Cushendun booked their place in the final of the Division 2 Hurling League Cup when they beat North Coast rivals Glenariffe Oisins in Wednesday evening’s semi-final at Fr Maginn Park, Glenravel.
Leading by four points at half time the Emmet’s pushed on in the second half and in the end won by eight points to set up a final meeting with Carey Faughs on Sunday afternoon.
Oisins, who went into the game as most people’s favourites started well with a Caolan O’Connor point in the opening minute, but the Emmet’s soon showed their intent and when they hit the next four points, three of them from man of the match Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill, it was clear they were really up for the challenge.
Two Alex O’Boyle points from frees, on either side of one from play by Emmets’ Pearse Bannon left just two between the sides, but two more from play by McNeill gave Cushundun a three point cushion by the first water break. Three on the trot by the Oisin ( two from Alex O’Boyle frees and on from play Niall Murray) saw them draw level on 24 minutes, but a point from David Kilgore a minute later put Cushendun back in front. With just four minutes of first half play remaining the Oisins appeared to be gaining the upper hand when Caolan O’Connor grabbed a goal, which was followed by an Alex O’Boyle point, but in first half injury time the Emmet’s turned it around again as McNeill and Calum Kilgore added points, before Harry Kilgore closed out the half with a goal that gave his side a four point cushion at the break.
Cushendun extended their lead to six with two more pointed frees just after the restart but the Oisins hit back with points from Caolan O’Connor and Alex O’Boyle to cut the gap back to four, and when they were awarded a penalty on 40 minutes it looked like they would cut the deficit even further. However in what turned out to be a key moment in the game Emmet’s netminder Gareth Magee saved Alex O’Boyle’s well struck penalty and when they came back with three points from David Kilgore they were back in the driving seat.
Kilgore and Alex O’Boyle swapped scores on a couple of occasion before man of the match ‘Loaf’ McNeill chipped in with a real beauty direct from a sideline ‘cut’. Alex O’Boyle and Seannan McToal pulled a couple back for Glenariffe but an Emmet’s goal from Harry Kilgore sealed the win for Cushendun and they can now look forward to a final meeting with Carey Faughs, their neighbours from the other side of the Vanishing Lake, on Sunday.