Antrim Senior Hurling Championship
Ruairi Og 1-20 St. Enda’s 1-9.
After defeat to Loughgiel last week Cushendall were looking to get back to winning ways with the visit of senior championship newcomers St. Enda’s. However it was the Hightown Road men who started the brighter with a point from Ruairi Donaghy but Alex Delargy got Cushendall off the mark when he rounded his man and tapped over from 21 yards. St. Enda’s were causing Ruairi Og problems in the early stages and after Darragh Cooper won a free which was converted by Cillian Jennings they found themselves back in front. Cushendall sparked into life with points from the hard working Niall McCormick and the industrious Aidan McNaughton to go 0-3 to 0-2 ahead.
Most people were expecting Cushendall to kick on having settled down but St. Enda’s put the cat among the pigeons when following a goal mouth scramble Joe Maskey bundled the ball over the line for a goal. Alex Delargy provided an immediate response with his second point of the game and when Niall McCormick split the uprights from 60 yards it left Enda’s ahead by a single point. However St. Enda’s again found their range with points from Cormac Jennings and Darragh Cooper to restore their 3 point cushion. Cushendall full forward Sean McAfee traded points with Cormac Jennings as the game began to become a real battle. Cushendall were starting to play with a bit more fluency and they finished the half with their tails up following five points in a row from Aidan McNaughton(0-3), Paddy McGill and Niall McCormick.
Half time score Ruairi Og 0-11 St. Enda’s 1-5.
Cushendall started the second half in the same fashion as they finished the first, with a point from Aidan McNaughton following good work from Stephen Walsh. Jennings pointed a free for the visitors but Ruairi Og had shifted up a gear. Three points in a row from Aidan McNaughton, Shane McNaughton and Ryan McCambridge pushed their lead out to 6 points. St. Enda’s to their credit continued to battle and they were rewarded with a pointed free from Cormac Jennings. The impressive Niall McCormick made a great run and he was found by Dominic Delargy and neatly pointed for his fourth of the game. Moments later the game was settled beyond any reasonable doubt. A high ball caused confusion in the Enda’s square and Conor Carson was on hand to kick the ball to the net for a Dall goal.
The impressive Paddy Burke caught a pass from Eoghan Campbell and pointed from distance before Ronan McAteer, introduced as a second half sub, marked his senior championship debut with a fine point from 40 yards. John McGoldrick hit two points from frees for the Hightown men but the game was over as a contest at this stage and Cushendall coasted home with the final two points of the game from Aidan McNaughton and a huge effort from Conor Carson.
How they played: St. Enda’s to their credit made life difficult for Cushendall. They were organised and worked hard all day. Mark Donaghy had a solid game at centre half back with Cormac Jennings and John McGoldrick also impressive. For Cushendall Paddy Burke marshalled the defence well and he was well assisted by Joe McCurry. Niall McCormick had a super game at midfield and plundered four points. However man of the match was the impressive Aidan McNaughton who hit a fantastic six points from play as well as working hard for the team.
Ruairi Og 1. E Gillan 2. J McCurry 3. M Burke 4. A Graffin 5. Stephen Walsh 6. P Burke(0-1) 7. R McCambridge(0-1) 8. N McCormick(0-4) 9. Scott Walsh(0-1) 10. D Delargy 11. E Campbell 12. A McNaughton(0-6) 13. P McGill(0-1) 14. S McAfee(0-1)15. A Delargy(0-2)
Subs: C Carson(1-1) S McNaughton(0-1) R McAteer(0-1)
St. Enda’s 1. P Curran 2. N O’ Connor 3. M Mullan 4. R Diamond 5. D Lowry 6. M Donaghy 7. E O’ Connor 8. E Conlon 9. R Donaghy(0-1) 10. Cillian Jennings(0-1) 11. Cormac Jennings(0-4) 12. J Higgins 13. D Cooper(0-1) 14. J Maskey(1-0) 15. J McGolderick(0-1)