HomeFootballGaelic Games: St Brigid's see off Naomh Éanna rally to claim points

Gaelic Games: St Brigid’s see off Naomh Éanna rally to claim points


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O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division One 
Naomh Éanna 1-8 St Brigid’s 0-15

ST BRIGID’S got back to winning ways in Division One as they withstood a second half rally from Naomh Éanna at Hightown on Wednesday to remain in the leading pack.

On an evening that didn’t know whether it was summer or winter with the game opening and ending in sunshine, but delivering a downpour of hailstones before the break, the South Belfast side had built up a healthy nine-point advantage early in the second period.

The hosts would eat into that lead and get to within striking distance, but couldn’t find a second goal to make things really interesting as the Biddies found the scores to keep enough daylight between them to ensure they keep pace at the top with Cargin and Portglenone who also won on the night.

The visitors dominated the majority of the opening half as after goalkeeper Declan Heery’s 45 was cancelled out by a Stephen O’Connor free, the Biddies rattled off six points on the spin.

Michael Cummings began the run with a fine curling effort, and the score-taking was impressive from Enda Gormley’s men as Jack Dowling, Conor Conway, Shay Campbell, Conor McAleer and another from Conway helped them into a 0-7 to 0-1 lead.


Heery did have to make a smart stop from Fiona Nagle just before Conway’s second score and Nagle would stop the rot for Naomh Éanna as he had a shot blocked that spun up and over.

Then, the heavens opened with the hail at St Brigid’s backs with Rory McErlean kicking his first free of the evening and then Peter Lundy popped up with a score to ensure eight of his side had resisted by the break as the ground became extremely slippery in the conditions.

Leading 0-9 to 0-2 at the change of ends, it was looking good for St Brigid’s and with the downpour passing through during the break, things would brighten up again and they looked extremely bright for St Brigid’s who appeared to be ready to kick on in the second half as McErlean landed an early free followed by a good score from raiding wing-back Joe McCarney.

That put nine between them and it seemed a long way back for the hosts, but they made a decent fist of it as Nagle converted a mark and then Ronan O’Neill kicked a point to ensure they had back-to-back cores for the first time of the game.

This seemed to instil a bit of confidence as even though Jack Dowling responded with his second of the game, the Heighten men were right back in it on 43 minutes as a good move culminated in O’Neill squaring for Stephen O’Connor to palm home. 

When Donal Walsh converted a mark minutes later, the gap was now down to four and it seemed Naomh Éanna could push on.

However, St Brigid’s steadied the ship as Peter Lundy shrugged off challenges to curl over off his left and then Conway was through on goal and although his shot just cleared the bar, the score would put six between them.


Another two scores for the hosts through O’Connor and Nagle gave them hoe once more, but time was against them and when McErlean curled over a free in the 60th minute, it was going to take something special to deny them with Naomh Éanna just managing to find a late point from Niall McKeown but they needed much more at this stage as the points headed back across town.

NAOMH ÉANNA: S Nagle; K Jennings, D McNulty, E O’Hara; R O’Neill (0-1), C Lyttle, C Morgan; S Murray, N McKeown (0-1); R Kalla, D Walsh (0-1m), F O’Connor; S McBride, F Nagle (0-3, 1m), S O’Connor (1-2, 0-1f).
Sub: R Hamilton for R Kalla (12).

ST BRIGID’S: D Heery (0-1, 45); F McKernan, C King, S Doyle; J McCarney (0-1), R Carleton, S Campbell (0-1); M Cummings (0-1), J Dowling (0-2); N Duffy, C Conway (0-3), A McNicholl; P Lundy (0-2), C McAleer (0-1), R McErlean (0-3, 3f).
Sub: J Toner for P Lundy (55).

REFEREE: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg) 

Wednesday’s results
O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division One
Tír na nÓg 1-9 Aghagallon 0-12
Cargin 1-10 Creggan 0-7
All Saints, Ballymena 3-11 St Gall’s 2-12
Aldergrove 0-11 O’Donovan Rossa 0-15
Moneyglass 3-13 Ahoghill 2-18
Lámh Dhearg 2-5 Glenravel 1-13
Naomh Éanna 1-8 St Brigid’s 0-15
St John’s 0-5 Portglenone 3-9

O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division 2A
St Teresa’s 0-13 St Patrick’s, Lisburn 0-7
St Paul’s 2-12 Glenavy 1-9

O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division 2B
Sarsfield’s 3-11 Rasharkin 1-8
Ardoyne 2-10 Gort na Móna 3-9

O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division Three
Na Piarsaigh 2-6 St Malachy’s 4-9
Laochra Loch Lao 4-6 Wolfe Tones 1-4
Éire Óg 0-5 St Comgall’s 4-12
O’Donnell’s 0-11 St Agnes’ 1-10

O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division Two
Glenarm 2-22 Carryduff 3-9

O’Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division Four
St Gall’s II 2-12 Ardoyne 5-17

Do you have something to say on this issue? If so, submit a letter for publication to Conor McParland at c.mcparland@belfastmedia.com or write to Editor Anthony Neeson at Andersonstown News/North Belfast News, Teach Basil, 2 Hannahstown Hill, Belfast BT17 0LT

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