Masterson fired past Orlaith Lennon from the penalty spot there would be no way back for the visitors from Turf Lodge.

Aoife Taggart converted a free and added another from play as St. James dominated the closing stages with Ciara Maguire replying with a consolation point for a Gort na Mona team who battled well but were forced to concede to the better team on the night.

Aldergrove: 1 Lucy Simpson, 2 Caoimhe Bell, 3 Anna Crossan, 4 Bronach Mallon, 5 Aine Kelly, 6 Paula Masterson, 7 Rebecca Marquess, 8 Colleen McGuinness, 9 Katierose Bell, 10 Orla Rooney, 11 Caitlin Taggart, 12 Clare Hanna, 13 Aoife Taggart, 14 Anna McBride, 15 Emma McArt. Subs: 16 Katie McArt, 17 Nicole Jones, 18 Eimear Jones, 19 Niamh Hanna, 20 Mia Dunlop, 21 Roisin Crossan, 22 Alanah McMaster, 25 Niamh Agus, 27 Riona Muldoon, 29 Erin Kane, 30 Grace O’Neill

Gort na Mona: Orlaith Lennon, 2 Emily Kearns, 3 Carla Scannell, 4 Katie Irvine, 5 Tiernagh Elley, 6 Eimear Ni Lonnrachtaig, 7 Mia Gregory, 8 Jeyda Rooney, 9 Aoibhin Enright, 10 Gabrielle Monaghan, 11 Anna McCann, 12 Duailtin Ni Cathail, 13 Jordan McCullough, 14 Ciara Maguire, 15 Chloe Lennon. Subs: 16 Casey Meighan, 17 Niamh NicLonnrachtaigh

Baptism of fire for All Saints but plenty of positives

LGFA Division1

All Saints 2-4 St. Paul’s 2-18

All Saints faced a baptism of fire when they took on high flyers, St. Paul’s in their division 1 debut at Slemish Park on Monday night. The Ballymena girls suffered a heavy defeat but there was much in their performance to suggest that they can be competitive in the division.

They faced a St. Paul’s team containing Ciara Brown, Aine Tubridy and Laura Dahunsi who were all part of the Antrim side who defeated Leitrim in the National League Division 4 final on Sunday. Add to that Antrim manager, Emma Kelly who lined out at full forward for the Shaw’s Road side and it made for formidable opposition.

It was the home side who made the better start however, showing scant regard for the reputation of their opponents as Marnie Kelly and Catriona Quigley shot them into a 0-2 to 0-0 lead after four minutes play.

It seemed too good to last and the visitors showed just why they are still one of the teams to beat in Antrim football as they hit five on the bounce before Emma Kelly fired to the net in the 11th minute to put them in control.

Undaunted, the home side continued to play some nice football and were rewarded when Wiktoria Babuszewska replied with a goal at the other end but with Aoife Mervyn, Ciara Brown, Laurs Dahunsi and Aine Tubirty prominent the visitors had matters more or less sewn up at half time when they led by 1-13 to 1-2.

The home side started the second half as they had started the first, on the front foot and Marnie Kelly pointed after 30 seconds before Anna O’Kane added a second with four minutes gone.

They were unable to maintain their opening burst however as St. Paul’s replied through Aine Tubridy and Emma Kelly by the 10th minute but the visitors then had a player Sin-Binned but it failed to disrupt their dominance

Aoife Mervyn fired home their second goal but the home side continued to play some excellent football and had a goal bound shot come off an upright before Sarah McLaughlin got in for an excellent goal with 21 minutes gone.

It was to prove All Saints final score however as St. Paul’s finished strongly to hit the final three points of the game through Niamh Richie and two from the impressive Ciara Brown.

St. Paul’s showed why they will once again be Moneyglass’s main rivals for honours this year and they were always in control of matters in this game and in Ciara Brown, Laura Dahunsi, Aoife Mervyn and Aine Turbidy they had players of great quality.

The Ballymena management team can be well pleased by many aspects of their side’s performance on the night however. All Saints moved the ball well and always attempted to play expansive football and in Ciara Devine, Niamh McMahon, Sinead McLaughlin, Anna Kearney, Catriona Quigley, Anna O’Kane, Wiktoria Babuszewska and Sianeese Maybin they had fine performers on the night

All Saints: 1 Ciara Devine, 2 Aobhin Cosgrove, 3 Niamh McMahon, 4 Aine Kearney, 25 Emma Laverty, 6 Sinead McLaughlin, 7 Katie Connolly, 8 Anna Kearney, 9 Catriona Quigley, 10 Cliodhna Metrustry, 11 Anna O’Kane, 12 Wiktoria Babuszewska, 13 Molly Brady, 14 Sianeese Maybin, 15 Marnie Kelly. Subs: 24 Lucy McGuigan, 27 Kelly Wilson, 29 Cara Hackett, 19 Brianna-Lee Cushenan, 16 Sarah McLaughlin, 17 Tessa Brady, 18 Megan O’Neill, 30 Rachel Doherty

St. Paul’s: 1 Shauna Murphy, 2 Cara McCleave, 3 Cliodhna Phillips, 4 Caoimhe Stewart, 5 Gemma McGrourty, 6 Ciara Brown, 7 Maria Hanna, 17 Cora Lee McKeown, 9 Aine Tubridy, 10 Niamh Ritchie, 11 Laura Dahunsi, 12 Aoife Mervyn, 13 Orla Brown, 14 Emma Kelly, 15 Kade McDonnell

Referee: Martin Mulholland (Glenravel)

Prenter to the fore as Moneyglass retain LGFA Senior Championship title

Antrim LGFA Ladies SFC Final

St Ergnats 2-18  St Pauls 1-9

Orlagh Prenter was very much to the fore as St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass repeated their success of last year when they defeated St. Paul’s in the LFFA Senior Football championship final in convincing fashion at Davitt’s on Sunday. Prenter was to amass an impressive total of 0-16 (0-14 frees) over the hour as the Marian Hill girls dominated from early in the contest to run out convincing winners in the end

St. Paul’s had been the dominant force in ladies football for nearly a decade but in recent years the balance of power has swung decisively in the direction of the South West girls who retained their senior title to add to a clean sweep of titles at juvenile level.

It was St. Paul’s who were first to threaten and Lara Dahunsi won possession from the throw in and her inch perfect pass placed Fionnghuala Rocks who looked set to open the scoring but her shot on goal sailed agonisingly to the wrong side of the post.

Had she scored then things might well have been different but it was Moneyglass who recovered from that early scare and Rebecca Bradley gave them the lead as she pointed her side ahead after six minutes to settle some early nerves and Orlagh Prenter followed with another before Fionnghuala Rocks atoned in part for her earlier miss with St. Paul’s opening score in the 10th minute.

Slowly the St. Ergnat’s girls began to assert their authority on matters and they struck with the game’s first goal in the 15th minute when defender Elanor Mallon got on the end of a pass from Orlagh Prenter to blast to the net and put her side in a commanding position.

Prenter was having a massive influence on proceeding as she fired over a number of frees before Marie O’Neill added another from play as the girls in blue started to put distance between themselves and the opposition and St. Paul’s were badly in need of a score to keep their hopes alive.

And they were given a glimmer hope just before the break as Kirsty McGuinness pointed a couple of frees to reduce her sides half-time deficit to 9 but the Shaw’s Road girls still looked to have a mountain to climb in the second half as the  half-time scoreboard read 0-6 – 2-9 in favour of Moneyglass.

St Paul’s started the second half on the front foot with Fionnghuala Rocks scoring from a free before Moneyglass were reduced to 14  after Emma Louise McAreavey  was sin-binned  as she brought down Kirsty McGuinness who looked in for a goal.

McGuinness placed the resulting penalty kick into the bottom left corner of the net, giving her side renewed hope as it cut the deficit to five points 5 points but they were unable to build on that early second half success.

It was Moneyglass who again grabbed the initiative as Orlagh Prenter replied from three converted frees as she punished some indiscipline in the St. Paul’s defence as a bit of frustration began to creep into their play.

Orlagh Prenter continued to dictate matters as St. Ergnat’s finished strongly as she pointed from over 25 yards to bring her total into double figures and it was clear at this stage that there would be no way back for the former champions.

St. Paul’s woe was increased as Caitlin McGuinness was sin-binned after dragging down Cliona Griffin inside the 21-yard line but they did keep going to the end and earned some reward as Hannah Doherty and Fionnghuala Rocks tagged on  late points but it was to prove too little too late.

And it was that girl Prtenter who would have the final say as she brought her personal total for the evening to 0-16 to leave her side convincing 12 point winners in the end to bring about scenes of rejoicing at Davitt’s Park at the final whistle.

St Ergnats: A McCann, A McCauley, E L McAreavey, S O Neill, E Mallon 1-0, R Bradley 0-1, L McCann, C Griffin, C carey, M O Neill 1-1, A Devlin, O Prenter (0-16 14 frees), B Devlin

Subs: S McErlain, A Boyd, D Connolly, G Laverty, C McKeely, O Rooney, E McCoy

St Pauls: S Murphy, C Stewart, C Brown, O McGuinness, S Tennyson, S McCann, N Burns, L Dahunsi, A Tubridy, N Nic Ionnrachtaigh, N Ritchie, C McGuinness 0-2(1 free), K McGuinness 1-2 (1 pen), F Rocks 0-4 (4 frees), H Doherty 0-1

Subs: G McGroarty, N Matthews, M Hanna, E Kelly, A Healy, M Connolly, C Mervyn, O Murray

St. Paul’s win group opener despite battling St. Brigid’s performance


St. Paul’s 2-12 St. Brigid’s 0-11

Photographs: Elaine Kelly

This year’s ladies SFC contains just three teams, Moneyglass, St. Paul’s and St. Brigid’s with each team playing each other in a group stage game and the top two playing off in the final. At the weekend St. Paul’s and St. Brigid’s met in first game of the group stages and turned in an entertaining game of football.

It looked in the balance at half time with only an Ellie Murphy goal for St. Paul’s separating the sides and we looked set for a close second half given the first half performance of the Musgrave Park side.

Laura Agnew led the St. Brigid’s challenge and converted their first four points, 0-3 from frees and their first from play in the 16th minute and Mary Mitchell completed the first half scoring with a point in the 24th minute to bring their first half total to 0-5.

The impressive Lara Dahunsi got the ball rolling with a point for St. Pauls with Ellie Murphy following with another before the corner-forward got in for the game’s opening goal at the end of the opening quarter.

Murphy’s goal separated the protagonists at half time with Fionnghula Rocks and Aine Turbity to the fore for the Shaw’s Road girls.

St. Brigid’s battled hard to get back into contention during the second half but an Orleigha McGuinness goal for the ‘Hoops’, ten minutes into the second half gave them a strong hold on the game as they pushed on to win by 7 points.

St. Brigid’s never gave up the ghost and added a further six points to their first half total with Hanna Donaghy, Laura Agnew 0-2, Aoife McKeever, Theresa Melon and Emma Ferron all on target but St. Paul’s were always able to find a response and now look favourites to join Moneyglass in the final.

Ellie Murphy led the way for St. Paul’s with 1-2 while Orleigha McGuinness 1-1, Fionnghula Rocks, 0-2, Lara Dahunsi, Cara Mervyn, Hannah Doherty, Aine Turbity, Niamh Enright, Saoirse Tennyson and Niamh Ritchie were all on target for the winners.

St. Paul’s: 1 Shauna Murphy, 2 Caoimhe Stewart, 3 Emma Kelly, 4 Gemma McGourty, 5 Maria Hanna, 6 Saoirse Tennyson, 7 Niamh Ritchie, 8 Lara Dahunsi, 9 Aine Turbity, 10 Niamh Ni Ionnrachtaigh, 11 Hanna Doherty, 12 Stacey McCann, 13 Cara Mervyn, 14 Fionnghuala Rocks, 15 Ellie Murphy, 19 Orleigha McGuinness

St. Brigid’s: 1 Julie Curran, 2 Cliodhna McGrady, 3 Maeve Blaney, 4 Enya Boyce, 5 Caoimhe Hefferon, 6 Aileen McDonnell, 7 Cora Leonard, 8 Bronagh King, 9 Theresa Mellon, 10 Laura Agnew, 11 Emma Ferron, 12 Ciara Austin, 13 Hanna Donaghy, 14 Mary Mitchell, 15 Aoife McKeever

Referee: Gerard Duggan (Creggan)

Prenter untouchable as St. Ergnat’s relentless run continues


St. Ergnat’s 6-20 St. Brigid’s 1-6

Moneyglass Ladies maintained their unbeaten run as they relentlessly persue another title and St. Brigid’s were the latest to feel the scoring force of the St. Ergnat’s ladies.Orla Prenter led the way for the league leaders with 2-3 and Cathy Carey and Aine Devlin found the net as Charlie O’Kane’s side led 4-11 to 0-3 at the break.

Prenter was virtually untouchable during the opening half but any notion that she or her side would take their foot of the gas for the second half were soon dismissed as she went on to add 2-4 to her first half total.

Although never giving up the ghost the Musgrave Park girls had no answer to the rampant Moneyglass though to their credit they never gave up and added 1-3 to their total to finish the game with 1-6, a total that would have tested lesser opposition.