In the second round of the H&A Mechanical Division Two League, there were outsized wins for Claudy at home to neighbours Slaughtmanus and Greenlough away to Ballerin. Doire Trasna also carved out a notable win when they beat Lissan away in a high scoring game.
This scoreline makes one blink. For years there has been little between these neighbours but on this occasion it was simply one way traffic. The weakened Slaughtmanus team never got out of the traps and by half time they were trailing by 2-10 to 0-1.
It did not get any better in the second half when the Mitchel’s added another 3-4 to just three points in return by the St. Mary’s whose only danger up front was Kevin King. Even allowing for the weakness of Slaughtmanus this was a mighty impressive performance by the fast and clever Claudy who had seven different scorers on the day.
Aaron Kerrigan followed up his 1-7 against Doire Trasna with 2-4 in this game. The other players on target were Blaine Carlin 1-4, Daryl Devine 1-2, Shane McGahon 1-1, Oran McCloskey 1-0, Shea Kerrigan 0-2, Owen McGahon 0-1.
Slaughtmanus scorers on a day to forget for them were Kevin King 0-3 and Lee Toland 0-1.
This was an excellent game between two of the top teams in the division and, fittingly, it ended all square with Castledawson hitting the last two points of the game.
It was also level at half time 1-3 to 0-6 with Jude McLaughlin getting the only goal of the game. There were good performances on both sides but none as good as Ciaran O’Kane, the former Castledawson defender now leading the attack. He kicked six excellent points from play including one of the two that brought the teams level.
Both teams will be happy with a share of the points and come the end of the season both will most likely be at the business end of the league.
Craigbane scorers: Jude McLaughlin 1-1, Lee Moore 0-5, Ryan Moore, Ruairi Moore, David Lowry, Gavin Conwell and Ruairi Gormley 0-1 each.
Castledawson scorers: Ciaran O’Kane 0-6, Aidan McElhone 0-3, Aidan Keenan 0-2, Conor Scullion, Brian Ludlow and Paddy Henry, 0-1 each.
Drumsurn, without ace forward Ciaran Mullan, made Steelstown battle all the way but the visitors were physically stronger and showed a higher degree of teamwork. It was a close enough first half with a Neil Forester goal giving Steelstown a two point advantage. Drumsurn were unable to get enough out of their attack apart from Cahir Friel, their top scorer, and the well drilled visitors kept tacking on the points.
With 10 minutes remaining Drumsurn were reduced to 14 men by a debatable decision to red card defender Owen Ferris and any slim chance they had of a comeback was gone. Two wins from two for Steelstown but they have yet to meet any of the leading contenders who will give them a much stiffer test.
Drumsurn scorers: Cahir Friel 0-4, Pearse McNicholl 0-2, Cairan Ferris and Anthony McLaughlin 0-1 each.
Steelstown scorers: Mark Foley 0-5 (0-4f), Neil Forester 1-0, Mickey McKinney 0-3, Gareth Logue, Eamon Donnelly, Rory Maguire, Emmett McBride, Ryan McCloskey, 0-1 each.
Three first half goals from Gavin McGreevy, Oran Kelly and Adie Treanor ended this game as a contest. With a 3-7 to 0-4 lead, the St. Martin’s were in control and kept the rookie Limavady team at bay for the rest of the game.
After their defeat by Slaughtmanus the previous week, this was a much improved display by Desertmartin but the inexperience of the visitors must be taken into account. Limavady have no less than six new players on their team from last year but to their credit they never gave up.
Desertmartin scorers: Gavin McGrevy 1-3, Oran Kelly 1-3, Adie Treanor 1-1, Dermot Breen and Dermot McGuigan 0-3 each and Enda McGuckin 0-1.
Limavady scorers: Cormac Quigley and Ruairi Hasson 0-3 each, and Eoghan Rodgers 0-1.
Doire Trasna 2-14
Those who said that Gaelic football was ‘dead’ should have been at Lissan on Sunday afternoon as two lesser known teams Lissan and Doire Trasna served up a thriller.
It was hard, tough and fair with some brilliant scores at either end. Lissa, with the imposing Patrick Coey ever dangerous up front, led at half time by 1-6 to 1-5 but the smaller and faster Trasna were very sharp in attack with the lively Colin Murray getting both goals. Overall nine of their team scored as the Waterside men registered their fist win of the season.
The winners scores came from Conor Murray 2-2, Darren Harkin 0-3, Dee Starrett and Micheal McNaught 0-2 each, Ciaran McGowan, Gavin Kelly, Sean McNaught, Darren Mallett, and Cormac Carlin 0-1 each.
For the opening twenty minutes there was little between these teams but five unanswered points in the final ten minutes of the half left the well organised visitors 0-9 to 0-4 in front.
The second half was painfully one sided with Greenlough having the time and apace to pick off easy scores. As their game improved Ballerin simply fell apart. Granted they were short some key players but such was the gulf between the teams that it was unlikely to alter the end result.
Greenlough led 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time with the wind advantage to come and it was the 46th minute before the home team got the first score of the half. By that time Greenlough had added another six points.
In the 52nd minute Conor Madden finished off a slick move with a low shot to the net and two minutes later Enda Lynn added another major. A minute form time Conor Madden was in the right place at the right time score the third goal.
The scoreline may not indicate it but this was quite an open and entertaining game. It looked a toss up at half time when the teams turned over only 0-3 each. However, the hosts started the second half well and man of the match Gary Burke bagged the only goal of the game and Moneymore did not have the firepower up front to turn the game around.
Ballymaguigan scorers: Gary Burke 1-6, Fergal Johnston 0-2 and player manager Darren Conway 0-1.
Moneymore scorers: Paudie O’Neill 0-2, Ruairi Young, Jack Barton and Emmett Crozier 0-1 each.