The Town hold on in tight finish to set up quarter final meeting with Rossa.

Bathshack Senior Hurling – Round robin 3

Ballycastle 2-21 St Enda’s 3-17

Ballycastle booked their place in the quarter final of the Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship when beat St Enda’s on Sunday in their last group game at Pairc MacUillin.

It might not have been the highest standard we have seen over the weekend but this game was well contested and produced a series of top class scores, with the outcome in the balance right up to the final seconds.  

Ronan ‘Rambo’ McCarry got the first score of the game inside ten seconds when he won possession at the throw-in and soloed through to split the posts, but quick points from Conor Bradley and Cormac Jennings had St Enda;s ahead two minutes later. McAuley and McCarry sent over points to put the home team ahead but Ronan Eager, Cormac Ross and Niall O’Connor all pointed to turn things in their favour,

Naomh Eanna had gained the upper hand and were a few points ahead when Ballycastle corner forward Aaron Mooney got in behind their defence and fired an angled drive low to the net and the home team pushed on lead by 1-9 to 0-11 at the half time whistle.

Ballycastle started the second half strongly, and with goalkeeper Ryan McGarry landing his poc-outs down in the danger area they started to create chances.

 Corner forward Tiernan Smyth opened the second period with two lovely points from the narrowest of angles on the left, and after James McShane added one from 40 meters, Smthy came with a third one from the centre, which just flashed over the bar. Cormac Jennings and Seamus McAuley exchanged points to keep the Town five ahead and everything appeared to be going smoothly for the home side, but St Enda’s Joe Maskey turned the game on its head when he doubled overheard on a dropping ball and sent it to the Ballycastle net. Two more superb points from Smyth and one from Eoin McAlonan restored the Town’s five point cushion, but Naomh Eanna corner forward Conor Bradley got in for a second goal. Lorcan Donnelly came back with a point for Ballycastle, but St Enda’s appeared to have taken control when John McGoldrick got his team’s third goal to bring them level. Points from Luke and Niall O’Connor gave the Glengormley men a two point cushion with just seven minutes of normal time left to play, and it looked like Ballycastle’s championship campaign was grinding to a halt.

However full forward Ciaran Butler, who had been largely quiet up to this stage, suddenly found another gear and he collected a ball on the edge of a ‘ruck’ and cut through to fire it to the net. Tiernan Smyth hit his sixth point of the second half, once again from an outrageous angle, before Butler sent over a point.

St Enda’s kept coming back however and late points from corner back Dairmuid Maguire and Eddie O’Connor left just a single point between the sides. Butler completed his little cameo with another excellent point, and though St Enda’s had the last point of the game from a 65 that was as close as they got and Ballycastle survived to set up a quarter final meeting with Rossa in two weeks time.

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