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South Antrim Football 2007

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O'Donnell's 4-10 1-05 Eire Og L
Eire Og 8-08 1-03 Dwyer's W
St Malachy's 2-09 0-06 Eire Og L
Eire Og 2-06 3-06 St Paul's L
Ardoyne     Eire Og D
Na Fuiseoige DNF WO Eire Og W
McCracken's Eire Og W
St Agnes 0-04 1-14 Eire Og W
McDermott's Eire Og W
Eire Og     Gort na Mona 26/07/2007 Woodlands 7.45
St Teresa's DNF WO Eire Og W
Eire Og St Gall's W

Eire Og 2-06 v St Paul's 3-06

Eire Og lost out to St Paul's mainly due to goalkeeping and defensive errors. In an even first half the Shaws Road men were gifted two extremely soft goals as both sides played an end to end game. Half time score was 2-04 to 0-02. The Ogs came flying out at the start of second half with Michael Rafferty punching in a Conor Wills centre for a goal with Wills then capitalising on a goalkeeping error to net a second time. Both teams then traded points throughout the rest of the game until a mix up lead to another St Paul's goal which was to be the difference between the teams. Best for the Ogs were Jonny Quinn, Deano McMullen, Gerry O'Reilly and Paul Taggart. Scorers: Conor Wills(1-1), Michael Rafferty(1-0), Deano McMullen(0-3), Jonny Quinn(0-2)

Martin Cup
Quarter Final: McCracken's 4-02 v 2-11 Eire Og, July 5th

Éire Óg booked their Martin Cup semi-final place despite a stirring second half performance from McCracken’s. Éire Óg controlled the game throughout but were found defensively lacking in the second half.
They went in at the interval well ahead, having held McCracken’s scoreless, the visitors missing a penalty and hitting the woodwork twice. A Rowan Vernon goal sealed Éire Óg’s first half dominance. However McCracken’s came out all fired up with goals on their mind and they made the most of some Éire Óg indecision at the back netting four times to bring them to within a single point of their hosts - second half substitute, deposed, overthrown and footballistically unemployed former senior manager Crik Browning then pointed twice and Seamus Holmes once to ensure Éire Óg’s progress.
Best for Éire Óg were Seamus Holmes and Keyvan Vesali in defence, Damien McMullan in midfield and Niall Rice, Peter Elliott and Colm McAuley in attack. Special mention to Rowan 'Lightning' Vernon for his enthusiasm and speed in tracking back and his 1-1 scoring tally.

Semi Final: St Agnes 0-03 v 0-13 Eire Og, July 19th

Éire Óg cruised into the Martin Cup final with a straightforward win over neighbours St Agnes. Playing up the hill at O’Donnell’s pitch the Ógs led 0-5 to 0-2 at the interval. They totally dominated the second half allowing the Aggies a single point, whilst hitting the crossbar and missing a penalty twice themselves. Éire Óg scorers included Niall Cox, Seamus Holmes, Johnny Quinn, Colm McAuley, Damien McMullan, Niall Rice and Fra Grimley. St Agnes' blushes were further spared when Johnny Quinn contrived to miss an open net from a foot, but was somehow awarded a penalty, probably out of sympathy(!). Deano McMullan stepped up to take the spot kick and hit the post. The referee, seemingly determined to give Éire Óg the chance of a goal, demanded that the penalty be taken again. This time McMullan smacked the ball against the crossbar and out to safety.

Final: Gort na Mona 2-06 v 2-16 Eire Og, August 2nd

In perfect conditions at Shaws Road, Éire Óg claimed their second Martin Cup triumph in three years after a well fought battle against Gort na Mona. Team captain (fantastic) Neil Ryan hoisted the cup high above his head after the match to the tumultuous cheers of his fellow Ógs.

The Ógs, showing no sign of fatigue from exertions in the previous night JFC quarter final that went to extra time, were quick off the mark putting up several unanswered scores even though they were playing up the hill and against the wind. Niall “Nibbles” Rice and Johnny “I’m gonna burn down Rasharkin if you call me a male nurse again” Quinn (He apparently has given up the pink uniform and bed baths for a more manly career choice of physiotherapy) led from the front getting first to every ball with able support from Peter Elliot and Niall “Cox” Cochrane who both knocked over some scores. At one point the Ógs held a lead of 7 points over their rivals after a superbly taken goal by Gareth “Gaggs” McLaverty.

The Gorts however were in no mood to lie down and showed much of the form that has them top of the South Antrim league and battled back with a few scores of their own. The first half ended frantically though with a Gort player receiving a free ball through a lapse of concentration in the defence and a last ditch tackle by Kieran “Sleepy” Ryan being deemed worthy of a penalty (it was more the full forward kicked Sleepy’s foot but who are we to judge the infinite wisdom of the games officials). The Gorts convincingly converted the penalty to bring the score to 1-06 to 1-04 at half time.

The second half started exactly as the first. Gerry O’Reilly came on to shore up the middle of the park (showing all the form of a man half his age ….. you’re about 50 now Gerry… right????) and combined well with Colm McAuley, who played a man of the match performance in the middle of the park The Ógs picked up another bit of a lead but the Gorts pulled back again with a second dubious penalty decision after McAuley was adjudged to have fouled a Gort man in the penalty area after a high ball was floated in (looked more like Colm caught it and it was being wrestled out of his hands but again we reflect on the wisdom of the higher authority). From then on though, the match was all Éire Óg. This included a well worked point from Fra Grimley, two exquisitely taken frees from McAuley from a difficult distance and angle and a well executed penalty, again by McAuley (we of course must mention Nibbles at this point for ducking and weaving his way into the box and winning said penalty). Condolences must go to Captain Ryan who almost got a nosebleed venturing far up the pitch and would have scored an excellently taken point from the right wing if the ref hadn’t blown for a free milliseconds before he struck the shot.

The final “winning” point of the night by Seamus “who says you can’t score on the move” Holmes deserves a mention to “Supersub” Anto Donnelly, whose timely intervention and invaluable assistance made the score what it was (I doubt if Shakespeare himself would have the vocabulary to describe this move justly but I’ll try). In a flowing move out of the defence involving several Ógs, O’Reilly gifted a pass to Donnelly who rose like a salmon (and came down like a rock) and plucked the ball cleanly from the sky in the mould of Sean Cavanagh. In an instant of misdirection, that Harry Houdini himself would have been proud of, Donnelly pirouetted like Billy Elliot, faked to go right, sent the defender completely the wrong way and off-loaded calmly to the left to Holmes who charged down the centre and impeccably sent the ball between the vertical posts to euphoric cheers from the sidelines.

This was an excellent win for the Ógs, which hopefully sets up the senior team for the quarter final replay of the junior championship against St Malachy’s. Neil and Kieran Ryan, Joe George, Paul Taggart and Seamus Holmes all played very well in defence. The final tally of scores for the evening were C.McAuley 1-04, G.McLaverty 1-04, P.Elliott 0-03, F.Grimley 0-02, J.Quinn 0-02, N.Rice 0-02, N.Cochrane 0-01 and S.Holmes 0-01 (which suggests a little vanity of the part of some of the players as this adds to 2-19 when the ref had the final score at 2-16)

Team: R Vernon, K Ryan, J George, F Gribben, P Taggart, N Ryan, S Holmes, C McAuley, D McMullan, N Cochrane, P Elliot, G McLaverty, J Quinn, F Grimley, N Rice.

Subs: G O’Reilly, F Lynch, B Sloan, A Donnelly, K Vesali, A George, C Gracey, Chris, M McSorley, D O’Reilly, J Hughes

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1983 Martin Cup Winners
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