Senior Match Reports 2016

Seniors v Faughanvale – Intermediate Championship 7th August

Desertmartin traveled to Foreglen on Sunday 7th to play Faughanvale in their second Intermediate Championship game. The strong wind blowing towards the pavilion end was always going to have a huge influence on the outcome. Desertmartin with the breeze at their back started sharply and went 0-2 ahead on five minutes with two pointed frees from Enda McGuckin and Declan Murray. But Faughanvale strong in possession and working the ball well against the breeze went 3-2 ahead on the eleventh minute with three pointed frees. Desertmartin then dominated the following ten minutes of play. A fisted point from Greg McGovern, two from the boot of Enda McGuckin and two from Paul McGovern saw the Saffrons lead 7-3 on the twenty second minute. Faughanvale refusing to wait for the second half wind advantage scored two more points to trail by two at half time.

Faughanvale stamped their authority on the game throughout the second half. Within ten minutes following the break they hit four unanswered points to go two ahead. Desertmartin working hard to get the ball into the Faughanvle 20m zone pulled a point back through Paul McGovern on the forty-second minute. John Gray then pointed a free for Faughanvale only to be matched by one for Desertmartin from Enda McGuckin with ten minutes remaining. At this stage Desertmartin at only one behind and with the introduction of substitutes Paddy McCann, Eunan O’Kane, Cormac McGuckin and Eoghan Hegarty put in a huge effort to stay in the game. But unfortunately they were dealt a hammer blow on the fifty-second when a long kick from Faughanvale dropped into the Desertmartin penalty area with the ball finishing in the Desertmartin net to give Faughanvale a four point lead with eight minutes to play. Inspired by their sudden advantage Faughanvale began to find space all over the field and with their halfbacks raiding into the St Martin’s defence they scored three further points to finish winners on a scoreline Faughanvale 1-13 Desertmartin 0-9.

Desertmartin: R O’Kane, S O’Neill, M Breen, E Burns, P McGovern (0-3), G McGovern (0-1), C Murray, C Madden, J P Higgins, F Higgins, Declan Murray (0-1, 1f), E McGuckin (0-4, 3f), C Monaghan, O Kelly, Paul Kidd.
Subs used: P McCann, E O’Kane, C McGuckin, E Hegarty, P McCrystal and M Madden

Seniors v Ballerin – Intermediate Championship 29th July

Desertmartin traveled to Owenbeg on Friday 29th to play Ballerin in their first game of the Intermediate Championship. Played under ideal conditions there was always going to be little between the sides. Desertmartin were first to score with a pointed free from Declan Murray on the fifth minute. This was followed by another pointed free from Enda McGuckin and one from play by Declan Murray to give the Saffrons a three point lead by the tweflth minute. But Desertmartin were not having it all their own way as Ballerin hit six wides in the first third of the game. The Sarsfields got their first score on the twentieth minute with a point from Gary Keane followed quickly by two more from Eoghan Mullan to tie the game at 0-3 apiece on the twenty-fifth minute. Then followed the move of the half. Ryan O’Kane, the Desertmartin goalkeeper, having saved on his goal-line carried the ball to the 45m line fed it to Paul McGovern who soloed another hundred metres before slipping the ball to Declan Murray who was immediately fouled in the penalty area. Enda McGuckin stepped forward to take the resultant penalty only to see his effort scream over the bar to give St. Martin’s a one point lead at half time.

Desertmartin started the second half strongly and added two further points, one from Paul McGovern the other from Oran Kelly to lead by three on the thirty-eighth minute. Gary Keane replied with a point for Ballerin before Desertmartin regained their three point lead with a point from Conor Monaghan. Ballerin were getting a grip on the game and in the forty-fifth minute Gary Keane pointed again to trim Desertmartin’s lead to two. Enda McGuckin eased Desertmartin further ahead with a pointed free but Ballerin hit back with two, another from Keane and one from Eoghan Mullan to reduce the arrears to one point. As the game entered its closing minutes it was impossible to call a winner. Declan Murray pointed for Desertmartin on the fifty-third minute to give the Saffrons a two point lead. But the following ten minutes belonged to Ballerin who hit four unanswered points to lead by two on the sixty-third minute. But Desertmartin refused to give up. Playing into the breeze with time running out they worked the ball forward and closed the gap to one when Eamon Burns pointed on the sixty-fourth minute. Determined to get the equaliser Desertmartin won a free twenty metres out and to the left of the Ballerin goal. Declan Murray stepped forward, held his composure and knocked over the equaliser. Two more enthralling minutes of play continued before the referee brought the game to an end with both teams locked at eleven points each.

Desertmartin: R O’Kane, S O’Neill, C Murray, E Burns (0-1), P McGovern (0-1), G McGovern, M Breen, P McCann, C Madden, F Higgins, Declan Murray (0-4, 3f), E McGuckin (0-3, 2f 1pen.), C Monaghan (0-1), O Kelly (0-1), Paul Kidd.
Subs used: M Madden, O Hegarty,

Seniors League vs Foreglen 3rd July

The senior team travelled to Foreglen on Sunday 3rd for their eleventh league game of the season. On the vast Foreglen pitch it was the O’Brien’s who were first off the mark going 1-1 up after two minutes of play. Desertmartin eased their way into the game with two pointed frees from Cormac McGuckin. Although Desertmartin worked hard to curtail a dominant Foreglen mid-field and a fast moving attack it was the home side who held the upper hand. While the Martin’s had some good passages of play, building from defence through mid-field and getting shots in, it was Foreglen who kept registering scores, leading at the break 1-5 to 0-2.

The first ten minutes of the second half saw Foreglen put the result beyond doubt. Controlling possession between the two 45s they penetrated the Saffrons defence repeatedly, scoring 1-5 without reply giving them a fourteen point lead after forty minutes. But to their credit Desertmartin rallied and for the following ten minutes played neat attractive football. Inspired by Paul McGovern who hit three points and one apiece from Eamon Burns, Conor Murray and Cormac McGuckin Desertmartin trimmed the deficit to eight. But the O’Brien’s regained their composure and during the remaining six minutes scored a further four points with Eamon Burns replying with one for Desertmartin to give a final result of Foreglen 2-15 Desertmartin 0-9.

Desertmartin team: Patrick Kidd, M McGuigan, C Murray (0-1), J Breen, E O’Kane, P McGovern (0-3), M Breen, P McCann, H Murray, S Trainor, C McGuckin (0-3, 3f), E Burns (0-2), Q Gilmore, C Monaghan, Paul Kidd. Subs used: P McCrystal, F Higgins

Seniors League vs Ballymaguigan 12th June

The Senior Men played Ballymaguigan at Longfield on Sunday 12th June in their ninth league game of the season. This was their third meeting with the lough-shore men this year. The first was in the Intermediate Ulster League, the other was the McGlinchey Cup final. On both occasions St Trea’s came out on top.

Played under settled conditions Desertmartin went 0-2 ahead on seven minutes with points from Dermot Breen and Enda McGuckin. In fact it took the visitors thirteen minutes before they raised a flag with a pointed free from corner-forward Barry McGlone. The Saffrons quickly replied with a point from Paul McGovern on fifteen minutes to lead 0-3 to 0-1. All of Desertmartin’s scores coming from open play. Ballymaguigan raised their game and dominated the following seven minutes. Centre half-forward Gary Burke added a point on the twentieth minute followed by another from right half-back Padraig Martin to tie the game at three points apiece after twenty four minutes. Then came the all important score of the first half. Gary Burke received possession about twenty five yards from the Desertmartin goal strode forward and drove low to the Desermartin net giving Ballymaguigan a three point lead on the twenty-fifth minute. Desertmartin regrouped quickly and replied with a pointed free from Enda McGuckin but Ballymaguigan finished the first period the stronger when Barry McGlone pointed his second free to give Ballymaguigan a half time lead of 1-4 to 0-4.

The Quigan started the second half sharply with a pointed free from Gary Burke in the opening minute. Desertmartin then recorded two wides before Ballymaguigan had their second period of domination in the game. From the thirty-ninth minute to the forty-sixth Ballymaguigan were relentless in their pursuit of scores. During that time they hit three points, one from Sean Brady and two from Barry McGlone. But the home side refused to capitulate. Showing great resilience the Saffrons forced their way back into the game scoring three points, two from Dermot Breen and one from Enda McGuckin to trail by four at the fifty-third minute. But the remaining seven minutes belonged to the visitors. Determined to win the game Ballymaguigan with points from Fergal Johnston and Gary Burke sealed victory on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-7.

Desertmartin: P Kidd, M McGuigan, C Murray, P McCrystal, E O’Kane, G McGovern, E Burns, P McCann, P McGovern (0-1), F Higgins, C McGuckin, E McGuckin (0-3, 3f), O Kelly, D Breen (0-3, 1f), A Trainor
Subs used: M Breen, E Hegarty

Seniors League vs Faughanvale 8th June

The Senior Men played host to Faughanvale at Longfield on Wednesday 8th June for their eighth league game. On an evening perfect for football Desertmartin started in whirlwind fashion going 1-2 up after six minutes of play with points from Enda McGuckin and a goal from Greg McGovern. But Faughanvale settled to the task and totally dominated the following fifteen minutes. The opened their scoring in the eighth minute with a point followed by a goal from Eunan Murray on the fifteenth then two more points to lead by two after twenty one minutes. Desertmartin reasserted their influence over the following few minutes going close on a couple of occasions and Cormac McGuckin scoring their third point. But it was visitors who finished the first half the stronger when they scored another point again from E Murray to lead at the break 1-4 to 1-3.

Desertmartin started the second half as if they may over overwhelm the team in green and white hoops. Playing sharp intelligent football Eamon Burns, Eunan O’Kane and Enda McGuckin knocked over a point apiece in the first six minutes after the restart to give the Saffrons a two point lead. Faughanvale stemmed the flow when Conor O’Hara scored a point to cut the home side’s lead to one. But Desertmartin showing great appetite for a challenge replied with a pointed free from Dermot Breen on the forty-fourth minute and another by Greg McGovern from open play gave the home side a three point lead after forty eight minutes. But the next twelve minutes saw a resurgent and very determined Faughanvale team. Moving the ball quickly into attacking positions they laid siege to the locals defence. On the fifty-third minute they squared the game when Conor O’Hara hit their second goal followed quickly by a point from Kevin Martin to lead by one on fifty four minutes. Desertmartin finding it difficult to penetrate the Vale defence saw hard won possession break down on their opponents 45m line and then having to defend quickly on the counter attack. Capitalizing on the spaces they were creating Faughanvale hit the net for the third time on the sixtieth minute from their left-half forward Oisin Quinn. It seemed all over for the home side. But to their credit they fought back and with a pointed free from Dermot Breen and one from play by Paddy McCann the deficit was back to two points by the sixty third minute. But Faughanvale undaunted by the Saffrons threat added two further points to finish the game four point winners on a scoreline Faughanvale 3-8 Desertmartin 1-10

Desertmartin: B McElhennon, M McGuigan, P McCann(0-1), C Murray, E O’Kane(0-1), G McGovern(1-1), P McCrystal, P McGovern, E Hegarty, F Higgins, E McGuckin(0-3), E Burns(0-1), O Kelly, C McGuckin(0-1), D Breen(0-2, 2f)

Subs used: A Trainor, R O’Kane, H Murray, G Murray

Seniors League vs Moneymore 3rd June

The Senior men travelled to McCracken Park on Friday 3rd June to play Moneymore in their seventh league game. On a pitch bathed in early summer sunshine Desertmartin played with a lively breeze in the first half. Signs of an away victory were prominent in the first few minutes of the game. By the eighth minute Desertmartin were 0-3 up with two points from Dermot Breen one from Enda McGuckin. The Saffrons were totally dominant and only for the industry of Chrissy Young in the Moneymore midfield the homeside could barely cross the halfway line. Moneymore had isolated raids into Desertmartin territory but could only muster four wides during the first twenty five minutes. In the meantime Desertmartin were relentless in their pursuit of scores. Breaking strongly from halfback and feeding the forward line with quick passes the visitors built up plethora of scoring opportunities. Two further points from Dermot Breen and one apiece from Enda and Cormac McGuckin bringing Desertmartin’s first half total to seven points did not reflect their overall authority. Moneymore eventually got on the score-sheet when Christopher Marshall pointed from a free on the stroke of half-time.

Desertmartin started the second period strongly. Greg McGovern broke through the Moneymore rearguard on the 33rd minute and finished low to the net. Dermot Breen quickly followed this with a point giving Desertmartin a ten point lead on 34 minutes. Moneymore replied with a point cutting the deficit to nine. Play ebbed and flowed during the following ten minutes with neither side raising a flag. Then on the 45th minute Moneymore broke quickly from defence, moved the ball through mid-field and fired a long searching pass to Paudie O’Neill who outfoxed two Desertmartin defenders on the edge of St Martin’s square and drove the ball low into the corner of the net. Desertmartin seemed to have regained their composure when Cormac McGuckin scored his second point on the 46th minute to give the visitors a seven point lead. But that was to be Desertmartin’s final score. The remaining eleven minutes belonged to the McCrackens. With Desertmartin starting to tire Moneymore laid seige to the Desertmartin goal. Callum Bloomer with his strong running down Desertmartin’s left flank exerted pressure on the Martins defence. On the 55th minute a high cross into the Desertmartin goalmouth fell to Jack Barton who finished to the net from close range. Another point by C Bloomer on the 58th minute cut Desertmartin’s lead to two points. Sensing the possiblity of rescuing the game the home side pressed forward and following another high cross into the visitors small square the ball broke to Moneymore who finished to the net to go a point up on the 60th minute. Desertmartin found it difficult to work the ball upfield and when C Bloomer scored a point in the 63rd minute it was all over with Moneymore running out winners 3-5 to 1-9.

Desertmartin: B McElhennon, M McGuigan, P McCann, C Murray, E O’Kane, G McGovern (1-0), P McCrystal, J P Higgins, P McGovern, F Higgins, E McGuckin (0-2), D Breen(0-5, 2f, 1/45), O Kelly, C McGuckin (0-2), E Burns.

Sub used: Ronan McGuckin

Seniors League vs Glenullin 27th May

Senior men played host to Glenullin on Friday 27th for their sixth league game of the season. Glenullin proved why they are League 2 leaders by delivering a dominant performance throughout the sixty minutes. Desertmartin showed great spirit and will be disappointed with their own scoreline. The home side matched the visitors for possession in the opening half but it was Glenullin’s sharp finishing that was the difference, leading at the break 1-6 to 0-3. Glenullin put the result beyond doubt when they scored a goal early in the second half followed by three unanswered points. The closing quarter saw the best of the Saffrons. Competing strongly in the middle they worked the ball forward and out-scored Glenullin 0-4 to 0-2 in the last ten minutes. The game finished Glenullin 2-11 Desertmartin 0-7

Desertmartin: B McElhennon, M McGuigan, M Breen, P McCrystal, E O’Kane, G McGovern, E Burns, P McGovern, A McGuigan, F Higgins, E McGuckin, D Breen (0-4, 1f), O Kelly (0-1), D Murray, C McGuckin (0-1)

Subs used: P McCann, J P Higgins (0-1)

Seniors League vs Slaughtmanus 15th May

The men’s senior team played host to Slaughtmanus on Sunday 15th May in their fourth league game of season. Played under near perfect conditions both teams served up an exciting encounter that left both sides tied at 0-11 to 1-8 at the final whistle. Playing into a slight breeze the visitors were the dominant side for the first quarter of the game. Gavin McManus opened their scoring from a free in the first minute to which Declan Murray replied likewise after six minutes. In the fifteenth minute Slaughtmanus got the score their play deserved when Caolan Watson hit the only goal of the game. Declan Murray got Desertmartin’s second point from a free on sixteen minutes. But St Mary’s replied with two further points from Ryan Barr and Connor Lynch to lead 1-3 to 0-2 after twenty two minutes. Desertmartin then sprang to life. Good play from G McGovern supported by his brother Paul who passed to Eamon Burns who hit St Martin’s third point on the twenty fifth minute. Desertmartin finished the first half strongly when D Murray scored another free-kick after G McGovern had been fouled. Aidy McGuigan added another from play following good movement between Oran Kelly and Eunan O’Kane to leave Desertmartin a point behind at half-time.

The opening ten minutes of the second half belonged to the home team, scoring four unanswered points to lead by three on the fortieth minute. But St Mary’s cut the lead to one point when Ryan Barr struck two marvellous pointed frees. Although Desertmartin were playing quite well they put three further opportunities wide while Slaughtmanus scored two more points to lead by one entering the last five minutes. Oran Kelly brought the sides level before Desertmartin keeper B McElhennon pulled off a brilliant save on fifty six minutes to keep the Saffrons in the game. Once again it was corner back Ryan Barr who stepped forward to score his fifth pointed free to give Slaughtmanus a one point lead with three minutes to go. Trying to run the clock down St Mary’s kept recycling possession. But Desertmartin harried every movement and when Dermot Breen latched onto the ball on the hour mark he drove it over the bar for the equaliser, final score of the game.

Desertmartin team: B McElhennon, M McGuigan C Murray, S O’Neill, P McGovern, G McGovern, E O’Kane, E Hegarty, P McCann, F Higgins, A McGuigan(0-1), D Breen(0-1), E Burns(0-2), Declan Murray(0-6, 4f), O Kelly(0-1). Sub used C McGuckin

Seniors League vs Drumsurn 6th May

The senior men visited Drumsurn on Friday 6th May for their third league game of the season. On a fine spring evening in N. Derry with a lively breeze having a say on proceedings both sides couldn’t be separated after sixty minutes of ultra competitve football. Desertmartin playing into the breeze were a match for the home side for the first seventeen minutes leading by three points to two with scores coming from Declan Murray (0-2) and Ronan McGuckin(0-1). Drumsurn over the following four minutes then hit three points without reply, with C Mullan at the heart of everything they did. Despite Drumsurn’s strength at mid-field Desertmartin regrouped, worked the ball up the field for Eunan O’Kane to chip over a neat point. The Saffrons were relieved when Drumsurn wasted a golden opportunity of scoring a major when their shot rebounded off the St Martin’s crossbar from point blank range. With Drumsurn scoring another point and Desertmartin hitting two wides the St Matthew’s men lead (0-6) to (0-4) at half-time.

Drumsurn facing the wind in the second-half started the second period in whirlwind fashion. Immediately after the throw in the Reds No.10 hit the net followed by two further points from C Mullan giving Drumsurn a seven point lead after thirty seven minutes. From that moment on the remainder of the game belonged to Desertmartin. Throwing caution to the wind the Saffrons swept forward repeatedly. Penetrating the home side’s defence the visitor’s scored four unanswered points and when C Monaghan rolled in a goal for Desertmartin it was all to play for. With both sides level going into the final minutes Drumsurn were handed two red cards while Desertmartin were awarded one black. Everything was contested. Both sides had equal opportunities to win the game. C Mullan with a free gave Drumsurn a one point lead on the 53rd minute but Declan Murray equalised a minute later. Desertmartin finished much stronger registering three wides before the game ended 1-9 to 1-9.

Desertmartin team: B McElhennon, C Murray, M Breen, P Kidd, P McGovern, G McGovern, E Burns(0-1), E Hegarty, F Higgins, E O’Kane(0-1), O Kelly, Ronan McGuckin(0-1), D Breen, Declan Murray(0-5 1f), C Monaghan(1-1). Subs used: P McCann, S O’Neill, C McGuckin, Ryan McGuckin

Division 2 League Desertmartin 1-12 Craigbane 1-09

In their second league game of the season at home on Sunday 24th against Craigbane, Desertmartin needed an injury time goal from Cormac McGuckin to see off the visitors in a tense finish to win by three points. While Desertmartin were totally in control in the first half Craigbane were likewise in the second.. In the first thirty minutes the home side were mercurial in everything they did. Secure in defence, strong in mid-field and a forward line that ran Craigbane ragged forcing the North Derry men to foul repeatedly which Declan Murray punished with ease. Leading 0-10 to 0-1 at the break it was difficult to see how Craigbane could recover. But that they did. Ten minutes after the restart they had nine scoring attempts registering five points and the Saffrons lead was down to four. With time on their side Craigbane were relentless in their assault on the Desertmartin rearguard. But stubborn defending and one really good save from B McElhennon kept Desertmartin in the game. On the stroke of full time Craigbane scored a goal that seemed to offer both sides a share of the points. But Desertmartin weren’t finished. A minute into injury time St Martin’s had one last raid into the Craigbane defence where the ball fell to Cormac McGuckin who blasted to the net from close range giving Desertmartin a 1-12 to 1-9 victory.

Desertmartin team: B McElhennon; P McCrystal, M Breen, C Murray; P Mc Govern(0-1), G McGovern, E O’Kane; P McCann, E Hegarty; F Higgins, A McGuigan, D Breen; E Burns, Declan Murray(0-11,8f) ,O Kelly.

Subs used: A Trainor, C Monaghan, C McGuckin(1-0)

Senior League vs Castledawson 17th April

The Seniors played their first league game of the season when they took on Castledawson at the Broagh on Sunday 17th. Played on a marvellous surface Castledawson cruised into a three point lead before Desertmartin opened their scoring with a point after ten minutes of play. Castledawson replied with 1 – 1 to lead by six points on the thirteenth minute. The following eight minutes belonged Desertmartin scoring four points without reply. Nial McNicholl then pointed two frees for the Lily Whites before Desertmartin scored three further points leaving the home side leading by a point at half-time. The second period was nip and tuck the whole way with both sides having equal possession of the ball. The difference was Castledawson’s accuracy on front of goals. Each team had ten attempts at scoring during the second half with Castledawson outpointing the Saffrons 0 – 6 to 0 – 2 to win by five on a scoreline of 1 – 12 to 0 – 10. While Desertmartin will be disappointed with the outcome, they produced a fully committed preformance in a good game of football.

Desertmartin team: B McElhennon; P McCrystal, M Breen, C Murray; P McGovern, G McGovern, E O’Kane(0 -1); E Hegarty, A McGuigan(0 -1), F Higgins(0 -1), Declan Murray(0 -5, 3f), D Breen(0 -2), E Burns, O Kelly, Paul Kidd.

Subs used: P McCann, Ronan McGuckin

Senior Football McGlinchey Cup Final Ballymaguigan 1 – 12 Desertmartin 1 – 7

Desertmartin and Ballymaguigan contested the final of the McGlinchey Cup in Ballinascreen on Wednesday evening 30th March. Despite the wide expanse of the Screen pitch both sides indulged in a short handpassing game working possession through their half backs and mid-field before seeking out a target in their inside lines. Ballymaguigan persisted with this more than Desertmartin.

The first half belonged largely to the Loughshore men who consistently pressurised the St Martin’s defence into conceding frees which Gary Burke readily converted. While Ballymaguigan hit seven points in the opening thirty minutes Desertmartin kept in touch by scoring three points to trail at the break 0 – 7 to 0 – 3.

Despite losing Fergal Higgins to a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time fourteen-man Desertmartin made a gallant comeback. Inspired by an Eamon Burns goal immediately after the break and good play from Paul McGovern and Eoghan Hegarty in particular the Saffrons cut the defecit to two points with ten minutes remaining. As St Martin’s were in the ascendency and controlling most of possession they were unfortunate to concede a goal following a goalmouth scramble allowing the Quigan to lead by five. Ballymaguigan with a strong lead going into the final minutes contained Desertmartin’s attempts to recover. With time running out both sides scored a point apiece before Ballymaguigan finished as five point winners.

Desertmartin team: C Scullion; S O’Neill, M Breen, C Murray; P McGovern(0 – 1), C Madden, P McCrystal; E Hegarty(0 – 1), J McGovern; E O’Kane, G McGovern(0 – 2), Declan Murray(0 – 2); O Kelly(0 – 1), D Burns, F Higgins. Subs used: C Burns, E Burns(1 – 0) and P McCann.

Senior Football McGlinchey Cup semi-final Castledawson 1 – 8 Desertmartin 2 – 8

Desertmartin travelled to Castledawson on Tuesday evening March 15th to play the hosts in the semi-final of the McGlinchey Cup. Played on a superb surface and under ideal weather conditions both sides displayed good handling skills and a willingness to be adventurous when breaking from defence. Castledawson set the pace for the first ten minutes playing secure methodical football. Desertmartin matched their persistence with well organised defending forcing the Brough men to shoot from distance and limiting scores. The following fifteen minutes saw passages of fluent attacking play from both sides leaving both teams level on 0 – 4 each entering the last five minutes of the first half. After exchanging two wides apiece the game saw the best score of the match. Eamon Burns won possession on the Dawson 20 m line stepped inside his tackler and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net to leave the Saffrons leading by three points at half time. The second half saw Castledawson determined to exert their authority by winning a greater amount of possession and creating numerous scoring chances. But Desertmartin matched the home side point for point and when Conor Monaghan netted on 53 mins to give the visitors a six point lead the game was all but over. Castledawson scored a goal on the stroke of full time leaving Desertmartin winners by three points.

Desertmartin team: C Scullion; C Burns, M Breen, C Murray; P McGovern, G McGovern (0 – 1), C Monaghan (1 – 0); O Hegarty, A McGuigan (0 -1); Declan Murray (0 – 4), C McGuckin, P McCrystal; E Burns (1 – 1), D Burns, F Higgins (0 -1). Subs used, D Breen and Paul Kidd

Senior football: Stewartstown 2 -16 Desertmartin 1-10

Desertmartin travelled to Stewartstown on Thursday night February 25th for their final game in the Ulster Int. League. On a fine crisp February evening in the vast Stewartstown pitch the home side excelled in the opening half. Utilising the wide expanse of their own field the Harps lead 0 -11 to 0 – 4 at half time Although Desermartin found the home side difficult to contain in the first thirty minutes they were well served by their hard working full-back line. The second half was a more balanced contest. Despite conceding early scores Desertmartin settled down and began to win more possession around mid-field. Good play from Aidy McGuigan, Paul McGovern and Martin Breen saw the Saffrons push for scores, hitting 1 – 6 in the second period. Stewartstown who gave a fine display of open attacking football throughout notched 2- 6 after the interval to run out nine point winners.

Desertmartin team: C Scullion; C Burns, C Murray, P McCrystal; P McGovern, P Kidd, C Madden; M Breen, O Hegarty; G McGovern, A McGuigan, E O’Kane; D Burns, Declan Murray, S Trainor.
Subs used: R Devlin, Ryan McGuckin, Ronan McGuckin, F Higgins and S O’Neill

Senior football result. Ulster Int. League Desertmartin 1 – 8 Ballymaguigan 0 – 13

Desertmartin and Ballymaguigan clashed in the third round of the Ulster Int. League at Longfield on Sunday 21st February. In a highly competive environment both sides gave their all before the Loughshore men edged out the home side by two points. 

Ballymaguigan aided by a soft breeze dominated the first half having fifteen attempts at scoring, registering nine points. The visitors played enthusiastically and with excellent support play from their half -backs pinned the homeside within their own half for most of the opening thirty minutes. Sean Brady influential throughout, split the uprights on four occasions during the first period. Refusing to be overwhelmed Desertmartin fought back manfully with three good points, two from Declan Murray and one from Aidy McGuigan leaving Ballymaguigan one point ahead after twenty minutes of play. Then followed the score of the first-half. Greg McGovern won possession on the right wing, surged forward splitting the Ballymaguigan defence slipped the ball to Stephen Trainor who netted from 13m. Undaunted by the locals revival the Quiggan finished the half strongly scoring four more points to lead at the break by three.

The second half saw a much more energised Desertmartin. Determined in the tackle, quick to the breaking ball the Yellows brought the game to the visitors. On top in the early stages Desertmartin with points from Paul McGovern and Eunan O’Kane cut the deficit to one. Ballymaguigan regained their composure and moved further ahead with two points from Sean Brady and one from Fergal Johnson. The final few minutes was all Desermartin with Declan Murray, Paul McGovern and A McGuigan adding three further points leaving only one between the sides. S Brady concluded the scoring with a pointed free allowing the visitors a two point win.  

Best for Desertmartin were C Scullion; C Monaghan; A McGuigan and the McGovern brothers.

Desertmartin team: C Scullion; S O’Neill, C Monaghan, C Burns; P McGovern (0-2), E Hegarty, P McCrystal; M Breen, A McGuigan(0-2); E O’Kane(0-1), D Murray(0-3,1f) , G McGovern; S Trainor(1-0), F Higgins, R McGuckin. Subs: Donal Murray for F Higgins, J McGovern for R McGuckin

Senior Football result: Ulster Int. League Desertmartin 0 – 5 All Saints Ballymena 1 – 10

Desertmartin played host to All Saints Ballymena in their second game of the Ulster Int. League on Thursday 11th February. Played under ideal weather conditions the home side encountered a very fit, fast moving Ballymena team who were intent on establishing their authority early in the game. Running relentlessly into the heart of the Desertmartin defence
they ran up a four point lead at the end of the first quarter. Desertmartin then began to win possession between the two 45s and pushing forward exerted some pressure on the Antrim men. They opened their account in the 18th minute with a point from Johnny McGovern followed quickly with a second from Martin Breen. All Saints scored another point to lead at the break 0 – 5 to 0 – 2.

Desertmartin began the second half brightly with a quick point from Aidy McGuigan. Ballymena added another point before Declan Murray replied with a pointed free for St Martin’s. During the following fifteen minutes Ballymena scored 1 – 3 without reply to put the result beyond doubt. Declan Murray pointed another free before Ballymena concluded the scoring with a final point to run out eight point winners.

Desertmartin worked hard throughout the game and had good performances from corner back Paul McCrystal; Greg and Paul McGovern at half -back and Oran Kelly at full-forward.

Desertmartin team: C Scullion; C Burns, C Monaghan, P McCrystal; P McGovern, M Breen(0-1), C Madden; F Higgins, J McGovern (0-1); Declan Murray (0-2), G McGovern, E O’Kane; Donal Murray, O Kelly A McGuigan(0-1). Subs: C Murray for J McGovern; R McGuckin for Donal Murray; S O’Neill for M Breen

Senior Football Result: Ulster Intermediate League Desertmartin 2 – 10 Derrynoose 1 – 7

Despite the difficult playing conditions both teams served up a lively entertaining game in this the opening match of the Ulster League. Following a bright start from Derrynoose who hit 1 – 1 in the opening minutes the home side settled down and dominated possession for most of the first half. While having overall control Desertmartin only led by the smallest of margins going into the break 0-7 to 1-3 ahead. On resumption of play Oran Kelly and Stephen Trainor hit two quick goals giving St Martin’s a commanding seven point lead. Derrynoose unwilling to accept early defeat replied strongly cutting the deficit to four points with five minutes to play. Desertmartin rallied in the closing minutes, scoring two further points to win by six. Good play throughout from Eamon Burns; the McGovern brothers, Greg and Paul; Conor Monaghan; F Higgins; Aidy McGuigan and Johnny McGovern helped Desertmartin to a well deserved win.

Desertmartin team:- B McElhennon; E O’Kane; C Monaghan; D Burns; P McGovern; M Breen; G McGovern (0-3); E Hegarty; J McGovern; R McGuckin; A McGuigan (0-1); E Burns (0-3); S Trainor(1-0); F Higgins; O Kelly (1-1)

Subs:- D Murray (0-2) for M Breen; P Kidd for E Burns; S O;Neill for D Burns; P McCrystal for R McGuckin and R McGuckin for S Trainor