Gaels goals prove the difference at Milltown

U-17 ACHL Division 2 semi-final 

Ard Na Ri 0-09 – 4-11 Corpus Christi Gaels 

Kevin Herron reports from Milltown 

Three first half goals saw Corpus Christi Gaels run out 4-11-0-09 winners over Ard Na Ri in the U-17 Division 2 hurling semi-final at Milltown on Tuesday evening. 

The hosts made the quickest start, hitting the opening two scores through Niall Fallon and a converted Fintan Cleary free. 

Corpus Christi restored parity though – Jamie McNally converted back-to-back frees to level at 0-02 apiece. 

The opening goal arrived shortly after with Luke Loughlin crashing home a sweet strike past Pearse Hamill in the Ard Na Ri goal. 

The Gaels County representative Deaglan Mooney swung over a further point before Loughlin powered home his second of the half to give his side a 2-03-0-02 lead. 

Ard Na Ri face an uphill battle and responded with back-to-back frees from Fintan Cleary- though Luke Loughlin steered over his first point of proceedings and Jay Maguire angled over another shortly after. 

Maguire converted a free and it was from the same scenario that Corpus Christi extended their advantage. 

Jamie McNally stood over a placed ball which he floated high towards the target, it dipped towards the goal and Pearse Hamill was unable to keep it out and the visitors were now 3-06-0-04 to the good. 

Niall Fallon was on hand to land successive frees from Ard Na Ri in the aftermath- though the hosts trailed by double figures at the break after Maguire fired over from Luke Loughlin’s pass on the stroke of half-time. 

Corpus Christi hit the opening point of the second period through Deaglan Mooney, at the other end Niall Fallon landed his third free of the evening from the angle and a further score was forthcoming when James Sloan slipped the ball to Fintan Cleary for a nice score. 

The hosts were in need of goals, but they were unable to forge an opportunity in the final third- not for the want of trying. 

It was game over ten minutes into the second half, Luke Loughlin drew a fine stop from Pearse Hamill and the loose ball fell to Conan McKinney who was unable to get his shot away and he instead offloaded to Stephen Thompson to drill in the fourth and make it 4-08-0-08. 

Points followed in the aftermath from Conan McKinney, Deaglan Mooney and a converted Jamie McNally free- which finished the visitors scoring for the evening. 

James Sloan replied with a point from a late free for Ard Na Ri but the game was well over as contest as Corpus booked their place in the Division 2 league decider against All-Saint’s Ballymena. 

Ard Na Ri: P Hamill, T McAleenan, O McCarney, N McDonnell, O Corey, E O’Mainnin, G Mac Adhaimh, F Cleary (0-04, 0-03f), J Sloan (0-01f), A McDonagh, N Fallon (0-04, 0-03f), N Duffy, C Barnes, D Prenter, T Graham. Subs: O Kelly for A McDonagh (HT), C Baird for N McDonnell (41). 

Corpus Christi Gaels: O Quinn, B Maguire, O Gorman, R Quinn, C Rainey, S Hughes, M Darragh, J McNally (1-03f), D Mooney (0-03), S Thompson (1-00), J Maguire (0-03, 0-01f), J Wilson, C McKinney (0-01), L Loughlin (2-01), J Robb. Subs: C Corr for J Robb (26), R Donnelly for S Hughes (45), C Darragh for J McNally (56). 

Referee: Terry Reilly (Gort na Mona)

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