Ulster JHC Club semi-final
Shane O’Neill’s 1-20 Sean Treacy’s 0-12
Photographs: Bert Trowlen
Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm produced another strong performance at Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club in Dungannon today to overcome the challenge of a determined Sean Treacy’s, Lurgan to advance to the final of the Ulster Junior Club Hurling championship where they will play Setanta of Donegal in two weeks-time.
The Antrim champioins led 0-12 to 0-6 at half time thanks to late points from Darren Hamill and Kevin O’Boyle but looked in a bit of trouble early in the second half when Sean Treacy’s ace marksman, Danny Magee pointed a couple of early frees and Tam McKavanagh added another from play to close the gap to three points after 6 minutes.
It was as close as the Armagh champions got however and when Kieran O’Boyle kicked the sliotar to the Treacy’s net, three minutes later after being placed by Ciaran Magill, the Feystown side never looked back.
Both sides wasted opportunities during a nervous opening period before Darren Hamill got Glenarm off the mark from a 40 meter free in the 4th minute but Sean Treacy’s should have taken the lead when Michael Abram failed to come for a long searching delivery and Danny Magee’s flicked attempt sailed over when he might have had a goal.
A let-off for Shane O’Neill’s but they responded positively and points from Kevin O’Boyle, Liam Magill and a great long range effort from Dylan McLaughlin had them three in front with only 8 minutes played.
The tenacity and aggression of the Lurgan side was allowing their opponents little time on the ball and the Armagh side replied through a Danny Magee free and the corner forward would play a big part in keeping his side in the game.
Still the Feystown side looked to be gaining control as Sean O’Boyle, Ciaran Magill and Darren Hamill from a free moved the Glenarm men 0-9 to 0-3 ahead by the 19th minute with Magee getting his third of the contest from another free.
The little corner-forward added another from a 50 meter free as his side fought to get themselves into contention but a great Niall McGarel point from near the touchline kept the gap at six with 24 minutes gone. Once again Magee replied with his fifth and sixth points to close the gap to four after 27 minutes and the number 15 was keeping his side in contention almost single handed.
Shane O’Neill’s once again found a response however as Darren Hamill directed a long range free between the uprights and Kevin O’Boyle added another from play as the game moved into time added on to leave the Antrim champions 0-12 to 0-6 ahead at the short whistle.
It was the men from Lurgan who came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half, determined to rein in the Glenarm lead with marksman supreme, Danny Magee taking his personal tally for the evening to 0-8 (7 frees) and when Tam McKavanagh followed with an excellent point from play we looked to have a game on our hands.
The men in blue refused to panic as Kevin O’Boyle replied with an equally impressive point and when Ciaran Magill released Kieran O’Boyle with an astute hand pass the big mid-fielder kicked his shot to the net despite being closed down by three opponents.
It was to prove a turning point in the game and despite the fact that there was still over 20 minutes to play the Armagh side never again looked like getting back into contention though they fought with great determination and never gave up the challenge.
McGarel and Hamill added to the Glenarm total with the impressive Magee keeping the Sean Treacy’s total on the increase with one from a free and another from play in the 17th minute before Tiarnan McKavanagh became the Lurgan men’s third scorer with 8 minutes of normal time remaining.
It was to be their final score of the game as Shane O’Neill’s pressed home their advantage going down the home straight as Kevin O’Boyle placed Niall McGarel for a good score before Caolan McCann pulled off a superb save to deny Ciaran Magill.
Glenarm went looking for goals at this stage and it was the turn of Kane Laverty to turn away a Magill rocket with Hamill converting the resulting ‘65’ before McGarel concluded the scoring with another impressive point from the right hand touchline.
Another excellent performance from the men from Feystown as they advance to an Ulster final against Setanta in two weeks-time and on today’s showing they will take some beating though the Donegal champions are likely to provide them with a serious challenge.
Ben O’Boyle came in to replace Declan McDermott in the only change from last week’s starting line-up with Daniel Black dropping back to do a superb job at centre-half and O’Boyle fitting seamlessly into mid-field.
The Glenarm defence was solid and uncompromising throughout while Darren Hamill, Niall McGarel, Ciaran Magill and Kevin O’Boyle were best in an attack that carried a real scoring threat in every department.
Shane O’Neill’s: 1 Michael Abram, 25 Conal Ward, 3Barry Hamill, 4 Liam Og McKaughan, 5 Padraig McDermott, 8 Daniel Black 7 Aidan Scullion, 18 Ben O’Boyle, 9 Kieran O’Boyle, 10 Sean O’Boyle, 11 Darren Hamill, 12 Dylan McLaughlin, 13 Kevin O’Boyle, 14 Liam Magill, 15 Niall McGarel,
Sean Treacy’s: 1 Caolaqn McCann, 2 Marcus Magee, 3 Odhran McCann, 4Barry McDonald, 5 Mark Hamilton, 6 Rory Shine, 7 Ryan Stewart, 8 Tam McKavanagh, 9 Kane Laverty, 10 Reece Magee, 11 Michael Doran, 12 Tiarnan McKavanagh, 13 Anthony Carvill, 14Raymond Daly, 15 Danny Magee.
Subs: Patrick Scullion, Neil Corey, Stephen Holloway
Referee: Barry Winters (Tyrone)