Antrim Hurling League Divison 3
Glenravel 2-08. Cuchulianns 1-12
Glenravel will definitely feel this was one that got away from from them having led for 95% of the game. Their opponents dominated the first five and last five minutes scoring four unanswered points in those final minutes to creep over the line in front when the final whistle blew.
Cuchulianns opened with a point in the first minute with full forward Jordan Murtagh scoring from a free. Murtagh would go on to score six from played balls before having to be substituted after an unfortunate strike to the head under a dropping ball in the second half. The Armagh lads really dominated the opening exchanges finding their men with ease and probably should have had more on the scoreboard than that solitary point. In the seventh minute though the home team opened their account with goal kicked over the line by dual player Eoin McCusker. Glenravel then went on to dominate with four unanswered points. Conleth O’Loan getting three with Declan Traynor slotting over the other score to leave the home on front 1-04 to 0-01. The last ten minutes of the half belonged to Cuchulianns with Jordan Murtagh scoring three consecutive points from frees in what was to be a foretaste of how the second half would end. That took us to the half time break with the Con Magees ahead by a goal 1-04 to 0-04.
Conleth O’Loan opened for the home team with a pointed free in the thirty first minute before Matthew Rafferty scored for the visitors one minute later. That was Cuchulainn’s first score from play; in fact of the twelve points they registered over the hour, only two came from play. Conleth O’Loan nudged his team ahead again with a well taken free but shortly after Ben Devlin netted for the Armagh men to reduce their deficit to a single point. With twenty minutes left on the clock Glenravel sent in a long ball which the defence couldn’t deal with and as the ball was bobbing around in the air Conleth O’Loan pounced to pull it to the back of the net and put the Glensmen into a four point lead once again. Jordan Murtagh pointed two frees to leave two between them but with the water break approaching the unfortunate Murtagh had to be helped off the pitch having just taken an accidental blow to the head. How would Cuchulainns perform without their ace free taker who had been so influential up to his substitution? We soon got our answer when Conleth Lavery took on free taking duties and pointed from a sixty five and we were down to a one point game with the hosts still leading. Cathal Hynds and Niall Donnelly extended that lead to three with five minutes left on the clock and the home team sensing victory. But Cuchulainns hadn’t made the lengthy journey from Armagh to go down without a fight and and three pointed frees in as many minutes from Conleth Lavery levelled the game as we entered added time. Both teams went for broke in the closing minutes of added time but unfortunately for the home team who had led for most of the game, the final score came from Cuchulainns with Matthew Rafferty scoring only their second point from play in the entire game. It was enough to send them back south with three points in the bag.
Glenravel:: Roan Donnelly, Brian O’Neill, Shan Lee Kerr, Stevie Acheson, Damian O’Hagan, James Duffin, Padge O’Neill, Jonathan Fyfe, Rian Lennon, Eoin McCusker (1-00), Cathal Hynds (0-01), Conleth O’Loan (1-05 4f), Declan Traynor (0-01), Shane Woulahan, Ryan McQuillan,
Subs:: Niall Donnelly (0-01), Sean Burns, Michael McDonald, Joe Martin.
Cuchulainns:: Adam Murtagh, Shane O’Hagan, Stefan McParland, Dermot Hicks, Ciaran Duffy, Tomas O’Mearthile, David Ryan, Connor Devlin, Fionntan Oliver, Conleth Lavery (0-03f)Tony Duffy, Patrick Heaney, Ben Devlin (1-00), Jordan Murtagh (0-06f), Matthew Rafferty (0-03, 2f)