Clony Gaels 1-18 Emmet’s Cushendun 1-16
Emmet’s Cushendun were left wondering how they had let this one slip against Cloney Gaels in Cloney last night. The North Antrim side led from start to finish and were two in front going into injury time when James O’Connell got on the end of a pass from Donal Graham to fire to the net.
The visitors made all the early running and deservedly led 1-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes with Harry Kilgore getting the goal in the 4th minute and adding a point with David Kilgore 0-2 and Aidan Corbett their other marksmen while Cloney Gaels only reply came from mid-fielder, Frankie Neeson.
After the first water break the Ahoghill side had a wee bit of success and points from PJ O’Connell and Ronan Graham cut the visitors lead to two but Cushendun came back with three of their own to re-establish their dominance on the game.
David Kilgore was the man who led the Emmet’s charge as he fired over two great points in the 21st minute and he added another in the 24th minute to bring his personal tally to 0-5 as his side continued to impress.
Points from Conrad McDonnell, Callum Kilgore and Conleth McNeill saw the sea-siders establish a very convincing seven point lead as half time approached but the home side dug deep to hit back with late points from James O’Connell, Bobby Magee and Colla McDonnell to cut the gap to seven at the turn over.
Cloney Gaels looked to be getting on top when they hit the first four points of the second half through Dan O’Neill, James O’Connell, Donal Graham and James O’Connell again to close the gap to three but Cushendun were not about to throw in the towel and they replied through Conleth McNeill and Harry Gilgore to move five ahead once more.
This Ahoghill side are never beaten however and they responded with points from Dan O’Connell 0-2, PJ O’Connell, Patrick Graham and Thomas McGlone and the momentum seemed to have swung the way of the home side again but this excellent Cushendun side quite simply refused to bend the knee. Conleth McNeill fired over at the other end and then Harry Kilgore lofted a ‘65’ between the uprights and at this stage the Emmet’s looked to have done enough to take the points.
Donal Graham had an opportunity to level the game on 29mins but a wonderful save from Cushendun keeper Gareth Magee from point blank range was put out for a ’65’ which O’Connel fired wide but Cloney staged one last attack and in the 32 minute Donal Graham won a high ball and laid it off to the in rushing James O’Connell who sidestepped a defender an drove the ball across the keeper into the back of the net.
Another couple of hard earned points for Cloney Gael but the feeling at the final whistle must have been as much about relief as anything else and they will be the first to admit that they were pushed to their limits by a very good Cushendun side.
Cloney Gaels: Martin Graham, James Magee, Bernard Graham, Diarmaid Graham, Fionnbar O’Neill, Neil O’Connell, Eamonn Brady, Francis Neeson, Thomas McGlone, Owen Neeson, Ronan Graham, PJ O’Connell, Colla McDonnell, Donal Graham, James O’Connell
Subs: Patrick Graham for Colla Mc Donnell. Dan O’Neill for Owen Neeson. Dominic Neeson for Ronan Graham. Gerard Graham for PJ O’Connell
Emmet’s Cushendun: Gareth Magee, Sean Hamilton, Aidan Corbett, Jack McKay, Conor McHugh, Donal O’Hara, Thomas Scally, Matthew McCartan, David Kilgore, Eoin Magee, Harry Kilgore, James Morgan, Callum Kilgore, Conleth McNeill, Dominic McQuillan.