McGarry’s late point snatches victory for Dunloy

Under 15 A Hurling Final

Dunloy 3-9 St Enda’s 2-11

A pointed free five minutes into injury time from Dunloy midfielder James McGarry gave the Cuchullains victory over St Enda’s by the closest of margins in Tuesday evening’s Under 15 A Hurling final at Dunsilly. In a game played in dreadful conditions it appeared that the Glengormley boys had brought the game to extra time when left half forward Shea Bell sent over the equalising point in the fourth minute of added time, but there was still time left on the clock, and when the Cuchullains were awarded another free McGarry, who had missed three in row before that, kept his cool to send the ball straight between the posts to seal the win.

Tony Chivers presents the Under 15 Championship cup on behalf of the county board to Dunloy captain Aaron Doherty after his team’s win over St Enda’s at Dunsilly

I can’t stress enough just how difficult conditions were for hurling as a strong diagonal wind made scoring almost impossible and it was fifteen minutes before Dunloy raised their first flag, despite an abundance of possession. St Enda’s had two on the board by stage as Shea Bell showed great skill from placed balls, but once Damian McMahon broke their duck the Dunloy scores began to flow more freely. Eunan Molloy brought Dunloy level thirty seconds later when he caught the poc-out and sent it back between the posts and three minutes later they went ahead when corner forward Daire Elliott cut in along the endline and drew the keeper and full back towards him before throwing the ball up and batting it down across the goal when Damian McMahon pulled it to the empty net.

Shea Bell pulled two points back from frees, but when Dunloy’s Daire Elliott struck for his team’s second goal it looked like the north Antrim side were gaining control. However following the poc-out from that goal St Enda’s went straight up the field and a brilliant solo run from midfielder Thomas Mooney split the Dunloy defence before placing Harry Feeney for a brilliantly taken goal. That cut the gap back to a single point and though McMahon struck for Dunloy to put two between the sides, Shea Bell hit back in injury time to leaves his team trailing by a single point at the break.

Damian McMahon celebrates after firing in Dunloy’s opening goal

St Enda’s drew level early in the second half when Shea Bell levelled from a free and they edged ahead when midfielder Harry Feeney added one from play. Despite conditions getting even worse the game continued at a high pace and the teams were level on two more occasions before Daire Elliott got in behind the St Enda’s defence and struck low left sided shot across the keeper and into to the back of the net. When McGarry added a point it looked like the Glengormely boys were losing touch, but following a good move the ball broke back out to corner forward Colum Kane who fired it back through a crowded goalmouth to the back the Dunloy net.

St Enda’s centre back Aaron Quinn shows his football skills as he clears the ball after losing his hurley

As the tension rose McGarry put Dunloy two ahead with another pointed free, but Kane sent one over from play and Bell levelled from a free as the game clock ticked nearer the hour mark. McGarry hit his third in a row as the game entered injury time and when Shea Bell levelled after four minutes of added time, extra time seemed likely. However there was still time for a winner and when McGarry was awarded another free the midfielder kept his cool to split the posts and spark scenes of great celebration for the Cuchullains, and abject dejection for the luckless St Enda’s side.

Dunloy’s James McGarry fires over the winning point in the fifth minute of injury time

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.