Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Group 1
Tir na nOg 1-22 St Gall’s 3-13
Ten points down early in the second half, Tir na nÓg battled their way back to beat St Gall’s by three in the end to book their place in the semi-final of the Intermediate Hurling Championship at Whitehill on Saturday afternoon.
For most of that opening half and a good portion of the second it looked like it would be the men from Milltown Row who would advance, and when Sean McAreavey put them ten clear with a quick goal and a point six minutes after the restart it looked like they were on the road to victory. However with free taker Sean Duffin keeping the scoreboard ticking over they began to edge their way back and when Duffin found the net on 38 minutes they edged closer and closer as the game went on. They were still behind with normal time almost up, but it was clear the tide had turned and they ended strongly to finish three points clear, 1-15 of their 1-22 total coming from Duffin.
It was Duffin who opened the Tir na nÓg account in the opening minute but they didn’t raise another flag for almost fifteen minutes at St Gall’s took control of the game. Mark Napier brought them level on two minutes and Jackson McGreevy put them ahead soon afterwards, before right half forward Cormac Sheehan got the first goal of the game. Sheehan added a point, Jackson McGreevy got another and when Dubaltach Mac Liam sent over a beauty from the wing they were 1-5 to 0-1 in front
It was fifteen minutes before Tir na nOg got their next score through Oggie McAllister and when Sean Duffin grabbed another from a 65 they appeared to be growing into the game. However when Jackson McGreevy got his team’s second goal St Gall’s were back in charge and they pushed on to lead by lead by double scores at half time.
The gap stayed at seven after Oggie McAllister and McGreevy exchanged points early in the second half, but when corner forward Sean McAreavey got on the end of a Jackson McGreevy cross, won possession before rounding his marker and firing to the net.
The gap was out at ten and the smart money was probably on St Gall’s to push on but Tir na nÓg, who struggled to findl any form up to this stage, began to win a bit more possession and slowly they began to close the gap. Points from Sean Duffin and Eamon Og McAllister cut the gap down to five by the 40th minute. McGreevy extended the St Gall’s lead to six but by the end of the third quarter the home team had closed to within four as Duffin and Darragh Eagan hit the target.
There then came a pivotal point in the game when second half substitute Leo Morgan was fouled in the large square and referee Fíonntan McCotter awarded a penalty. A goal now and St Gall’s would have been back in control, but McGreevy’s shot was easily stopped by Kevin Sheerin in the Randalstown goal, a save that visibly lifted the home side. As the game entered the last ten minutes Duffin sent over three more points, two from frees and on from play to close the gap to one. Twice McGreevey hit back to put two between the sides again but a strong finish which saw Oliver McAtamney grab a point from a narrow angle out on the left, two more from Duffin frees and one deep inurly time from Ciaran Logan saw the home side through with three to spare.
TIR NA NÓG
Kevin Sheerin, Brandon McLarnon, Christy Sheerin, Dara Martin, Ciaran O’Neill, Caoimhin Duffin, Ciaran O’Neill, Aaron McNeilly, Ciaran McKeown, Sean Duffin, Ciaran Logan, Eamon Og McAllister, Joe McCormick, Darragh Fagan, Kevin McCann.
Subs – Oliver McAtamney for Ciaran O’Neill
Curtis McGreevy, Daniel Churchill, Connla McCarthy, Ewan Rush, Gairech Mac Adhmaimh, Ryan Irivine, Cormac Sheehan, Dubaltach MacLiam, Cormac Sheehan, Niall O’Neill, Jeff FramptonPatrick Friel, Sean McAreavey, Jackson McGreevy, Mark Napier.
Referee – Fionntan McCotter