Cushendun hold out against Carey’s second half onslaught

Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship

Cushendun Emmet’s 2-14 Carey Faughs 0-19

Cushendun booked a semi-final meeting with Sarsfields when they held off a second half rally from Carey in Saturday’s final round robin game in the Intermediate Hurling Championship at CushLig an Airgid on Saturday afternoon.

Ahead by 1-11 to 0-6 at half time the Emmet’s stretched that advantage to eleven points when David Kilgore scored a brilliant goal eight minutes into the second period. The only thing in question appeared to be just how many they would win by, but slowly but surely they lost their grip on the game and in the 22 minutes of normal time that remained, plus the 6 minutes of injury time, they scored just a single point, and it came from a free. The swagger and style of the first half, and early second, was gone as the Faughs took control throughout the field.  In the end they were very relieved to hear match referee Mark O’Neill sound the final whistle.

The game was entertaining during the first half but it really caught fire as the Carey comeback gained momentum in the second. Cushendun will be very relieved to see off the challenge of their neighbours from the other side of the Vanishing Lake, but they will know that hurling for just forty minutes will not be enough to see of the challenge of Creggan when they meet in the semi-final in two weeks’ time.  

The Carey men will be pleased at their great effort in the second half but they will look back in anguish at what might have been and the chances they squandered during the first half display.

Cushendun started the first half playing some eye catching hurling and points from David Kilgore (2) and Thomas Scally had them three clear after seven minute. Conor McBride got Carey off the mark and had hard luck when a shot for a second point came back off the post, but he missed a few scoring chances he would normally convert, as indeed did James Rocket Black. Rocket did close the gap to just one but the Emmet’s were gaining the upper hand and three lovely points from Conlaoith ‘Loaf’ McNeill, plus one from Harry Kilgore saw them move 0-7 to 0-3 ahead.

With ten minutes of the opening half remaining Caolan McCaughan hit a great point over, off the inside of the upright, but a massive poc-out from goalkeeper Gareth McGhee caused confusion when it landed in on the Carey ‘square’ and  Dominic McQuillan guided it to the net. McBride was starting to find his range from frees and in the last five minutes he knocked over two more, one from a 65 but Loaf McNeill and Conor Bannon came back with scores for the home team to give them 1-11 to 0-6 half time lead.

The early stages of the second half saw Cushendun carry on where they left off as McKeegan and Kilgore pointed to stretch their advantage to ten. Carey came back with a couple of points of their own, but when Dominic McQuillan soloed through the middle and set up David Kilgore for a brilliantly taken goal, they were eleven clear and cruising.

Carey had other ideas however and slowly they began to gain a foothold in the game. Substitute Conlith McKinley was beginning to make his presence felt, and with McBride and Black beginning to hit their stride they clawed their way back. ‘Rocket’, McKinley and McBride began to reel off the points and with Paddy Gillan chipping in with one as well they hit ten in a row, to leave just a point between the sides.

Conor McHugh broke the run when he fired over a Cushendun free five minutes into injury time, his team’s first score in 27 minutes, but Conor McKinley came back with another for the visitors to leave just one in it again. The Emmet’s goalkeeper Gareth McGhee was called on to keep the enemy at bay with a couple of brave stops and Conrad McDonnell hit a well struck sideline ‘cut’ in around the Carey goals to ease the pressure. In the excitement of it all a lot of fans I spoke to afterwards felt that Carey needed another point to bring the game to extra time, but in fact that was never a possibility as this was the last of the round robin games, and the Faughs would have needed two more to see them through.


Gareth McGhee, Jack McKay, Sean McKay, Sean Hamilton, Calum Kilgore, Donal O’Hara, Thomas Scally, Conor Bannon, Dominic McQuillan, Harry Kilgore, Fintan McQuillan, Conlaoith McNeill, Colum McKeegan, Conor McHugh, David Kilgore


Daniel McBride, Eoin Hill, Sean McBride, Daniel Hill, Michael McVeigh, James McCouaig, Shea Hunter, James Black, Zach McCaughan, Fiachra McVeigh, John McBride, Sean McLoughlin, Conor McBride, Caoalan McCaughan, Patrick Gillan.

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