Creagh Concrete U17B HC
All Saints 1-20 Ard Na Ri 2-12
A great exhibition of point taking by Aodhan McGarry pointed All Saints Ballymena into the Creagh Concrete U17B Hurling championship final when they overcame the challenge of a battling Ard Na Ri at Dunsilly tonight. McGarry gave an exhibition, both from play and frees to record a personal total of 0-12 over the hour and his scores proved vital against an Ard Na Ri who battled to the final whistle.
The Ballymena side got off to a great start and a goal from Matthew Mullan had them 1-3 to 0-0 ahead after four minutes with all their points coming from the sweet striking Aodhan McGarry.
David Prenter got Ard Na Ri off the mark with a point in the 7th minute and Fintan Cleary followed with another but All Saints replied with points from Kevin O’Boyle, Joseph O’Rawe, Pearse Martin and Matthew Mullan to lead 1-8 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter, the Ard Na Ri point coming from Diarmuid Martin.
Aodhan McGarry increased the All Saints lead with another excellent point but Ard Na Ri came back with two of their own through the impressive Fintan Cleary. Late points from Mullan and McGarry moved All Saints nine in front as half time approached but the Belfast side struck with a late goal from Aodhan McDonagh to hand his side a boost as the half time whistle sounded.
As the action got under way again with the good crowd suitably entertained from what had gone on before it was Ard Na Ri who got the first point through Niall Fallon to close the gap to five but Kevin O’Boyle replied immediately with a point at the other end to restore All Saints six point advantage.
Their opponents Ard Na Ri were growing in confidence however with James Sloan and Fintan Cleary fielding some great ball and they hit two on the trot through Brian McGurk and Fintan Cleary to leave just four between the sides by the 37th minute.
The Ballymena lads looked a bit out of sorts at this stage and their opposition were winning a lot of dirty ball around mid-field but they rallied well and a couple of Aodhan McGarry frees and another from play by Joseph O’Rawe moved them seven clear after 42 minutes and they seemed to have survived the Ard Na Ri surge.
The Belfast combination were having none of it however as the sides shared the next four scores with Fintan Cleary and Brian McGurk on target for Ard Na Ri and Aodhan McGarry replying from two frees for the league winners
Two more from Cleary and McGurk closed the gap to five with seven minutes remaining as Ard Na Ri battled to close the gap but All Saints were once again able to find a response with the unerring accuracy of McGarry from two more frees and another from the dangerous Matthew Mullan putting eight between the sides with time almost up.
Ard Na Ri kept battling to the final whistle and were rewarded with a late goal from Niall Fallon but it came too late to affect the result with Terry Reilly’s whistle bringing an excellent semi-final to a conclusion from the resulting puck out.
All Saints: 1 Ciaran McQuillan, 2 Diarmuid Casey, 3 Conor McKenna, 4 Rhys Haveron, 5 Archie McGreevy, 6 Conan McMullan, 7 Rian Thom, 8 Kevin O’Boyle, 9 Aodhan McGarry, 10 Fintan Brady, 11 Joe O’Rawe, 12 Dara Martin, 13 Tiernan McGurk, 14 Daniel McCoy, 15 Matthew Mullan, 20 Pearse Martin, 21 Connor O’ Hara, 17 Rory Dunne, 18 Daniel Kelly, 19 Dara Killough, 22 Seanan O’Boyle, 23 Rory Taggart
Ard Na Ri: 1 Pearse Hamill, 2 Emmet Corey, 3 Eoghan O’Mainnin, 4 Olibhear Corey, 5 Ruairi McErlean, 6 Brian McGurk, 7 Gairech MacAdhaimh, 8 James Sloan, 9 Fintan Cleary, 10 Diarmuid Martin, 11 Niall Fallon, 12 Aodhan McDonagh, 13 Cormac Barnes, 14 David Prenter, 15 Niall Duffy, 17 Caoimhin Pierce, 19 Oisin Kelly, 20 Niall McDonnell, 27 Marcus McCrossan
Referee: Terry Reilly (Gort na Mona)