Sunday’s North Antrim Indoor Hurling League Under 8 finals day at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre proved to be a great day for Naomh Padraig, the boys from north Antrim taking three of the six honours on offer, including the top prize of all, the Section 1 title. The day had been going good for the club at this stage anyway with the Divisions 3 and 5 titles already in the bag, but adding the top honours by beating a great club like Cushendall in the Section 1 final really made is special.
In that final Killian Cassidy, son of former Derry footballer Joe Cassidy, grabbed the opening goal. Ruairi Og hit back to level the game with a goal from Oliver Mooney and the sides were deadlocked at half time. The score that settled this great contest came midway through the second half when John Og Darragh, a young man with more than a little Cushendall blood in his veins, fired in the winner to spark scenes of great celebration among the Naomh Padraig fans.
The signs were good for the club when they won the Section 5 final earlier in the day beating Eoghan Rua Coleraine by 5 goals to nil, Ruairi McQuillan, son of Cushendun legend Rory, and Shane McClelland sharing the goals as they led by 3-0 at the break. The two boys then went on to add a goal apiece in the second half to seal a convincing 5-0 win.
In the Section 3 decider it was much tougher against an excellent Omagh St Enda’s side who pushed the North Antrim boys to the limit, Naomh Padraig getting over the line by 1 goal to nil.
The day started with a win over Ballycastle in the Section 6 final, a really hard fought game that saw the young McQuillan’s edge a 2-1 win, both goals coming from Eoin McCloskey. In the Section 4 decider Loughgiel Shamrocks took the honours with a 6 -1 win over Omagh St Enda’s, four of the goals coming from Daniel Christie.
The Section 2 final saw Ballycastle take the honours with a big win over Loughgiel. Conor Bailey and Dara McShane were the scoring heroes for the boys in black and amber.