St. Brigid’s Cloughmills celebrated their 20th Anniversary by collecting their first Intermediate Hurling title with a win over a good St. Paul’s side in and excellent final at Casement Park in 2012. It was a great year for the Cloughmills club who went on to reach the Ulster final that year before losing to St. Patrick’s Lisbellaw.
Antrim IHC Final 2012
St. Brigid’s 1-12 St. Paul’s 1-11
St. Brigid’s Cloughmills celebrated their 20th Anniversary in style when they defeated a good St. Paul’s side to collect their first Intermediate Hurling Championship title. It was a delighted captain, John McGuckian and vice – captain Darren Morrison who held the trophy aloft at the end of the game before taking it on its maiden journey to Fr. Leonard Park.
The Cloughmills side had been impressive on their journey to Sunday’s final with win over Kickham’s Creggan in the quarter-final and Gort na Mona in the semi-final
St. Brigid’s had been beaten finalists the previous year and they were determined from the off to go one step further but they were pushed all the way by a determined Shaw’s Road side.
The North Antrim side had impressed on their journey to Sunday’s final with wins over Kickham’s Creggan in the quarter-final and Gort na Mona in the semi-final and were determined to put the previous year’s defeat behind them.
They took the lead through a Michael Devlin point but it was St. Paul’s who made nearly all the early running as they hit seven points without reply to move into a commanding position.
Stephen Smyth led the St. Brigid’s comeback when he fired to the net in the 12th minute and they went on to add three further points before the interval.
Naoise O’Cairealeain put St. Paul’s back in the driving seat when he ended a 15 minute scoreless spell to fire to the net and leave the Shaw’s Road side three in front.
Michael Devlin replied from a free but the Belfast side finished the half strongly and Niall Peoples and Ciaran Magee slotted over points to leave their side leading 1-9 to 1-4 at the short whistle.
The exchanges were even at the start of the second half with Liam Kearns for Cloughmills and Ciaran Magee for St. Paul’s sending over a couple of sublime efforts to keep the good crowd in attendance on their toes.
Cloughmills began to exert their influence on the game mid-way through the second half however as they hit six unanswered points to swing the game decisively in their favour and take the lead for the first time since the 5th minute.
Both sides exchanged points in the dying minutes with Liam Kearns striking the decisive score for the ‘Biddies’ before Brendan McSparran’s full-time whistle brought matters to a halt amidst wild scenes of celebration from the St. Brigid’s side and their supporters.
A great achievement for St. Brigid’s who under the astute management of Geoffery Laverty lifted the junior title in 2010 and it was fitting that Geoffery was again at the helm as they collected this first Intermediate title.
Speaking after the game a very emotional Laverty said “I’m absolutely delighted with the result, this is what it is all about. Every club in Ireland should experience this feeling it’s just unbelievable”