Oisins turn the tables in final quarter as Cushendall crumble

Darragh Cup – North Antrim Minor Hurling Championship

Oisins 3-11 Ruairi Og 3-8

Going into the final quarter of Saturday evening’s Darragh Cup semi-final Cushendall held an eight point lead and looked set for a final meeting with Loughgiel on Thursday evening. However the game was turned on its head in the fifteen minutes that were left to play as the Oisns hit back with 3 goals and 5 points without reply, and by the time Colm McKeegan grabbed Cushendall’s second goal of the game deep in injury time it was too late to have any bearing on the outcome.

The first quarter of the game was ‘nip and tuck’ as three points from Michael O’Boyle and one from Seanie McIntosh were answered with scores from Cushendall’s Seamus McAuley, Calum Kilgore and Fiontan McQuillan (2) but the Ruairis got on top with a goal from Conleith McKinley and McQuillan point to go four clear. Michael O’Boyle grabbed two points for the Oisin to cut the gap back to just two, but another McQuillan point put thee between the sides at the break.

The ever accurate McQuillan got the first score of the second half and when goalkeeper Colm McKeegan came up to fire a penalty to the Oisins net the boys in maroon were in control. When McQuillan added his sixth point of the game in the 42nd minute the lead was out to eight points, but incredibly his side did not score for another 22 minutes, and by that time the game was gone from their grasp.

When Michael O’Boyle pointed on 46 minutes there seemed little to worry about but when the right half forward added a goal two minutes later the tide was suddenly turning. Seanie McIntosh pointed to leave just three between the sides before Cushendall were hit by a double whammy as Niall McGarel and Michael O’Boyle grabbed goals apiece inside three minutes to put them three clear. Three more from the stick of O’Boyle saw a fourteen point turnover in an eighteen minute spell, and though Colm McKeegan grabbed a late consolation on 65 minutes it was a case of too little- too late and the Oisins were through to Thursday’s showdown against the Shamrocks.  

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