Cuchullains repel Shamrocks late rally

Senior Reserve Hurling Cup – Group 2

Loughgiel 2-15 Dunloy 1-21

Monday August 3

Brendan McTaggart reports from Fr Healy Park, Loughgiel

With the clock ticking into the last minute of the hour at Fr Healy Park, Dunloy held a six point lead thanks to Chrissy McMahon’s third point of the match.  A scoring burst of five points in four minutes brought the Shamrocks to the brink of salvaging something from this match that didn’t look possible for long periods but the Cuchullains recorded the final two points of the evening from Anton McGrath and Eamon Smyth to take the honours.

Dunloy made a blistering start to the match with five points unanswered in the opening seven minutes.  Anton McGrath tormentor in chief with three of those scores, Chrissy Brogan and McMahon with the other scores.

Loughgiel finally opened their account with the next attack, midfielder Ryan ‘Betty’ McKee with his first of four for the match as the Shamrocks looked to get going.  Dunloy had blitzed them in the opening exchanges and had the home side on the back foot but they looked lethargic in comparison to the Cuchullains. 

The first goal of the evening came in the 14th minute with the Cuchullains holding a four point lead.  Ryan Hill’s speculative effort for a point dropped short but Dunloy ‘keeper Paul Doherty failed to deal with the danger.  Odhran McGrath was on hand to pull first time to the back of the Dunloy net just before the first half water break.

Instead of acting like a catalyst for the Shamrocks however, Dunloy regrouped and dominated after the restart.  Callum Scullion, Miceal Murphy (two), McMahon, McKeague, Smyth (’65) and McGrath all raised white flags with just points from Joey Scullion and Paul Boyle (free) the response from Loughgiel before the half time whistle.

The Cuchullains held a seven point lead at the interval with a score line of 0-14 to 1-7 and while the Shamrocks looked to play with more vigour and intensity after the restart, Dunloy always maintained a gap.  By the water break in the second half, the Cuchullains lead was five points with Ryan McFarlane excelling in midfield.

Dunloy had stretched the lead to six when Kevin McQuillan scored their major in the 51st minute.  Collecting a high ball from Kevin McKeague, the Dunloy full forward closed in on Chris Magill’s goal and finished from an acute angle.

Loughgiel’s response was emphatic.  A gargantuan free from Odhran Laverty was swiftly followed by the Shamrock’s second goal.  Conor Henry’s dropping shot caused mayhem in the Dunloy full back line before Ryan Hill squeezed the sliotar over the line.

Chrissy McMahon recorded his third point of the match with his first free but Loughgiel turned the screw in the closing stages with Ryan McKee and Paul Boyle exceptional.  They turned every ball in that five minute purple patch with Boyle scoring three points, McKee and Hill also raising white flags to leave the minimum between the sides in the third minute of injury time.

Any Cuchullain nerves were eased with the imperious Anton McGrath split the uprights for his fifth of the match and Smyth’s second ’65 ensured Dunloy made it two wins from two.

The Cuchullains travel to the Milltown Row for the next match in the round robin next Monday while the Shamrocks have a week break before welcoming the same opposition to Fr Healy Park.


Loughgiel: Chris Magill; Ciaran McKay, Declan Gillan, Ryan Cassley; Cathal McMullan, Odhran Laverty, Daniel McPeake; Ryan McKee, Paul Boyle; Shaun McFadden, Shane O’Boyle, Nicholas McNaughton; Ryan Hill, Joey Scullion, Odhran McGrath

Scorers: Paul Boyle 0-5 (2f); Ryan Hill 1-2; Ryan McKee 0-4; Odhran Laverty 0-3 (3f); Odhran McGrath 1-00; Joey Scullion 0-1

Dunloy: Paul Doherty; Conor Kinsella, Karl O’Kane, Oran Quinn; Callum Scullion, Eamonn Smyth, Kevin McKeague; Ciaran Elliott, Ryan McFarlane; Chrissy Brogan, Anton McGrath, Gabriel McTaggart; Chrissy McMahon, Kevin McQuillan, Miceal Murphy

Scorers: Anton McGrath 0-5; Kevin McQuillan 1-1; Chrissy McMahon 0-3 (1f); Miceal Murphy 0-3 (2f); Eamon Smyth 0-3 (2 ’65 1f); Ryan McFarlane 0-2; Kevin McKeague 0-1; Chrissy Brogan 0-1; Gabriel McTaggart 0-1; Callum Scullion 0-1

Referee: Paul McSparran (Cushendun)

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