Duffin stars at Randalstown go through to semi-finals

Andersontown SC IHC Group 2

Tír na nÓg 0.16 (16) Cloughmills 1.9 (12)

Report by Aimee McAtamney

Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

On a miserable day at Whitehill Tír na nÓg emerged as winners to progress to the semi-final of the Intermediate Hurling Championship after a four point win over St. Brigid’s Cloughmills. On an afternoon dominated with heavy rain showers, Sean Duffin stood out as top scorer whilst his two brothers Caoimhin and early substitute Colm held firm in defence ably assisted by the Martin brothers Tony and Daniel and the Sheerin brothers Kevin and Christy. Michael Devlin did well to revive his side on the 40th minute after scoring a goal from a 21m free when they went one point in front.

Goalkeeper Chris McKiernan looked secure between the sticks and set up many attacks from strong puck outs but he was unlucky to have to leave the field of play after 50 minutes due to an injury. Match referee Darren McKeown had a great game in the middle of the field, playing fair for both teams. Apart from a small mellee prior to the second water break, the game was contested in a strong, honest and hard manner.

Steven Smyth got the first score of the game which came after his midfielders Laverty and Dobbin won the throw in but a Kevin Sheerin’s puck out found Sean Duffin who replied immediately for the home side. One minute later Sean Duffin drove out of full forward to collect a ball near the sideline and clipped it over the bar for his second score of the game before Ciaran Logan added the home sides third point with 10 minutes played.

Aaron Smiley and Michael Devlin hit back with points for the visitors to level the game with a free a piece but Aaron McNeilly edged the home side one point in front approaching the first water break.

Tír na nÓg continued to apply the pressure after the short break and Logan popped over his second score of the game. On a wet afternoon, the frees came frequently, Micky Devlin (1) and Sean Duffin (2) traded scores before Duffin got his fifth score of the game to give the Whitehill men a four point lead at the short whistle.

The same trend continued in the second half where scores from frees played a big part with Duffin getting one for the Blues while Duffin, Kearns and Smiley replied for the Biddies.  Ten minutes into the half, Steven Smyth took the game by the scruff of the neck and ran at the Tír na nÓg defence to spilt the posts and with momentum on their side Michael Devlin eyed up a 21 metre free, with only a point the difference he only had one notion on his mind. Despite five Tír na nÓg men on the line Devlin fired the ball to the back of the net to regain the lead for the Cloughmills men. With the game in the melting pot, Sean Duffin’s accuracy and confidence from play and the dead ball swung the advantage back into the home sides favour when he hit 4 points in a row.

After the water break Kearns converted his second free of the game which kept the visitors within touching distance but substitute Shane Donnelly got the next score after excellent play from Tír na nÓg midfielders McNeilly and McKeown. The score of the game came 10 minutes from the end of play when Colm Duffin broke down a Biddies attack, he switched the ball to Christy Sheerin who handed the ball to Tony Martin. Martin played an accurate ball to Logan’s hand out who pointed his third score of the game. Sean Duffin got his eleventh point of the game after a foul on Eamon Óg McAllister and the final score of the game came from James Doherty whose effort sailed over the bar. After this weekend’s results Tír na nÓg, Ahoghill and Carey now progress to the semi finals with Glenariffe and Gort na Mona to play this Wednesday night to determine whether one of them or Cloughmills take the fourth semi final spot.

Tír na nÓg 1. K.Sheerin 2. T. Martin 3. C. Sheerin 4. D. Martin 5. C. Duffin 6. R. O’Neill 7. C. O’Neill 8. A. McNeilly 9. C. McKeown 10. E. Óg McAllister 11. C. Logan 12. N. Devlin 13. K. Kerr 14. S. Duffin 15. E. Martin 17. C. Fitzgerald 18. C. Duffin 19. S. Donnelly 20. P. Sheerin 21. S. McKinley 22. D. Mallon 23. D. Fagan 24. O. McAtamney Subs: C. Duffin for R. O’Neill, S. Donnelly for E. Martin, S. McKinley for N. Devlin Scorers: S. Duffin (0.11- 7 frees), C. Logan (0.3), A. McNeilly (0.1), S. Donnelly (0.1)

Cloughmills 1. C. McKiernan 2. G. Óg Laverty 3. J. McGuckian 4. S. McKendry 5. A. Smiley 6. M. Morrison 7. S. Martin 8. C. Laverty 9. M. Dobbin 10. M. Devlin 11. R. Laverty 12. J. Doherty 13. E. Dobbin 14. L. Kearns 15. S. Smyth 16. A. Mooney 17. A. McGuckian 18. M. Reid 19. R. Dobbin 20. J. Symth 21. J. Duffin 22. B. Martin 23. D. Morrison Subs: A. Mooney for C. McKiernan, D. Morrison for J. McGuckian Scorers: S. Smyth (0.2), A. Smiley (0.2- 2 frees), M. Devlin (1.2- 1 free), L. Kearns (0.2- 2 frees), J. Doherty (0.1)

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