Antrim Junior A hurling championship in Armoy
Shane O’Neill’s 1-17 Con Magee’s 1-12
By Seamus McAleenan
At half-time in this Antrim Junior A hurling championship tie in Armoy, a shock looked on the cards when Con Magee’s held a 1-8 to 0-8 lead over Shane O’Neill’s after having played into the slight breeze. During that period Glenarm had hit six wides to Glenravel’s two and generally didn’t look like breaching their defence, relying on the accuracy of Daniel Black from frees to keep them in touch.
However the game changed in the third minute after the re-start when Darren Hamill slipped his marker and brought a brilliant save from Chris McCann only for Shane Magill to sweep the rebound to the net. That score put them ahead 1-9 to 1-8 and Glenarm were to pull away over the course of the remaining 27+ minutes with Daniel Black’s free-taking a huge impact on the scoreboard.
Glenravel conceded far too many frees, while the winners were that bit more disciplined in their tackling. Black hit a total of 11 points, nine of which came from placed balls and many from around the midfield area. He did put a couple astray before the break, but overall his contribution probably saw Shane O’Neill’s over the line.
Glenravel only had six scoreable frees over the hour and managed to put just two away and in the end frees made the difference.
However credit to the Green and Whites for taking the game to Glenarm particularly during the opening half. After 15 minutes the game was tied on 0-5 each with Black contributing four points and veteran Neil “Vic” McCann shooting three for Glenravel.
Black edged Glenarm ahead with another pointed free, but over the next ten minutes Glenravel moved into a four points’ lead. Initially Patrick O’Neill punished a loose clearance by shooting his third point and Vic McCann gave them a lead with a point in the 20th minute.
The short poc out was turned over by Glenravel and Jonathan Fyfe got a run on the goal. His shot was blocked but Declan Traynor forced the sliotar over the line. With ‘Vic’ adding a point in the 25th minute, his side were 1-8 to 0-6 ahead, but late points from Black and Darren Hamill left a gap of a goal at the break.
Glenarm regained the lead early in the second half, and with Black continuing to punish fouls, they moved into a 1-15 to 1-10 lead at the end of the third quarter. Points from sub Niall Donnelly and Patrick O’Neill closed the gap for a short period, but Black and Brendan McDermott made sure there was going to be no late slip-ups from Glenarm.
Shane O’Neill’s : Patrick Abram, Sean Moran, Bliain McDermott, Paddy McAuley, Jake Hamilton, Hugh Pat McNeill, Declan McDermott, Padraig McDermott 0-1, Shane Magill 1-1, Daniel Black 0-11, 0-9 frees, Darren Hamill 0-1, Brendan McDermott 0-2, Sean O’Hare, Declan McLaughlin, Barry Hamill.
Sub : Conor McNeill for S O’Hare (HT)
Con Magee’s : Chris McCann, Sean Burns, Shanlee Kerr, Steven Atcheson, Declan McBride, Martin Scullion, Cormac Scullion, Brian O’Neill 0-1, Padge O’Neill 0-4, Barry McCann, Conor McNeill 0-1 free, Conor Carey, Neil McCann 0-5, 0-1 free, Declan Traynor 1-0, Jonathon Fyfe.
Subs : Niall Donnelly 0-1 for B McCann (HT), Shane Woulahan for J Fyfe (HT), Ronan McCann for C Carey (48), Damian O’Hagan for C McNeill (59).
Referee: Paul O’Neill (Creggan)