Flying start sends Creggan on their way to victory

ACHL Division 2 Group 2

 Creggan 3.23   Armoy 2.21.

By Joe Rice

The North Antrim Division 2 Hurling League eventually got under way and Creggan got off to a flying start when they went 4 up within 2 minutes of the throw-in through a goal from Tiernan McLarnon and a point from Kevin Rice.

 The home side took this in their stride and were level by the 6th minute – a point from Jonathan McErlain followed by a goal and a point from Eamon McCaughan following a fine long range point from Thomas McCann.  Both sides exchanged points for the next 10 minutes and nothing separated them with 20 minutes gone on the clock.  Three further points from Creggan – Tiernan McLarnon, Conor McCann and Kevin Rice which was matched by the North Antrim men – Liam O’Hara, Arthur Devlin and PJ McBride.   After the water break Creggan got the next 3 scores in as many minutes – 2 further points from Rice and 1 from Conor McCann but Armoy responded in kind with 3 added points – Thomas Burns, PJ McBride & another from Big Johnny McErlain.  It seemed that the calm weather conditions allowed both goal keepers, Emmet Long & Conor Devlin, huge puck outs causing serious problems for both defences.  With 5 minutes left to half time Creggan eventually went 2 up – a fine point from James Carey and another from Conor McCann.  Armoy were on target too with Liam O’Hara & Conor Christie reducing the gap to the minimum.  Rice got Creggan’s 2nd goal followed a minute later by a fine point from Liam McCann to put Creggan 6 ahead.   This margin was reduced by a super side-line cut from Johnny McErlain and with only seconds left to the short whistle the same player scored the only free of the 1st half.

Half Time Score:               Creggan 2.13  Armoy 1.12

The Loughshore lads came out in the 2nd half with a 4 point lead but given the fine hurling displayed by both teams the game was still anybody’s for the taking.  First 2 points of the 2nd half – Conor McCann, a free for Creggan, and Johnny McErlain, a free for Armoy.  Both teams exchanged points until the next water break but Armoy couldn’t eat into the 4 point advantage that Creggan held at half time.  Tiernan McLarnon & Conor McCann added 2 further points to their tally a piece whilst Sam Maguire got his first score of the game.  The Glen’s men responded with 3 points from Johnny McErlain and  a point  piece for Eamon McCaughan & Emmet O’Hara. 

With 40 minutes gone, Creggan’s 4 point lead was reduced to 3 with another point from Eamon McCaughan but Rice responded for Creggan to renew the 4 point lead.  Trevor Linton pointed to leave Armoy 3 behind once more as play swung from end to end and Thomas McCann increased Creggan’s score to 4 again and the visitors looked on their way to a well-deserved win.  An additional point from Eamon McCaughan kept Armoy in the race but Kevin Rice got his 2nd goal in the 57th minute and followed with a point to put the contest out of reach of the home side. Conor McCann got the last point for Creggan as the visitors finished strongly with time running out. With seconds left Armoy got a free from 40 metres out and Big Johnny McErlain signalled to his team mates to get in around the house as he was going to drop this one in and in the scuffle it was impossible to see who put the ball in the onion bag.

 Armoy:  No.1 Conor Devlin, No.2 David Connolly, No.3 Shane Devlin, No.4 Joe McBride, No.5 Callum Coyles, No.6 Thomas Burns (0.1), No.7 Liam Dillon, No.8 Arthur Devlin (0.1), No.9 PJ McBride (0.3), No.10 Emmet O’Hara (0.1), No.11 Eamon McCaughan (1.4), No.12 Conor Christie (0.1), No.13 Liam O’Hara (0.2), No.14 Johnny McErlain (0.7), No.15 Trevor Linton (0.1), No.17 Conor Waterson, No.18 David McMichael, No.20 Timothy Burns, No.26 Ciaran McCormick.

Creggan:  No.1 Emmet Long, No.2 Jake McAteer, No.3 Aidan Maguire, No.4 Ethan Carey Small, No.5 Liam McCann (0.1), No.6 Thomas McCann (0.2), No.7 Ciaran Rice, No.8 Sam Maguire (0.1), No.9 Aidan McKeown, No.10 Kevin Rice (2.6), No.11 James Carey (0.1), No.12 Conor McCann (0.9), No.13 Michael Maguire, No.14 Kevin Small, No.15 Tiernan McLarnon (1.3), No.16 Sean Donnelly, No.17 Oliver Duffin, No.18 Lee Johnston No.19 Donal Carey, No.20 Aaron Hughes, No.21 Enda Maguire, No.22 Mark McCann, No.23 Ruairi McCann, No.24 Dermot Mulholland, No.25 Danan O’Hara, No.26 Joe Smith, No.27 James Dougan, No.28 Eoin Grant.

Refere: Kevin Parke (St. Enda’s)

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