St Paul’s look strong as they beat Glenarm in opening game

Junior Hurling Championship

Naomh Pól 5-16, Glenarm 1-10

On a glorious sunny day in the wonderful surroundings of Feystown Glenarm GAC last year’s beaten finalist Naomh Pól ultimately made light work of what was anticipated to be a keenly contested affair between Naomh Pól and Shane O ‘Neill’s in yesterday’s Junior Hurling Championship.

The first 10 minutes were as you would expect for championship hurling, with both teams battling hard for every ball and it was the home side who made the better start and in particular looked dangerous in attack.

Both sides traded scores from placed balls in was a tight opening period.

As the referee signalled for the 1st water break of the game, it was the home side who were leading 5 points to 4.

Cathal McOscar Photography

Whatever time the coaches of Naomh Pól had to give instruction at the water break proved to be the turning point of this game, as the Shaw’s Road men came out with intention and intensity of championship hurling which their hosts just couldn’t live with. County player Stephen Rooney almost unmarkable at times dictating the pace of play for his team.

At half time the visitors led 1-8 to 1-6.

As the second half commenced, St Pauls just seemed to always have another gear whenever Glenarm seemed like pulling back into the game. A goal by centre half forward Ciaran Hethrington, 8 minutes into the second half put Naomh Pól ahead by 5 and from this point on the visitors really pressed home their dominance. Another goal, this time courtesy of Stevie Rooney put 8 points in it, St Pauls leading 3-11 to 1-9.

St Pauls forwards were by this stage cutting through the Glenarm defence with ease, in particular two exciting youngsters both by the name of Caolan (Ó Duibhfinn (1-2) and Crossan (1-1)) showing some great skill and class to keep the crowd entertained. Indeed Naomh Pól started the game with both the corner backs and corner forwards from last years minor team making the step up to the senior set up, a signal no doubt of the successful line of youngsters currently coming through the ranks at Naomh Pól.

Cathal McOscar Photography

With 10 minutes remaining (St Pauls leading 23-12) St Paul’s made a number of changes, with the impressive Colm McLarnon earning a well deserved break from the stifling heat as he made way for the first of 5 Naomh Pól substitutions.

By this stage the game was well and truly over as a contest, and in an encouraging sign for  Naomh Pól coaches, the visitors never took their foot of the pedal, banging in another 2 goals and 2 points to the home sides single point.  At the final whistle, the score was Naomh Pól 5-16 to Glenarm 1-10.

Stevie Rooney top scored for the visitors with 2-9, but the impressive display of St Pauls youngsters will no doubt have pleased the coaches with a lot more to come from this team.

Naomh Pól scorers

Stevie Rooney 2-9

Caolan Ó Duibhfinn 1-2

Caolan Crossan 1-1

Ciaran Hethrington 1-1

Colm McLarnon 0-2

Séan Mac Corraidh 0-1

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