Ardglass GAC made a strong performance against visitors St Michael’s GAC.
O’Neill’s ACFL : Division 4b.
Final Score: Ardglass GAC 4-16 : St Michael’s GAC 2-02
The GAA Covid-19 arrangements were in place with the game broken into four quarters for the players to get watered safely.
Ardtole park was windy and rainswept last Friday evening (24 July 2020) as St Michael’s GAC squared up to the seasiders, Ardglass GAC.
From the whistle, Ardglass were on the attack with a fine pass from Corey Mahon to Caolian O’Shea who opened the scoring.
At 5 minutes in after a couple of strong Ardglass build-ups, St Michael’s surged forward and Kevin Hamill found the net putting the visitors ahead. But that advantage was short lived as Ardglass clawed their way back into the game to dominate it.
The home side pressed forward with Ciaran Dorian just short on a long kick, and Christian O’Connor going wide.
Ardglass defence looked plucky and fought off anything that St Michael’s had to offer.
Then on 10 minutes Daniel Smyth cleared the posts to start the avalanche. This was followed up quickly with another point from Smyth.
Then Conor Kearney found the space to run forward passing two defenders and shooting over the posts.
Daniel Smyth was particularly strong on the right of the pitch as Ardglass put on the pressure showing good passing and holding skills.
Despite a heavy challenge by a St Michael’s defender, Dorian stayed on his feet and forced forward to striking distance and unleashed the ball for a well-earned point.
Ardglass weren’t taking any prisoners and Conor Kearney got a yellow card for a heavy tackle on St Michael’s midfielder Conor Heaney.
Just as the teams were going into their first water break at 15 minutes, it was Daniel Smyth who picked up a long ball up the right wing and passed a couple of defenders to bury it in the back of the net for a goal.
Ardglass were a comfortable five points in the lead.
St Michael’s came out fighting and made a few excellent runs at the Ardglass goal, but the home side defenders were having none of it.
Then it was that man Smyth again who broke forward and hit the centre of the St Michael’s net.
Ardglass were turning the screws by now and Kearney popped another ball over the posts.
As Ardglass mounted all out pressure on St Michael’s, Smyth skewed a kick at goals. Then referee Kieran Branagan had to dish out a yellow card to a St Michael’s defender.
The teams reached half time, both battered by the at times heavy wind and rain.
Ardglass in Driving Seat At Half-Time
As the second half began, forward Conor Kearney won a free converted by Caolian O’Shea.
Daniel Conlon in a surge by St Michael’s battled through and took a point back.
But Ardglass were not deterred and immediately were back again with Michael Magee racing in for a certain goal but lost his footing on the greasy surface.
Aaron Ibinson there kept the scoring alight for Ardglass with another point.
St Michael’s must have been wondering what they had to do to stem the tide of scores against them as Smyth pounced again and popped the ball over the bar for another point. He followed this with another easy safe point which could have been a goal opportunity but he played safe for the point.
Despite the constant Ardglass grind, St Michael’s kept their spirits up and fought back.
But Ardglass had made a blistering start to the third quarter and Magee made an excellent pass to Kearney who took a point but again it was a goal opportunity.
Michael Magee was battled well in the centre. St Michael’s in an Ardglass lull pulled back another point. Ardglass fought back right away and an excellent pass from Daniel Smyth to Adam Mulhall was just inches wide of the St Michael’s post for a goal.
The teams took their second water break and on the resumption, Smyth missed the posts for a wide then Kearney broke through the St Michael’s defence and rocketed the ball into the net.
There was no holding Ardglass back as O’Shea send a long ball between the St Michael’s posts for a point. Magee played a good run with Mulhall who kicked over for a point.
There were signs that St Michael’s were flagging, and that Ardglass looked the fitter of the two teams.
O’Shea went short on his free after Smyth was fouled. Then St Michael’s battled their way up the pitch having controlled the ball from the kick out and Conor Kelly found the Ardglass net for a goal.
O’Shea took a free for Ardglass and it just went wide.
Ardglass ended the match with no injuries and showed a positive work rate. The seasiders will be facing new side East Belfast next Friday. St Michael’s beat East Belfast last week by five clear points so Ardglass will be keen to put their stamp on the division.
Final Score: Ardglass GAC 4-16 : St Michael’s GAC 2-02.
Ardglass GAC: 1. David Armstrong. 2. Conor Mason. 3, Malachy Crangle. 4. Shane Taggart. 5. Anton O’Shea. 6. Stephen Rooney. 7. Sean Paul Halpin. 8. Michael Magee, 9. Caolian O’Shea. 10. Aaron Ibinson. 11. Ciaran Dorrian. 12. Christian O’Connor, 13. Conor Kearney. 14. Daniel Smyth. 15. Corey Mahon.16. Adam Mulhall. 17. Chris Armstrong. 18. Jonathan O’Connor. 19. Shea Dorrian. 20. Mark Magennis. 21. Terry Kearney. 22. Conor Feenan. 23. Matthew Shearer. 24. Niall Kelly. 25. Eamon McEvoy. 26 Luke Mulhall. 27. Damien Milligan. 28. John Feenan. 29. Philip Sutcliffe.
St Michael’s GAC: 14. Kevin Hamill. 9. Niall Hanna. 4. Thomas Kearney. 13. Joseph Lavery. 15. Oisin McCabe. 5.Matthew Scullion. 12. Daniel Conlon. 28. Conor Hamill. 11. John Kearney. 10.Conor Kelly. 8. Brendan Marden. 3. Gareth McCabe. 2. Stephen Moore. 6. Conor O’Neill. 1. Rivaldo Teggart. 7. Conor Heaney.