Antrim ACFL Division One 

Lámh Dhearg 0-9 St John’s 1-12

St John’s claimed their first league victory at Hannahstown for five years with a 1-12 to 0-9 win over Lámh Dhearg in the league opener on Sunday afternoon. 

Lámh Dhearg were twice ahead in the opening stages as Kieran Fay-Kelly and Terry McCrudden converted frees from either side of the post and Conal McGlade replied on each occasion. 

A converted Ryan McNulty free had the visitors ahead for the first time, though Ben Rice levelled things up and Terry McCrudden notched up his second free of the half. 

Conor Adams opened his afternoon account with a confident swing between the posts and three further points would follow for the Whiterock men. 

They led for the second time when Conall Quinn popped a shot between the posts, Adams doubled his tally and a third point of the half from Conal McGlade ensured that his side held a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the interval. 

St John’s picked up where they left off at the break and added four further unanswered points. 

Conor Hand sent a high effort between the posts and then Luke Pedan landed another impressive score. 

McNulty then added to with first-half free with a quickfire double to ensure the Johnnies held a comfortable 0-11 to 0-4 lead and were on well on course for the two points. 

Lamh Dhearg V St Johns ACFL Div 1 Football Sun 5-3-23 (8).JPG

Lamh Dhearg V St Johns ACFL Div 1 Football Sun 5-3-23 (8).JPG

The Lámhs eventually kicked into action through frees from Fay-Kelly and McCrudden, though Sean Wilson swung over a fantastic point after a link-up with Ciaran Garland. 

Carl Maxwell reduced arrears with a fine attempt from distance and Adam Murray made an impact with the bench with a neat score to leave four between the sides. 

A third converted Kieran Fay-Kelly free had a goal separating the sides going down the home straight. However, St John’s clinched victory after a rapid breakaway. 

With time fast eroding, Stephen Tully dropped a late sideline ball into the crowded area, but it was claimed by Sean Wilson. 

He set the wheels in motion for a move that involved Luke Pedan and Ciaran Garland who got the ball away before and attempted to take down. 

Garland was able to pick out Conal McGlade though and he laid the goal on a plate to Daragh McGuiness to palm into the empty net and quell the hosts’ comeback, securing a 1-12 to 0-9 win in the process and ensuring a winning start to the Johnnies’ league campaign. 

LÁMH DHEARG: J Finucane, B Rice (0-1), C Nolan, P Larkin, D Smith, M McGarry, M Hynes, C Maxwell (0-1), C Boyd, S McManus, T McCrudden (0-3f), D Martin, K Fay-Kelly (0-3f), C Murray, D Larkin.

Subs: S Tully for D Martin (HT), A Murray (0-1) for D Larkin (41), A Byrne for C Nolan (47), SP Gibson for M McGarry (54). 

ST JOHN’S: M Leydon, C Garland, A Oliver, J Bohill, L Pedan (0-1), C Johnston, S Wilson (0-1), R McNulty (0-3f), C Hand (0-1), P Nugent, C Adams (0-2), C McGlade (0-3), A McGowan, C Gough, C Quinn (0-1).

Subs: D McKeough for A Oliver (48), D McGuiness (1-0) for C Adams (57). 

REFEREE: Mark O’Neill (Armoy)