NÉ v Ahoghill – Round 5 – Div 1


As we approached the summer on the first day of May (Lá Bealtaine – the fire festival), Páirc Éanna welcomed the visitors from Ahoghill, in the pleasant sunshine there would be no May-flowers but plenty of fireworks.

Both teams have locked horns several times last year and in his first Antrim Division One match in charge, Frank Fitzsimmons brought his team to the Clooney Meadow, it was success on that night, a historical one, that saw Naomh Éanna return to the top division after a gap of a dozen or so years, Naomh Muire returned the favour at home after the league had split in 2018.

So Wednesday night game was the best of three so far, there is no doubt that both teams are hard workers and the reality it was the hard working team that would be victorious, a never say die performance from the home side ensured a well-deserved victory , a masterful display from arguable one of the best midfielders in the county Niall McKeown was a real crowd pleaser, his high fielding, immense work rate and even his missed chance that hit the cross bar where all part of a very positive affair.

A missed chance at the start could have given the home side a lead, however it was James Magee who opened the score from play a minute later Antrim U20 Captain opened the home sides account with a fine score from play.

Naomh Éanna would go to five up inside eight minutes, to make it:

NÉ 1-03

NM Ahoghill 0-01

The goal coming from Captain James McAuley after pressure from the home side to force the turnover and clinical finish to the net.

As the half progressed, both teams where guilty of wides and short balls into the goalkeepers arms, Odhrán Eastwood was busy all through the half and at No.15, Nagles constant movement on and off the ball caused major problems for the Naomh Muire defense, by the end of the half he had changed his makers twice, as was the test from the young man. One of the most interesting battles of the night was the battle on the Ahoghill square, at No.14 for Naomh Éanna – Damien Gault and at No.3 for Naomh Muire  – Bernard Graham, Graham at the best of times is teak tough, hard tackling and hardworking and on Wednesday was no different, in January  Gault was wearing No.3 for Naomh Éanna against Gaoth Daobhairs Kevin Cassidy and held Cassidy scoreless, a point in the first half and a goal in the second, saw Damien finish the match with 1-01.

As the first half progressed the home team had a multitude of chances of to be well out if sight but had scores coming from Odhrán Eastwood (0-02, 0-01f), the ever young Damien Gault (0-01), Eoin Nagle (0-02) and the half would finish:

Half time score: @NaomhEannaCLG 1-8(11)  Ahoghill 0-6(6)

Peter Healy would take the game by the scruff of the neck and impose has influence and slot over his first and the first score of the second half, he would then go on to influence the play to see Damien Gault finish to the back of the net, to make it:

NÉ 2-09

NM Ahoghill 0-06

Then with nine minutes played Peter Healy after an excellent passage of play got himself a goal and deal the visiting side a hammer blow, to make it:

NÉ 3-09

NM Ahoghill 0-06

It was looking difficult for Ahoghill and on 12 minutes of the second half , Magee would open the Clooney men’s second half scoring:

NÉ 3-09

NM Ahoghill 0-07

A goal and a point from Ruairí Scott widened the gap further:

NÉ 4-10

NM Ahoghill 0-07

Dónall Graham was having none of it and within four minutes Naomh Muire had registered 1-03, the goal coming from that man Magee again, to make it:

NÉ 4-10

NM Ahoghill 1-10

However that was it from Naomh Muire, but the rising county star Odhrán added three more, two from play and one from a free, to bring his total to seven (five from play and two from placed balls), there is no doubt the Antrim Management are watching closely.

Final Score from Páirc Éanna:

NÉ 4-13

NM Ahoghill 1-10

Naomh Éanna

1 – Dónall Walsh

2 – Killian Jennings

3 – Michael McNamee

4 – Ciarán Thompson

5 – Conan Lyttle

6 – James McAuley

7 – Conor McAuley

8 – Ethan Gibson

9 – Niall McKeown

10 – Peter Healey

11 – Ruairí Scott

12 – Odhrán Eastwood

13 – Mickey Morgan

14 – Damien Gault

15 – Eoin Nagle

Team 2: Ahoghill


10mins 2nd half substitution @NaomhEannaCLG–> off: Mickey Morgan  on: Pádraig Hamilton

23mins 2nd half substitution @NaomhEannaCLG–> off: Conor McAuley   on: Gerard Crossey

25mins 2nd half substitution @NaomhEannaCLG–> off: Damien Gault  on: Cormac Scott


1 Francis Neeson,

2 Seamus McKeever,

3 Bernard Graham,

4 Eamon Brady,

5 Eoin Graham,

6 Stephen O’ Connell,

7 Diarmuid Graham,

8 Neil O’ Connell (0-02),

9 Martin Graham,

10 Danny O’ Neill,

11 Donal Graham (0-01),

12 James Magee,

13 Ronan Graham,

14 Eoin Neeson

15 Gerard Graham


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