Naomh Padraig fight back to take U15 B Hurling title

North Antrim Under 15 B Hurling Final

Naomh Padraig 4-8 All Saints 2-12

A goal and two points in the final quarter of Tuesday evening’s Under 15 B Hurling final saw Naomh Padraig overhaul All Saints Ballymena and snatch the title from the Ballymena boys’ grasp. All Saints were level at the first water-break, led at half time and at the second water break and looked to be well on course to take the title, but two points from Calum Kane and a goal from Liam Magee saw Naomh Padraig snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

All Saints were three ahead after five minutes, two of the points coming from frees by the excellent Paerses Martin and the other from Conor O’Hara. Naomh Padraig got themselves back into the game when Brendan McQuaid lobbed the ball over the All Saints goalkeeper from out on the wing and they added points through Brian Watson and Calum Kane, but two more by Paerses Martin had All Saints back level at the first water break.

Despite losing their centre-back Edward McKendry through injury, All Saints went ahead again five minutes after the restart when full forward Rory Dunne found the net. Calum Kane grabbed a Naomh Padraig goal from a 20 metre free at the other end, corner forward John Ireland got in behind the Naomh Padraig defence to kick home a goal and give the Ballymena boys a 2-5 to 2-3 half time lead.

Although Ryan Watson got the first score of the second half for Naomh Padraig All Saints took control of the game and with Martin, Conor O’Hara and Rory Dunne leading the line they opened up a five point lead by the 40th minute, three of the points coming from Martin and the other from O’Hara. Naomh Padraig appeared to be in trouble but a brilliant goal from an overhead strike by Ryan Watson, following a 65 from Callum Kane, breathed new life into their challenge and they had the gap back to two at the second half water break.

Going down the home straight Naomh Padraig started to get on top and two points from Callum Kane and a goal from Liam Magee put them a goal clear, and though Paerses Martin got one back for All Saints, it was too late to change the outcome of the game.

A great come-back by Naomh Padraig but spare a thought for All Saints and their defender Edward McKendry who suffered a leg fracture during the opening half and all at the Ballymena club and indeed North Antrim wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see this excellent young hurler back in the black and white of Na Naomh Uile in the not too distant future.

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