Awesome O’Neill’s sweep aside Carrickmacross challenge

Ulster Junior Hurling club Championship

Carrickmacross 1-12 Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm 4-27

Shane O’Neill’s, Glenarm produced a performance of awesome scoring power and intensity to sweep aside the challenge of Monaghan champions, Carrickmacross in the quarter-final of the Ulster Junior Hurling club championship in Inniskeen today.

The Antrim champions were slow to start and actually fell behind twice in the opening 4 minutes but once they got going Carrickmacross had little answer to their pace and movement and by half time the Feystown side held a fairly substantial 8 point lead despite having played into a stiff breeze.

Keeper, Eamon Collins gave the Monaghan side the lead when he pointed a long range free in the second minute but Glenarm replied immediately and Niall McGarel raced clear for a splendid goal with only four minutes gone.

Naill McGarel wheels away in celebration afer scoring Glenarm’s opening goal

The home side hit the front again for the second and last time in the game when a long range free from Oran Kieran sailed all the way to the Glenarm net with keeper Michael Abram seeming to lose site of the sliothar as it dropped out of the blinding sun.

Two minutes later Ciaran Magill, who was to have a massive influence at full-forward levelled matters with a point and Darren Hamill followed from a ‘65’ to move the Antrim men ahead before Rowan McMahon levelled the contest for the second time with Carrickmacross’ first point from play.

The intensity of the Glenarm men and their ability to close down the opposition and deny them time and space was starting to tell and Darren Hamill was first to react as McGarel challenged Eamon Collins for a dropping ball and the Glenarm captain fired to the net in the 10th minute.

At this stage Carrickmacross were still hanging in there as their free taker, Oran Kieran pointed from 40 meters but Hamill replied again from a 45 meter free and Magill added his second point when he gathered a great save from Collins, to deny Hamill before sending over.

The pressure was starting to pay dividends as Darren Hamill raced through the Carrickmacross defence and rode a couple of heavy tackles before blasting his shot past Collins for Glenarm’s third goal after 15 minutes and already it was looking ominous for the men in green.

The slick movement and passing of the Antrim champions continued to produce opportunities as Daniel Black pointed after another fine save from the excellent Eamon Collins and Kevin O’Boyle followed with another in response to a point from the long striking Kiernan for the home side.

It provided only temporary respite as Dylan McLaughlin, Darren Hamill and Niall McGarel added to the ever increasing Shane O’Neill’s total and Hamill had the last point of the half from a ‘65’ following another splendid stop from Eamon Collins who was performing heroics to keep his side in the game.

With the wind now at their back and holding an 8 point lead it was difficult to see anything but a resounding win for the Feystown side and Daniel Black increased their lead with a point on the restart but they had to be thankful to their keeper, Michael Abram who pulled off a good save to deny Brian Finn as Carrickmacross briefly threatened.

Oran Kiernan pointed the resulting ‘65’ but Glenarm replied with a good point from the lively Ciaran Magill before Darren Hamill fired home his third goal of the game to move his side 4-12 to 1-9 ahead with only 7 minutes of the new half gone.

Things got worse for the Monaghan champions when they lost their free taker and best player, Oran Kiernan to a straight Red and Shane O’Neill’s began to turn the screw with a fine exhibition of point taking.

Hamill from a 60 meter free, Dylan McLaughlin 0-2, Sean O’Boyle 0-3 and Ciaran Magill 0-7, Darren Hamill, Kevin O’Boyle and Niall McGarel were all on target with Carrickmacross replying with a couple of consolation pointed frees from Jamie Guinan.

Both sides emptied their benches with Rory Mulvenna and Sean O’Hare getting a run out for the Antrim champions who now face Sean Treacy’s next Sunday in the semi-final following the Armagh side’s 5-12 to 1-12 win over Coothill Celtic at Breffni Park today.

Sean Treacy’s are likely to provide the Feystown side with a much stiffer test than a limited Carrickmacross produced today but on this form Pat O’Neill and Kevin Mulvenna’s men will be hard to beat and with home advantage next Sunday I would expect them to progress to the final.

Darren Hamill fires in his team’s fourth goal early in the second half

Carrickmacross: 1 Eamon Collins, 25 Niall Bermingham, 3 Ciaran Guinan, 4 Lee Butler, 5 Ryan Nelson, 6 Oran Kiernan, 7 Jack Guinan, 8 Jamie Guinan, 9 Stephen Corrigan, 11 Brian Finn, 12 Eoghan Hoey, 13 Rowan McMahon, 15 Niall Keenan, 19 Darragh Waters, 21 Ciaran Slevin, 26 Michael Maguire, 27 Daithi Butler, 29 Aodhan Browne, 2 Darragh Cassidy.

Glenarm: 1 Michael Abram, 25 Conal Ward, 3 Barry Hamill, 4 Liam Og McCaughan, 5 Padraig McDermott, 6 Declan McDermott, 7 Aidan Scullion, 8 Daniel Black, 9 Kieran O’Boyle, 10 Sean O’Boyle, 11 Darren Hamill, 12 Dylan McLaughlin, 13 Kevin O’Boyle, 14 Ciaran Magill, 15 Niall McGarel

Glenarm manager Pat ‘Boone’ O’Neill

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