‘Town’ take the points in Corrigan

Doherty Woodshavings Antrim Hurling League Division 1

St Johns 1-14 Ballycastle 1-17

After falling behind to the first three scores of the game, Ballycastle, led by the impressive Conor Boyd and Neal McAuley in their half back line, left Corrigan Park with three points to spare against St Johns writes Paul McIntyre.

The ‘Town’ were slow out of the blocks but Tiernan Smyth’s 13th minute goal brought them right back into contention when it looked like St Johns were going to cruise to victory.

Aaron Bradley was impressing for the homeside and contributed two early points before Smyth picked up a breaking ball to fire past Declan Cregan to level to game at 0-4 to 1-1 after 15 minutes. Conor Boyd and Lorcán Donnelly edged the visitors ahead but it was St Johns who went into the break ahead thanks to a moment of good fortune.

Brendan Connor in the Ballycastle goal seemed to have Cónall Morgan’s long ball under control, but the strong evening sun somewhat distracted the netminder and the ball trickled into the net to help St Johns lead by one at the break, 1-7 to 1-6.

Ciaran Butler quickly drew Ballycastle level at the start of the second half as the visitors raised the tempo of the game. Boyd and Donnelly added to their totals but St Johns stayed in touch with scores from Bradley and Ciaran McKenna.

Ballycastle’s Conor Boyd who scored four points from half-back

While Donnelly was accurate from placed balls, Boyd was finding himself in all sorts of space as he landed four second half points from play.

St Johns were finding the visitors defence too tough to breakdown and their wide tally started to mount up, and in the final seconds Donnelly brought his personal tally to 0-8 with the last action of the game and to wrap up an impressive on the road victory.

 Teams & Scorers:

St Johns: Declan Morgan, Jack Bohill, Ryan McNulty, Lorcan Heenan, Stephen Tierney, Cónall Morgan (1-0), Conor Carson (0-1), Caoimhin Hanna, Andrew McGowan, Jim Peoples (0-1), Aaron Bradley (0-8 5f), Aidan McMahon (0-1), Dónall Carson, Domhnall Moran, Ciaran McKenna (0-2).

Subs: Conor Hand for D. Moran (40), Louis Boyd (0-1) for C. Hanna (50).

Ballycastle: Brendan Connor, Orán Kearney, Thomas McIlroy, Jack McGowan, Conor Boyd (0-5 1f), Neal McAuley (0-1), R. Laverty, Ciaran Butler (0-2), Reuben McClean, Seamus McAuley, Kevin Barry McShane, Lorcán Donnelly (0-8 6f), Tiernan Smyth (1-0), Owen Kiney, Feargal McKiernan (0-1).

Subs: Eamon Elliot for R. McClean (HT), Oisin McAuley for T. Smyth (38), Cathal Connor for F. McKiernan (54), Sean Kelly for O. Kinney (59).

Referee: Mr Hugh Torney (Ballycran)

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