Creagh Concreate Minor B Hurling Group 2
St Galls 6-10-3-07 Tir na Nog
By Kevin Herron at Milltown
St Galls and Tir na Nog served up an entertaining evening of hurling at Milltown but it was the hosts who ran out convincing winners in the end after a 6-10-3-07 win over Tir na Nog in the Minor B Hurling Championship on Thursday evening.
Both sides had registered weekend victories and headed to the Falls Road venue in confidence and it was Tir na Nog who made the perfect start inside of 60-seconds as Joshua Higgins flicked the ball into the danger area and Daniel O’Neill swopped to send the ball to the net for the Randalstown side.
St Galls hit back however with a goal of their own minutes later, Dubhaltach Wilson made the hard yards in the build-up to the goal and Joseph McCarney turned the ball home at the back post to level at a goal apiece.
Connor McKenna restored Tir na Nog’s lead with Connla McCarthy converting a free in response.
The sides would equally share the next four as McCarthy and Aodh Mullan converted frees, Joshua Higgins twice replied from the same scenario as the sides tied 1-03 apiece.
A third successive free from Higgins edged his side in front for the third time but just before the first water-break in proceedings – a second goal gave St Galls the lead once more.
Sean Murray showed a terrific burst of pace and played a low ball across the box where Niall Fallon was waiting to prod the ball to the net and make it 2-03-1-04.
A fourth converted free from Joshua Higgins narrowed the deficit to the bare minimum approaching the break, but Connla McCarthy landed a superb point after great link-up with Dara Delaney and with almost the last action of the half Sean Murray rifled home sides third to give St Galls a 3-04-1-05 lead at the break.
St Galls picked up where they left off before the break and two minutes into the second-half they were awarded a penalty as defensive duo Paul Graffin and Adam Reid felled Dubhaltach Wilson and referee Paul McDonnell awarded a penalty. Connla McCarthy made no mistake with the resulting puck and gave his side a 4-04-1-05 lead.
Dara Delaney landed a free in the aftermath with Joshua Higgins doing likewise at the other end.
McCarthy played the providers role soon after as his quick thinking released Fergus Donnelly for a score.
60-seconds later St Galls had their fifth goal of the evening, Dubhaltach Wilson saw his well taken shot parried by Dominic Martin in the Tir na Nog goal but Joseph McCarney showed quick instinct to turn the ball home for his second goal of the evening to put four goals between the sides (5-06-1-06).
Wilson popped over a point but Tir na Nog hit back as Joshua Higgins quickly taken free flew past Jack Paul Doherty and into the net.
60-seconds later and St Galls clawed the goal back as McCarney’s knock-down found Dubhaltach Wilson who picked his spot to make it 6-07-2-06.
The final goal of the evening arrived with little over ten minutes on clock, Connor McKenna scrambled the ball to the St Galls net to ensure the hosts must still remain vigilant.
Sean Murray and Wilson responded with points, whilst Higgins combined with Connor McCamphill for the visitors final score of the evening.
Aodh Mullan had the final say with a well taken point that ensured his side ran out 6-10-3-07 winners and make it back to back Championship victories to ensure they remain on the summit in Group 2.
St Galls: JP Doherty, D Bunting, C Lundy, N Murtagh, B Murray, C McCarthy (1-03, 1-02f), M McCluskey, F Donnelly (0-01), A Churchill, A Mullan (0-02, 0-01f), D Delaney (0-01f), S Murray (1-01), N Fallon (1-00), J McCarney (2-00), D Wilson (1-02). Subs: J Sloan for N Fallon (43), A McDonagh for N Murtagh (43).
Tir na Nog: D Martin, P Graffin, A Reid, J Carey, D Martin, B McLarnon, R Mullan, C McCamphill (0-01), L Johnston, B Fitzgerald, J Higgins (1-05f), P Higgins, D O’Neill (1-00), S Hinfey, C McKenna (1-01).
Referee: Paul McDonnell (Rossa)