Rooney to the rescue as St Paul’s earn a share of the spoils

Antrim Hurling League – Division 2

St Paul’s 0-15 St Gall’s 0-15

A Stephen Rooney point from a 65 four minutes into injury time earned a share of the spoils for St Paul’s in Wednesday evening’s Division 2 league game against St Gall’s at Pairc Pól. A minute earlier Tomas O’Ciaran appeared to have snatched victory for the Milltown men when he hit two late points to edge his team ahead, but when the home side won a 65 soon afterwards Rooney kept his cool to send the ball between the post at the Shaw’s Road end to earn his team a share of the spoils.

To be honest it was probably a fair result overall, as neither team had stamped their authority on the game. Both had their periods of dominance but neither side could take full advantage of their dominant spells and St Gall’s will point to their eleven wides in the first half when should have made better use of the chances.

St Paul’s full forward Sean MacCorraidh raises his hurl in celebration after scoring St Paul’s goal early in the second half.

The opening quarter saw Tomas O’Ciaran ruling the roost for St Gall’s, hitting three points, and Patrick Friel one, as the visitors went 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after thirteen minutes, the St Paul’s points coming Caolan Crossan directly from a sideline ‘cut’ and the other from a free. Three on the trot for the home team from Finnegan, Duffin and Grego put them a point ahead, but two more from O’Ciaran and one from Marcus Donnelly restored St Gall’s advantage. Two from centre back Rooney and another from Crossan, in reply to three more from O’Ciaran gave St Gall’s a one point advantage at the half time whistle. 0-8 to 0-9.

Another O’Ciaran point from a free early in the second half put two between the sides, but when St Paul’s full forward Sean O’Corraidh connected on a high ball on the edge of the St Gall’s square it flew past the visitors’ goalkeeper Kurtis McGreevey. A lovely sharp lift and strike by Niall Peoples increased St Paul’s lead but good work at the other end by Mark Napier saw him pop a little hand pass out to Fergus Donnelly who crashed the ball home from close range.

Mark Napier celebrates after scoring St Gall’s goal

St Paul’s hit back again and with five minutes to go they were three to the good and appeared to be on course for the win. However points from Jack Hpokins, Mark Napier and Dubaltach MacLaim brought St Gall’s back to within one. When Tomas O’Ciaran sent over the equalising point from a free that seemed to be that, until the right half forward won possession from the poc-out and put his team ahead.

St Paul’s were in a spot of bother but Rooney came to their rescue with a great strike from a 65 to earn his team a much need share of the points

Tomas O’Ciaran sends over a late point for St Gall’s but Stephen Rooney equalised for St Paul’s

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