St Comgalls minors went head-to-head with Glenravel in opening round of the Minor championship last week.
It was the home side that got into their stride first with Conor McAuley bringing his shooting boots with a hat-trick of points eagerly supported by the scoring efforts of Ciaran Ball, Joe Webb and Rory McLarnon.
The gap improved again when Ciaran Ball combined with Liam McKernan to rattle the net. Glenravel set to their task and nicked back a couple of points, but Liam McKernan saw his opportunity open up from Rory McLarnon’s clever pass for a point. The Glensmen ploughed on with a brace of points, but two scores from Josh Henry and Ciaran Ball and two frees converted by Conor McAuley left a significant gap at half time.
Glenravel’s response was an early second half goal, followed by four points on the trot. Conor McAuley pegged back a free before Rory Cooke’s showed great alertness to follow-up on Liam McKernan’s goal effort and raise the green flag. Glenravel weren’t rattled though and responded immediately with a three pointer of their own. Liam McKernan picked up the ball and fed Rory McLarnon, who exchanged with Rory Cooke and then drove on himself to score. But Glenravel kept coming at them and knocked over three more points including one free from a monstrous distance. A promising St Comgalls attack was halted when Conor McAuley was upended in the square and he had the confidence to convert himself.
Heading into the last 5 mins here was just a goal between them (3-14 v 2-14) and Glenravel hunted one down to level the affair. The visitors nosed ahead with a free but the Antrim men squared it up when Jonah Gormley took the responsibility with a snapshot straight off the ground.
A draw would have been a fair result but it was written in the script as Glenravel pushed up once more and left the St Comgalls net billowing in the wind.
It was never going to be an easy week for St Comgalls Senior Mens side this week pitted against two quality sides in Dunloy & Aghagallon.
On Wednesday they travelled down to Cuchullains Dunloy and struggled to hit any sort of rhythm at all, but to their credit kept pushing for the whole game.
Scores when they did come were often from the dead-ball expertise of Miles Devine, including a penalty, and Peter McAuley popped up with a couple himself. Caolan McKeown, Darryl McNeill and Dylan Murdoch also made it on the score sheet.
If the Antrim men where hoping then to respond to the defeat the bad news was that the next match was against St Mary’s Aghagallon. This was a highly mobile side with buckets of pace that could do damage in most areas of the pitch, and they did so.
St Comgalls did their best to compete but the scoreboard was heavily one-sided. Those who did register for the home side included Barney Williamson, Miles Devine, Oisin Crilly, Ciaran Quinn. Highlights were hard to come by but Peter McAuley’s superb point from distance and Paul Quinn’s spectacular save were certainly stand-out moments.
A victim of their own success St Comgalls moved into the top-half of the now divided Division 3, and every match is now going to be a real test against decent sides.
Naomh Comhghall travelled to the Whiterock road for their quarter final match against division 2 side Ardoyne.
Ardoyne took the lead with two successive points after St Comgalls had several missed chances. The ladies battled hard and fought back with 3 scores in a row to lead by a point.
The outstanding score of the half came when the ball was worked from Caitlin Martin at half back all the way up and across to Caitlin Callan in right corner forward where she remained composed under pressure to score from a tight angle. The ladies finished off the half the stronger of the two sides with an impressive 30 metre goal from Rosin Courtney to secure a three point gap at half time.
Halftime score – Naomh Comhghall 1-4 v 0-4 Ardoyne Kickhams
Naomh Comhghall began the second half as dominant as they finished the first, penning the Ardoyne team in their own half for the next 15 minutes.
Scores from Niamh Callan, Aimee Fitzsimmons and Roisin Courtney from play increased the Comgalls lead to six. Ardoyne battled hard to get back into the game but the Antrim ladies proved too strong in the end scoring three more points from frees (Niamh Callan and Fiona Poulter) earned via creative and fluid attacking play.
In such fine form the ladies will be looking forward to their semi-final against St James Aldergrove this Sunday.
Final score Naomh Comhghall 1-10 v 0-6 Ardoyne Kickhams.