Ballycastle secure promotion but it was really hard work

O’Neill’s All County Hurling League – Division 2

McQuillan 1-15 Tír na nÓg 1-14

Knowing that any success would put them back into Division 1 of the All County Hurling League, the home side entered this game cautiously optimistic. However Tír na nÓg hadn’t come to join the party, with an early blitz of points gave the visitors a  0-4 to 1-0 lead within the first ten minutes, the Ballycastle goal coming from ‘TT’ Butler, who finished an excellent passing move to the net after an intelligent play from Diarmuid McShane and Ciaran Butler.

Diarmuid McShane and Cathal Connor points put the Town into the lead, a lead which would change three times before half time, brothers Diarmuid and Kevin Barry McShane sharing five points between them meaning that the sides were level at 1-07 to 0-10 at half-time.

‘TT’ Butler opened the second half scoring with a superb point, only to be cancelled out by two points from the visitors, the home side then hit a period of dominance adding 5 unanswered points (Ciaran Butler 0-2, Shane McCarry 0-1, Kevin Barry McShane 0-1 and Shane Staunton 0-1) to open up a 4 point advantage. Despite a series of scoreable chances sent wide, it still looked that the Castle would see out the half comfortably.

However a converted penalty award in the final minutes, put the visitors only a point adrift, the Town’s resolve being tested right to the end.

Kevin Barry McShane scored a good free to extend the lead but again the Randalstown men pointed twice to square the game going into added time.

Cometh the hour cometh the man, and as has been the case throughout the season Diarmuid McShane stepped up to deliver the final score of the game, and the two league points, promotion and the Division 2 title for the McQuillan men.

McQuillan: Ryan McGarry, Oran Kearney, Matthew Donnelly, Oisin McAuley, John McLister, Neal McAuley, Ben McQuillan, Ronan McCarry, Shane McCarry (0-1), Eamon Elliott, Kevin Barry McShane(0-4),Tiarnan Butler(1-1), Diarmuid McShane(0-5), Ciaran Butler(0-2), Cathal Connor (0-1). Subs Shane Staunton (0-1) for E. Elliot, A Mooney for C Connor


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