St Enda’s claim Dunloy scalp at Hightown

Doherty Woodshavings All-County Hurling League Division One

St Enda’s 1-15-1-11 Dunloy

Kevin Herron reports from Hightown

Few people would have backed St Enda’s to record victory over Dunloy in the aftermath of a drubbing at the hands of St Johns on Sunday – but the Glengormley men showed their powers of recovery with a win over the Cuchullians at Hightown this evening.

In front from the outset, a goal from Michael McGivern opened up a five-point gap approaching the twenty-minute mark in the first half, and they extended it to nine-points going into the last ten minutes only for Chris McMahon to pull a goal back for a much-changed Dunloy side that rallied late-on.

St Enda’s opened the scoring on a bright evening in Glengormley through a converted free from Cormac Ross, but Deaglan Smyth responded immediately with a long-range effort that sailed between the posts.

Ruairi Donaghy then sent one over from distance to restore his sides lead, only for Deaglan Smyth to angle over from a tight angle and draw the game level again.

For the third time St Enda’s edged ahead and it would be a lead that they would hold onto for the rest of proceedings as Mark Donaghy directed a fine shot over the bar.

Cormac Jennings then converted a free with Paul Shiels doing likewise at the other end, but at the water break the hosts would led by three.

Jennings plucked the ball from the air and had the composure to strike between the posts with Cormac Ross then converting a free from range to make it 0-06-0-03.

Dunloy cut the deficit after the short break through a Paul Shiels free, but fell further behind after conceding the game’s opening goal- Michael McGivern powered a low effort past Paul Doherty to the delight of the Hightown contingent.

Killian Jennings would point in the aftermath and a converted free from Cormac Jennings followed with Conor McKinley conjuring up a late point in reply for the depleted Cuchullians who trailed 1-08-0-05 at the midway point.

St Enda’s extended their lead upon the resumption as Cormac Jennings converted his third free of the evening and then guided a 65’ direct between the large posts.

Substitute Ryan McFarland responded for Dunloy, and Paul Shiels added his third converted free soon after.

The visitors were on a roll and conjured up a third successive score after Ciaran Elliott popped the ball to namesake Oisin who got his angles spot-on and delivered a fine point.

Rian Bouge ended Dunloy’s momentum with fabulous score and Cormac Jennings opened up a seven-point gap with his fourth free and second of the half.

Two further scores arrived through substitute Daniel Lowry after a neat interchange from hard working full-forward Ruairi Donaghy and Lowry then turned provider for a Matthew O’Hare score.

Dunloy looked to be down and out- however with six minutes remaining they gave themselves a fighting chance. Kevin McKeague floated a free from the halfway line into the area and it spilt out to half-time substitute Chris McMahon who nudged the ball to the net to make it 1-14-1-08.

Matthew O’Hare responded with a shot that dropped over the bar- despite the best efforts of Daniel Lowry who attempted to bring the ball down and poke it to the net.

Dunloy were in need of a further goal if they wanted a chance to share the spoils, but they were unable to breach the St Enda’s backline for a second time.

They did the end the game with three successive scores thanks to Ryan McFarland and Paul Shiels who brought his evenings tally to five with a further placed ball and his first from play.

It was little more than consolation though as St Enda’s held on for a deserved victory and one that they will savour.

St Enda’s: M Curran, D Maguire, E Conlon, R Diamond, E O’Connor, M Donaghy (0-01), C Ross (0-02f), R Bouge (0-01), L O’Connor, K Jennings (0-01), C Jennings (0-06, 0-04f, 0-01 65’), M O’Hare (0-02), M McGivern (1-00), R Donaghy (0-01), B Cormican. Subs: D Lowry (0-01) for M McGivern (35), E Caldwell for K Jennings (61).

Dunloy: P Doherty, C Kinsela, B Scott, O Quinn, R Molloy, K McKeague, C McKinley (0-01), L McCann, C Elliott, A McGrath, G McTaggart, P Shiels (0-05, 0-04f), N McKeague, D Smyth (0-02), O Elliott (0-01). Subs: R McFarland (0-02) for D Smyth (26), C McMahon (1-00) for A McGrath (HT), R Mullan for N McKeague (54).

Referee: Darren McKeown (St Galls)

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