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Published on April 20th, 2017 | by admin

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Antrim Senior Football League Division 2 Ballymena 0-17 3-10 Dunloy

Antrim Senior Football League Division 2 –  Wednesday 19th April

Ballymena 0-17 3-10 Dunloy

Match report by Dominic Dillon

It was the 2nd league game of the season and after a convincing win in the opener against Ardoyne a trip to Ballymena was going to be a sterner test against a home side had played in Division 1 last season and are many peoples favourites to return there after this season.

A few changes to that Ardoyne team with work commitments and injuries but this was a chance for some of the players who had impressed in the recent O’Cahan cup win to stake their claim. Oran Corrigan, Conor Kinsella, Gabriel McTaggart and Stephen McAlone all started their 1st league game of the season on the back of that display.

Dunloy started the game brightly and had most of the early possession and registered the 1st score of the game when minor captain from last year Cathair McGuigan started and finished a move from wing half back as he calmly slotted the ball between the posts to open the away sides account.

Each team registered scores before the 1st goal of the game arrived. Another fast flowing move from Dunloy resulted in a fine ball from out the field into Cunning who then had the vision to see Keelan Molloy. The weight of the pass from Coby was perfect as Molloy didn’t break stride and he was in one on one there was only one outcome.

After 10 minutes Dunloy had a 5 point lead it was 1-05 to 0-03. Ballymena then got going and put Dunloy on the back foot for the 1st time in the game and registered the next 5 points. Only for super save in the Dunloy net by Doherty one of those points was a certain goal. The scores were level and Dunloy needed to get going again. A high ball into the box that Ballymena didn’t deal with and midfielder Karl Fitzpatrick was on hand to calmly stroke the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The half finished with 2 fine scores from play from Coby which was fitting as he was unplayable in that 1st half.

Half Time: Ballymena 0-08 2-07 Dunloy

The 2nd half started brightly for Dunloy as they started where they left off at half time. Each team exchanged a few points each before Ballymena rattled off 3 points in a row to cut the cap to 3 points. With 10 minutes of the 2nd half it was Ballymena 0-13 2-10.

That 3-point lead was soon doubled as Dunloy again took control of the game. Ballymena couldn’t deal with Dunloy’s pace for the hour and it was no more evident than when the away team broke through on goal again. After a few slick passes the final pass found its way to Stephen McAlone who blasted the ball to the corner of the net. A great finish from the full forward who had been a handful all game.

A 6-point lead with 15 minutes to go is usually good enough but the action in the 2nd half was only started. As Ballymena broke forward Dunloy captain Nigel Elliott was floored off the ball leaving the 2 players on the ground, and after a few minutes disorder the referee issued a black card to Elliott and a yellow card to the Ballymena defender. The Dunloy support were enraged and with every right to be.

Ballymena were now controlling the game and scored the next 2 points before disaster struck for Dunloy as after another off the ball incident involving 5/6 players resulting in a second yellow for young McGuigan meaning Dunloy would play the last 10 minutes a man down. Ballymena used the spare man well and had Dunloy camped in their half and when yet another free was dispatched over the bar making it a 1 point game right at the death.

The ref added on a further 3 minutes and Dunloy knew a score now would leave the pressure on the home side. A great piece of fielding by Kevin McAllister allowed him to released Coby who slotted the ball over the bar giving Dunloy a 2-point lead with a minute of stoppage time left. The last action came from a Ballymena free well out the pitch. The ball was dropped into the box as the home side looked for the 3 points to win the game but like they had done all game the back line kept Doherty’s clean sheet intact and the referee blew the whistle.

Full Time: Ballymena 0-17 3-10 Dunloy

Early days in what hopefully will be a long season for Dunloy but a massive result away to a good Ballymena side.

In defence, everyone stood tall all 6 were superb along with Doherty in nets but special mention must go to Conor Kinsella who marked county player Paddy McAleer. He never gave him a moments peace and over the hour he won that individual battle. A super display from this exciting young prospect

In Midfield Miceal Murphy had the job of marking Sean McVeigh. Not an easy task as McVeigh has been representing Antrim at county level for a long time. Murphy ran himself into the ground and along with his companion Fitzpatrick they kept the effect of the big Ballymena number 8 to a minimum.

For the 3rd straight game Dunloy have scored 3 goals and as the saying goes ‘Goals win games’.  Like the game against Ardoyne the Ballymena defence struggled to deal with the runs of Coby and Molloy. They are a joy to watch in full flight for everyone bar the opposition. All forwards played their part but the final word has to go to Shane Dooey. That will be Shanes last game for a while as he now goes to America to show off his skills for a few months and there is plenty of skills there to show. He pulls the strings if it’s in his own full back line defending or half forward starting attacks he literally can appear anywhere on the pitch. He will be missed but he will also be back and hopefully come August time ‘Dooey Dummy’ is wearing the green and gold again.

Next up is a league game for Dunloy on Wednesday the 3rd May against St Enda’s in Dunloy. Like Dunloy the Glengormley men have won 2 from 2 in the league so it has the makings of another cracker.

Great support in Ballymena last night which is much appreciated by players and management.

Team:

 

  1. Sean Doherty
  2. Kieran Hughes
  3. Oran Corrigan
  4. Stephen McToal
  5. Conor Kinsella
  6. Gabriel McTaggart
  7. Cathair McGuigan
  8. Miceal Murphy
  9. Karl Fitzpatrick
  10. Kevin McAllister
  11. Nigel Elliott (Captain)
  12. Shane Dooey
  13. Keelan Molloy
  14. Stephen McAlone
  15. Conal Cunning


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