South Antrim 2005

Archived Reports, Player Profiles & Information

South Antrim League 2005

Eire Og 1-08 3-08 St Malachy's L
St Teresa's 1-06 1-09 Eire Og W
Eire Og 2-07 1-10 O'Donnell's D
McCracken's 1-12 1-12 Eire Og D
Eire Og 1-11 1-09 Gort na Mona W
St Galls 2-09 0-12 Eire Og L
St Malachy's 1-11 1-10 Eire Og L
Eire Og 0-13 0-09 St Teresa's W
O'Donnell's - - Eire Og W
Eire Og 3-09 0-05 McCracken's W
Gort na Mona DNF WO Eire Og W
Eire Og 2-09 1-12 St Gall's D

South Antrim League Results

Eire Og 1-08 St Malachys 3-08

The start of the South Antrim season began with a home game against the Markets men. Coach Browning had high hopes for his troops this season but after this performance and his 100 mile dash to make the game he may choose to spend his Thursday nights in Dublin!!! All looked good when 22 players turned up, which meant for the first time in many years there were selection problems! But the optimism was short lived when, after 10 minutes, the Ogs had conceded 3 very soft goals. Not only had the coach to contend with a shambles on the pitch, but also the verbal abuse from the touchline as the start of the season also signalled the return of the sideline Muppets Waldorf, O’Neill, Stadler, McGarrity and their ‘Rent A Mob’. Crick made several changes with instant success as the Ogs began to win more ball with Kayvan Vesali and Niall McGurk to the fore. Peter Elliott scored 4 points while, at the same time, along with the rest of the forward line, squandering good scoring opportunities. With St Malachys also scoring several points and having a man sent off they went in at the break 3 goals up at 3-05 to 0-05.

After a strong talking to at half time the Ogs emerged a totally different team with the introduction of South Antrim veteran Barry Hall who added much needed weight to the forward line. With Conor Muldoon using all his experience by self-appointing himself as the free man, the Ogs dominated the 2nd half and added more points through Elliott, Rice, Hall and Vesali, before Kevy Brown scored a great goal from a tight angle after good work from Gavin McLaughlin. St Malachys held on for victory and the Ogs will be disappointed at gifting 3 early goals, as this was a game they were more than capable of winning.

Best for the Ogs were Cathal Mervyn, Malachy ‘Waldo’ Wallace and Kayvan Vesali in defence, Aidso O’Reilly and Niall McGurk in midfield, with Declan Rice, Peter Elliott and Conor ‘Sniper’ Kennedy the pick of the forwards.

A special word of mention must go to Brendan McPoland who turned up looking for a game, and had his best game in years - He was referee! While its always disappointing to start the League with a defeat Coach Browning will have been encouraged by the 2nd half performance & large turnout. He’ll also know that it will take more than a good performance to keep Waldorf and Stadler quiet!!!

St Teresa’s 1-06 Eire Og 1-09

Two weeks on and after the disappointing defeat it was an away date with St Teresa’s. Coach Browning had no selection problems this time as he had only 15 players at his disposal at throw in time. However it wasn’t long before the ‘heavies’ arrived to take their seats on the reinforced substitutes’ bench.

Again the Ogs started slowly and several defensive lapses let St Teresa’s in for several early points. An early injury to full back Gerry McCavana didn’t help matters but one man’s loss is another man’s gain and after several years of self imposed exile and several hundred fish suppers it was time for the comeback of Ciaran ‘Stadler’ McGarrity. Much to the disgust of his sidekick John ‘Waldorf’ O’Neill, Ciaran slotted in to the unfamiliar full back slot. The change seemed to settle the Ogs and points from Peter Elliott(3), Kayvan Vesali and Barry Hall put the Ogs in the driving seat with the half back line of Wallace, Matthews and Murphy showing strongly.

After an Ogs attack broke down when Fergal Gribben made the mistake of bouncing the ball twice on the wet surface, much to the dismay of the coach and Ogs’ supporters, St Teresa’s were gifted a soft goal to give them a half time lead of 1-03 to 0-05.

Several changes were made at half time with Brendan McPoland and Conor Muldoon introduced. The Ogs dominated the 2nd half and an early opportune point from McPoland was followed by a pointed free from Vesali. As a result of confusion in the St Teresa’s defence the Ogs were gifted a goal when Barry Hall pounced from all of 1 yard to put the Ogs in the driving seat. The Ogs seemed to sit back on their lead and St Teresa’s scored a couple of unanswered points. Coach Browning then introduced Gary ‘Gluts’ Sweeney in an attempt to stem the tide before Gerry O’Reilly rolled back the years with an excellent point to seal a 3 point win for the Ogs.

Best for the Ogs were oldies McGarrity, Rory ‘The Rocket’ Casey, new signing Mark Matthews and Muldoon in defence. The youthful Vesali and Elliott won the midfield battle while up front Donnelly, O’Reilly, Rice and Hall were the pick of the forwards.

Coach Browning will be pleased with getting his first win of the season and also with the fact that one of his chief critics Stadler McGarrity is now aiding him instead of abusing him. With Waldorf O’Neill last seen kicking his heels on the way out of the ground and threatening to spend Thursday nights watching Eastenders, could this be the end of South Antrim’s ‘Heaviest Institution’?! Judging by the attendance at this game the Ogs’ brand of ‘alternative’ football is certainly attracting the crowds, so much so that going to watch a South Antrim game is the new ‘Going Out’!!

One sour note of the evening was that the Ogs chairman, (just back from a rumoured meeting with new fitness coach Paula Radcliffe) had to issue an ASBO(Anti Social Behaviour Order) to Conor ‘Ginge’ Henderson for his abuse to the referee. Ginge will now have to stay at home between the hours of 7.00pm and 10.00pm on Thursday evenings.

Eire Og 2-7 O’Donnell’s 1-10

With the 2nd game in 2 days against O’Ds it was a very much a younger, fitter O’Ds team that the Ogs faced. The throw in was delayed as the referee refused to begin the game until Ginge, who had already broken his ASBO, removed himself and his carry out well away from the touchline.

Again the Ogs started slowly as the ageing Ogs defence (with 5 of the 6 defenders the wrong side of 40, (youthful! full back Fra Grimley being the exception) struggled to cope with the O’Ds forwards and conceded 3 early points. The game was 10 minutes old before Kayvan Vesali registered the Ogs’ first point and this was followed by an excellent long range point from Aidso O’Reilly. With O’Ds scoring another point Coach Browning’s frustration was plain to see, not helped by the fact that some of his substitutes were assisting Ginge polish off his Magners! A mazy run from the Ogs lanky, mouthy midfielder resulted in him being through on goal and with the O’Ds goalkeeper away for a smoke he had a simple tap in to give the Ogs a half time lead of 1-02 to 0-04.

Coach Browning made a couple of substitutions, introducing Niall McGurk and Aidan McAleese. Aidso O’Reilly got the first point of the 2nd half and this was followed by a Vesali free, awarded after Barry Hall tripped over his bootlaces. This seemed to inspire Barry because in the next attack he turned on a sixpence (or was it a roundabout!!) and coolly slotted over a point. However the Ogs defence continued to leak scores and only strong defending from Muldoon kept the scores down. The next 5 minutes belonged to supersub Aidan McAleese who scored a point and then saw a long range effort punched into his own net by the O’Ds keeper. Coach Browning (aided by the ‘Inner Circle’) made several changes withdrawing Johnny Quinn whose reaction at being taken off was one of ‘disappointment’!!! Just when it looked like 2 wins in 2 nights for the Ogs, the defence leaked 2 points and a very soft goal to trail by a point. Gerry O’Reilly then got an equalising point. As the game went into injury time panic in the Ogs defence resulted in the concession of a penalty. Cometh the hour, Cometh the man as Gerry McCavana spread his huge frame and leapt catlike (more elephant-like actually) to push the ball round the post.

The final whistle blew and in a game the Ogs should have won convincingly, they had escaped with a draw. Best for the Ogs were McCavana, Grimley, Harrison and Muldoon in defence. McAuley dominated midfield for most of the game. Pick of the forwards were Aidso O’Reilly, Aidan McAleese and Barry Hall who seems to be back to his best, no doubt aided by his brand new red and white boots which continue to dazzle the eyes of opposition defences.

Eire Og 1-12 McCrackens 1-12

The Ogs started brightly and totally dominated the first 15 minutes against a young McCrackens team. However all the domination counted for nothing as the forwards registered wide after wide much to the dismay of Coach Browning and the amusement of the touchline brigade. Colm McAuley got the Ogs’ first score with a pointed free, followed by another from Barry Hall. McCrackens were more economical with their shooting and on the rare occasion when they broke through the stout Ogs full back line of Muldoon, Grimley and Gribben they registered points. By this stage the Ogs midfield of McAuley and Growler George were controlling the game, so much so that Joe was able to register his 1st point in many years. With further points from Hall who was causing havoc in full forward with his lightening speed and sparkling boots, and another from McAuley the Ogs went in at the break with a slender 1 point lead 0-05 to 0-04.

While disappointed to be only a point up at half time, Crick’s instructions for the 2nd half were to get quick ball into full forward Hall but best laid plans…!! Crick introduced Aidan McAleese and the returning Waldorf – “Crick, bring me on and I’ll win the game for you!” - O’Neill who self appointed himself as full forward (and centre half forward and midfield!!). With this the Ogs totally lost their shape and despite an early point from McAuley, McCrackens were awarded a soft penalty and despite the best efforts of Gerry McCavana, not able to repeat his previous week’s heroics, McCracken’s goaled to put themselves in front. The roving John Neill scored a wind assisted long range point from 10 yards, followed by points from Aidso O’Reilly and the impressive Grimley who by this stage had moved to midfield along with four of the Ogs forwards to form a 6 man midfield! A long McAuley effort typically fell short and was punched into his own net by the McCrackens keeper to leave the Ogs with a comfortable 5 point lead and seemingly cruising. Nothing could be further from the truth as McCrackens were allowed back into the game and they scored 5 unanswered points as the Ogs defence began to crumble. The Ogs cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of Conor Muldoon who had an altercation with the referee! In a frantic final 10 minutes both teams exchanged points with the Ogs points coming from Aidso O’Reilly(2) and the exhausted O’Neill.

Best for the Ogs were Muldoon, Grimley, McGurk and the returning Aidy Doherty in defence. George, McAuley, O’Neill and Gerry O’Reilly provided a blanket midfield, while Aidso O’Reilly and Barry Hall were not only the pick of the forwards - they were the only forwards for most of the 2nd half!!

Again another game the Ogs should have won comfortably. Coach Browning will be disappointed that his 2nd journey in 2 days for the ‘cause’ didn’t yield a victory. Also with the attitude of some of his senior players who continually refuse to follow the manager’s orders and are adopting an attitude of ‘I’ll play wherever I want’ to the detriment of the team. With the Martin Cup coming up these players may well find themselves on the sidelines although to some this will be a welcome relief!

Eire Óg 1-11 Gort na Mona 1-09

A hard fought win for the Ógs saw Coach Browning’s team continue their unbeaten run. The Barclays Manager of the Month award (free overnight stay in Cavan Town and free entry into the Under 18 disco and signed metallica t-shirt) could at last be winging its way to Crumlin. Although, word from the inner circle is that to get the award, the coach first needs to entice back our effervescent dentist and the scourge of all away supporters at Casement and who also happens to be one of our key sponsors. Since being substituted two weeks ago he has not turned up - our Coach cannot afford another Gavin. Therefore, Thursday’s night’s selection against St Gall’s should be interesting.

As for the match, the Ógs got off to flying start with points by McAuley, Elliott and Hall. Some strong defending by the ever unreliable François Grimley and sweeper Muldoon saw the Ógs hold on to a half time lead of 2 points. At half time, some tactical substitutions took place with Rowan Vernon being replaced by Aidso O’Reilly. A special word of thanks for Rowan Vernon, who as he approaches the first anniversary of his marriage, is now turning up for every match, and I mean every match, with an ‘I’ll play anywhere’ attitude - such a difference a year’s marriage makes - if only the rest of the team or even just Fra could get married to his wife we’d be flying! In an obvious state of shock at being substituted Rowan insisted he had set up a point but unfortunately this observer could not recall it.

The second half turned out to be a very tempestuous affair with the lead swapping hands on several occasions and a goal conceded by the ever-expanding Gerard Cavanagh who had a sound game in goal, only falling on his backside once. The arrival of Stadler and Waldorf in an inspired double substitution added some extra weight to the forward line but a freak sniper’s bullet saw one half of the double act return in agony to the sideline after 2 minutes. The Ógs held on to the win but only after young Kayvan did 2 rounds with his opposite number and the referee.

A special word of NO thanks to the referee for mishandling what is at the best of times a difficult enough fixture.

St Gall’s 2-09 Eire Og 0-12

All good things must come to an end and so it proved when the Ogs’ four game unbeaten run came to an end against a strong St Gall’s team at a wet Milltown. All looked good with 21 players turning up and Coach Browning receiving his Barclays Manager of the Month Bottle of Bud Award before the match.

The Ogs started brightly and were a couple of points up before St Gall’s woke up and realised they could expose the Ogs lack of pace in defence by getting quick ball into the full forward line. St Gall’s scored several easy points as a result of the Ogs defence conceding silly frees and then they scored a soft goal when the St Gall’s corner forward was allowed a free run on goal and easily slotted the ball past Gerry McCavana. This seemed to give the Ogs the wake up call they needed and a couple of points each from Hall and Elliott, and points from McAuley and Quinn meant the Ogs went in at the break a point behind 1-06 to 0-08.

The Ogs re-emerged a more determined outfit in the 2nd half and dominated most of the play but wayward finishing and a couple of bizarre incidents decided this contest. Firstly with the Ogs having edged in front, the usually reliable(!) Gerry McCavana hit a poor kickout straight to a St Gall’s player who then lobbed the ball over the despairing Gerry who snail-like tried to get back in time but couldn’t prevent the goal. Gerry showed his frustration by putting his boot through the advertising board behind the nets. St Gall’s were now 2 points ahead. Almost immediately a mazy run from Kayvan Vesali resulted in him being fouled and the ref awarded a penalty. With nobody seemingly wanting to take the penalty a shout of ‘Muldoon hit that’ was heard from the Inner Circle Sideline Rep - a man with a history of making the wrong call in crucial SA games! Five minutes later Captain Conor arrived at the penalty spot, placed the ball down and coolly struck the ball. 5 bounces later the ball reached the St Gall’s keeper who to make it look good dived on the ball. With Conor disappointed that the keeper didn’t spill his ‘rasper’ he thought he would go for the rebound anyway, only he didn’t hit the ball but drove the keeper’s head into the back of the net. The ref ‘harshly’(!) reached for his red card and the Ogs were reduced to 14 men. The Ogs continued to battle and points from Fergal Gribben, Peter Elliott and Barry Hall were not enough and St Gall’s emerged winners by 3 points.

It was another case of ‘what might have been’. Best for the Ogs were Kayvan Vesali, Mark Matthews and the Cavan Chick Charmer, Fra Grimley, in defence. Growler George and Colm McAuley played well in patches in midfield while up front Peter Elliott, Barry Hall and Gerry O’Reilly were best.

Coach Browning while not pleased with the result will be happy with the commitment and performance of many of his team and is slowly building a squad capable of winning the Martin Cup. He’ll be disappointed that several senior members failed to appear for the game, especially the C.A.A. (Crumlin Against Asbestos) spokesman who declined Coach Browning’s offer of a lift to the game and after match drinks in favour of a ‘better offer’ from his beloved!!!

Eire Og 1-10 St Malachy’s 1-11

With the Ogs fielding a strong line up, hopes were high for another win. However with the Ogs not having a game in 3 weeks the team started very slowly, with the backs struggling to come to terms with the speedy St Mal’s attack and the Ogs forwards, despite getting plenty of possession, hitting wide after wide. The Ogs conceded a soft goal midway through the half when a high ball was misjudged by the Ogs defence and keeper and ended up in the net. The introduction of Stadler McGarrity added (snail’s) pace to the Ogs attack. First half points from Doherty, Elliott, Quinn and O’Reilly were all the Ogs had to show and trailed at the break 1-06 to 0-04.
It was a different Ogs in the 2nd half as the half back line of Niall McGurk, Joe ‘Growler’ George and the wandering Fra Grimley dominating and getting quick ball into the forwards where Quinn, Hall and Donnelly were making the most of the possession and in one such move Anto Donnelly was released by Johnny Quinn and he blasted the ball to the back of the net.
With points from Elliott(3), Hall, O’Reilly and an excellent effort from Grimley after a mazy run in which he beat 2 defenders (and 6 attackers!), putting the Ogs 3 points up going into the last 10 minutes. With many of the Ogs players thinking the game was won, St Mal’s were allowed back into the game and this, combined with a total lack of discipline from a couple of the Ogs’ players, allowed St Mal’s to score 4 unanswered points. The Ogs tried everything they could to get an equalising point even linesman O’Neill did his best to help out when he deemed his mate Stadler McGarrity to still be in play, despite the fact that in his attempt to keep control of the ball he was actually halfway up a tree! But alas it wasn’t to be and St Malachy’s ran out winners by a point.
Best for the Ogs were the 3 Gs in defence Gribben, George and Grimley. Gerry O’Reilly and McAuley worked hard in midfield while up front Elliott, McGarrity, Quinn and Donnelly were the pick. With the Martin Cup 2 weeks away many of the Ogs players will need to show more commitment and better discipline if we are to make an impact in the competition. Coach Browning has placed an alcohol ban on the players in the run up to the Martin Cup and he has the full support of the senior manager in this, so much so that he is considering delaying his ‘Surprise!’ 40th Birthday party until after the Martin Cup!

Eire Og 0-13 St Teresa’s 0-09

A win is a win, but on this occasion the Ogs will be disappointed with a poor performance against bottom of the table and pointless St Teresa’s. Due to the holidays the Ogs struggled to get numbers for the game, and some of the Ogs’ brighter young players struggled to count these numbers!! St Teresa’s also struggled to field a team, relying on a full forward just out of theatre with a hip replacement to make up a team. With no referee turning up it was left to Waldorf O’Neill to blow the whistle.

The Ogs totally dominated the first half and only for poor finishing from the Ogs’ forwards, St Teresa’s were still in the game. Rowan Vernon like all good goalkeepers stayed on the goal-line for most of the game - the problem being Rowan was full-forward and was on the St Teresa’s goal-line and broke the record for the number of square balls awarded in a match. On the rare occasions when Rowan ventured out of the ‘wee square’ he scored a couple of points and linked well with the rest of the forwards. He even managed to get on the end of a 50 yard pass from Colm McAuley and with the goal at his mercy he managed to drive the ball wide from 2 yards out. With the Ogs failing to win breaking ball in midfield St Teresa’s were allowed back into the game and despite further points from McAuley, Quinn and Grimley the Ogs went in at the break 0-09 to 0-04 ahead.

The second half just went from bad to worse with the Ogs squandering numerous chances and the midfield and half backs making forward runs and forgetting to chase back putting the full back line under extreme pressure. Coach Browning’s squad rotation system meant that he give a run out to first half ref and ‘Birthday Boy’ Sean O’Neill. They say life begins at 40 but after Sean’s second half display some people were saying ‘Football careers must end at 40!!’ A bit harsh on Sean as he showed he’s lost none of his roving skills - top of the left 1 minute, twinkle toes attempting to pick up the ball in midfield the next and then sprinting (more like spluttering!) to get a short kick out from Gerry McCavana the next.

Only goal-line clearances from Muldoon and Morgan, and several excellent saves from McCavana kept the Ogs’ lead intact as St Teresa’s piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes. With second half points from Donnelly, Quinn, McAuley and Grimley the Ogs managed to hang on for a 4 point victory.

Few players emerged from this game with credit and with the Martin Cup only 2 days away all the Ogs players (including the Manager’s Pet Anto) will need to up their performances to beat O’Donnells. It will be a sleepless two nights for Coach Browning as he ponders over team selection for the crunch semi-final tie. Lesser men would take to drink!!

Eire Og 3-09 McCracken’s 0-04

Despite the 14 point winning margin this was far from a convincing victory for the Ógs especially when you consider that McCracken’s only had 13 players for the whole game. The absence of Coach Browning clearly impacted on many players and with the Martin Cup only a week away there are still 15 places up for grabs in the starting XV.

Despite the 2-man advantage the Ógs lacked cohesion from the throw in with many players not knowing whether they were to mark a man or mark space and simply waiting on the call from skip Muldoon as to who to mark. As a result the Ógs played the 1st half with a blanket midfield that often consisted of about 12 players!!! This was most disconcerting for many of the traditional backs on the team, no more so than twinkle toes Fintan Morgan, who being away from his traditional route along his own 21 yard line, found himself getting a nose bleed on their half forward line and forced to playing some delicate 40 yard daisy cutters down the line and down the hill to young Nibbles Rice. This all left Joe George at full back screaming like he caught distemper form the stray dog that had taken a shine to Gerard McCavnagh in nets and whose romantic antics forced him to retire at half time.

Playing into driving rain and a stiff breeze the Ógs opened the scoring when corner back and Captain Conor Muldoon somehow got on the end of a disjointed move and slotted over from 20 yards out. Although dominating the Ógs struggled to put passes together and only 2 goals from Peter Elliott put breathing space between the teams. While many of the Ógs senior players seemed less than interested in the match and unable to say on their feet (Anto) it was youngsters, Keyvan Vesali and Niall ‘Nibbles’ Rice who shown brightest despite being on the end of some rough tackles from McCracken’s. Further points from Elliott, Quinn, Donnelly, Hall and a fluke left footer from McAuley left the Ógs ahead at the break 2-07 to 0-02.

The 2nd half should have been a stroll in the park for the Ógs, playing with the strong wind but again the Ógs made hard work of it. Peter Elliott got his hat track when slotting past a despairing McCracken’s keeper.

Waldorf O’Neill and Stadler McGarrity, (both sporting their new matching white Nike ‘runners!’, shell suits and baseball caps, and looking like they’d just finished their shift at Garnerville Estate) were now calling the shots from the sideline and made several inspired substitutions. Among those introduced was Ógs veteran firefighter – Lawrence Kelly, making his first appearance in several seasons, while the Ógs sideline Muppets could have used Kell’s hose to quell the flames coming from Johnny Quinn at his reaction at being substituted!! Poor Johnny who was having an excellent game, despite being totally confused about marking space or chasing back, must wonder what he has to do to convince these cynics!! – ‘head out of b...side’ springs to mind. Further points from Elliott and Vesali meant the Ógs had claimed another 2 points and moved closer to the top of the ever table.

Another patchy playing performance from the Ógs but again inspirational tactical moves from the sideline of Waldorf and Stadler including the late substitution of the skipper ensured that Coach Browning’s managerial career continues in the ascendancy. But that said, a big improvement (and a smaller pitch) will be needed by everyone if the Ógs are to beat St Malachys in the Martin Cup final next week.

Eire Og 2-09 St Gall’s 1-12

In what turned out to be a league play off, the best two teams of the league competed in the last game of the season. The Ogs needed both points available to leapfrog the Milltown men, whereas St Gall's need only a draw to maintain their lead.

The Ogs dominated the first 10 minutes of the game but could not score, missing several easy chances. St Gall's then took brief control and went into a 3 point lead. Gavin McLaughlin registered the Ogs first point in reply and shortly after Barry Hall netted following good anticipation. Peter Elliott and Johnny Quinn increased the Ogs lead before St Gall's hit back. But Barry Hall was first to react again after Johnny Quinn's shot rebounded off the post and he got his second goal to leave the Ogs 2-03 to 0-06 ahead at half time. Had Conor Muldoon's fisted interception, that left keeper McCavana stranded, hit the back of the net and not the post, then the Ogs would've been disappointed to go in level at half time.

St Galls were fired up at the start of the second and quickly reduced the deficit, but points from player-coach Crik Browning and keeper-come-forward Rowan Vernon (who actually caught a few good balls unlike at the Martin Cup final!) restored the lead. Peter Elliott and coach Browning traded points with St Galls and the Ogs looked as if they were going to get win they needed for the league title until St Gall's scored a goal in the dying minutes to tie the game.

Eire Og Scorers: Barry Hall(2-01), Peter Elliot(0-03), Crik Browning(0-02), Gavin McLaughlin, Johnny Quinn, Rowan Vernon(0-01 each)