All County Hurling League Division 3
Carryduff 1-11 Gor na Móna 2-14
Gort na Móna withstood a spirited second half comeback by Carryduff to take both points in the Division 3 of the All County Hurling League on Wednesday evening at Pairc Aodha Dhuibh. It seemed that it was going to be a stroll in the park for the Gorts as they raced to a 2-10 to 0-5 half time lead over a Carryduff side who had been reduced to 14 men five minute before the break. However the home side were transformed after the change of ends and with big Peter Loughran leading the charge they battled back to close the gap to four near the end, before the Gorts grabbed two late points to seal the win.
It was all Gort na Móna in the opening quarter. The level of their dominance had to be seen to be believed as they scored at will while Carryduff struggled to get to grips with the visitors. During the opening quarter Carryduff not only failed to score but only forced the Gort’s keeper to have one puck-out in that period when they hit a 12th minute wide. The scores were flowing at the other end as Dessie McClean led the line with style, hitting five of his team’s points while also setting up Darren Boyd for the opening goal on 13 minute.
There was signs of hope for Carryduff as they Eoin O’Conbhuí opened their scoring from a free on 17 minutes and when he added a second, and Gareth Lynch chipped in with two in a good five minute spell, things looked a bit more promising. Things nosedived again however in the 24th minute when they had a player sent off for a second yellow card and when McClean’s pointed free for the resultant foul was followed by points from Nipper Quinn and Conor McCann, plus a brilliantly taken goal by McClean on the stroke of half time the lead was out to eleven points.
The gap was soon twelve when Padraig McHugh pointed for Gorts in the opening minute of the new half, but the Turf Lodge men suffered a blow when their talisman Dessie McClean was forced off with a leg injury and suddenly everything changed. Peter Loughran started the fightback with a point on 33 minutes and though Darren Boyd replied with one for Gort na Móna it was to be the visitors’ last score for twenty minutes. Carryduff on the other hand suddenly found their scoring touch and midfielder Michael McConmidhe got them going with a pointed free. A minute later substitute Ciaran O’Callaghan added a point and when the puck-out from that score was intercepted by the Carryduff forwards O’Callaghan gained possession again close to goal and rifled the ball high into the Gorts net. Suddenly the Down men were brimming with confidence as they added five more points through Loughran (2), Ward and Conway (2) to make it 1-7 without reply, and the gap was down to four.
Gort na Móna were on the ropes, but a well taken point from Declan Hughes from sixty metres steadied the ship, and when full forward Christopher McErlean grabbed another soon afterwards the win was secure, a win which moves them to the top of the table above Bredagh on score difference.