Antrim Division Two Football League
St.Joseph’s Glenavy 2.15 v 0.14 St.Mary’s Rasharkin
St. Joseph’s took a giant stride towards retaining Division 2 football next season when they widened the gap to 5 points between themselves and Rasharkin with only three games left. Only for Jake Nelson, the home keeper, the result could have been a lot different had it not been for the four outstanding saves he made during the second half when certain goals looked on. The game was played on a hot sunny day with players continually looking for water. Indeed in the second half referee Rab Lappin stopped the game for a two minute break so players could take on water.
The visitors were first on the scoreboard with a Shane Hasson free quickly followed by Eamon McNabb splitting the posts. Fergal Henry brought the sides level with a pointed free and one from play. Niall McCann put his side one up when split the posts from out on the wing. Jonathan McAleese one again had the sides level with a point from play. With both sides trying for supremacy the football was from end to end. Ryan Phillips put the Lough view men in front when he landed a beauty over the bar. Back came the Dreen side with two excellent points from Andrew Hasson and a pointed free from Johnathan McAleese to put his side one up. Once again the sides were level when Fergus Cunningham cut in from the wing for a point. Eamon McNabb once again brought the sides level when he pointed from an acute angle. This was as good as it got for the visitors as the hill side went on to outscore them.
Niall McCann, the team captain added points before Fergal Henry lobbed a ball into the square for Thomas Gallagher to punch to the net. Midfielder Peter Trainor strolled forward and got his name on the score sheet with a point. Michael McCourt replaced the unfortunate Oisin Hamill who had to go off with hamstring trouble. This finished a very entertaining half with the score Glenavy 1.08 v o.06 Rasharkin.
The second half started with two St.Mary’s points from Shane Hasson and Eamon McNabb to close the gap to three. Jake Nelson brought off a fantastic save when on one to one with the forward he pushed a pile driver round the post for an unproductive 45. From the kickout the ball broke to Ciaran Loney who kicked a speculative drive into the goal area when once again Thomas Gallagher found the net to put his side six in front. Fergus Cunningham once found the blackspot with a point. If the orangemen thought their visitors were finished they soon found out different when Thomas McMullan and Fergus Quigg added points. Fergal Henry added a point and Fergus Cunningham added from a dead ball to leave seven between the sides. Once again young Nelson came to his side’s rescue with another excellent save.
Full forward Thomas Gallagher was giving his marker a horrid time added a point from play. Back came the visitors with Eamon McNabb pulling a point back from a free. With the Rasharkin lads realising time was ebbing away were going for goals but found the Glenavy keeper was not prepared to give anything away with another brilliant save. Fergus Cunningham and Eamon McNabb exchanged points. Michael McCourt and Eamon McNabb exchanged points. Once again Jake Nelson was forced into action with another fine save. Michael McCourt added a pointed free. The final score came from Andrew Hasson to leave the final score St.Joseph’s 2.15 v 0.14 St.Mary’s.
Both sides deserve great credit for the standard of football the produced and for the sportsmanship shown by both sides. Next up is an away game for Glenavy v Davitt’s. Rasharkin are away to Aldergrove.