Con Magees hurlers win promotion to Division 3

All County Hurling League – Division 3 & 4 Play Off

Con Magees 2-7 Na Magha 2-3

Con Magees Glenravel won promotion to Division 3 of the Antrim Hurling Leagues when they overturned a two point deficit from their first leg against Na Magha by winning Wednesday evening’s second leg by four at Pairc MacUilin, Ballycastle. On a wet and windy evening the Glenravel men played with the wind in the opening half and were 2-6 to 0-2 to the good at the break. When they got the first point of the second half it appeared to be one way traffic for the Division 4 runners up, but they failed to raise another flag for the remaining 29 minutes plus injury time, but their defence held out to see them become the first runners up to win a promotion play-off against higher opposition.

Johnny Fyfe punches the air after Niall Donnelly centre) scores Glenravels opening goal.

Early points from Johnny Fyfe and Niall Donnelly got the Con Magees going but when Alan Grant pulled one back for Na Magha in the tenth minute it was getting a little worrying for the Glenravel men. Two more points from Padge O’Neill and 45 year old veteran Vic McCann had them 0-4 to 0-1 clear at the end of the first quarter but when Grant pulled another one back for the men from Derry city things did not look promising for the Glenravel side. However they really got going in the second quarter and after McCann added a second point they won the puc-out and put together a good flowing move which ended with Niall Donnelly crashing in their opening goal.

That score really got the Glenravel men going and after Donnelly had added a point from a free he dropped a 65 in around the Na Magha square where Brian ‘Twig’ O’Neill connected with the dropping ball to send it flying to the back of the net and give his team a 2-6 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Na Maghas Dairmuid Shiels in action against Glenravels Shane Woulahan and Johnny Fyfe

When Donnelly grabbed another point in the opening minute of the second half the Con Magees were eleven clear, and when they still held that advantage at the end of the third quarter they appeared to have it all wrapped up. However when Alan Grant fired a 20 metre free to the Glenravel net in the 46th minute the game began to change and when he added a point from play on 50 minutes the game was still within the Derry mens’ grasp. It was backs to the wall for the Glenravel men as they battled the Na Magha forwards and the strong wind and, though the Derry men grabbed a late goal to cut the gap back to four it came too late to really make a difference and the Con Magees held out for the win.

CON MAGEES: Ronan Donnelly, Conor Carey, Shanlee Kerr, Caolan Mullan, Damian O’Hagan, James Duffin, Conleth O’Loan, Stephen Acheson, Padge O’Neill, Niall Donnelly, Sean Burns, Shane Woulahan, Brian O’Neill, Neill McCann, Odhran McAleenan.

Subs – Johnny Fyfe.


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