Intermediate Hurling Championship, Round two
St Paul’s 2-8 Glenariffe Oisins 4-12
Despite conceding 2-1 in the final five minutes the Oisins had too much fire power for St Paul’s when the sides met in Round 2 of the Intermediate Hurling Championship at Shaw’s Road on Saturday evening. After leading by 1-9 to 0-4 at half time the Oisins pushed on the second period and three goals put them well clear. However St Paul’s came with a late run and two goals inside a minute left a few of the Glenariffe followers a little anxious, but they soon steadied the ship again to push on and get their first win of the campaign.
Playing with a strong wind at their backs in the opening half the Glensmen, who were short a few regulars through injury and suspensions, picked off the points through Coalan O’Connor (2), Conrad McDonnell, Seanie McIntosh and Daniel Kearney to lead 0-5 to 0-0 after eleven minutes. Caolan Crossan opened the St Paul’s account with a point in the twelfth minute, but the visitors came back with further points from O’Connor and McIntosh to go 0-7 to 0-1 clear at the end of the opening quarter.
St Paul’s were creating chances but their shooting into the difficult wind was letting them down, but points by Caolan Crossan and Caolan Duffin kept them in touch until man of the match Caolan O’Connor cut through for the first goal of the game on 24 minutes, and the Oisins reached half time with a 1-9 to 0-4 advantage.
With the wind at their backs in the second half St Paul’s started promisingly and Stephen Rooney sent over a massive free from inside his own half. Things were looking better for the Belfast side when Marcus Munce cut in along the endline and went for goal, but the Oisins keeper Seanan McToal was equal to the shot and the danger was cleared. Lorcan Phillips did add a point with a fine left sided strike soon afterward and the gap was down to six but the Oisins finally opened their second half account when substitute Dan McKillop fired home a goal from a rebound and from then on things went a lot smoother. Substitute Alex O’Boyle, who had not started because of a niggling injury, came on and was immediately into the action, showing great bravery to pull a ground shot to the net, but the ace forward was injured in a collision with the St Paul’s goalkeeper in doing so and had to be brought back off again. A great solo score from Marcus Munce saw St Paul’s get a point back but game was ended as a contest when Caolan O’Connor grabbed his team’s fourth goal, and though St Paul’s came back with two goals inside a minute late in the game, the Oisins ended with late points from Dan McKillop and Aaron Cosgrove.
The first step in their recovery of the Oisins, but it is a long road ahead for the Glenariffe men. They have a home game against neighbours Con Magees next time out, before ending their campaign back in Belfast where they take on Sarsfields in the Bear Pit. As for St Paul’s that would appear to be the end of the road for this season, especially with Sarsfields and Creggan still to come.