Oisins storm their way to semi-finals

Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship

Glenariffe claimed the fourth spot in the Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-finals when they came from five points down midway through the first half to beat Gort na Móna by seventeen at Waterfoot on Wednesday evening. Going into the game the permutations were clear. Glenariffe needed to win by six points to edge ahead of Cloughmills while the Gorts needed to win by two, and when the men from Turf Lodge started well and opened up a five point gap they appeared to be on course to claim a semi-final spot against Tir na nÓg next weekend. However the Oisins fought back with a series of good points before the break to end the half on level terms (0-12 to 1-9) and after the change of ends they really hit their stride and boosted by second half goals from Caolan O’Connor, Paul McDonnell and substitute Michael O’Boyle they coasted to victory.

Oisins full forward Paul McDonnell celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal in their IHC win over Gort na Móna

Dessie McLean put Gort na Móna ahead in the opening minute and though Alex O’Boyle levelled for the home side they were struggling to find any early rhythm in their play. The sides were level on two points apiece in five minutes when the Belfast side started to dominate the play and when points from Dessie McLean (2), Darren Boyd and Padraig McHugh were followed by a goal from Barry McFall they were in control. The first half water break brought a little respite for the home team and as is often the case since this extra break in play has been introduce there was a huge momentum swing on the resumption. Suddenly the Oisins were finding their touch and a series of excellent points from Aaron Cosgrove, Nial Murray, Keiran McKendry, Shane O’Connor and Conor Kerr saw them level matters by the time referee Vincent Boyle sounded his half time whistle (0-12 to 1-9)

When Dessie McLean restored the Gorts lead inside thirty seconds of the restart there was renewed hope for his team, but incredibly they would only score one more point from then until the end. The Oisins levelled with a pointed free from Alex O’Boyle before substitute Dan McKillop gave them back a lead they were never to lose. Kieran McKendry put two between the sides, and though Dessie McLean closed the gap to just one in the 36th minute, that was to be the last time the visitors would trouble the scoreboard operator.  A goal from Caolan O’Connor was followed by four points from Paul McDonnell, Niall Murray, Alex O’Boyle and Kieran McKendry to put them in command, and when full forward Paul McDonnell grabbed his team’s second goal the only thing in question was the size of the winning margin. In the run-in the Oisins added a bit of gloss to the scoreline with some excellent points, and when substitute Michael O’Boyle (on for his older brother Alex) capped his cameo appearance with a third goal the Oisins fans went home happy.

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