Cushendall hold off Ballycastle figtback

Antrim U17 Hurling League

Cushendall: 3-25(34)  Ballycastle: 6-12(30)

Cushendall has a four point win over Ballycaste in Sunday’s U17 Hurling League at Pairc Mhuir. Two injury time goals from Ballycastle brought them to within just two points of the home team and there were a couple of anxious moments for the Cushendall fans, but points from Joseph McNaughton and Padraig McKillop settled the nerves and sealed a deserved win.

In a dominant opening spell Cushendall hit the first five points of the game, three of them from Padraig McKillop and one each from Joseph and Cillian McNaughton. Ballycastle came back with four of their own through James Bakewell (2), Orran Donnelly and Jack Colgan to cut the gap to a single point, but a Joe McNaughton goal restored the Ruairi’s four point cushion. It was point for point for the next fifteen minutes but just before the break a Joe McLaughlin goal and points from McLaughlin and McKillop had the Ruairis five clear at the break. (2-11 to 0-12)

A scoring barrage by Cushendall at the start of the second half which yielded a goal and three points brought the gap out to nine by a Jack Colgan goal gave Ballycastle some hope. Six points without reply, three by Padraig McKillop, and two from Joe McNaughton, and one from Joe McLaughlin, saw Cushendall increase their lead to twelve by the second half water break.

It appeared to be all over bar the shouting but two quick goals from Ballycastle Frank MCaughan and Tiernan Heggarty  gave Ballycastle a bit of hope, and when James Bakewell struck his team’s fourth goal four minutes from the end of normal time there was still and outside chance for the Town.

Padraig McKillop settled Cushendall nervers with a point from a free and Joseph McLaughlin eased any worries with another from play, but when Frank McCaughton and Orran Donnelly fired in two goals in injury time just two points separated the sides. There was still time for another one, but Cushendall steadied the ship and late points by Joseph McNaughton and Padraig McKillop settled it all in favour of Cushendall.  

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