Johnnies set up Cushendall show-down

Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship Group 2

St John’s 2-30 Naomh Éanna 0-14

Paul McIntyre reports from Rossa Park

St John’s made it two wins from two outing in this year’s Bathshack Antrim senior hurling championship after seeing off Naomh Éanna with minimal fuss at Rossa Park.

The Johnnies showed their ruthless streak from the first minute and didn’t let up over the hour. They can now look forward to a winner takes all cash with Cushendall in two weeks’ time. The victors of this clash will head straight to the semi-finals with the loser facing a quarter-final against the third-place finishers of group one.

The only downside for the Johnnies were injuries picked up by Aidan McMahon and Michael Dudley.

McMahon took a bang to the knee and was helped off the park just before half-time while Dudley took a blow to the head which forced his withdrawal in the 56th minute. Their names now are being entered to a growing injury list that already includes Conal Bohill and Domhnall Nugent.

On the plus side, Conor Morgan made a return to action for St John’s after a year’s absence with an ACL injury.

Naomh Éanna battled gamely for the sixty plus minutes but any ideas of a championship upset were quickly put to bed as three Oisin MacManus scores in as many minutes gave those in attendance a taste of what was to come.

Niall and Luke O’Connor helped to steam the flow, but by the time Cormac Jennings landed Naomh Éanna’s third point of the evening, St John’s had already amassed nine with MacManus helping himself to a further three points.

It got worse for the Glengormley outfit in the twentieth minute when Conor Johnston’s long ball was flicked to the net by the on-rushing Ruairi Galbraith, and before half-time Michael Dudley and Padraig Nugent also got their names on the scoresheet to help their side to a 1-15 to 0-7 lead.

Bradley quickly claimed a second point on the resumption before Dudley gave Martin Curran in the Naomh Éanna goal no chance with a scorching drive from close range.

Dudley and Bradley added to their totals as Aaron Bradley and Conor Johnston got their first scores of the evening and just seven minutes into the second half, St John’s lead by twenty points, 2-21 to 0-7.

Naomh Éanna battled gamely and efforts from Philip Curran, Jennings and Niall O’Connor helped them to get off the mark in the second half while at the other end Curran saved well to deny Dudley a second goal.

But the last word was left to Aaron Bradley in the final minute as his point wrapped up an impressive twenty-two-point win.

Teams & Scorers:

St John’s: Declan Cregan, Aidan McMahon, Ryan McNulty, Odhran Carleton, Peter McCallin, Padraig Nugent (0-1), Ciaran Johnston, Andy McGowan (0-1), Michael Dudley (1-3), Aaron Bradley (0-3), Conor Johnston (0-1), Michael Bradley (0-4), Oisin MacManus (0-12 7f 1 ‘65’), Shea Shannon (0-2), Ruairi Galbraith (1-3).

Replacements: Conor Morgan for McMahon (26), Ciaran McKenna for McCallin (41), Stephen Tierney Dudley (56).

Naomh Eánna: Martin Curran, Ruairi Diamond, Rian Gillen, Niall O’Connor (0-2), Joe Maskey, Philip Curran (0-1), Cormac Ross, Owen Kennedy, Luke O’Connor (0-2 1f), Ruairi Donaghy, Manus Mullan (0-1), Cormac Jennings (0-7 5f), Niall McGivern, Diarmuid Maguire, Eoin Conlon.

Replacements: Killian Jennings (0-1) for Maguire (28), Michael McGivern for N McGivern (HT).

Referee: Mr Mark O’Neill.

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