DOWN MEMORY LANE
Paul McStravick was the star of the show when St Paul’s beat Glenariffe in the 1993 Antrim Intermediate Hurling final. McStravick was the sub goalkeeper four years earlier when Antrim played Tippeary in the 1989 All Ireland final against Tipperary but this time he was at the other end of the field and showed the forwards how it should be done with a brilliant scoring display
Intermediate Hurling Championship 1993
St Paul’s 4-9 Glenariffe Oisins 2-11
‘Goals Win Games’ and Paul McStravick proved the difference
between CLG Naomh Pól and Glenariffe in this entertaining
contest with four ‘majors’ at Casement Park.
McStravick hit the net three times in the first half and once
early in the second and for good measure clipped on a couple
of points for the Shaws Road men to drive them to victory in
this keenly fought contest.
Glenariffe, bidding for their first title since 1988, started well
with points from Dominic Kearns and James McMullan and
were 2 up after two minutes. Eamon Cusack opened the
Naomh Pól account from midfield with a fine strike for 60
metres. Glenariffe continued their impressive start with BBC
Sports commentator, Mark Sidebottom and Kevin O’Connor
adding further points to put the Glens men into a 04 to 01 lead.
Enter Paul McStravick, striking 2 quick points to reduce the
deficit to the minimum, before raising the green flag three
minutes later to put the men in red and white into the lead.
McStravick was not ready for finishing there and after fielding
a Stephen Ramsey 65, blasted again low from close range for
another 3 pointer.
From being three behind just seven minutes earlier Naomh
Pól were now 5-points in front thanks mainly to their work rate
and the finishing excellence of McStravick.
Glenariffe responded quickly one minute later with a James
McMullan goal to reduce the margin to cut the gap to two, and when Dominic Kearns pointed a free the gap was back to the minimum.
Eamon Cusack and Paul Donnelly added points for CLG Naomh Pól to
stretch the gap to three, but the contest was still very close and another Dominic Kearns free maintained a steady flow from the Waterfoot men.
With five minutes remaining in the first half Colm “Bruce” McKiernan
took flight and ran a full 80 yards with the ball before finding Paul McStravick who blasted the ball home to complete his hat trick.
Glenariffe had a good chance to reduce the score when Mark
Sidebottom found himself inside the Naomh Pól defence,
but a great tackle by full back Mickey Glover was enough to
ensure he didn’t find the net and sent the ball over the bar.
Naomh Pól responded immediately with ‘young’ Paul Donnelly
firing over a point within 20 seconds, but the Oisins pulled a point
back through Brendan Wheeler just before half time to leave
four between the teams at the interval.
The second half started well for the Shaws Road men, they
were awarded a 20 metre free – Paul McStravick stepped up
to hit the placed ball and with confidence high he drove low and
penetrated the Glenariffe wall of defence and the green flag was
raised once more for his fourth goal.
Naomh Pól now began to taste victory with a 7-point lead.
James McMullan soon replied with a goal for Glenariffe and 2
pointed frees from Alistair McAlister give the Glensmen new
hope. Mickey Sullivan got Naomh Pól back on the score
sheet by dropping over a 65 and easing the pressure, but Paul Sidebottom returned a fine point for Oisin’s to keep them in touch.
However time was beginning to run out for the North Antrim men and Naomh Pól were still in control. The Oisins went all out for a goal to revive their fading chances but the Naomh Pól defence held strong
The Shaw’s Road men then turned defence into attack They pressed forward and as Paul Donnelly bore down on goal one of the Oisin’s defenders used a bit too much force which saw him sent for an early bath. From the resulting 21 yard free Mickey Sullivan sent
the ball high into the sky and the white flag was raised for the
eighth time and deep into injury time the winners sealed their
victory when Stephen Milligan, aka “Pan Loaf” slotted over
the insurance point from way out the field to wrap up a well deserved victory for the men from Shaws Road.
CLG Naomh Pól defence of Paul Burns, Kieran Cooper, Mickey
Glover, Chris Brown, Paul Stevenson, Stephen Ramsey, and
Terence McLaughlin (Sub Stephen Milligan 0-1) recovered from
a shaky start to play really well, especially in the second half.
The midfield pairing of David Nolan and Eamon Cusack hurled
tirelessly with Nolan helping out his defence with distinction
in the second half and Cusack hitting 2 great points in the
opening half. Paul McStravick took all the plaudits in the
Naomh Pól forward line with a match winning tally of 4-2 but
was very well assisted by his industrious colleagues in Mickey
Sullivan 0-2, Frankie Keenan, Colm ‘Bruce’ McKiernan, Paul
Donnelly 0-2 and Brian Creen.