Naomh Comhghall beaten in top of table clash

St Comgall's half-back Dylan Murdock goes in for the block during Sunday's game against Ardoyne.

St Comgall's half-back Dylan Murdock goes in for the block during Sunday's game against Ardoyne.

Naomh Comhghall fell to a 3-13 to 1-7 defeat at the hands of Ardoyne on Sunday evening.

This top-of-the-table clash was basked in glorious sunshine at Cliftonville Road’s ‘Cricky’ pitch.

Ardoyne have yet to drop points this season and dished out some punishing margins on the score-board so it was always going to be a tough ask for the Antrim men.

It was a rocky start for our local charges conceding a goal more or less from the off after some hesitation in defence not helped by difficult visibility.

Ardoyne were pacey and direct in attack, but St Comgalls steadied and returned to parity with a goal of their own. The sides exchanged points but then the Belfast lads really got their combinations going, putting a very mobile mid-field unit to good effect.

St Comgalls were giving a good effort, but seemed to be just a yard behind in pace. The Ardoyne attack was picking off scores from play whilst Naomh Comhghall were reliant on the boots of Miles Devine and Paddy Quinn to keep themselves within touching distance.

The second half saw St Comgalls play improve, with players becoming more vocal. James McLornan was busy in half-back tidying up scrappy ball, and sweeper Dannan O’Hara had plenty to do as well.

Substitute Shane Curran stopped a certain goal with an excellent block, but the pressure told on the Antrim defence on two other occasions. Josh Henry was having some success with his runs, and Shane Og Gribbon was a useful channel for transitioning from defence to attack.

Despite a valiant effort there did still seem to be a different in the speed and fluency of performance and Ardoyne never let slip their ascendancy winning 3-13 v 1-7.

St Comgalls remain in second position which would be enough to see them promoted next season, but they will be pushed hard all the way by Lisburn and the chasing O’Donnells and Eire Og in the run in.