Shamrocks win league title in extra time thriller

Antrim U17 Hurling League final

Loughgiel: 2-14 Oisins 2-12

A strong second half in extra time gave Loughgiel victory over Oisins Glenariffe in Sunday’s Under 17 Hurling League final in Armoy. In a fantastic game of hurling the Shamrocks appeared to have it won in normal time when they led by five points with eight minutes to go, but the Oisins came with a late rally which produced two points and a last gasp goal to bring it to extra time.

After trailing for most of the game the Oisins edged ahead and were two in front at half time in extra time. Loughgiel appeared to be up against it but they dominated the second period, scoring four points without reply, the final one a fantastic strike from Rory McCormick, to seal the win.

The first half of normal time was dominated by the Shamrocks, Jack McCloskey giving them the perfect start with a goal inside 20 seconds. Ronan McCollum added a point from a free before the Oisins got off the mark with a point from John V Morgan. Darragh Patterson put Loughgiel four clear again but the Oisins hit back with a goal from Morgan and a point from Orrin O’Connor to draw level after ten minutes. Two Darragh Patterson points were answered by one from Niall McGarel to leave just one between the sides by the 20th minute, but Loughgiel too control and Ronan McCollum, Darragh Patterson and Jack McCloskey, plus a goal from McCollum which saw them open a seven point lead going into injury time.

Darragh Patterson had a great game for the Shamrocks.

The Oisins chances were further hampered when they lost a player to a straight card just before the break, but two Niall McGarel points deep in injury time cut the deficit to five at the short whistle.

A man down and five behind the Oisins faced an uphill struggle in the second half, but they set about reeling Loughgiel in and slowly but surely they closed the gap. However nearing the end of normal time at they were still four in arrears, but they produced a storming finish with two Niall McGarel points and a late goal from Orrin O’Connor to bring the game to extra time.

The first half of extra time saw Glenariffe edge in front for the first time in the game and two late points by McGarel put them two up at half time. However led by Rory McCormick, who had by this stage moved from full-back to midfield, Loughgiel dominated the final period of the game and two points from McCormick and two from Jack McCloskey gave the victory.

Niall McGarel was again top scorer for the Oisins

Round two of this saga can be seen on Wednesday evening in Cushendall when they meet again in the Darragh Cup final and if it is half as good as Sunday’s game it is certainly worth the admission fee.

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