South Antrim GAA – Stout McDonald B Hurling
By Kevin Herron at Colaiste Feirste
Brid Og claimed the Stout McDonald B shield after victory over St John’s in Sunday mornings final at Colaiste Feirste.
Played in fine conditions for hurling it was St John’s who hit the front early on as Enda McGurk popped the ball over his shoulder to Luke Loughlin who fired over the opening score.
Brid Og almost had the game’s first goal after five minutes as Oisin Maguire switched the play to David Prenter whose shot was shot and Niall Duffy sent the follow-up into the side netting.
However two minutes later they were in luck – Fintan Cleary’s free dropped to Duffy and the forward atoned for his earlier miss with a blistering shot that had Stephen Sherlock between all ends up.
Cahir Carbery narrowed the deficit approaching the midway point, converting a free after a foul on Luke Loughlin – though Fintan Cleary responded in turn with a fantastic sideline cut that sailed between the posts.
Brid Og began to move through the gears and Brian McGurk fed Fintan Cleary for the midfielders second point of the half – McGurk provided a second score before the break as goal scorer Duffy conjured up a fine point.
Rory McErlean added a further point before the break but at the other end Brid Og goalkeeper Thomas Graham produced outstanding heroics to preserve his sides five-point lead at the interval – James Wilson responded quickest to a shot that crashed off the post and the midfielder looked odds on to tuck away the rebound, only for Graham to somehow parry the ball to safety and ensure his side went in at the break on the front foot.
Brid Og increased their lead within sixty seconds of the restart through Olibhear Corey and Fintan Cleary then converted his second free of the afternoon.
Seven minutes into the second half Brid Og found their second goal of the contest – David Prenter rifled home to the net after Stephen Sherlock had blocked Niall McDonnell’s original effort.
McDonnell managed to get on the score sheet with a point sixty seconds later and Niall Duffy picked out Fintan Cleary for the midfielders fourth point of the day.
Three goals in a row then followed for Brid Og who secured victory thanks to a quick fire double from Sean Cairns and a Niall McDonnell shot which fortuitously dropped to the net.
Stefan Hughes should have hit back for St Johns with long ranged efforts from frees that almost caught out Thomas Graham in the Brid Og goals.
Luke Loughlin would eventually hit back with his second point of the afternoon – Niall McDonnell and Owen McCarney completed Brid Og’s scoring for the day with late points.
Stefan Hughes was denied a consolation goal two minutes from time, but Hughes eventually registered two minutes into injury-time – the St John’s number eleven took off on a solo-run up field and shot confidently to the net past Thomas Graham.
It was too little too late to have an early bearing on the final result as Brid Og claimed the Stout McDonald B Shield after a more than confident showing.