Cuchullains maintain unbeaten run

Bathshack Senior Hurling Championship – Group 1

Dunloy 0-31 Rossa 1-17

Saturday 19 August

Brendan McTaggart reports from Naomh Eanna

Dunloy made it two from two in this years’ senior hurling championship as they swept aside the challenge of Rossa at Naomh Eanna. It was an accomplished performance from the Cuchullains who’s figures continued to impress at the end of the hour. Five subs made with 10 different scorers. 20 points from open play with three of their subs getting on the scoresheet before referee Darren McKeown called time.

It was another performance where the Cuchullains went through the gears when they needed to with ruthless efficiency.  Rossa gave them their fill of it in the first half and starved Dunloy of time and space in the danger areas for large periods of the opening 30 minutes.  Their hunger and physicality in possession was coupled with moments of brilliance from Dara Rocks and Thomas Morgan in attack, the Shaws Road men gave Dunloy plenty to think about but playing with the breeze in the second half, Dunloy pulled away.  Eight unanswered scores in the space of 10 minutes in the second half put daylight between the sides and Dunloy never looked behind them.

Gerard Walsh’s brilliant goal in the closing stages proved to be the only goal of the game but it was a goal to grace any game in the country.  Over 20 yards from Ryan Elliott’s goal, Walsh struck the sliotar with top spin that dipped viciously and into the bottom corner of Elliott’s goal.  Walsh would finish top of the scorers list for Rossa while there were telling contributions from Dominic McEnhill and Morgan.

11 of Coby Cunning’s 15 points came from placed ball in a flawless performance from the Dunloy free taker that saw him at his mesmeric best from frees – 11 chances and 11 white flags and a performance that saw him playing more around the middle third of the field.  The Elliott brothers, Seaan and Nigel split seven points between them before coming off late in the game while the half back line of the Cuchullains was imperious with their reading of the game and distribution into attack.

The Cuchullains seemed content to rack up the points in the second half with many of their scores coming from further out the pitch.  Ryan McGarry’s two monster points and a free from Coby that was well inside his own half a highlight for the Cuchullains who never really threatened Matthew Devlin’s goal.

Rossa had a couple of chances for goal with Thomas Morgan going close at the start of the second half.  The angle was against him but he was close enough to Ryan Elliott’s goal only for Phelim Duffin to make an outstanding block just when the Rossa livewire was about to pull the trigger.  Owen May will look at his 54th minute point when they look back at this game and feel a tinge of regret that he didn’t go for goal.  Receiving the sliotar no-one in the Hightown Road pitch could believe the space he had found himself in, but he elected to go for a point.

It mattered little over the hour as Dunloy looked to be in cruise control for the second half.  Their ability to find a man off the shoulder, offering support at pace and breaking defensive lines compelling during that 10 minute period of the second half.  Eight points in ten minutes and six of those from play, a devastating period of play that ensured the championship points were going back up the M2 to Pearse Park.

Both sides turn their attention to the senior football championship with Dunloy hosting Creggan next Sunday in a match that will decide who tops the group while Rossa travel to Randalstown to face Tir na nOg on Friday evening with their fate very much still in their own hands.


Dunloy: Ryan Elliott; Phelim Duffin, Conor McKinley, Conor Kinsella; Eamon Smyth, Kevin Molloy, Ryan McGarry; Paul Shiels, Eoin McFerran; Keelan Molloy, Gabriel McTaggart, Seaan Elliott; Nigel Elliott, Conal Cunning, Eoin O’Neill

Blood sub: Chrissy McMahon for N Elliott (35 – reversed 40)

Subs: Chrissy McMahon for G McTaggart (30); Deaglan Smith for Keelan Molloy (51); Oran Quinn for C Kinsella (51); Nicky McKeague for S Elliott (53); Ciaran Elliott for N Elliott (53)

Scorer: C Cunning 0-15 (11fs); S Elliott 0-4; N Elliott 0-3; R McGarry 0-2; P Shiels 0-2; Keelan Molloy 0-1; E O’Neill 0-1; D Smith 0-1; C McMahon 0-1; N McKeague 0-1

Rossa:  Matthew Devlin; Ciara Orchin, Chris McGuinness, Conal Shannon; Declan McCartney, Stephen Shannon, Pearse Short; Gerard Walsh, Eoin Trainor; Dominic McEnhill, Stephen Beatty, Aodhan O’Brien; Thomas Morgan, Eoghan McMenamin, Dara Rocks

Subs: Aidan Orchin for D McCartney (44); Owen May for D Rocks (51)

Scorers: G Walsh 1-4 (2fs, 1’65); D McEnhill 0-3; T Morgan 0-3; D Rocks 0-2; A O’Brien 0-2 (2fs); E McMenamin 0-1; S Beatty 0-1; O May 0-1

Referee: Darren McKeown (St Galls)

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