DOWN MEMORY LANE
ANTRIM MINOR HURLING FINAL 2009
ROSSA 2-13 LOUGHGIEL 1-12
A storming second-half comeback saw Rossa win their first minor hurling title in over a decade as they ended Loughgiel’s hopes of a third title on the trot at Casement Park.
During the opening half Loughgiel had looked the most likely to succeed as they raced to a 0-8 to 0-4 half-time lead, but Rossa were transformed after the restart, and boosted by two quick goals they went on to win by 2-13 to 1-12.
Loughgiel looked good in the opening quarter and opened up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead with Declan Gillan, Seamus Dobbin (2), Conal McMahon and Kevin Lee Traynor all on target but team captain Stephen Shannon hit a couple of long range frees over to keep his team in touch.
Loughgiel appeared to have taken a grip on the game with three unanswered points from Traynor and McMahon (2) and when they went in at the break with a four point cushion (0-8 to 0-4) the three-in-a-row looked to be within their grasp.
Rossa’s second-half transformation was swift and within four minutes of the restart they had hit 2-1 without reply, the goals coming from Stephen Beattie and Johnny Neeson.
Seamus Dobbin replied with a point from a long range free for Loughgiel, but the goals had given Rossa new confidence and a team that had laboured during the opening half were now ‘flying’.
Loughgiel did manage to close the gap to a point but Rossa hit back with six points without reply with Neeson grabbing three, McGuinness two and Shannon one to open a commanding seven point lead.
Loughgiel were reduced to fourteen men when Brian Og McCloskey received a straight red but they fought their way back into contention with a scrambled goal six minutes from time.
The Shamrocks pushed hard to save the game and Kevin Traynor’s goal bound shot from a free was well saved by the Rossa defence as the Belfast boys held on for a deserved win.
ROSSA – Philip Creen, Ronan Quinn, Ryan Bell, Donal O’Neill, Eamon Lindsay, Stephen Shannon, Conor Murray, Christopher McGuinness, Gerard McGetigan, Stephen Beattie, Keifer Toland, Johnny Neeson, Ciaran Orchin, Ryan Mallon, Thomas Morgan.
LOUGHGIEL – Aiden Campbell, Tiernan Coyle, Ronan Gillan, Shane McKee, Brian Og McCloskey, Daniel McPeake, Donagh McCarry, Donal McKinley, Seamus Dobbin, Colm McNeill, Ronan McCloskey, Conal McMahon, Declan Gillan, Kevin Lee Traynor, Dan McCloskey.
Subs – Stephen McAuley.
Referee – Terry Reilly (Gortnamona)