South Antrim Nipper Quinn finals round-up
By Kevin Herron at Rossa Park
St Galls, St Pauls and Loch Mor Dal gCais all triumphed on Sunday – clinching Nipper Quinn U-12 hurling titles after the finals day at Rossa Park.
St Galls clinch Nipper Quinn A
St Gall’s were winners of the afternoon’s showpiece occasion in the A’ final – defeating Davitt’s 3-05-1-01.
Cormac Austin gave his side the lead through a confidently converted free and Ethan Walsh flicked over the bar to double the Milltown sides lead.
Austin converted his second free of the half and Sean Bellew added a forth point before the opening goal arrived a minute into first-half injury-time as Bellew flicked Austin’s free to the net to give St Galls a 1-04-0-00 lead at the midway point.
Twelve minutes into the second-half Sean Smyth struck through a crowded St Gall’s area to find the net and give Davitt’s a lifeline.
Though St Gall’s restored their seven-point lead almost immediately as Eoin Mullan rifled to the net to make it 2-04-1-00.
Smyth made room and conjured up an excellent point to finish his sides scoring – St Gall’s weren’t finished however and added 1-01 late on.
A minute from time Aidan Pearse picked out the unmarked Ethan Walsh who flicked to the net – and Cormac Austin converted his third free a minute into injury-time to seal a 3-05-1-01 victory for St Galls.
St Pauls prevail in local derby
St Paul’s picked up the Nipper Quinn B Shield after victory over neighbours Sarsfields in the B final – both sides met in the Stout McDonald U-14 final at the same venue four days previous.
Sarsfields were winners on that occasion but St Paul’s extracted revenge with Shea Burns proving the big difference in the end.
Garrett Connolly opened the scoring for St Paul’s after a frantic sixth minute scramble – while Fionn Jemfrey saw his free batted to safety by Oisin Casey in the St Paul’s goal.
On 14 minutes St Pauls hit the opening goal – Shea Burns confidently burst forward at the Sarsfields defence and shot into the top corner of the net to give his side a 1-01-0-00 lead.
Fionn Jemfrey responded from a free – however two minutes from half-time Burns was afforded too much free space and picked his spot to give St Pauls a 2-01-0-01 lead at the interval.
Midway through the second-half Burns completed a hat-trick of goals as Cain McCann switched the play to the livewire forward and Burns made room for a low drive that ended up in the back of the Sarsfields net.
Fionn Jemfrey again responded with a point from a free – though Burns sealed his fourth goal of the afternoon, capitalising on confusion in the Sarsfields defence and flicking a high ball to the net.
Sarsfields would pull a goal back before the conclusion through Jemfrey – Sarsfields number eight was their stand-out player but his contribution wasn’t enough to prevent St Pauls from running out deserving winners in the end as Cain McCann picked up the Nipper Quinn B Shield from South Antrim CCC Chairman Michael Herron.
Loch Mor secure C title
There was also success for Loch Mor Dal gCais in the Nipper Quinn C Final – which was the curtain raiser on Sunday morning.
Oisin Brown opened the scoring after less than sixty seconds and the opening goal wasn’t long in arriving through Dara Brown to give his side a 1-01-0-00 lead.
The goal scorer added two further points and an excellent point from Padraig McKevitt stretched Loch Mor’s lead.
Dara Brown then hit the net midway through the half and further strikes from Aoife Curry and Oisin Brown had Loch Mor in control at the break.
Gort Na Mona battled against the strong elements in the opening half and saw more of the ball in the second-period but the Turf Lodge side couldn’t find a score that their performance would have merited.
Cara Duncan turned provider for Loch Mor’s first second-half score – a goal from Dara Brown. Duncan then showed great confidence to conjure an excellent point before Oisin Brown finished the scoring with a fine goal to ensure that Loch Mor Dal gCais would claim the C title which was presented by South Antrim Chairman Frank Caldwell.