DIVISION TWO: Steelstown, Trasna defeated as Glenullin send out title warning

Glenullin's Neil McNicholl was excellent as the Division Two favourites started their campiagn with victory over Slaughtmanus.
Glenullin's Neil McNicholl was excellent as the Division Two favourites started their campiagn with victory over Slaughtmanus.

H&A Mechanical Services All County League Division Two

Ballerin 2-15, Doire Trasna 1-7

At bitterly cold Shamrock Park, Ballerin enjoyed a comfortable win over a Doire Trasna side who were missing a number of players. The Waterside men struggled in the first half when they trailed by 0-10 to 0-3, Ballerin’s Gary Keane and Mark Ferris kicking some excellent points in that period.

Enda Lindsay’s men did show a marked improvement after the break but they could never get close enough to make an impact despite a well taken goal from full forward Cormac Carlin. Ballerin, who scored all but one point from open play, clinched the deal with goals from Paul Ferris and Eugene Mullan but Trasna’s chances were not helped when they had a player dismissed at the three quarter stage. Ballerin’s Jarleth Braldey picked up a worrying looking knee injury near the end.

Ballerin scorers: Gary Keane 0-6 (0-1f), Eugene Mullan 1-2, Paul Keane 1-1, Mark Ferris 0-4, Shaun Mullan and Liam Brown 0-1 each.

Doire Trasna scorers: Michael McNaught 0-4, Cormac Carlin 1-1, Damien Sterritt and Din McLaughlin 0-1 each.

Glenullin 0-15, Slaughtmanus 0-5

Slaughtmanus put up the shutters and it worked to a certain degree in the first half when they were just 0-5 to 0-2 in arrears.

However, with former midfielder Neil McNicholl playing as a very effective half-forward and kicking four glorious points from play - two of these came in each half - the St. Mary’s defence was opened up in the second half as Paddy and Eoin Bradley began to find their range.

McNicholl (2), Paddy Bradley, Dermot O’Kane and Eoin Bradley contributed the five first half points. In return Slaughtmanus had their first score after 15 minutes from a Ryan Barr ’45. Their second score came in injury time from Kevin King.

The second half saw Glenullin control affairs and add a further 10 points with the Bradley brothers getting four each and the outstanding Neil McNicholl two,

Slaughmanus had three second half points from Kevin King, Eddie Devine and John Robertson. A very impressive win for Glenullin as they push to get back to senior football under returning manager Liam Bradley.

Glenullin scorers: Eoin and Paddy Bradley 0-5 each, Neil McNicholl 0-4 and Dermot O’Kane 0-1.

Slaughtmanus scorers: Kevin King 0-2, Ryan Barr, Eddie Devine and John Robertson 0-1 each.

Foreglen 0-16, Steelstown 0-7

A comfortable enough victory for Foreglen who were playing their first Division Two game in three seasons. They did not look entirely convincing when they just led by 0-8 to 0-4 playing into the breeze. However the Brian Ogs did not take advantage of the elements in the second half and Foreglen had the players to pop over points when the opportunity presented itself.

Kevin O’Connor led the Foreglen attack despite being unwell and was his usual effective self. For their part Steelstown are a much changed team from the last few years with injuries, retirements and players moving elsewhere for work cutting deep into their resources. They do not have the same sharpness in attack as in previous seasons and for the amount of possession they had in this game, seven points was a poor return.

Foreglen scorers: Kevin O’Connor 0-6 (3f), Caolan O’Connor 0-3, Ciaran McFeely 0-3 (2f), Eunan McFeely 0-2, Gavin McCormick and Eoghan Duffy 0-1 each.

Steelstown scorers: Ryan Devine and Mark Foley 0-2 each, Neil Forester, Ryan McCloskey and Ruairi Maguire 0-1 each.

Moneymore 0-6, Drumsurn 1-7

A very heavy pitch made this game a test of stamina at Moneymore where the visitors, Drumsurn, dug out a four point victory in difficult conditions.

It was the lowest scoring game of the day but despite the lack of scores there was plenty of energy and effort. At the end of a low scoring first half, Drumsurn led by 0-5 to 0-3.

A second half goal from Pearse McNicholl put daylight between the teams and despite having to absorb late Moneymore pressure, the Drumsurn defence was never seriously tested.

Drumsurn scorers: Ciaran Mullan 0-5, Pearse McNicholl 1-0 and Michael Mullan 0-2.

Lissan 0-9, Castledawson 3-10.

Another game played in difficult underfoot conditions and a stiff breeze to complicate matters.

Castledawson virtually won the game in the first half when goals from Ciaran O’Kane and Conor Scullion propelled them into a commanding interval lead of 2-7 to 0-1.

All credit to Lissan who battled well and hit eight second half points but a lot of their good work was cancelled out when experienced corner forward Aidan McElhone got the third Castledawson goal.

With Mullan and Lavery doing well at midfield, the St. Malachy’s always had a winning platform. Both teams were short a few regulars but the absence of Peter McGlone and Patrick McElroy was a big blow for the Tullynure men.

Castledawson scorers: Ciaran O’Kane 1-2, Conor Scullion 1-1, Aidan McElhone 1-1, Declan Lavery and Niall McNicholl 0-2 each, Ruairi Shivers and Aidan Keenan 0-1 each.

Lissan scorers: Paddy Coey and Patrick Kelly 0-3 each, Oran Donnelly, Michael Quigley, Michael Loughran and Ronan Laverty 0-1 each.

Ballymaguigan 0-14, Craigbane 1-11

Ballymaguigan led this game by both seven and eight points at stages but, eventually, had to be content with a draw. With the wind in their sails, the lough shore men held a handsome 0-10 to 0-3 lead and, at one stage, led by 0-8 to 0-1. In the second half they extended their lead to eight.

The player they could not handle was Craigbane’s ‘goal machine’ Lee Moore who also added six points. In the second half, the wind assisted visitors, with only six of their championship finalists from last year on board, began to win control at midfield through Bliain Gormley and Adie McLaughlin. They gradually reeled the St. Trea’s in and, in the end, were deserving of their share of the points.

Despite the strong wind, both teams produced some good spells of football and kicked some excellent scores. It was Moore’s second half goal that was vital to the Craigbane comeback. Ballymaguigan had seven different scorers and Craigbane just three.

Ballymaguigan scorers Gary Burke 0-5, Fergal Johnston, Patsy Martin, Sean Brady 0-2 each. Johnny Cassidy, Michael Spiers and Andrew McCartney 0-1 each.

Craigbane scorers Lee Moore 1-6, Jude McLaughlin 0-3 and Adie McLaughlin 0-2.