Senior 2005

Archived Reports, Player Profiles & Information

Division 3 - League Results

Gort na Mona 0-12 0-06 Eire Og L
St Brigid's 1-13 2-03 Eire Og L
Eire Og 1-09 1-05 Rasharkin W
Rossa 2-07 0-07 Eire Og L
Eire Og 0-08 1-08 Lamh Dhearg L
O'Donnell's 2-05 2-10 Eire Og W
Eire Og 0-06 3-08 St Paul's L
St Malachy's 0-08 2-08 Eire Og W
Glenravel 0-12 0-08 Eire Og L
Eire Og 1-10 1-10 Gort na Mona D
St Brigid's 2-15 3-07 Eire Og L
Rasharkin 1-08 0-10 Eire Og L
Eire Og 3-08 0-20 Rossa L
Lamh Dhearg 1-14 1-05 Eire Og L
Eire Og 0-10 0-14 O'Donnell's L
St Paul's - - Eire Og W
Eire Og WO DNF St Malachy's W
Eire Og - - Glenravel W

Eire Og got the season off with a poor, lacklustre performance against Gort na Mona. Although the Ogs were missing players and carrying a number of injured players the performance should have been a lot better. Two points from Colm McAuley and a Peter Elliott free were all the Ogs had to show for an error riddled first half. The Ogs slightly improved after the break with points from McAuley and substitute Kevin Brown, but a missed penalty by Peter Elliott finished off any hopes Eire Og had of pulling themselves back into the game. Keeper Rowan Vernon had an excellent game, tipping over a net bound drive in the first half, before saving a penalty himself and diving low to his left near the end to keep his clean sheet. Paul Taggart and Neil Ryan played well at half back, while JP Dunney and McAuley battled well around midfield.

 Back Row: Sean O'Neill, Chris, Sean McKenna, Fintan Morgan, Conor Wills, JP Dunney, Colm McAuley, Fra Grimley, Chris Browning, Adrian O'Reilly, Rowan Vernon

Front Row: Stevie McCoey, Anto Donnelly, Fergal Gribben, Sean O'Neill Jnr, Paul Taggart, Emmet Holmes, Jonny Quinn, Kieran Ryan, Gavin McLaughlin, Brendy Sloan

Manager: Pat Rice

The Ogs were missing a number of regulars and with so many players injured, the Ogs fielded a team with many playing out of position. Despite this the Ogs got off to a good start and at his third attempt McAuley scored to put the Ogs 1 up. An Elliott point from a free after good play involving O'Hare and McAuley put the Ogs 2 up. However, the Ogs seemed to lose their early momentum and Gort started to dominate procedures and seemed to knock scores over at will. At half time the Ogs were 6 behind and Sean O’Neill had some strong words to say! The second half was a carbon copy of the first, the midfield started to win possession and the forwards were running the Gort back line ragged. Then disaster struck with Gort winning a penalty, although the Ogs should have been awarded a free out moments before. However Vernon produced a smart save, diving to his left. This seemed to give the Ogs a lift, and after a couple more points from the Ogs, McAuley won a penalty after being brought down with the goal at his mercy. Up stepped Elliott who hit the spot kick, but the Gort keeper palmed it away, and the Ogs seemed to take their foot off the pedal. Gort got another few scores and Kevy Brown missed a good chance when he waited for the ball instead of going to it! In the end Gort had a number of good chances, but Vernon was equal to everything, and deserved his clean sheet. After 2 hand passed scores by Gort the referee blew the final whistle. It was a disappointing start to the season with too many players having an off day. While there were no great performances, the best for the Ogs were; Rowan Vernon(in nets), Joe George(full back), JP Dunney(midfield), and Colm McAuley(centre half forward). Despite the result, the one positive thing for the Ogs was McAuley manged to keep his mouth shut, and it looks though he has learned his lesson after spending so much time on the side lines last year! As manager O’Neill says, the Ogs should learn the colour of their own jersey, and not give the ball away too cheaply!
Ogs Team: Rowan Vernon, Cathal Mervyn, Joe George, Kieron Ryan, Paul Taggart, Neil Ryan, Stevie McC, Chris Browning, JP Dunney, Peter Elliott(0-1), Colm McAuley(0-3), Brendy Sloan, Fergal Logan, Conor Wills, Barry O'Hare(0-1), (Subs): Fintan Morgan, Kevin Brown(0-1)
Colm McAuley


The Ogs produced a battling, whole hearted performance against St Brigid's but ultimately lost out to the Malone side's accurate free taking from All Ireland winner Joe Brolly. St Brigid's took an early lead before a Peter Elliott goal gave the Ogs the lead. But it wasn't to last long. The Ogs were caught by quick counter attack and conceded a goal. The match was quite evenly contested around the middle of the park where no quarter was given, but it was the difference in each side's forwards that swung it St Brigid's way. Kevin Brown caused chaos in the box from a long JP Dunney side line ball and a goal resulted but it was too little too late. Colm McAuley pointed for the Ogs. Best for the Ogs were Joe George, Conor Wills and Neil Ryan in defence and JP Dunney in midfield.


Eire Og got their first win of the season against a big, strong Rasharkin side. They showed plenty of spirit and produced some good football and fine scores.
They played with the wind in the first half, dominating midfield, holding the Rasharkin forwards at bay easily and slotting over some excellent points. The Ogs raced into an early lead and by half time had a five point lead, 0-06 to 0-01, with points from Peter Elliott, JP Dunney, Colm McAuley and a long range effort from Fra Grimley.
Rasharkin, now with the wind in their favour, hit a couple of points early in the second half. The Ogs responded well and closed down the Rasharkin forwards before replying with a couple of points of their own. The half time substitutions into the full forward line of ‘Flying Scotsman’ Gareth McLaverty, Barry O’Hare and the prolific Conor Kennedy who scored a wonder point from an acute angle caused the Rasharkin defence problems in the second half. Rasharkin had a man harshly sent off, but this seemed to disrupt the Ogs more as Rasharkin temporarily gained the upper hand, before Eire Og used their numerical advantage to run at the Rasharkin goal. A late Elliott goal should have sealed the match but minutes later a rash tackle by Joe George in the Ogs' goalmouth gifted the countrymen a penalty which they duly converted. That was to be the last score of a match that the Ogs thoroughly deserved to win.
Kieron Ryan and Cathal Mervyn were outstanding in full back along with Joe George, while Neil Ryan and Paul Taggart also did very well in half back. Conor Wills and JP Dunney controlled midfield, while up front Elliott was the star with 1-05 ably assisted by Johnny Quinn, Rory Casey and McLaverty. Minor Kayvan Vesali made his senior debut late on and did well too picking up breaking ball. Special mention to the Ogs' mascot for the day, Rasharkin lad, Fergal Gribben whose heart was torn between those of his native tongue and his adopted club.


Two sloppy goals conceded in the first 10 minutes were the difference between Rossa and the Ogs. Eire Og will point to the loss of K Ryan, C Wills, C McAuley and J Quinn through first half injuries, as a reason for their poor performance but their shooting was also way off the mark. There were three sendings off, two for Rossa in the last 5 minutes and the Ogs keeper after the match. Scorers for Eire Og included JP Dunney, Emmett Holmes, Colm McAuley, Paul Taggart and Peter Elliott.


A very late goal for Lamh Dhearg gave them victory in a game Eire Og dominated, but were left down by poor finishing. Despite missing a handful of regulars and facing a strong Lamh Dhearg side bolstered by some senior players, Eire Og more than matched their opponents. Eire Og dominated midfield with JP Dunney and Conor Wills on top while the full back line of Cathal Mervyn, Stevie McC and Rory Casey, who all had excellent games, smothered the Lamh's full forwards. Kieron Ryan and Niall McGurk at half back won lots of breaking ball and the defence as a whole played well. Up front Anto Donnelly and Fergal Gribben fought for every ball, while Sean McKenna, Peter Elliott and Colm McAuley won plenty of ball. But for all their possession the Ogs couldn't take their scores, as easy chance after easy chance was squandered. At 5-4 down at half time the match was up for grabs. The Ogs stepped up their performance and penned Lamh Dhearg in. A sending off of a Lamh Dhearg half forward with 15 minutes left for talking to the referee should have sealed the game for the Ogs but they failed to take their chances. Then, with minutes left, confusion in the Ogs' box as two men went for the one ball, the ball broke loose and was hammered past the helpless Ogs keeper. That was to be the difference in the two sides at the end. Scorers for Eire Og included Sean McKenna, Peter Elliott, Colm McAuley, Fergal Gribben.


A slightly understrength Eire Og side produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance to comfortably beat O'Donnells. A penalty awarded to the home team in the very first minute gave O'Ds the perfect start, but then the Ogs dominated the rest of the first half. For the first fifteen minutes Eire Og missed so many easy chances, before Emmett Holmes settled the shooting nerves with a couple of points, followed by Peter Elliott. At half time the Ogs led 0-05 to 1-01.
Eire Og came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half. A long distance shot from Colm McAuley was misjudged by the O'Ds keeper and dropped into the back of the net. Then Sean McKenna, back at his old club, took centre stage. A tremendous solo goal and three points from him put clear daylight between the teams. With ten minutes to go Eire Og seemed to relax. O'Donnells grabbed a couple of points and then a goal and the Ogs began to panic. But they held to what should have been a more comfortable victory.
Fintan Morgan, Cathal Mervyn and Fergal Gribben, playing (very well) out of position in the full back line were rock solid and produced some fine blocks. Neil Ryan had an outstanding game at centre half back, while Conor Wills and Colm McAuley controlled midfield. The half forward line starred with Peter Elliott(0-03), Sean McKenna(1-04) and Emmett Holmes(0-03) back to his best.


Indiscipline, poor shooting, being without some key players and inconsistency cost Eire Og a game they could they won, had they shown the form they have had in certain previous games. St Pauls were gifted three soft goals that flattered them in a game that was quite even. Ten minutes after half time there were only two points between the teams but then the Ogs collapsed. A disappointing result.


A comfortable victory over St Malachy's, played in terrible conditions more like January than May, helped ease the disappointment of the previous weekend's defeat. Despite playing into the wind with rain on their faces, Eire Og took an early through a Sean McKenna point and missed a few too. But the Ogs took longer to adjust to the slippery conditions mishitting passes and fumbling when in possession. St Malachy's then took brief command, using the wind well and taking several good scores. Towards the end of the first half, the Ogs rallied and Barry O'Hare netted and Colm McAuley pointed to leave the Ogs trailing at half time 0-06 to 1-02.
That deficit was quickly turned into a lead that was not to be relinquished as the Ogs now played with the wind. Sean McKenna had an excellent second half with 4 well taken points. Peter Elliott scored a free, Emmett Holmes pointed and Barry O'Hare wrapped it up with a second goal. St Malachy's tried to respond but Eire Og's defence lead by Neil Ryan limited them to 2 points and the Og's goal was never under any threat.
JP Dunney had a great game in midfield, McKenna, Holmes, O'Hare, Elliott and McAuley did well up front with Adrian O'Reilly also making a welcome return to the senior team. Fra Grimley's distribution from half back was good when he settled down, the Ryan brothers played well too in defence, while the full back line dealt with anything that came their way.


An understrength Eire Og team travelled to Glenravel and were unlucky to leave the Glens without any points, though probably had themselves to blame at the end. In fact not once this season have the Ogs managed to field the same team two games running, never mind their strongest fifteen even once.
In an even match an early Sean McKenna point from play put the Ogs into the lead before Glenravel responded with a few points before Colm McAuley pointed for the Ogs. Points were traded for the rest of the half with McKenna, Elliott and Holmes prominent in attack. The Glensmen led 0-06 to 0-05 at half time.
The second half saw Glenravel continue with their long balls to the forwards who seemed willing to go down rather easily looking for frees which the referee was more than eager to give, though to be fair he was equally poor for both teams as regards tackling. He took more names and booked more players in this game than any referee had done in all this year’s games so far. At the end he also seemed to forget that he’d booked a Glenravel senior substitute twice! Their young free taker never missed a free, and that was to be the difference in the teams.
Now playing with the hill, Eire Og dominated the play but the teams were still neck and neck score-wise. McAuley, when not doing the dying swan, won plenty of ball in midfield, while McKenna again put over some points. G.A.Y. keeper
Vernon (that’s Girls Aloud Yes!) obviously drew inspiration from Nadine Coyle and not only produced some excellent catches under pressure, but also kept a clean sheet. The introduction at half time of Barry O’Hare gave extra pace up front and he did well. With five minutes left Kayvan Vesali, who had a good, battling game, put the Ogs in front following good work in midfield. But then the frustration with the referee boiled over and the Ogs gave away too many stupid frees and began squabbling. Glenravel easily converted the frees to run out winners in a game which could so easily have been the Ogs’.


With no referee turning up, given the acrimonious ending to the recent South Antrim match, both teams weren’t willing to let the other referee and opted to referee a half each. This gave a senior refereeing debut to the next Pat McEnaney.
In the first half Eire Og started strongly with points from Sean McKenna, Peter Elliott and Colm McAuley. Emmett Holmes and Barry O’Hare who were later to score also played well. The youthful Gort na Mona team played a short running game and got some success out of it. The Ogs tended to give away too many frees and played poor balls out of defence and they paid the price for it. Francois Grimley left the field of play having injured himself scoring a decent point. Confusion in midfield led to a Gort goal, as Conor Wills was hesitant in picking up a loose ball and allowed Gort na Mona to break. However the Ogs went in at the break a point up 0-07 to 1-03. It should have been more as Elliott was unlucky to see his shot cannon off the crossbar when a goal seemed certain.
Enter ‘Stadler’ McGarrity as referee. Not as vocal as Brendan McPoland and not as mobile as Barry Hall, he did contribute a certain je ne sais quoi to the game. Keeping up with play was not a forte but he exuded authority in his own way. The Ogs continued to take some good scores, but also missed some easy chances. In defence more soft frees were conceded which eventually cost them dear. Good work from JP Dunney, McAuley and Wills put Emmett Holmes through on goal and he netted. Sean McKenna was unlucky not to score two goals – once when a long run ended with a shot blazed over the bar and then when he dived to connect with a cross, just missing contact. Coach Browning came on and battled well in midfield, but despite some dubious score keeping from the mathematically challenged Grimley on the side line, the game was drawn. The Ogs missed some goal opportunities, played well overall, but should really have been convincing winners.
Best for the Ogs were Cathal Mervyn, Stevie McCoey and Joe George in defence(though special mention to Fergal Gribben who took a short pass from a goal kick and got more work than he expected!), JP Dunney in midfield and Holmes, Elliott, McAuley, O’Hare up front.


Eire Og gave St Brigid’s a big early lead and, despite a second half comeback, weren’t able to claim any points.
The Ogs got off to the worst possible start. With barely a minute played, an Ogs defender looked favourite for a long ball but he misjudged it and let it bounce over his head, leaving the St Brigid’s corner forward to easily beat the helpless Rowan Vernon. This early goal caused Ogs heads to go down and gave the
Malone Road
men a lift. They scored another soft goal soon after and put over some fine points to give themselves a very early 13 point lead! With the Ogs defence in disarray, strong direct running from Emmett Holmes and Barry O’Hare gave the Ogs heart. This led to a converted Sean McKenna free. Soon after good work from Crik Browning and Emmett Holmes, allowed Barry O’Hare to net for the Ogs. Adrian O’Reilly pointed and the scoreline at half time was more respectable.
Sean O’Neill gave a stirring half time talk and made some important changes. This seemed to galvanise the Ogs. The Ogs half back line and midfield began to dominate now and super sub Johnny Quinn caused havoc in the St Brigid’s defence scoring two fine points himself. The Ogs were definitely on the up when Browning rolled back the years (to when he last scored!) and sent over a fine long range point, much to the delight of the sideline posse. Barry Hall scored a goal as the Ogs kept chipping away at the lead, restricting St Brigid’s to the odd breakaway attack. Another couple of points followed by a Peter Elliott goal led to an exciting finish as the Ogs chased the goals to win the game. At the death Elliott was inches away from scoring his second goal and St Brigid’s held on for a five point win.
Given the two soft early goals they conceded, Eire Og will be kicking themselves. Cathal Mervyn and Neil Ryan did well in defence, while JP Dunney, Colm McAuley, Crik Browning and Fra Grimley battled well in around the middle of the park, and up front Holmes, O’Hare and Elliott all did well.


An understrength Ogs team, missing several players and ever so slightly under the weather after their ‘Night at the Races’ the previous evening, travelled to Rasharkin on a hot and humid day. Despite this Eire Og produced what should have been a match winning performance only to lose by a point in unfortunate circumstances.
Rasharkin looked sharper at the start of the game and raced into a 2 point lead. Then the Ogs settled down and began to play football. Emmett Holmes halved the deficit and then Peter Elliott put the two sides level. A lengthy stoppage for a nasty head injury to Rasharkin native and current Og Fergal Gribben’s brother playing for the St Mary’s side, gave both teams a breather. After that Rasharkin scored again to take a one point lead into half time, after a low scoring first half, 0-03 to 0-02.
The Ogs came flying out in the second half. Conor Wills won breaking ball straight from the throw in and fed Peter Elliott whose low shot cannoned back off the post with the keeper well beaten. Elliott managed to pick up the rebound and took his point. More points followed from Holmes, Elliott, Colm McAuley, Fra Grimley and Neil Ryan as the Ogs took a three point lead midway through the second period.
Some strange refereeing decisions seemed to momentarily disrupt the Ogs. The Ogs keeper fumbled a long shot that dropped short into his own net to allow the Rasharkin men back into the game. Then Johnny Quinn, newly self appointed club arm wrestling champion, was unfortunate to spurn two easy chances. With time running out Sean O’Neill brought on the vast(ly experienced) Sean O’Neill to try to win some ball in around midfield. Rasharkin edged a point in front and the Ogs were just not able to score again.
It was a very disappointing result, but an excellent display. The Ogs full back line were superb, Cathal Mervyn and Stevie McCoey had very good games and special mention to Joe George for only remaining vertical all game but also playing well. Fra Grimley, Colm McAuley and Conor Wills did well in around the middle of the park and played some fine balls forward, while Neil Ryan chipped in with a point from half back. Up front Crik Browning battled well and Holmes and Elliott had their usual good games.


A severely understrength Eire Og team travelled the short distance up to St Paul’s, really needing both points. Most of the first half saw each team trading points, with a strong St Paul’s team just taking the upper hand, after a combination of the Ogs giving away the ball very easily on several occasions and some poor shooting (9 wides in the first half). However, St Paul’s slight lead was pulled back when an attempted point from Peter Elliott came back off the bar and fell to the fleet footed Barry Hall who calmly slotted low past several St Paul’s men for a goal. A late free from St Paul’s gave them a 1 point lead at half time.
The Ogs came out really well straight from the throw in for the 2nd half and 3 quick points gave us a lead. Scores were then traded again, with Elliott, Emmett Holmes, Johnny Quinn and Fra Grimley all on the score sheet by this stage, and Barry Hall scoring 3 out of 4 frees (although Emmett Holmes would like to point out he missed 1 more than him). The Ogs half backs came more into the game and were now able to get in about them more and stifle the St Paul’s attack a bit. Conor Muldoon and Joe George had good games in the full back line, stopping a lot of attacks. Then that man again, the fox in the box, the Ogs answer to Peter Canavan, Mr Hall hit the back of the net for the second time. A couple of late points from St Paul’s couldn't stop a well needed 2 point victory for the Ogs, made better of course due to the fact they were missing several important players. Welcome back to Conor ‘Sniper’ Kennedy, who turned up after a brief sabbatical and helped out when the Ogs were short of players.


Intermediate Football Championship


Gort na Mona 5-21 v 0-02 Eire Og


The Ogs were unfortunately outclassed in a mismatch with high flying Gort na Mona. Suspensions, injuries and holidays meant that Eire Og fielded a slightly weakened team, but to be honest, had the Ogs put out their full team, Gort would probably still have been too strong. A very disappointing result.

Challenge Matches


St Paul's, Hollywood 0-06 v 1-04 Eire Og Feb 6th 2005
The Ogs edged this first match of the season in a game of two halves. St Paul's took an early one point lead before a good move by the Ogs ended in a goal. Conor Wills fielded Paul Taggart's long ball and laid it off to Emmett Holmes who found captain Neil Ryan in an unusually forward position who calmy slotted it past the keeper. Eire Og could have had another goal but Wills' effort was smothered by the keeper. Rowan Vernon had to make a good save at the feet of Hollywood's full forward but apart from that Eire Og had the better of the first half and went in 0-06 to 0-04 up at half time.
A lot of changes and Eire Og's growing frustration at the referee upset their flow and St Paul's came into the game and dominated the rest of the match. The Ogs lost the excellent Colm McAuley when he was dismissed but hung on for a slender one point win. Although it was a rusty performance the Ogs were missing a number of players and will look to improve. Other scorers included Peter Elliott, Emmett Holmes and Colm McAuley.


On a fine Sunday morning the Ogs assembled at Woodlands and manager Sean O’Neill realised the inspirational McAuley was missing. One quick phone called and he revealed Colm would meet us up there. After a quick and brief team talk the Ogs took to the pitch. A frightening first 30 minutes from the Ogs saw them produce the form they had at the end of last season, and it looked liked Hollywood were in for a serious drumming. Pick of the first half scores was Neil Ryan’s sublimely executed goal, and McAuley’s terrific 35 yard point. However in the second half the Ogs lost their way and let St Pauls claw their way back into the match. After some poor refereeing decisions there was only 3 scores in it. Then McAuley was sent off for an apparent punch, when even McGarrity and the reliable Ging (who were 60 yards from the incident) clearly saw it was a push. This put the Ogs into disarray, as McAuley seemed to be winning everything in the middle of the park. Sean sent on the inspirational and experienced Crick Browning and this seemed to steady the Ogs. In the dying moments Rowan Vernon made a few stunning saves and the Ogs held on for a 1 point victory. While everyone was great in the first half, the best for the Ogs were Vernon, Neil Ryan, Crick and McAuley. A special mention should also go to the water boy, Gary Sweeney who kept supplying the team with water. On the performance of the first half, the Ogs must surely be capable of promotion this year. Man Of The Match: MC AULEY
No guesses who wrote this report!!


Captain Ryan wants to know how Anto was shouldered off the ball by a hobbit! Answers on a postcard...


St Mary's, Desertmartin 2-10 v 0-11 Eire Og Feb 6th 2005
An understrength Ogs team travelled to Derry to take on Desertmartin. The Derry men were quick off the blocks scoring two soft goals within the first five minutes with the Ogs defence was in disarray. Some more sharp shooting from Desertmartin saw them gain a large and ultimately winning margin before the Ogs started to win more of the ball in and around midfield. Emmett Holmes, Sean McKenna and Peter Elliott all pointed as the Ogs came more into the game. Just before half time the Desertmartin sniper claimed his first victim as McAuley fell with nobody near him. He went off clutching his ankle, but as has happened so many times before, Eire Og played better without him.

The second half saw Eire Og dominate the game and outpoint their hosts. Joe George from full back replaced McAuley in midfield and scored two points - double his quota for the decade! Elliott, Holmes and McKenna all added some points before McKenna became the second victim to Desertmartin's dodgy pitch, going over on his ankle. Rowan Vernon was required to make a smart save low down to his right to prevent Desertmartin from scoring a third goal. Sean O'Neill, horse fancier/whisperer, was forced to make some changes, but the Ogs were not disrupted. The Derry sniper had time to take down Brendy Sloan before the match ended and the Ogs just couldn't claw back the two goal lead they gave to Desertmartin.

Best for the Ogs were Cathal Mervyn, the Ryan brothers and Paul Taggart in defence and Elliott, Holmes and McKenna up front.