Good season for Cloughmills ends in Ulster final defeat

October 29, 2012

Ulster Intermediate Hurling Club Championship Final 2012

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills enjoyed a great season in 2012 but their bid for Ulster glory was dashed at Pairc Esler in Newry in October of that year when the ‘Biddies’ were beaten by a good Lisbellaw St. Patrick’s, the Fermanagh champions. Four years later St. Brigid’s achieved their Ulster dream but the 2012 decider proved a bridge too far for the Cloughmills side.

Lisbellaw St. Patrick’s 3-14 St. Brigid’s Cloughmills 2-10

Barely had the referees whistle blown when after being awarded a free Lisbellaw’s mid-fielder John Duffy fired over from deep mid-field for his side’s first point. Almost immediately their opponents replied with an equalising point from Micky Devlin and Cloughmills took the lead for the first and only time in the game with a point from James Doherty.

That was as good as it was to get for the Antrim side as Lisbellaw grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck and full forward Declan McGarry latched onto an incoming slithor and then flicked home Lisbellaw’s first goal. Cloughmills replied with a third point from a free by Liam Kearns however the St Patrick’s scoring machine quickly resumed, when firstly John Duffy pointed from a free and then their right half back Andrew Breslin registered his sides third point from play to move Lisbellaw 1-3 to 0-3 ahead.

St Brigid’s replied and added their fourth point from play, courtesy of Michael Devlin however Lisbellaw’s centre half back Mark Slevin powered over a tremendous point from deep mid-field to keep they St Patrick’s scoring machine ticking over. With this fast and feisty game picking up scoring speed, John Duffy fired over a brace of points and St. Patrick’s struck a decisive blow when left corner forward Ciaran Corrigan grabbed an incoming slithor and sped through the heart of the Cloughmills defence to blast home their second goal.

The Fermanagh side continued to call the tune and added further points from Declan and J.P. McGarry however with half time looming large St Brigid’s mounted a series of attacks and finally gained some reward for their efforts when Stephen Smith fired home their opening goal. That score temporally restored they St Brigid’s fast ebbing morale but they were unable to add further scores as the whistle sounded to leave the half time scores, Lisbellaw St Patrick’s, 2-10 Cloughmills 1-5

On the restart it was the formerly under the cosh Cloughmills who fired over a treble of points from frees and play by Michael Devlin (1 pt.), Liam Kearns (2 pts) but Lisbellaw weathered that early onslaught and, once more seized this game by the scruff of the neck. Declan McGarry fed corner forward Sean Corrigan who lashed it into the back of the net for Lisbellaw’s third and final goal. Moments later the same player registered his side’s eleventh point from play and even at this stage it looked a long way back for the Antrim champions. Going into the final quarter and Lisbellaw now leading 3 goals 11 points to 1 goal 8 the dye had been cast and the outcome was unmistakable.

 Lisbellaw were firmly on their way to an historic victory but St Brigid’s were still battling to get something from the game but were finding the posts an elusive target. They finally got some reward for their efforts when Micky Devlin fired home their second and last goal.

Their pressure almost produced a third but St Patrick’s left corner forward Ciaran Corrigan raced back to grab and clear from his own goal line. Cloughmills added a further two points in the last ten minutes from frees by Micky Devlin and Liam Kearns but the goal they needed just wouldn’t come and it was Lisbellaw who finished on the ascendancy with points from Sean Corrigan, Declan McGarry and John Duffy to claim the Ulster Intermediate title

Lisbellaw St Patrick’s, Dwayne Mc Phillip’s, Nial Carson, Fergus Bannon, Daniel Teague, Mathew Teague, Andrew Breslin ( 1 pt.), (Mark Slevin (1 pt.), Karl Kehoe John Duffy ( 7 pts.6 pts. frees),Ryan Bogue, J.P. McGarry ( 1 pt.) , Declan McGarry ( 1 gl. 2 pts..), Peter Timoney, Sean Corrigan ( 1 gl. 2 pts), Ciaran Corrigan ( 1 gl. 0 pts.).

Subs. Colum McPhillip’s, Cathal McGarry, Shane Mulholland, Ciaran McTeague, Brendan McGarry on for Peter Timoney Connor McElroy, Brian Jones, &. Rory Porteous,

Managers, Kevin Corrigan & Peter McEvoy. Coach Gerry Murphy.

Cloughmills St Brigid’s (Antrim), Aaron McNeill, Martin Dobbin, John McGuckian, Stephen Martin, Daniel McLaughlin*, Aaron Smiley ( 1pt.), Ruari Laverty ( 1 pt.), Leon Connolly, Michael Devlin ( 1 gl. 3 pts.), James Doherty ( 1 pt.-free), , Christopher McKernan, Stephen Smith ( 1 gl.0, Connor Laverty & Liam Kearns ( 4 pts. 2 pts-frees ).

Manager, Geoffrey Laverty.

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