Shane O’Neill’s can finish the season unbeaten and take the title

Casement Park Social Club Junior Hurling Championship final

Shane O’Neill’s v Con Magees

Glenariffe – Throw-in 2pm

By Paddy McIlwaine

Shane O’Neill’s, Glenarm go into Sunday’s Casement SC Junior Hurling championship final as firm favourites when they take on Con Magee’s, Glenravel in Sunday’s decider in Waterfoot. The Feystown side have already beaten Sunday’s opponents twice this year but will never the less be wary of Sunday’s opponents.

It has been a good year for Glenarm and an injection of young blood into the side has coincided with them having their best season for some time and going into Sunday’s final they are still unbeaten this season.

The sides met in the group stages at the end of August in a seven goal thriller at Pairc Uí Fhearsithe that captured everything that championship hurling is about. Two strong physical sides gave their all with score’s a plenty and some fantastic goals, some great tackling and superb point taking.

Con Magee’s showed early promise when just after forty seconds Declan Traynor goaled for an early lead

This gave the home side an early kick up the backside as Ciaran Magill struck a point and he followed up with a cracker of a goal, a superb unstoppable effort. Daniel Black also pointed a free before the versatile Darren Hamill sent over a “65”, giving the home team a three point lead

Shane O’Neill’s went on to hit five goals and run out fairly comfortable winners in the end but the Con Magee’s showed enough in glimpses to suggest that Sunday’s final could be much closer and indeed they will fancy their chances of causing an upset.

Daniel Black led the way for Glenarm in that Feystown encounter, hitting 1-6 on the night while Ciaran Magill, Kevin O’Boyle, Sean O’Boyle and Ciaran O’Boyle all weighed in with majors for a rampant Shane O’Neill’s

Glenarm have an excellent free taker in Darren Hamill and he scored 0-6 against the Con Magee’s on that occasion while his brother Barry at full-back, Declan McDermott and Dylan McLaughlin add experience and knowhow to the Glenarm side

Both sides struggled for a time in their respective semi-finals and it took an injury time free from Niall Donnelly to finally kill off the challenge of Lamh Dhearg to see Glenravel advance to the final on a scoreline of 0-16 to 1-12 at Whitehill. Donnelly is a very doubtful starter for Sunday which would be a bad blow for the Con Magees.

Glenarm were pushed all the way in their semi-final against a Rasharkin side who had beaten them in last year’s championship with the men from Dreen leading 1-7 to 0-6 at half time. Shane O’Neill’s rallied after the break and slowly reeled in the opposition with Ciaran Magill finishing with six points and Daniel Black 0-4 and Dylan McLaughlin 0-4 as they ran out winners 0-18 to 1-13

The Glenarm men will take confidence from their two previous wins over Sunday’s opponents but as the respective semi-finals show, they certainly can’t take anything for granted and they are likely to come up against a Glenravel side knowing they have nothing to lose and determined to cause an upset.

Padge O’Neill, Shanlee Kerr, Declan Traynor, James Duffin and Niall Donnelly are the men who Con Magee’s will look to, to lead by example.

I don’t expect there to be too much between the sides on Sunday but Shane O’Neill’s have shown enough in their two previous encounters to finish their season unbeaten and collect the Casement SC Cup.

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