Devlin’s late points keeps the Biddies on top

ACHL Division 3

Shane O’Neill’s 0-16 St. Brigid’s 1-15

Mickey Devlin pointed a free and struck another from play to earn St. Brigid’s Cloughmills a narrow victory over a battling Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm in Feystown on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten run at the top of division 3.

They were pushed all the way by a battling Glenarm side who will feel they could have something from this highly entertaining and very competitive battle of two well matched sides.

It was Shane O’Neill’s who enjoyed the better of the opening half and they took a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after 10 minutes with points from Niall McGarel, Ciaran Magill and Ben O’Boyle from a sideline cut. Cloughmills had been slow to settle but they began to find their range and Rian Dobbin, James Doherty and a couple from Mickey Devlin saw them hit the front with15 minutes gone.

Ciaran Magill edged the Feystown side ahead once more but it was short lived as Corey Blair out-muscled his marker at the other end to beat Michael Abram from close range and move the visitors 1-4 to 0-5 ahead with nine minutes remaining to the break.

The home side responded positively as they went on to dominate the closing stages of the first half as Liam Mulvenna, Daniel Black, Niall McGarel, Ciaran Magill and a spectacular long range point from Darren Hamill saw them move 0-10 to 1-4 ahead at the short whistle.

As the sides changed ends it was Shane O’Neill’s who had the bit firmly between their teeth with Aidan Scullion adding a great point and Ciaran Magill followed with another to move them five in front and the league leaders looked in a bit of trouble.

They replied with points from James Doherty and another from a Mickey Devlin free but Glenarm came back with a point from a ‘65’ by Ciaran Magill to edge four ahead again as the visitors introduced Stephen Smith for Corey Blair.

Slowly Cloughmills began to wrestle control from the home side as Ruairi Laverty and Mickey Devlin from another free cut the gap to two but Shane O’Neill’s continued to look dangerous as the excellent Niall McGarel replied at the other end in the 13th minute.

St. Brigid’s were coming more and more into contention at this stage however and they hit three unanswered points through Liam Kearns, a massive point from Mickley Devlin from 60 meters, and another great point from Ruairi Laverty to move one in front with 11 minutes remaining.

Both sides introduced subs at this stage with Chris Matthews replacing Sean O’Hare in the Glenarm side and Gary McCollum coming in for James Doherty for the visitors.

A draw looked a distinct possibility as Ciaran Magill levelled matters with four minutes remaining but Mickey Devlin became the St. Brigid’s hero as he pointed a free and struck another from play to claim the points for the Biddies to keep them in top after four rounds of games.

Shane O’Neill’s: 1 Michael Abram, 2 Aidan O’Neill, 3 Barry Hamill, 4 Conal Ward, 5 Daniel Black, 6 Darren Hamill, 7 Declan McDermott, 8 Ben O’Boyle, 9 Kieran O’Boyle, 10 Liam Mulvenna, 11 Aidan Scullion, 12 Niall McGarel, 13 Kevin O’Boyle, 14 Ciaran Magill, 15 Sean O’Hare. Chris Matthews for Sean O’Hare

St. Brigid’s: 1 Chris McKiernan, 2 Aaron McGuckian, 3 Sean McKendry, 4 Seosamh MacGabhann, 14 Reece Watt, 6 Conor Laverty, 7 Stephen Martin, 8 Geoffery Og Laverty, 9 Ruairi Laverty, 10 Eoin Dobbin, 11 Michael Devlin, 12 Rian Dobbin, 13 James Doherty, 19 Corey Blair, 15 Liam Kearns, Subs: 17 Stephen Smith for Corey Blair, Gary McCollum for James Doherty, Johnny Duffin for Stephen Martin

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