All County Hurling League Division 1
Ruairi Og 6-28 Rossa 0-8
By Colum Thompson
Rossa’s involvement in Division 1 of the All county Hurling League ended at Pairc Mhuire on Sunday when their understrength team were comprehensively beaten by a Cushendall side who turned in an impressive performance. When they started their league campaign with wins over Dunloy and St John’s things looked bright for Paul Close and his charges, but his side was decimated by immigration and injuries as the season progressed and the team that ended the season was a mere shadow of the one that started it.
Ruairi Og were not at full strength either, but they still breezed past the challenge of the west Belfast men to claim another two league points. In truth the game was over as a contest as early as the tenth minute when Donal McNaughton cracked home the home sides first goal. At that stage Cushendall had built themselves a healthy lead of 0-5 to 0-1 with the points coming from McNaughton (0-2), Conor Carson (0-2) and Ryan McCambridge. Rossa brought themselves brief hope of making a game of it with three points in a row from Stephen Beattie (0-2) and Stephen Shannon but Ruairi Og slammed the door shut in ruthless fashion and with an avalanche of points from all angles and two further goals from Fergus McCambridge and Cormac McClafferty and by half time they were out of sight on a score of Cushendall 3-16 Rossa 0-6.
Things didn’t get any better in the second half for the Belfast men as Cushendall took points at will with Paddy McGill, Cormac McClafferty and Ryan McCambridge in particular hitting some excellent scores. They say take your points and the goals will come and this is the way it proved for the home side and in the second half they raised three further green flags with goals from Donal McNaughton, Niall McCormick and Cormac McClafferty. In response Rossa could only manage two points in the second half as Ruairi Og strolled to victory. For the record the final score was Cushendall 6-28 Rossa 0-8.
How they played: This was a walk in the park for Cushendall with Rossa offering only token resistance. The entire defence held firm with Eoghan Campbell playing a quarter back type roll extremely well. In the midfield engine room Paddy McGill was again superb, hitting ten points, seven of them from play. Up front all six forwards registered scores with McClafferty and Donal McNaughton particularly dangerous but my man of the match was Ryan McCambridge who was simply unplayable on the day. His high fielding, strong running and accurate shooting saw him finish the game with eight points all from play in what was a blistering performance.
Ruairi Og team: E Gillan, J McCurry, P Burke, S Delargy, L Gillan, E Campbell, Stephen Walsh, P McGill(0-9, 3fs), F McCurry, C Carson (0-3), F McCambridge (1-3), R McCambridge (0-8), N McCormick (1-0), D McNaughton (2-2), C McClafferty (2-2).
Subs used: Scott Walsh, E McKillop (0-1), D Kearney, D Delargy, E McQuillan. Rosssa manager Jim Close who saw his side relegated in Cushendall.