Con Magees beat Cloney Gaels in thriller to keep final hopes alive

Creagh Concrete Minor B Hurling Championship – Group 2

Con Magees Glenravel 1-15 Cloney Gaels Ahoghill 0-16

Con Magees kept their hope of a place in the Minor B Hurling final when they beat Cloney Gaels Ahoghill in their final group game at Fr Maginn Park on Thursday evening. Going into the game the Ahoghill boys were In pole position with a two point lead on their opponents, and when they took and when they went into the first half water break leading by 0-8 to 0-3 they looked nailed on to take that final spot. However the home team staged a great fightback and by half time they were just a point in arrears (1-7 to 0-11) and they pushed on in the second half to secure the win.

The opening exchanges were evenly contested and after five minutes the side were level on 0-3 apiece, Cormac McKeown, Conor Laverty and Ryan McQuillan on target for the home team, while Colla McDonnell got Cloney’s three. At this stage the Ahoghill boys took control of the game and with Colla McDonnell pulling the strings they hit the next five points through Friel, McDonnell (2), Matthew Mullen and Luke Mullen, those last two coming on either side of the first half water break.

Ryan McQuillan settled the home side down with two quick points and though Colla McDonnell and Liam Kelly replied for Cloney points from Rian Lennon and Cormac McKeown, plus a Ryan McQuillan goal from a penalty to leave them just on in arrears at the half time whistle.

The brilliant Colla McDonnell increased Ahoghill’s lead with a pointed free just after the restart but the Glenravel boys came back strongly and four points on the trot, three of them from Ryan McQuillan and the other from Conor Laverty, to put go 1-11 to 0-12 in front at the second half water break. McDonnell cut it back to a single point a minute after restart but the Con Magees boys came again with a four point scoring burst, two of them from the elusive Cormac McKeown and one each from Ryan McQuillan and TP McGurk.

That left them five ahead going down the home straight but they had to withstand a late scoring burst from Ahoghiil as Shay Madden (2) and Colla McDonnel found the target. The pressure was back on the home team but to their credit they held out to keep their hopes of a final place against St Enda’s alive.

St Enda’s have already secured their place in the final by virtue of four wins out of four, but if St Gall’s were to beat the Hightown boys in their final game that would leave Glenravel, Cloney Gaels and St Gall’s all on six points and Cloney Gaels would go through on score difference ahead of the other two. St Gall’s could still make the final but they would have to beat St Enda’s by more than 23 points in that final game.  

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