South Antrim 2004

Archived Reports, Player Profiles & Information

South Antrim League 2004

St Galls 2-09 0-07 Eire Og L
Eire Og - - St Teresa's L
McCracken's 1-06 1-05 Eire Og L
Eire Og 0-05 1-10 Gort na Mona L
Eire Og WO DNF Dwyer's W
Eire Og 1-08 1-07 St Malachy's W
O'Donnell's 2-05 1-06 Eire Og L
Eire Og 1-06 2-11 St Gall's L
St Teresa's WO DNF Eire Og L
Eire Og WO DNF McCracken's W
Gort na Mona - - Eire Og
Dwyer's DNF WO Eire Og W
St Malachy's - - Eire Og
Eire Og - - O'Donnell's

Martin Cup 2004

Quarter-Final: June 17th
Eire Og 1-08 0-12 St Gall's

The Ogs can count themselves unlucky not to have won this Martin Cup tie. Up and down the country you will hear many people complain about the referee every week, this time it is with justification. This 'referee' and his decisions were questionable, inconsistent and seemingly one-sided. He brought refereeing incompetency to a new level. A disallowed McAuley point for some contact ultimately cost the Ogs the tie, but it was the other decisions that frustrated and annoyed the Ogs.

But, as been the case so far this year, the defeat was down to poor finishing and passing. Super sub Sean "Butter Fingers" O'Neill missed an open net following McLaverty's shot that cannoned down off the bar, Paddy Rice missed a chance for goal in the first half, while generally the Ogs couldn't cope with the cross field wind. The full forwards did not get any of the ball despite getting free all the time.

A series of missed shots by both sides characterised the first half. Colm McAuley opened the scoring for the Ogs and Gareth McLaverty scored twice from good solo efforts. At half time the Ogs trailed by one point 0-4 to 0-3. The second half was a carbon copy of the first. St Galls opened a four point lead but a great McLaverty goal brought the Ogs back into the game. Two late points, the last from Paul Taggart, were not quite enough for the Ogs as St Galls won by a single point

Best for the Ogs were Joe George and Paul Taggart in defence, JP Dunney and Colm McAuley in midfield and Conor Wills and Gareth McLaverty(1-03) in attack.

South Antrim League Results

St Galls 2-09 Éire Óg 0-07

It was very much an experimental Eire Og team that took the field in the first South Antrim match of the season at Milltown. With senior players being rested, it was always going to be an uphill struggle against a strong St Galls team.
The Ogs started brightly but it was the age-old problem of not being able to turn possession into scores. Scores from Paddy Rice and Barry Hall were all the Ogs had to show for first quarter dominance while St Galls claimed 5 points and later in the half got a scrappy goal which gave them a half time lead of 1-5 to 0-2.
The introduction at half time of Joe George and Fra Grimley ( well maybe just Joe!!! ) strengthened the team and the Ogs scored several points from Anto Donnelly, who was also unlucky not to score a goal when his rasping volley came off the post. However it was St Galls who finished the strongest with another goal and if it was not for the excellent stops by Niall Gribben in goals the margin of defeat would have been greater.
Best for the Ogs were the attacking Conor Muldoon ( Conor was playing centre half back!!!! ) and Hugh Doran in defence, the evergreen Alec McGoran in midfield, Paddy Rice, Niall McGurk and Anto Donnelly in attack.
With 14 League games and the Martin Cup to play it will be a tough campaign ahead. The most pleasing aspect is the number of new faces in the team. With many regulars still missing there will be a lot of competion for places in the games ahead.

McCrackens 1-06 Eire Og 1-05

This was the 3rd defeat on the trot for the Ogs in this closely contested match at the Falls Park. This was a game the Ogs should have won easily, but too many players underperformed in what was the Ogs’ worst performance of the season. The first half was a disaster with the Ogs being totally overrun at midfield by a more committed McCrackens team and despite having most of the possession the Ogs only scored a single point and trailed at the interval by 4 points.

Coach Browning gave his troops a right rollocking at half time, and the Ogs sacrificed youth for experience in the second half with the introduction of 3 over 40's - Noel, Hugh and Sean, and the changes paid immediate dividends. The Ogs began to win more possession in midfield and points from Quinn and Donnelly followed. The Ogs were then caught with a sucker punch - a McCrackens goal from a tight angle and only a superb goal line block from Hugh Doran prevented another goal. The Ogs came back strongly and a goal from Peter Lombard and a point from Hall followed. Despite dominating the last 10 minutes, a combination of erratic shooting and some terrible refereeing decisions meant the Ogs lost by the minimal of margins in a game they should have won comfortably.

Few players emerged with credit from this disappointing performance with only new goalkeeper Leon ( JP's younger brother ), George, Lombard, Donnelly and the 2nd half substitutes, Hugh Doran in defence, Noel in attack and the roving Sean O'Neill performing best.

Eire Og 0-05 Gort na Mona 1-10

Another defeat and another disappointing performance from the Ogs, who yet again failed to compete effectively against a young and spirited Gort na Mona team. It was Gort na Mona who dominated the 1st half with many of the Ogs’ players failing to master the basics of the game. The Ogs did have several chances to put scores on the board but poor shooting again was our downfall, and although veteran McGoran competed well at midfield, some terrible defending at the back gifted Gort na Mona easy scores and they went in at the interval leading by 0-6 to 0-1.
The Ogs played a lot better in the 2nd half and early scores from Peter McKenna and Olly closed the gap. A Gort na Mona goal however effectively killed of the game although the Ogs did have many more opportunities to score with 'Ginge' Henderson being the biggest culprit - missing 2 sitters in as many minutes.
Few players emerged with credit from this game - only goalkeeper Leon Dunney, who pulled off several great saves, Niall McGurk, Olly, Tom Murphy and Joe George who was outstanding.

Eire Og 1-8 St Malachy’s 1-7

It was the first official win of the season for the Ogs and although it wasn't a performance to remember, a win is a win. The Ogs started brightly and were a goal up inside a couple of minutes when Anto Donnelly latched on to a loose ball and drove the ball under the despairing keeper. Rather than build on this lead the Ogs almost immediately let St Malachy’s back in the game when poor defending allowed them in for a soft goal to level matters. The rest of the half was a non-event highlighted only by a couple of points from Paddy Rice and the fit again Colm McAuley, as the Ogs went in at half time 3 points to the good.

Coach Browning introduced Conor Muldoon in the 2nd half into the full forward line in the hope that his lightning speed(?!) would break down a slow St Malachy’s full back line, however it was St Malachy’s who came back into the game with 3 unanswered points. The Ogs needed a quick response. A long ball into the St Malachy’s box was well fielded by McAuley, however he was bundled to the ground and awarded a penalty. What followed was an embarrassing fight amongst the Ogs' players as to who was to take the penalty. Conor Muldoon had the ball and was not for letting go despite instructions from Coach Browning – who, at this stage, was also having to deal with the heckling from the 'Rent-A-Mob' on the sideline - alias Messr's O'Neill & McGarrity!!!! Once the dust had settled Conor stepped up and drove the ball over the bar and out of the park.
The penalty incident unsettled the Ogs and again St Malachy’s came back strongly and going into injury time the scores were level. But then Paddy Rice gathered the ball out on the wing and with the last kick of the game scored a brilliant point to give the Ogs a 1 point victory.

Again another indifferent display from the Ogs. Best for the Ogs were Rowan Vernon in goals, Cathal Mervyn and the outstanding Malachy 'Waldo' Wallace in defence. Colm McAuley and Olly battled well at midfield while Fra Grimley and Paddy 'Pop Idol' Rice were the pick of the attack. A word of praise for Conor 'Ginge' Henderson who had his best game of the season - he was Referee!!!!!

O’Donnells 2-5 Eire Og 1-6

In what was the Ogs’ best performance of the season a last minute own goal cost the Ogs victory against table toppers O’Donnells. It was the Ogs who started brightly and early points from midfield duo Colm McAuley and Fra Grimley settled the team. An O’Donnells point was followed by the referee awarding O’Ds a penalty for no apparent reason - a decision that baffled players and spectators alike. The well taken penalty was converted despite the best efforts of Rowan Vernon. Despite the setback the Ogs’ full forward line of Peter McKenna, Conor Henderson and Tom Murphy continued to take the game to O’Ds and they were rewarded when they set up further points for McAuley and Rice. At the break the Ogs trailed by a goal 1-4 to 0-4.

The Ogs started brightly in the 2nd half and were rewarded with an early point from a free from Conor Muldoon. Points were then exchanged as defences continued to dominate and going into the closing minutes the Ogs trailed by a point. A ball into the O’Ds box was fielded by Joe George who turned and shot only to see the ball turned around the post by the keeper. The Ogs pressed for an equaliser and were awarded a free from 40 yards out. Colm McAuley’s high ball deceived everyone and ended up in the back of the net to leave the Ogs 2 points up going into injury time. However, in a last ditch attack the ball was played into the O’Ds corner forward who cut inside and had only Rowan to beat from a tight angle. Rather than go for the point he hand passed across the box and while no O’Ds players managed to connect, it hit an onrushing Eire Og forward!!! and ended up in the back of the net. With this the final whistle blew and the Ogs were cruelly deprived of a deserved win.

A great team performance by the Ogs in which all players emerged with credit. Best for the Ogs were Malachy ‘Waldo’ Wallace, Conor Kennedy and Cathal Mervyn in defence, Fra Grimley and Colm McAuley were strong in midfield, while Fergal, Paddy Rice and Anto Donnelly were the pick of the attack. Coach Browning will be pleased with his troops as only bad refereeing and lack of fitness from some players cost the team victory.

Eire Og 1-6 St Galls 2-11

In a game that the Ogs dominated for the whole of the 1st half, failure to convert scores proved costly as St Gall's ran out convincing winners.

The Ogs, with the aid of a strong breeze, started brightly but, despite dominating in all sectors, wayward shooting let the Ogs down. Points from Elliott, McAuley and Quinn did however help the cause and any St Gall's attack was stopped by a blanket Ogs' defence. Despite the Ogs' superiority the score at half time was only 0-6 to 0-2 in the Ogs' favour.

It was 'backs to the walls' in the second half as St Gall's took control and, although an early soft goal for St Gall's was cancelled out by an opportunist Ogs' goal from a quick free, it was all one way traffic for the rest of the match. Another soft goal effectively killed of the game as the Ogs' heads dropped and St Gall's were able to score at will.

Not a performance to remember for the Ogs and a vast improvement will be needed for next week's Martin Cup match against the same opposition. Best for the Ogs were the returning veterans Aidy Doherty and Barney McGeogh in defence, Joe George at midfield and Conor Harrison and Johnny Quinn in attack.