Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship Group 2
St Galls 1-10 Loughgiel Shamrocks 2-26
Paul McIntyre was at De La Salle Park
Loughgiel Shamrocks served notice of their intentions to claim back the Volunteer Cup as they saw off the challenge of St Galls at Milltown in clinical fashion. The Shamrocks built on last week’s win over Cushendall to claim top spot in group two and with a visit to St Enda’s next week to come, a semi-final place looks all but certain for Hugh McCann’s side, and if James McNaughton can continue the form he showed today, they just might go a bit further.
McNaughton finished the day with 0-13 to his credit as he glided through the St Galls defence time and time again. Eddie McCloskey and Shay Casey weighed in with a goal each while Tony McCloskey and Neil McGarry were on hand to stop Conor Burke being on the end of any long balls into the St Galls full forward line.
For St Galls it was a tough day at the office. While Chris Dornan’s team refused to throw in the towel, they were just second best all over the field. Jackson McGreevy was the one bright spark for the West Belfast side and he capped a fine performance with 0-5 from play. With Tomás Ó Ciarain already sidelined, St Galls were dealt another severe blow during the week that Karl Stewart will be out for 12 weeks with a broken foot. To make matters worse the were forced to play the final 17 minutes with 14 players following the dismissal of Mark Napier on a straight red card after a tangle with Neil McGarry.
St Galls to their credit started with a bit of fire in their bellies but once again, Lady luck was not their friend. Firstly, they thought that Napier had tied the game at one point each but after much discussion, the umpires signalled wide. Then just a minute later Jackson McGreevy thought he had given his side a lead when his long ball sailed into the net but referee Eamon Hasson penalised full forward Conor Burke for a square ball.
The bad luck wasn’t just consigned to the home side as Loughgiel lost Brendan McCarry with an ankle injury after just 13 minutes. The half forward tried his best to battle on but had to make way with the experienced Joey Scullion coming on in his place.
Shay Casey pointed after 15 minutes to give Loughgiel a 0-5 to 0-2 lead as the teams paused for the first water break. It was a first quarter that was keenly contested but on the resumption the visitors took full control.
James McNaughton struck wide when it looked like a routine score was on the cards but he quickly made up for this glaring miss as he scored three points in the next 90 seconds, before the first green flag was raised in the game on 24 minutes. A high ball into the St Galls square wasn’t cleared and Shay Casey acted quickest, while lying on the deck he still managed to direct the ball to the net after Mark McFadden was denied by Kurtis McGreevy in the St Galls goal. This helped the visitors to a comfortable nine-point lead, 1-11 to 0-5 at half time.
Loughgiel were in total control and on 47 minutes Joey Scullion played Eddie McCloskey in behind the St Galls defence to claim a second Shamrocks goal before the homeside claimed a late consolation when Antoin McGreevy finished expertly to the corner of the net. But the last word was left to McNaughton as he converted a free for his thirteenth score of the afternoon.
Teams & Scorers:
St Galls: Kurtis McGreevy, Jack Hopkins, Sean Burke, Stephen Morrison, Ryan Irvine (0-2), Aodhan Gallagher, Joseph McDaniel, Anthony Healy, Jackson McGreevy (0-5), Marcus Donnelly (0-1), Kieran McGourty (0-1), Patrick Friel, CJ McGourty (0-1), Conor Burke, Mark Napier.
Subs: Liam McCluskey for Sean Burke 40 minutes, Antoin McGreevy (1-0) for Conor Burke 42 minutes, Gregory McGreevy for CJ McGourty 48 minutes, Fergus Donnelly for Anthony Healy 49 minutes, Colm McCloskey for Joseph McDaid 52 minutes.
Chris O’Connell, Tieran Coyle, Neil McGarry, Tony McCloskey, Odhran McFadden, Damon McMullan, Declan McCloskey, Mark McFadden (0-1), Daniel McCloskey (0-1), James McNaughton (0-13 6f), Callum McKendry (0-1), Eddie McCloskey (1-3), Shan McGrath (0-1), Brendan McGarry, Shay Casey (1-4).
Joey Scullion (0-2) for Brendan McGarry 13 minutes, Donal McKinley for Mark McFadden 38 minutes, Bernard McAuley for Callum McKendry 45 minutes.
Referee: Mr Eamon Hasson (Swatragh)