ACL I: Longstone 1-11 Ballyholland 0-14
*Like the Munster football final between Cork and Kerry this was ‘a game of two halves’. Ballyholland came to Longstone Pk. on Friday evening and fully deserved their half-time lead of seven points, 0-10 to 0-3. The Harps dominated the first period, but this all changed in the second half, as Longstone gradually got back into the game. Unlike the aforementioned Munster Final though, the team that trailed by a considerable margin at half-time were able to draw level, however it was dramatic as Barry Doran fired over from distance in injury time and in the last play of the game. The early part of the game was marked by several squandered Longstone scoring opportunities but the visitors were much more economical and led 4-0 by the midpoint. The second quarter saw the Hrps build on this lead and they scored five in a row between the 21st and 25th minutes to lead 10-2. Two of their inside forwards, were proving a real handful, namely, Tony Havern and Patrick Quinn, scoring 0-7 of this total, and Longstone looked like they had no answers to the onslaught. Just before half-time Ryan Kelly converted a free to offer Longstone a bit more hope and they trailed by seven at the break. The hosts had to make a statement early in the second half and two points from Ciaran Doran and Norman McComb signalled the start of Longstone’s comeback. There was just one more point for both teams in the rest of the third quarter and the score was 11-6 in the visitors favour. However, Longstone fired over three points between the 16th and 18th minutes, two frees from Ryan Kelly and a good effort from play by Michael Hughes, to trail 11-9 with twelve minutes to go. Ballyholland responded well and scored two points from play through Robbie White and Ronan Murtagh to lead by four in the 22nd minute. The sides swapped points to leave it 14-10 with about four minutes to go. Longstone needed a big score and it arrived in the 26th minute when Mark Doran played an accurate pass into his brother Stephen and he calmly rolled his shot low into the net to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum and set up an enthralling finish. There were no further scores until Barry Doran showed composure, power and accuracy to convert a chance in the first minute of injury time for the equaliser. Longstone came back well in the second half and players who impressed during this time were Michael Hughes, Adrian Trainor and Barry Doran. Ballyholland’s most influential players were Damian McCrink, Tony Havern and Patrick Quinn, particularly in the first half.
Longstone: John-Paul Haughian, Michael Higgins, Eamonn Quinn, Conor Smyth, Michael Hughes 0-1, Adrian Trainor, Cormac Poland, Norman McComb 0-1, Ambrose Rogers, Stephen Doran 1-0, Barry Doran 0-2, Malachy Trainor, Ciaran Doran 0-1, Michael Ireland 0-3, Ryan Kelly 0-3. Subs used: Darren McDowell, Mark Doran, Gary Trainor.
Ballyholland: Rory Matthews, Collie Barry, Anton Haughey, Rory Mulvanney, Damian McCrink, Damian Campbell, Joe Murphy 0-1, Paul Murphy 0-2, James Patterson, Robbie White 0-2, Aidan McAteer, Niall McQuillan, Rory Keenan, Tony Havern 0-3, Patrick Quinn 0-5. Subs used: Ronan Murtagh 0-1, John Barry.
Referee: Brendan Rice.
*In the All County reserve championship Longstone hosted St John’s on Sunday afternoon and progressed to the next round after a 1-11 to 1-7 win. The visitors started well and built up a 4-0 lead. However the hosts gradually settled down and fought back to trail 0-4 to 0-5 at the break. During the second half Danny Trimble grabbed a vital goal which proved to be the key score for Longstone and it helped ensure that Longstone moved into the next round of the championship. Overall the team showed good character to win this game and this was typified by goalkeeper John-Paul Haughian and out the field by Glen Burden, Malachy Trainor and Danny Trimble. Scorers: Danny Trimble 1-1, Ryan McDowell & Glen Burden 0-3 each, Kieran Rogers 0-2, Darren McDowell & Cormac Poland 0-1each.
*The Longstone minors were at home to St Pauls, Hollywood last Tues night. The visitors team fielded a big, strong team who were very dangerous on the counter attack. However, the Stone lads’ great work-rate, determination, and ability to win the majority of breaking ball paved the way to victory. Allied to this, the return of the Rafferty brothers, namely, Darren and Conor, bolstered the Longstone defence. So overall the players put in a tremendous hour of football to come out with the win in this top of the league clash. If this team sticks together and the injured lads recover quickly, they could potentially have a very successful summer, by maintaining this type of good performance
*The U16 team was away to Banbridge on Thursday evening and the game finished up as a draw. Longstone believed the scoreline should have been a two point victory in their favour, but the referee had a different score down on his card. Hopefully the team will get this disappointment out of their system in their next outing and continue to put the pressure on Glenn, the league leaders.
*Upcoming games: Thurs U16 v Atticall (h) 7.30pm/ Wed 13th Min v Bright (a) 7.30pm.
*Many thanks to all the sponsors of Longstone’s recent Golf Classic.
*Longstone GAC will host the Ambrose Rogers Memorial Tournament next Sunday, July 17. It will take the format of a Sevens competition this year and interested teams are reminded to confirm attendance by July 7 (tomorrow) by contacting Dympna Rooney. Music will follow that night in the clubrooms.
*The Southern Education & Library Board are running a week long Lower Mourne Summer Programme, Monday July 18 to 22, for Longstone and Ballymartin youth. The programme includes a quiz, beach clean, community gardening, a trip to Belfast Community Circus School, a barbecue, a trip to Craigavon Watersports Centre (lunch included), interactive sessions of rugby and graffiti art, plus a visit to the SELB health mobile bus. It is for 13, 14, and 15 year olds and is limited to 15 places. The cost for the course is £5 for the full week and is on a first come first served basis. Anyone looking to book a place please contact Joe Fegan 07738 810909 asap.
*Down GAA Cul Camp will take place in Longstone from August 8-12 for 6-13 year olds. Cost is £35, including full kit and gear bag, and book online at www.gaa.ie or contact club co-ordinator Damian Young 07843 171293, for more info. There will also be a nursery camp for children who were enrolled in P1 or P2 from Sept 2010–June 2011 and cost is £25.
*Two Longstone Comhaltas members took part in the Ulster Fleadh recently in Warrenpoint, namely, Dermot Martin, who won six medals, and Niamh McDowell. Two past members also took part and they are Saoirse Rogan and Jack McAstocker. Well done to all of them. Classes to learn how to play various traditional instruments begin again on the third Monday in September with Hugh Cox in Longstone Hall, for new and existing pupils alike.
*Numbers 1, 8, 12, 17. 5 Matched 3. Jackpot £5900 this Sunday night.