by John McIlwaine
McMullan Cup – North Antrim Under 16 Hurling
Glenariffe 3-7 Loughgiel 4-26
Loughgiel turned on the style in tonight’s McMullan Cup semi-final in Waterfoot as they beat the hosts Glenariffe by 4-26 to 3-7 to book their place in Sunday’s final against Ballycastle at Feis na nGleann.
A team packed with stars had six points on the board inside the first four minutes as centre forward Michael McGarry led the charge with three while Dylan Devlin, Cathal Hargan and Ryan McMullan hit one apiece. Glenariffe got on the scoreboard when Michael O’Boyle sent a sideline cut all the way to the Loughgiel net and when he added a point seconds later the gap was suddenly back to two. However Loughgiel were relentless and they hit nine of the next ten points to move eleven clear by the eighteenth minute, and though the Oisins pulled two back through Oliver Kearney and Michael O’Boyle, Odhran McGrath replied with a goal for the Shamrocks.
Glenariffe spirits were lifted late in the half when Shay McDonnell broke through for goals in the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth minutes and though Loughgiel laid siege on the Oisins goal for the remainder of the half they were denied by a series of great saves by goalkeeper Joe Delargy who performed heroics to keep the score down.
Leading by 2-16 to 3-4 going into the second half Loughgiel soon stretched that lead with two top class points from Dylan Devlin. Michael O’Boyle pulled a couple back for the home side but the Shamrocks powerful half forward line of Devlin, McGarry and McMullan kept picking off the scores. Delargy was still performing heroics in the Oisins goal but the dam eventually burst and Odhran McGrath, Michael McGarry (from a penalty) and Dylan Devlin got in for goals to seal a very impressive and emphatic win.
Kevin McAuley, Tiernan McCaughan, Ruairi McCloskey, Conor Henry, Christy McGarry, Declan McCloskey, Tiernan McAlonan, Cathal Hargan (0-2) , Shane O’Boyle (0-2) , Dylan Devlin (1-5) , Michael McGarry (1-11) , Ryan McMullan (0-5) , Conor McCormick, Odhran McGrath (2-0) , Conor O’Mullan.
Subs Frank Boyle, Ryan Dallas, Damian Quinn
Joe Delargy, Odhran Gillan, Ewan McHenry, Daniel Kearney, Ciaran Black, Alexander McMullan, Jack Leech, Gabriel Leech, Michael McMullan, Michael O’Boyle (1-5) , Shay McDonnell (2-1) , Dave Mort, Fintan Leech, Oliver Kearney (0-1) , Seanie McIntosh.
Subs – John Fyfe, Ben O’Boyle, Roy McLarnon
Referee – Paul McSparran (Cushendun)