St Gall’s still in the hunt for semis

Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Group 1

St Galls 3-28 Glen Rovers Armoy 1-18

Paul McIntyre reports from De LA Salle Park

St Galls kept themselves in the hunt for a place in this year’s Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship by seeing off Glen Rovers with 16 points to spare.

It was a deserving win for Chris Dornan’s side but the win came at a cost with injuries to Jackson McGreevy (groin) and Tomas O’Ciarain overshadowing the victory.

The pair are rated as major doubts for Sunday’s final round robin game away to Clooney Gaels, where a win is a must if they are to harbour any ideas of lifting this year’s title.

Overall, Dornan will be happy of how his side accounted for Glen Rovers, particularly in the first half when the game was still in the melting pot and a plucky Armoy side were giving as good as they got, but once Fergus Donnelly finished a sweeping move to the net in the 21st minute, the visitors were left facing an uphill task.

St Galls came flying out of the traps are were three to the good in as many minutes through O’Ciarain twice and one from Sean McAreavey before Thomas Burns opened Armoy’s account.

McAreavey extended the St Galls lead on five minutes when he shot past Conor Devlin from close range after being set up by Antoin McCaffery.

That goal kicked Armoy into life and scores from Conor Christie, PJ McBride and Tarlach McBride cut the gap to two points.

The St Galls full forward line was giving their Armoy markers a torrid time and after just 14 minutes McAreavey brought his tally to 1-3 before Fergus Donnelly pointed to leave the score at the waterbreak, 1-6 to 0-6 in favour of the home side.

McBride closed the gap to two points on the resumption but McGreevy, O’Ciarain and Patrick Friel pushed St Galls lead out to five before Donnelly strike put the Milltown men well in control on 21 minutes.

Burns, Christie twice and McBride led the Armoy challenge but despite losing McGreevy, St Galls went in at the break with a nine point cushion with 1-6 of their 2-14 total coming from McAreavey.

Any ideas of an Armoy fightback were quickly dispelled as four points in the opening three minutes from Lorcan O’Ciarain, Tomas O’Ciarain twice and Marcus Donnelly helped St Galls open up a 13 point lead, 2-18 to 0-11.

Armoy were given a lifeline on 49 minutes when Burns first time shot flew past Kurtis McGreevy in the home goal, but this proved nothing more than a consolation strike.

As the light began to fade over the Bog Meadows, so did the championship intensity as St Galls began to pick off points from Joseph McDaniel, Lorcan O’Ciarain and Jack Hopkins before St Galls claimed their third goal of the evening arrived in the 54th minute.

Fergus Donnelly stole possession from keeper Devlin on the Armoy right flank and he had the vision to pick out full forward Antoin McCaffery who drilled to ball to the corner of the net from 25 yards.

McCaffery almost grabbed himself a second major minutes later but this time Devlin was on hand to produce a stunning full stretch save to deny the St Galls target man.

As the clocked ticked towards the end of the game, St Galls substitutes Mark Napier, Connla McCarthy and Oran McIlhatton all got themselves on the scoresheet to wrap up victory number two in this years round robin as attention now turns to Sunday evenings winner takes all clash in Ahoghill.

Teams & Scorers:

St Galls: Kurtis McGreevy, Duhaltach Wilson, Joseph McDaniel (0-1), Stephen Morrison, Lorcan O’Ciarain (0-2), Aodhan Gallagher, Daniel Churchill, Jack Hopkins (0-1), Marcus Donnelly (0-1), Tómas O’Ciarain (0-7 1f), Jackson McGreevy (0-1f), Patrick Friel (0-1), Fergus Donnelly (1-1), Antoin McCaffery (1-0), Sean McAreavey (1-6).

Subs: Mark Napier for J McGreevy (25), Connla McCarthy for T O’Ciarain (38), Ryan Irvine for Churchill (49), Oran McIlhatton for F Donnelly (49), Niall ONeill for McDaniel (49).

Glen Rovers Armoy: Conor Devlin, Tiernan McCaughan, Shane Devlin, Joseph McFetridge, Calum Coyles, Joe McBride, Liam McBride, Arthur Devlin, PJ McBride (0-5 1f), Emmet O’Hara, Conor Christie (0-7 4f, 1 ‘65’), Thomas Burns (1-3), Timothy Burns, Tarlach McBride (0-5 2f), Conor Watterson.

Subs: Frank McCaughan for Timothy Burns (25), Ciaran Coyles for Calum Coyles (41), Daniel Connolly for Watterson (44), John O’Kane for T McCaughan (56).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Rossa)

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