Loaf hat-trick paves the way to Emmet’s victory

Andersonstown SC IHC semi-final

Cushendun  5-15 Glenariffe 2-16

Pics by Sean Paul McKillop and Micky Morgan 

A hat-trick from Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill paved the way for an Emmet’s Cushendun victory over Oisin Glenariffe in this Andersonstown SC IHC semi-final in Cushendall on Saturday. McNeill hit his first when he drilled a 25 meter free to the Oisin’s net in the 25th minute and went on to add two more in the second half as his side booked their place in the final against Cloney Gaels in two weeks-time.

In a high scoring and entertaining encounter, Cushendun had the upper hand for most of the contest but in the end it was McNeill’s goals that were to prove the difference and matters boiled over deep into injury time with an unsavoury incident that saw four players get their marching orders.

The early exchanges were fairly even with Conlaoth McNeill giving the Emmet’s the lead from a pointed free in the opening minute and Sean McIntosh and Michael O’Boyle replying for the Waterfoot side before McNeill brought matters all square again from a 7th minute free

The Oisins were enjoying the better of the exchanges at this stage and Alex O’Boyle put them ahead for the second time from a sublime sideline cut and after Calum Kilgore fired over the equaliser, O’Boyle repeated his earlier piece of magic from another sideline cut.

Slowly though the division 1 basement side began to get to grips as Conor Bannon and Calum Kilgore replied with points and two more Alex O’Boyle pointed frees for Glenariffe brought a Cushendun response from Conor Bannon, David Kilgore and a pointed free from talisman, McNeill.

An Oliver Kearney point brought another reply from a Conlaoth McNeill free but when Seamus McDonnell’s shot was deflected to the net for an Oisin’s goal things looked to be swinging in favour of the Waterfoot men.

Seanie McIntosh added a point to move the Oisin’s 1-8 to 0-8 ahead and the Oisin’s side looked to be heading to the break in the lead but ‘Loaf’ McNeill replied from another pointed free before drilling a free to the Glenariffe net.

Before their opponents had time to recover Conor McHugh fired home a second goal for the Emmet’s with Alex O’Boyle replying with the final point of the half in injury time to leave Cushendun 2-10 to 1-9 ahead at the break with all still to play for in the second half.

 Oisins needed a good start to the second half but in the event it was the men in green and black who struck a decisive opening score with David Kilgore getting their third goal with only a minute of the new half gone.

Alex O’Boyle and Calum Kilgore exchanged a couple of points each by the 40th minute as the game continued to flow at a blistering pace and when Seanie McIntosh raced through for a great individual goal for Oisin’s in the 44th minute it was back in the melting pot.

Alex O’Boyle added a point as the Glenariffe comeback gathered pace, much to the delight of their support but a Conlaoth McNeill goal in the 49th minute swung the momentum back in favour of Cushendun.

Loaf found space at the far post and drilled his shot low to the Glenariffe net and when he completed his hat-trick with a carbon copy of his previous goal with 8 minutes of normal time remaining it was as good as over.

Alex O’Boyle, who carried the Oisin’s greatest scoring threat, replied with two pointed frees and another from play by the 55th minute but these were merely consolation scores at this stage of the game and it was Emmet’s who finished on the front foot.

Calum Kilgore, and Pearse Bannon replied with points with Loaf McNeill opting to take a point from a penalty deep in injury time before a game that had been simmering boiled over in injury time with the Oisin’s receiving three Red cards and a Cushendun player joining them on a second yellow.

The Emmet’s now meet Cloney Gaels in the final in two weeks-time and it promises to be a real cracker with the Ahoghill side hitting 4-16 in their semi-final win over St. Gall’s on Friday night and the Cloney men have a win over the Emmet’s in the opening game of the group qualifiers.

Cushendun: 1 Gareth Magee, 2 Sean Hamilton, 3 Aidan Corbett, 4 Jack McKay, 5 Tom Scally, 6 Donal O’Hara, 7 Oisin McMahon,  8 Matthew McCartin,  9 Conor McHugh,10 Conlaoth McNeill, 11 Harry Kilgore, 12 Calum Kilgore, 13 Conror Bannon, 14 David Kilgore, 15 John V Morgan

Oisin’s: 1 Paul McMullan, 2 Michael Haughey, 3 Niall Murray, 4 Daniel Kearney, 5 Donal Kearney, 6 David Kearney, 7 Conor Robert Patterson, 8 Alex O’Boyle, 9 Odhran Gillan, 10 Michael Gettens, 11 Caolan O’Connor, 12 Michael O’Boyle, 13 Oliver Kearney, 14 Seamus McDonnell, 15 Seanie McIntosh, 16 Seanan McToal, 17 Paul McDonnell, 18 Aaron Cosgrove, 19 Shea McDonnell, 20 Shane O’Connor, 21 Randal McDonnell, 22 Ciaran Farrell, 23 Ciaran Black, 24 Ben O’Boyle, 25 Daniel McAuley

Referee: Colum Cunning (Dunloy)

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