Johnnies top the group but they were made to work hard for the win

Bathshack Senior Hurling Championship – Group 2

Tir na nÓg 3-15 St John’s 3-23

St John’s travelled to Randalstown on Tuesday evening to take on SHC new boys Tir na nÓg in Group 2 of the Senior Hurling Championship and came away with both points after a hard fought battle.

Going into the championship most pundits had Tir na nÓg down as the whipping boys of this group, but the men from Whitehill proved they can mix it with the best. St John’s won in the end by eight points and in truth were always reasonably comfortable, but last year’s Intermediate champions gave a performance they can be proud of, scoring 3 goal and 15 points, which is more that Dunloy and Cushendall managed in their drawn game in Dunloy.

St John’s will be glad to get the first win under their belt, while running up a good score, which could be very important in this tight group and with Dunloy and Cushendall drawing in their opener in Dunloy they now have an edge on the other two and will look forward to Saturday’s clash with the ‘Dall in Corrigan Park.

St John’s opened with a point from Shea Shannon, and though Ciaran Logan brought Tir na nÓg level a minute later, four in a row from Shannon (2), Aaron Bradley and Mick Bradley had them 0-5 to 0-1 ahead, though Sean Duffin closed the gap to three for the home team by the first water break.

When corner forward Donal Carson grabbed the Johnnies opening goal on 20 minutes and Domhnall Nugent added a point there was some daylight beginning to appear between the teams’ but Eamon Og McAllister hit back with a brilliantly taken goal and the home side produced a great finish to the half with a second goal from Niall Devlin and three points in as many minutes from Sean Duffin to trail by just two at half time. (2-6 to 1-11)

The opening minutes of the second half saw the teams hit three points each and that gap was still at two, but St John’s were getting back on top and points from Micheal Dudley and Donal Carson were followed by a goal from full forward Conor Johnston. Tir na nÓg hit back with a goal of their own through Eamon Og McAllister to bring themselves right back into contention, but St John’s reacted well and a goal from Domhnall Nugent and a series of well taken points from Conal Bohill, Aaron Bradley and Micheal Dudley had them ten clear by the second half water break.

That was to prove a decisive break for though Tir na nÓg had the better of the final quarter the Johnnies were home and hosed and now sit top of the group.

TIR NA NÓG

Kevin Sheerin, Daniel Martin, Ryan O’Neill, Neill Shannon, Ciaran O’Neill, Caoimhin Duffin, Declan Mallon, Aaron McNeilly, Ciaran McKeown, Sean Duffin, Ciaran Logan, Kevin Kerr, Niall Devlin, Eamon Og McAllister, Sean McKinley.

ST JOHN’S

Simon Doherty, Aidan McMahon, Ryan McNulty, Conor Carson, Ciaran Kerr, Conal Morgan, Conal Bohill, Shea Shannon, Jim Peolpes, Micheal Dudley, Oisin Donnelly, Michael Bradley, Donal Carson, Conor Johnston, Aaron Bradley.

REFEREE – Kevin Parke (Naomh Eanna)

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