Strong second half gives Ruairis victory

Countess of Antrim Cup – North Antrim Intermediate Hurling

Cushendall 1-19 Armoy 0-3

A strong second half by Cushendall saw they run up a nine point win over Armoy in the latest round of the Countess of Antrim Cup on Wednesday evening at Pairc Mhuire. At half time there was little separating the sides with the Ruairis holding a slender one point lead but after the change of ends they took control of the game and went on to win by nine.

Johnny McErlain put Armoy in front on four minutes but two points inside thirty seconds from Cormac McClafferty put the home side ahead. PJ McBride levelled for Armoy but two from Scott Walsh and one apiece from Patrick Doherty, Conor McClafferty and Aidan McNaughton, in reply to an Emmet O’Hara point for Armoy gave them a four point cushion. Armoy then had their best spell of the game as four points on the trot from Rocky 2 (Liam Dillon), Johnny McErlain, PJ McBride and Dillon again brought them level four minutes from the break. It looked like they would go in at the break on level terms but another point from Cormac McClafferty just before the interval gave Cushendall a 0-8 to 0-7 advantage.

Two points at the start of the second half from Johnny McErlain put Antrim in from for the first time since the second minute but the lead didn’t last long as five on the bounce from Cushendall through McClafferty (2), Christy McNaughton (2) and midfielder Fred McCurry opened a four point gap for the Ruairis. Emmet O’Hara briefly closed the gap to three but a Christy McNaughton goal and a Paddy McGill point put Cushendall firmly in charge. Armoy had a good spell between the 50th and 55th minutes when Eamon McCaughan (2) and Thomas Burns cut the gap back to six but two by McGill and one from McClafferty had the home side six to the good at the end.

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