McCloskey hat-trick sinks Portaferry

O’Neill’s All County Hurling League – Division 1

Loughgiel 5-19 Portaferry 0-121The Loughgiel and Portaferry teams stand to mark the 100th anniversary of Gaelic Sunday before today’s league game at Fr Healy Park

Reigning league champions Loughgiel scored a comprehensive win over Portaferry in Sunday’s league game at Fr Healy Park. The Down men competed fairly well in the opening half and turned around just four points adrift but after the change of ends the Shamrocks were rampant and boosted by an Eddie McCloskey hat-trick they went on to win at a canter.

The sides were level after ten minutes as two early points from Shan McGrath and Dan McCloskey were cancelled out by points from Caolan Taggart and Conor Mageean for the visitors. However Loughgiel steadily gained the upper hand and three points from Eddie McCloskey, Mark McFadden and James McNaughton put them in control. A fine solo score from Caolan Taggart was answered by one from a free from James McNaughton for the home side and after Paul Braniff had again cut the Portaferry deficit to two the Shamrocks came back with scores from Eddie McCloskey from play and James McNaughton from a free to put the gap out to four. Kevin McGarry cut the gap back to three again but just before the half time whistle Declan Gillan soloed up from defence to strike an excellent point and give Loughgiel a 0-9 to 0-5 lead at the break.

11Portaferry’s Kevin McGarry is closed down by the Loughgiel defence.

Portaferry’s Kevin McGarry had the first score of the second half to cut his team’s arrears to three but that was as close at the men from the Ards would come and Loughgiel started to take control. Two James McNaughton points were followed by Eddie McCloskey’s opening goal in the 42nd minute, the ball deflecting off his hand and past Karol Keating in the Portaferry goal. Paul Braniff pulled a couple back for the visitors but Loughgiel were getting up a head of steam and points from Duck McFadden James McNaughton and Shan McGrath were followed by Eddie McCloskey’s second goal. The flood gates opened at this stage as Shay Casey got in the goal scoring act as he turned a rebound home after a good Keating save and two minutes later McCloksey completed his hat trick as he caught a high ball close to goal and swivelled to fire home. Braniff kept the scoreboard ticking at the other end but the gap was ever widening and goal number five arrived from Shan McGrath before referee Alan Nash blew the full time whistle.

LOUGHGIEL

DD Quinn, Tiernan Coyle, Cathal McMullan, Ronan McCloskey, Damian Gillan, Damon McMullan, Odhran McFadden, Mark McFaden, Eddie McCloskey, Ryan McKee, James McNaughton, Maol Connolly, Dan McCloskey, Shay Casey, Shan McGrath.

Subs – Aidan McFadden, Callum McKendry and Declan Laverty

PORTAFERRY

Karol Keating, Darragh Mallon, Conor O’Neill, Neil White, Caolan Taggart, Matthew Conlan, tom Murray, Conor Fay, Aaron O’Prey, Kevin McGarry, Conor Mageean, Jason Gilmore, Ronan Blair, Paul Braniff, Owen Taggart.

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Pics by John McIlwaine

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