Tír na nÓg safely through to semi-finals

Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final

4A

Tír na nÓg’s Colm Duffin breaks from defence

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Tír na nÓg Randalstown 1-17 St Mary’s Rasharkin 0-12

By John McIlwaine

Tir na nOg booked their place in the semi-final of Intermediate Hurling Championship when held off the second half challenge of Rasharkin in today’s quarter-final at Armoy. It was all plain sailing in the first half for the men from Randalstown as they maded use of the strong wind to rush to a 0-13 to 0-1 lead at half time. When Tir na nÓg hit the first score of the second half to go thirteen clear looked like they were on easy street, but Rasharkin had no intention of giving up the fight and they battled back to his eight of the next nine points to cut the gap to just six with eighteen minutes left to play. Suddenly it didn’t appear so clear cut for the Whitehill men but when things were a bit shaky up stepped man of the match Kevin Sheerin to fire home a goal at the other end to all but seal the win.

The game started with Tír na nÓg having use of the strong breeze that blew down the field toward the Ballycastle end and two points from Pearse Shearin and one from brother Kevin had the three clear in as many minutes. Conor McKeever pulled one back for Rasharkin but the men from Dreen were struggling to get the ball out of their own half and Kevin Sheerin punished them with three points in a row in a two minute spell. Rasharkin were creating chances but a mixture of tenacious Tír na nÓg defending and difficult weather conditions meant they just could not add to their score while Tír na nÓg added ten without reply, despite being reduced to fourteen men after goalkeeper Rudi Graham received a straight card. Four of the points came from Kevin Sheerin while Caoimhin Duffin, Ciaran McKeown, and Kevin McCann all grabbed one apiece to stretch their lead to twelve by the break. (0-3 to 0-1)

 

When Sheerin hit the first score of the second half to put his team 13 ahead there must have been those among the crowd who felt like heading for home, but Rasharkin had no intention of throwing in the towel and slowly but surely they began to claw their way back. Declan McKay started it with one from play before full-forward Eamon McNeill weighed in with three on the spin, two from play and one from a free. Shane Hasson added one in the 38th minute and Conor McKeever popped one over soon afterwards and with twenty minutes still to play the gap was down to a more manageable seven points. Big Kevin Sheerin settled Randalstown nerves with a point from play but Rasharkin, and Eamon McNeill in particular, were still causing problems and two more by the full forward brought his side back within six. It could have been even closer when McNeill got through on the right side of the Tír na nÓg goal, but his angled shot flew across the face of the goalmouth and was cleared to safety and when Sheerin grabbed his team’s only goal minutes later the game was all but won. Rasharkin never gave up though and managed four more points before the end, but the gap was too big to close by this stage and Tír na nÓg managed a few of their own to book a semi-final spot against Carey Faughs.

Tír na  nÓg scorers – Kevin Sheerin 1-11 (7 frees); Ciaran Logan 0-2; Caoimhin Duffin, Ciaran McKeown, Pearse Sheerin, Shane Donnelly 0-1 each

Rasharkin scorers – Eamon McNeill 0-7 (3 frees); Conor McKeever, 0-2; Declan McKay 0-2; Shane Hasson 0-1

Tír na nÓg

1 – Rudi Graham

2 – Conor Fitzgerald

3 – Tony Martin

4 – Brendan Kerr

5 – Ryan O’Neill

7 – Colm Duffin

8 – Chris Sheerin

9 – Sean Duffin

10 – Ciaran McKeown

11 – Pearse Sheerin

12 – Ciaran Logan

13 – Kevin McCann

14 – Kevin Sheerin

15 – Shane Donnelly

 

Rasharkin

1 – James O,Mullan
2 – Daniel McKay
3 – Daniel Doherty
4 – Conor Doherty
5 – Aidan McKeever
6 – Brendan McMullan
7 – James Scally
8 – Emmet McFerran
9 – Thomas McMullan
10 – Declan McKay
11 – Enda McFerran
12 – Donagh Quigg
13 – Conor McKeever
14 – Eamonn McNeill
15 – Shane Hasson

Referee – Thomas McGilligan (Dunloy)

 

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