Cargin hold out to put minor titles back to back

Creagh Concrete Minor Football Championship (final)

Erin’s Own Cargin 0-09 St Brigid’s 1-05

Cargin retained their minor title when they withstood a late rally to overcome the challenge of St. Brigid’s in a good minor football final at Dunsilly on Saturday. In a repeat of last year’s final the Toome side looked to be heading for a comfortable victor but a 45th minute goal by the excellent Marcus Lynch reduced the deficit to a couple of points and ensured a pulsating last quarter.

The Cargin defence found themselves on the defensive and when centre forward Lynch added a point less than a minute into the last quarter they came under ever increasing pressure as the Musgrave Park side pressed hard for an equaliser.

The South West side stood firm however with Craig Thornton outstanding making a couple of vital interceptions in the closing minutes as Cargin breasted the winning line on a 0-09 to 1-05 scoreline to retain the title.

In a repeat of the 2019 final, Cargin and St Brigid’s lined out at Dunsilly this afternoon to contest the 2020 version with both having impressed on their way to the final and a close game was very much anticipated.

The South West side had the wind at their backs in the opening half and it was the defending champions who were first out of the starting blocks and less than a minute into the game, Conhuir Johnston raised white, punishing a foul on Paudie McLaughlin.

Eunan Quinn and Odhran Molloy had combined to win the throw in and when the leather was fed into Paudie McLaughlin and when he was impeded Conhuir Johnston was not troubled to despatch the resultant free between the posts.

A good start by the Toome side and Johnston doubled his tally when he sent a 35 metre free between the posts before Tom Shivers followed with another to move the reigning champions 0-3 to 0-0 ahead after 8 minutes.

St Brigid’s got off the mark in the 11th minute when Marcus Lynch split the posts from a 30 metre free but the South Belfast lads could well have fallen further in arrears a minute earlier as their keeper Declan Heery made a good save to deny Benen Kelly. Odhran Molloy’s lob had sent the centre forward in on goal only to be denied by the advancing net minder who made a timely intervention.

Cargin having dominated the opening quarter were only a couple of points ahead at the first water break at 0-03 to 0-01 but they stepped up the pace in the second quarter.

Eunan Quinn and Tom Shivers set up Paudie McLaughlin who was fouled as he advanced on goal and Benen Kelly despatched the resultant free between the posts from all of 50 metres.

St. Brigid’s tried to respond but could get no change out of a strong Cargin defence despite the best efforts of Marcus Lynch and Ronan Boyle who were battling hard to get their side going.

A foul on Tom shivers opened the way for Conhuir Johnston to raise another white flag in the 23rd minute with Marcus Lynch replying from a similar award at the other end to leave Cargin 0-06 to 0-02 ahead at the half way stage and good value for that lead.

The South Antrim side had the wind at their back for the second half and after Benen Kelly’s 50 metre free was just wide of the target in the opening minutes a well laid counter saw Ronan Boyle nip through the middle to grab a 36th minute point.

A good score from the centre forward but the Toome side were quick to reply as a Eunan Quinn flick opened the way for Paudie Mc Laughlin to raise white and Tom Shivers added another to extend the Cargin lead to five and at this stage they were well in control.

A 42nd minute point from Marcus Lynch when he converted a 30 metre free brought a quick response from the Erin’s Own as Sean Og O’ Neill and Tom Shivers combined to place Conhuir Johnston to make reply.

Approaching the second water break St. Brigid’s upped the ante and Oisin O’ Donnell and Conan Mc Nicholl combined to send Marcus Lynch away on the left and he fired the ball to the back of the net to reduce the deficit to two points going into the final quarter.

St Brigid’s now had the bit between their teeth and Marcus Lynch fired over another point in the 46th minute to reduce the deficit to the minimum and with the wind at their back the momentum seemed to be swinging their way.

It was backs to the wall for the Erin’s Own in the closing minutes but their defence stood tall with Cahir Donnelly, Conan Johnston and rugged corner man Craig Thornton repelling all that came their way.

A good game of football with just a kick of the ball between the sides in the end but it was Cargin who claimed their second title in two years and they will be hoping their senior side can do likewise tomorrow in Portglenone to complete a wonderful double-double.

Cargin: Shea Laverty, Conan Johnston, Cahir Donnelly, Craig Tornton, Malachi Johnston, Sean og O’ Neill, Conan Kennedy, Odhran Molloy, Eunan Quinn, PJ Quinn, Benen Kelly (0-01), Charlie Mc Cann, Tom Shivers (0-02), Conhuir Johnston (0-04), Paudie Mc Laughlin (0-02)


Shane Gribbon for PJ Quinn

Ben Mc Larnon for T Shivers

St Brigid’s: Declan Heery, Donal Harrison, Joe Mc Carney, Cathal Maguire, Matthew Smith, Rueben Carelton, Liam Finnegan, Ronan Boyle (0-01), Jack Logue, Fionntan Mc Garvey, Marcus Lynch (1-04), Conal Mc Nicholl,  Donal Bradley, Toirleach Brolly, Oisin O’ Donnell

Referee C Mc Dermott (Tir na nÓg)

Cuchullains in cruise control

  •  Full match report and photos will be posted later
    Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship Final 
    Dunloy 2-20-2-13 Loughgiel
    Kevin Herron reports from Pairc Mac Uilin
    Dunloy had seven points to spare as they saw off the challenge of Loughgiel 2-20-2-13 to retain the Volunteer Cup at Pairc Mac Uilin this afternoon. 
    Goals in each half from Eoin O’Neill and Kevin Molloy had the Cuchulians firmly in the box-seat before late replies from Liam Watson and Benny McCarry. 
    Dunloy were first off the mark through a Paul Shiels free but Shan McGrath responded instantly. 
    Keelan Molloy stroked Dunloy back in front- though James McNaughton equalised with a free. 
    Loughgiel hit the front for the first time with McNaughton converting another free within 60-seconds of his first and another score from Daniel McCloskey gave his side a 0-04-0-02 lead. 
    Keelan Molloy and Liam Watson (sideline cut) exchanged scores in the aftermath and prior to the first water-break Seaan Elliott popped up with a point to leave it 0-06-0-05 at the short interval. 
    Kevin Molloy levelled proceedings but Loughgiel moved two-points to the good through scores from Shay Casey and Eddie McCloskey. 
    Conal Cunning halved arrears through a converted free and on the stroke of half-time the Cuchullians had the games opening goal. 
    Space opened up for Keelan Molloy whose low effort was repelled by Chris O’Connell and Eoin O’Neill scrambled the ball to the net to give his side a 1-06-0-07 advantage. 
    James McNaughton and Sean Elliott traded scores but Loughgiel levelled at the break thanks to late scores from Donal McKinley and Watson. 
    Dunloy made a bright opening to the second period playing with a stiff wind advantage. 
    Conal Cunning landed two frees with Keelan Molloy riding a challenge to score in-between and give Dunloy a 1-09-0-09 lead. 
    Loughgiel hit back through Donal McKinley after good work from Tony McCloskey. Liam Watson popped over another in the aftermath and the bare minimum separated the sides. 
    Five points on the spin moved Dunloy six ahead, Cunning was on hand with two points – one from play and the other from a free. Keelan and Kevin Molloy and goal scorer O’Neill provided the others. 
    James McNaughton responded with a free but an outstanding Keelan Molloy free was followed up by another Cunning point from play. 
    It was game, set and match for Dunloy on 53 minutes as Kevin Molloy rounded Chris O’Connell and applied the finish to make it 2-17-0-13. Conal Cunning landed his fourth free of the half in the aftermath. 
    Loughgiel claimed consolation goals through Liam Watson and Benny McCarry with Eoin O’Neill and Cunning (free) finishing Dunloy’s scoring for the day. 
    The late goals would have little bearing on final outcome as Dunloy retained the Volunteer Cup on a scoreline of 2-20-2-13. 
    Dunloy: R Elliott, P Duffin, A Crawford, C Kinsella, R Molloy, C McKinley, R McGarry, P Shiels (0-01), N McKeague, S Elliott (0-02), K Molloy (1-02), K Molloy (0-05), C Cunning (0-08, 0-06f) , G McTaggart, E O’Neill (1-02). Subs: E Smyth for N McKeague (50), C McMahon for G McTaggart (54). 
    Loughgiel: C O’Connell, T Coyle, N McGarry, S Dobbin, T McCloskey, D McMullan, D McCloskey, D McKinley (0-02), D McCloskey (0-01),J McNaughton (0-04f), C McKendry, E McCloskey (0-01), S McGrath (0-01), L Watson (1-03, 1-00f), S Casey (0-01). Subs: R McKee for C McKendry (40), B McCarry (1-00) for S Casey (40), O McFadden for D McCloskey (54). 
    Referee: Darren McKeown ( St Galls) 


Another opportunity to support your team and support the Saffron Gael

As we head into the business end of the hurling, football and camogie championship the Saffron Gael offers the opportunity to business’s in the area of the competing clubs to take out an advert supporting their club while promoting their own business.

The price of the advert is £60-00 and should your club progress all the way to the final then your advert will be carried for free after the initial payment, right through to the final.

An advert on the Saffron Gael carries wide exposure for your business and on match days alone can receive between 15,000 and 18,000 views. The advert will be well received by members of your local club and your contribution will enable us to continue the wide range of coverage we provide.

Alternatively if you do not wish to dedicate your advert to a particular club but simply wish to support the Saffron Gael website we can accommodate your advert. Simply send us your business logo with the name of the club you want to support. We will do the photo-shop work.

Send your payment through the pay/pal link on the site or transfer it to our bank account.

Account No: 60144215

Sort Code: 95 06 79

Alternatively you can use the above account details simply to make a contribution to the Saffron Gael

We have included random examples of some of the adverts that local business’ss have taken in support of their club and we thank those business’s for their support.

For further information should you require it contact John at or Mob: 07885226348 or Paddy at or Mob: 07511111378

Gaels hang on to earn semi-final place

Andersonstown SC IHC Group 2

Gort na Mona 1-15 Cloney Gaels 2-14

Cloney Gaels withstood a late rally from Gort na Mona at Enright Park today to book a place in the Andersontown Social Club IHC semi-final. The Ahoghill side looked to have matters well in control when they led 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval but after the break the Gorts began to gain a foothold and a late Padraig McCafferty goal closed the gap to two points but that was as close as they got.

Cloney Gaels travelled to Enright Park today knowing that if they won they would qualify for the semi-finals of the Intermediate championship, having already defeated Oisin’s Glenariffe two weeks ago in the opening game of the group.

They made their intentions clear right from the start as Frankie Neeson split the posts in the first minute and Donal Graham added a second with only three minutes gone. Gort na Mona hit a couple of wides but the play quickly switched to the other end and the visitors struck with the game’s opening goal.

Dan O’Connell started the move with a hanging delivery from out on the right and as Donal Graham challenged Sean Kelly for the dropping ball it fell perfectly for Gerard Graham who drilled it first time to the net.

James O’Connell added a good point before Dessie McLean finally got Gort na Mona on the board with a point from a free in the 7th minute and the Enright Park men stated to enjoy a bit of possession but were guilty of some poor shooting.

James O’Connell was proving a handful for the home defence and he fired over from a free to extend his side’s lead and at the other end Dessie McClean had an opportunity to close the gap from another free but he went for goal and the Cloney defence repelled his effort.

Gort na Mona were creating chances but wasting them while James O’Connell was displaying unerring accuracy at the other end as he converted another free to leave the visitors 1-4 to 0-1 ahead at the first water break.

On the resumption James O’Connell continued where he had left off before Dessie McClean raised his and his side’s second white flag but the same player was having an off day and he shot wide from another free as his side fought to get themselves into the game.

No such problems for the Cloney men as their talisman, James O’Connell fired over to bring his personal tally to 0-5 and at this stage Gort na Mona rang the changes, introducing Padrig McCaffery for Brendan Cousins and Gary Doyle for Martin Ward and it seemed to have an immediate effect as Mark Rea struck an excellent point with five minutes remaining to the break.

This score seemed to lift the home side and Martin Graham in the Cloney Gaels goal pulled off a good save to deny Barry McFall and from the breakaway Thomas McGlone fired over at the other end and Donal Graham followed with another as the visitors restored earlier order to proceedings.

Gort na Mona were still creating but wasting chances as a massive free from keeper, Sean Kelly tailed wide before Darren ‘Diesel’ Boyd fired over an excellent point from play to leave it 1-9 to 0-5 in favour of the visitors from Ahoghill at half-time.

With the slope behind them Gort na Mona started the second half on the front foot and Barry McFall shot wide after 30 seconds before Dessie McClean pointed from a 35 meter free with just a minute gone.

James O’Connell replied from another free but Darren Boyd responded for the Gorts as he sent over a massive point from near the right hand touchline and 55 meters from goal and the home side were starting to play with a bit of belief.

Dessie McClean added another and the momentum appeared to be swinging the way of the Enright Park men but they were rocked back in their tracks as James O’Connell finished to an empty net after Harry O’Donnell took advantage of a bad mix-up in the Gort na Mona defence to set him up.

It was end to end stuff at this stage of the game and from the puck out play swung to the other end and Gort na Mona were given a chance to get back into contention when they were awarded a penalty but Martin Graham pulled off a good save to deny Dessie McClean.

The momentum was now with the Turf Loge side and Dessie McClean looked to be in for a goal but again the visitors defence stood tall to repel the Gort na Mona man who was having a bit of an off day by his usual high standards.

Darren Boyd struck another superb point for Gort na Mona at the start of the final quarter but again the visitors were able to respond and Gerard Graham split the uprights but the home side had the bit between their teeth and Barry McFall took advantage of a slip by Niall O’Connell to point from close range.

Darren Boyd added another fine point and the Gorts number 5 was having an excellent game and he followed with another from a free to leave just four in it before James O’Connell eased the pressure with an Ahoghill point.

The home side went looking for a goal as the clock counted down but Martin Graham was in the right place at the right time with his third great save of the game before being finally beaten as Pardraig McCaffery drilled a close range free through a crowded goalmouth with time almost up.

McCaffery’s goal closed the gap to two but it was to prove the game’s final score and it is Cloney Gaels who advance to the semi-finals while Gort na Mona travel to Waterfoot on Wednesday night hoping for a big win that could see them qualify as best losers but Oisin’s will have similar aspirations.

Gort na Mona: Sean Kelly, Neil Henry, Paul McClelland, James Connolly, Darren Boyd, Connor McCann, Mark Rea, Padraig McHugh, Gavin McKenna, Niall Healey, Martin Ward, Declan Hughes, Brendan Cousins, Barry McFall, Dessie McLean. Padraig McCaffery for Brendan Cousins, Gary Doyle for Martin Ward, P Cournane for G McKenna, P Fryers for D Hughes, R Coleman for N Healey

Cloney Gaels: Martin Graham, Stephen O’Connell, Bernard Graham, James Magee, Harry O’Donnell, Niall O’Connell, Eamon Brady, Francis Neeson, Thomas McGlone, Owen Neeson, Eoin Graham, Gerard Graham, Gerard Graham, Dan O’Neill, Donal Graham, James O’Connell. Subs: Pease Downey for Donal Graham, Colla McDonnell for Eoin Neeson

Referee: Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)