Crossan stars as St Paul’s clinch Minor B title

Antrim Minor B Hurling final

St Paul’s 0-15-0-06 St Enda’s

By Kevin Herron at Hannahstown

An exhibition of striking from Caolan Crossan was the difference as St Paul’s defeated St Enda’s 0-15-0-06 in the final of the Minor B Hurling Championship at Hannahstown this afternoon.

Crossan hit five of his sides opening six-points as the Shaws Road side led 0-06-0-04 at the interval – seven further points followed in a dominant second-half showing from the St Paul’s number ten and St Enda’s poor afternoon was compounded in injury-time as referee Eamon Hamill dismissed Daniel Delargy.

The Glengormley side hit the front at Hannahstown with the wind advantage in the opening half – Cathal Morgan picked out Pol Magee in space and the half-forward shot high between the posts.

Caolan Crossan levelled for St Paul’s – showing impressive stick work before flicking the ball over the bar and then converting a 7th minute free to edge his side 0-02-0-01 ahead.

The determination of St Paul’s number ten was evident as he dispossessed Niall O’Connor and flicked over the bar.

Just shy of the midway point in the first-half Crossan aimed a high ball into the area where Niall Getting was waiting – Getting had a double opportunity to force the ball to the net, though Ciarnan McCreight stood firm to deny the corner-forward.

At the other end Oliver Breen saw his free travel inches across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the post.

St Enda’s ended a 17 minute baron period without a score on the 19th minute as Patrick Ross flicked the ball to the path of Conor McNicholl who popped over the bar to make it 0-03-0-02.

Crossan converted a free in response – though Patrick Ross was dogged and determined to steal possession and conjure up a point with a fine turn and shot over his shoulder.

St Paul’s again went close to finding the net five minutes before the break – Caolan O’Duibhfinn’s flicked attempt goal wards was batted clear by McCreight and Padraig McKeown shot wide from the follow-up.

O’Duibhfinn was involved in his side’s next score though – a fantastic cross field pass picked out Conall Finnegan who shot straight between the posts.

Caolan Crossan landed an excellent score to bring his first-half tally to five and stretch St Paul’s lead to three – Pol Magee superbly responded at the other end however, though St Enda’s trailed 0-06-0-04 at the interval.

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St Paul’s increased their lead within sixty seconds of the restart with a fine turn and shot from Crossan.

Niall O’Connor’s free almost fell invitingly for Patrick Ross whose shot was flicked behind for a 65’ in response for St Enda’s.

Ross was on target on 36 minutes with a fine point from an acute angle – it would be his sides’ final score for 22 minutes as St Paul’s firmly seized the initiative and the game.

Caolan Crossan converted his third free of the game and brought his overall tally to seven , three further scores in a row followed – one from a converted free and the other two were fine individual strikes after hunting down possession as St Paul’s were 0-11-0-05 to the good with little over ten minutes remaining.

St Enda’s were in need of a goal and on 51 minutes one was almost forthcoming – but substitute Liam Cosgrove watched in frustration as his shot from a tight angle crashed off the outside of the post.

The strong breeze would play a part in Caolan Crossan brining his afternoon tally to 0-11 and points from Alan Hyndman and Ruairi Hamill via the large post saw their side move 0-14-0-05 ahead and on the cusp of glory.

Brian Rogers would reply for St Enda’s for the Glengormley side’s second point of the half – the final score of the afternoon belonged to top scorer Caolan Crossan who converted his fifth free of the afternoon to make it 0-15-0-06.

St Enda’s miserable afternoon took another turn for the worst three minutes into added time – referee Eamon Hamill felt he was left with no choice but to dismiss Daniel Delargy for an heft challenge off the ball.

In the end it had little bearing on the final outcome as St Paul’s were crowned Minor B hurling winners at the conclusion of proceedings at Hannahstown.

St Paul’s: M Duffy, J Conway, D Stevenson, A Carey, M Munce, C McKernan, G McGroairty, A Hyndman (0-01), C Finnegan (0-01), C Crossan (0-12, 0-05f), R Hamill (0-01), C O’Duibhfinn, P McKeown, N Getting. Subs: C O’Neill for A Carey (40 mins), D Flynn for N Getting (54 mins), S ogFay for P McKeown (60 mins).

St Enda’s: C McCreight, D Maguire, D Delargy, O Kennedy, R McCloskey, N O’Connor, D Breen, D Maguire, E Burns, O Breen, P Magee (0-02), C McNicholl (0-01), P Ross (0-02), C Morgan, B Rogers (0-01). Subs: O Mac Ruagain for C Morgan (37 mins), L Cosgrove for D Maguire (46 mins), M Devenney for C McNicholl (50 mins),

Referee: Eamon Hamill (St Teresa’s)

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