Antrim ACHL Division 1
St Joseph's Ballycran v Naomh Eoin
Darren McKeown (Naomh Gall)
3rd-placed St John’s make the picturesque journey to the Ards Peninsula this Saturday afternoon to take on Down champions St Joseph’s Ballycran in Division 1 of the Antrim ACHL.
The Whiterock Road side have experienced mixed fortunes in their two fixtures to date. They opened their league campaign with a comfortable victory over 2018 Intermediate champions St Gall’s at Corrigan Park, a Michial Dudley goal and a 2-05 tally from Conor Johnston laying the foundation for victory.
Donal McKernan and the returning Domhnall Nugent are welcome additions to the Naomh Eoin panel for this season and the latter marked his comeback with an impressive 0-09 over the Milltown Row side.
Nugent was also lively in their next game, but it was league holders Dunloy who broke away to take the points at Pearse Park and the Johnnies will be looking to get back to winning ways tomorrow.
Ballycran opened their season with a narrow defeat to local rivals Portaferry, the goals proving the difference in a 2-11 to 0-11 victory, St Patrick’s avenging their county final defeat in the autumn. With St Joseph’s not involved in the second round of fixtures, they will be itching to get back in action and register some vital league points.
In the precocious Phelim Savage they have a player of real quality, who shone against Cushendall in the Ulster SHC Final and has continued to improve, clinching a Mageean Cup title with An Dún in the winter.
Conor Woods and Scott Nicholson also provide a scoring threat, while the steadfast Sean Ennis brings experience to their defence.
Both sides will be keen to get back to winning ways and while the Belfast men will be confident in their ability to come away with the result, the prospect of facing Ballycran on the Peninsula is an always formidable one.
A draw is not out of the question.