No Surprises in opening round of Division one.
Maybe a few games were closer than expected but there were no real surprises in the opening round of the Derry H&A Mechanical First Division
Bradley Points The Way For Slaughtneil
Eight points seven of them from frees paved the way for a comfortable opening league win for Slaughtneil at home to Lavey. Cailean O’Boyle was not far behind as he hit seven points for the losers.
The accurate Bradley scored just one point from play, in the opening half, but his three converted frees helped the home side to a commanding 0-09 to 0-02 interval lead, O’Boyle the Lavey scorer.
The home side were without Jim and Shane Kelly, while Michael Drumm was also an absentee for the visitors.
Fergal McEldowney and Conan Cassidy shared 0-06 equally as Damian Barton’s side were just too accurate in front of the posts.
The Slaughtneil scorers were Paul Bradley 0-08, 0-07 frees, Fergal McEldowney 0-03, Conan Cassidy 0-03, Padrig Kelly and Karl McKaigue 0-01 each
The Lavey scorers were Caolan O’Boyle 0-07, 0-03 frees, Kevin O’Neill, Gary Cushenan and Liam Murphy 0-01 each
Lynch Free Taking Vital For Banagher
Mark Lynch accurate from frees-he finished with 0-06-Banagher fought back strongly to tie the scores at 0-05 each after Greenlough had got off to a great start led by Enda Lynn
Greenlough made a good start to the second half and it was ‘game on’ when Enda Lynn netted from the penalty spot to close the gap to 1-08 to 1-07. However two converted frees after a PJ McCloskey point took the game away from Greenlough and gave Banagher a narrow three point win.
The Greenlough scorers were Enda Lynn 1-05, 1-00 pen, 0-02 frees, Ryan Tohill , John Og McPeake and Cormac O’Neill 0-01 each
The Banagher scorers were Mark Lynch 0-06 frees, Padhraic Murphy 1-01, Shane Farren, Kevin O’Neill and P. J. McCloskey 0-01 each
Keeper Conlon to the rescue
Seven minutes from time Ciaran Conway broke through at Dean McGlinchey Park and looked certain to score a match-winning goal with the sides locked at 0-06 each. However Ballinderry keeper Mickey Conlan made a sensational save to deny the Ballinascreen player and the Shamrocks blossomed from there with four of the last five points to win by three in what had been a closely contested game up to then.
Benny Heron opened the scoring for the home side but Collie Devlin and Raymond Wilkinson hit a brace for a 0-02 to 0-01 lead. Phillip Bradley and Collie Devlin shared points, as did Dermot McGuckin and Michael McShane before Dermot McBride levelled the scores at 0-04 each.
With Ballinascreen very strong in defence Ballinderry found it hard to break them down but Dermot McGuckin did get a point, only for Phillip Bradley to level at 0-05 each before the half time whistle.
A minute into the second half Ciaran Conway edged Ballinascreen ahead, 0-06 to 0-05, and it stayed like that until the 43rd minute when Collie Devlin tied the scores for the fifth time.
Then came the superb Mickey Conlan save from Ciaran Conway, followed by scores from Collie Devlin for 0-07 to 0-06, and again for 0-08 to 0-06, Martin Harney for 0-09 to 0-06, Phillip Bradley for 0-09 to 0-07 and Collie Devlin inevitably for the final score of the game.
The Ballinascreen scorers were Phillip Bradley 0-03, Benny Heron, Michael McShane, Dermot McBride and Ciaran Conway 0-01 each
The Ballinderry scorers were Collie Devlin 0-06, Dermot McGuckin 0-02, Raymond Wilkinson and Martin Harney 0-01 each
Both teams happy to share the points
Brian Doyle converted a first half point for Loup but it was his second point that proved the crucial one as he nervously landed a last gasp equaliser to give his side the share of the spoils at Watty Graham Park Maghera.
However at half time such a score did not look as it would be needed as Loup were 0-07 to 0-04 in front, with the outstanding Anthony O’Neill-he finished with 0-07-in top scoring form.
However a 45th minute goal from Sean Gribben tipped the balance in favour of the home side as it put them two ahead, the introduction of Emmett Bradley, Johnny Bradley and John McCamley giving a lift in the final quarter.
However, they were not able to hold out and Loup came back to snatch a late levelling point.
The Glen scorers were Sean Gribbin 1-01, Mark O’Donnell 0-03, Ryan Winton 0-02, Phillip O’Connell, Donal Leahy, Emmett Bradley 0-01 each
The Loup scorers were Anthony O’Neill 0-07, Brian Doyle 0-02, Aidan McVey, Sean ‘Mikey’ O’Neill and Roddy O’Kane 0-01 each
Experience the key for Kilrea
The experience of Kilrea was a major factor in this three point win over top flight newcomers Steelstown, the city side just lacking the ‘cuteness’ of the Pearses at critical moments in a closely contested game.
The winners had three points to spare at half time and they maintained that margin to the final whistle, with each side then landing five points each after the interval.
Stephen Cleary scored 0-04 in the first half for the home side, Mark Brennan getting their last point of the first half. Tiarnan Rafferty and Benny McKay scored Kilrea’s first two points but a brace each from Paddy McNeill, Enda McAleese and Lee Kennedy gave the Pearses a 0-08 to 0-05 interval advantage.
Stephen Cleary (2), Aidan Cleary, Gary Cunningham and Ryan Devine scored the second half points for the Brian Og’s, Charlie Kielt, Enda McAleese, Liam Morrow, Kieran Og O’Kane-back after a long injury lay off- and Lee Kennedy scored for Pearses as they held on for victory.
The Steelstown scorers were Stephen Cleary 0-06, Mark Brennan, Aidan Cleary, Gary Cunningham and Ryan Devine 0-01 each
The Kilrea scorers were Lee Kennedy 0-03, Enda McAleese 0-03, Paddy McNeill 0-02, Tiarnan Rafferty, Benny McKay, Charlie Kielt, Liam Morrow and Kieran Og O’Kane 0-01 each
Coleman off to a winning start
New Magherafelt manager Gary Coleman could not have wished for a better start when his young team became one of the few to score an away victory at Coleraine a team badly hit by injuries and emigration. Magherafelt led by 0-6 to 0-2 at half time.
On the turnaround Ciaran McGoldrick pointed two frees to cut the deficit to 0-06 to 0-04. Chrissy Spiers pointed a free for Rossas but the McGoldrick brothers, Ciaran and Colm, were on target for 0-07 to 0-06, Sean Leo then levelling the game at 0-07 each.
However Emmett McGuckin broke the scoring run with a point, Chrissy Spiers and Conor Kearns from frees and Phillip McCusker securing victory for Gary Coleman’s side on his return to the Rossas as their manager.
The Coleraine scorers were Ciaran McGoldrick 0-04, 0-02 frees, Paul Daley, Colm McGoldrick and Sean Leo McGoldrick 0-01 each
The Magherafelt scorers were Chrissy Spiers 0-03, Emmett McGuckin 0-03, Conan O’Brien 0-02, Phillip McCusker, Murtagh O’Brien and Conor Kearns 0-01 each