ACHL Division 2
Clooney Gaels 6-19 Oisin Glenariffe 0-17
The Glenariffe numbers on the team sheet bore little resemblance to the starting lineup as unbeaten Oisin’s travelled to third place Clooney Gaels on Wednesday night. If the number changes were meant to confuse the Ahoghill men it quite simply didn’t work and it was Clooney manager, Hugh Dobbin who got the match ups and the tactics right.
Playing with a fresh wind on their back the home side played some superb hurling throughout the hour and had put this one to bed by half time when they led by 4-12 to 0-6, their goals coming from Ronan Graham, James O’Connell, Donal Graham and PJ O’Connell.
The expected response from the Waterfoot side in the second half never materialised and while they did add 11 points to their first half total they never looked like getting back into contention as the Gaels continued to dictate matters and added further goals from James O’Connell and Eoin Graham.
Playing up the slope and into the wind, it was previously unbeaten Oisin’s who took the lead when Alex O’Boyle pointed a second minute free but points from Ronan Graham and James O’Connell had the home side ahead with three minutes gone and it was a lead they would not again lose.
The home defence began to get on top with Dan O’Neill doing a fine job in containing Caolan O’Connor and James ‘Bobby’ Magee and Fionnbar O’Neill turning everything that came their way.
Donal Graham, PJ O’Connell, Fionnbar O’Neill with a massive point from 70 meters, James O’Connell and Eoin Graham had the home side 0-7 to 0-2 ahead after 14 minutes with both Glenariffe points coming from Alex O’Boyle frees.
Clooney Gaels were sending intelligent ball into their two man full-forward line of the O’Connell brothers, James and PJ and it was Ronan Graham who fired home his sides opening goal in the 14th minute to open the floodgates.
James O’Connell (21 minutes), Donal Graham (23minutes) and PJ O’Connell with a deft overhead flick in the 25th minute put their side in total control as Alex O’Boyle continued to provide his side’s only scoring threat.
O’Boyle contributed five of his side’s first half points (all frees) with their only other point of the opening half coming from Daniel Haughey.
The travelling support were probably hoping for better as the second half got underway and Glenariffe did hit the opening point from Brogan O’Connor but Clooney Gaels replied through James and PJ O’Connell and when James O’Connell drilled his shot low to the Glenariffe net in the 8th minute they had extended their lead to 22 points.
A minute later Eoin Graham got a touch to a dropping ball to divert it past Seanan McToal for goal number six and it was an exercise of damage limitation after this for the visitors, who to their credit kept battling against impossible odds.
Caolan O’Connor, Seanie McIntosh, Kieran McKendry 0-2 and O’Connor again from a ’65 brought their total to 0-12 by the 22nd minute but Clooney Gaels were always able to respond as James O’Connell 0-2, Eoin Graham, PJ O’Connell and James again fired over at the road end.
Oisins emptied their bench and they finished strongly with points from Brogan O’Connor, Alex O’Boyle, Patrick McIlwaine, Conor Patterson and Seanie McIntosh but it was too little, too late and it is Clooney Gael who close the gap to two points behind Cushendun, who have played a game more and tonight’s opponents Oisins, who still remain in top spot.
Clooney Gaels: 1, Francis Neeson, 7 Dan O’Neill, 3 Bobby Magee, 4 Diarmaid Graham, 5 Fionnbar O’Neill, 6 Bernard Graham, 22 Ryan McPeake, 8 Eamonn Brady, 19 Owen Neeson, 10, Ronan Graham, 11 Eoin Graham, 12 Patrick Graham, 13 PJ O’Connell, 14 Donal Graham, 25 James O’Connell
Oisin Glenariffe: 1 Seanan McToal, 2 Michael Haughey, 3 Odhran Gillan, 4 Kieran McKendry, 5 Niall Murray, 6 Cathal McDonnell, 7 Kevin McDonnell, 8 Daniel Haughey, 9 aaron Cosgrove, 10 Conor Patterson, 11 Oliver Kearney, 12 Caolan O’Connor, 13 Brogan O’Connor, 14 Alex O’Boyle, 15 Patrick McIlwaine, 17 Seanie McIntosh, 16 Conor Patterson, 19 Ben O’Boyle, 20 Ciaran Black, 21 Ciaran Farrell, 23 Daniel Kearney, 24 Mairtin McAllister, 25 Ronan Leech
Referee: Ray Matthews (Rossa)