Under 15 Hurling League Final
Glenariffe Oisins 5-17 Dunloy Cuchullains 1-8
Glenariffe Oisins added the U15 League title to the Feile and McMullan Cup success of earlier in the season when they beat Dunloy in Monday evening’s final under the lights at Quinn Park, Ballymena. The scoreline probably flatters the Glenariffe boys a bit for there were a couple of their early goals that had more than a touch of good fortune about them, and Dunloy were unlucky not to add a couple more to their tally, but overall there was no doubt about the Oisins superiority.
One of those early Glenariffe goals that had lady luck on its side came in the opening minute when Man of the Match Phelim Ward saw his shot for a point deflected down and just over the line. Padraig Martin came back with one from a Dunloy free, but Ward replied a minute later to put his team 1-1 to 0-2 ahead. Padraig Martin and Caolan McFerran came back with two more for the Cuchullains to leave just a point in it, but two more by Ward before the water break gave the Oisins a 1-3 to 0-3 advantage at the first water break.
The second slice of good fortune came just after the restart when a long range free by centre-back Niall Magee skidded off the hand of a Dunloy defender and ended up in the bottom corner of the net on 16 minutes. Dunloy came back with a goal of their own through Ryan Scott who drove a fierce shot to the Oisins net a minute later and they appeared to be in a good position, but Glenariffe hit the next six points to move nine clear. Corner forward Caolan McFerran pulled one back for Dunloy but the half ended with Callum McIlwaine, who had a great opening half, firing over to give his side a 2-10 to 1-4 lead at the break.
Dunloy had a lot of possession in the early stages of the second half but missed a couple of great chances for goals, which would have taken them back into the game. The did manage a couple of points from their best player on the night, Ben O’Kane, but once Phelim Ward got the Oisins first point of the new half they were back in business. Three from Ward, and one apiece from Oisin Mort, Orrin O’Connor, and Michael Fury were followed by a goal from O’Connor from an outrageously narrow angle on the left.
Ward added another point from a free before Oisin Mort and Michael Furey hit goals number 4 and 5. Dunloy came back with two more well taken points from Padraig Martin, but fittingly the last say went to team captain Phelim Ward who completed a great individual display with his tenth point of the game.