Biddies pip Rovers in entertaining final

Casement SC JHC Final

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills 1-12 Glen Rovers Armoy 0-13

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills overcame the challenge of Glen Rovers Armoy to collect the Junior Hurling Championship in a robust and entertaining encounter in Waterfoot on Saturday.

Despite the heavy rain that fell for most of the morning the Oisin CLG pitch was in good order as these two deadly rivals commenced the battle for Junior Championship glory.

There was little between the sides throughout but the sending off of Armoy’s Colin Lordan in the 31st minute of the first half, following an off the ball incident and a goal from Liam Kearns, 9 minutes into the second had a major influence on the eventual outcome.

Mickey Devlin pointed Cloughmills into an early lead but Turlach McBride replied from a ‘65’ before Chris McKiernan in the St. Brigid’s goals made an excellent save to deny Owen Kinney.

McBride edged Armoy ahead from the resulting ‘65’ but Ruairi Laverty replied for the ‘Biddies’ to tie the contest with 10 minutes gone.

A great point from Trevor Linton saw the Glen Rovers hit the front for the second time and Eamonn McCaughan followed with another before Ruairi Laverty responded with his second of the contest to leave just one in it by the 17th minute.

The game was being played at a fast pace and the challenges were going in hard and fast as Owen Kinney moved Armoy two in front once more from a close range free and at this stage Glen Rovers were looking the better side and winning the majority of dirty ball.

Eoin Dobbin, from his first free of the evening pulled it back to a single score and the same player would convert two more to move his side in front for the first time with four minutes remaining to the break.

Conor Laverty replaced Corey Blair in the Cloughmill’s side before the umpires called referee Paul McSparran’s attention to an off the ball incident and after consultation the Cushendun official showed Colin Lordan a straight Red.

The final score of the opening half would fall to Cloughmills as Eoin Dobbin took his total to 0-4 with his fourth conversion of the opening half to leave his side 0-7 to 0-5 ahead at the half way stage.

Glen Rovers introduced John ‘Rocky’ Dillon at the start of the second half with the former county man unable to start because of a niggling injury and he would give his side a bit of impetus as the action got underway again.

The sweet striking Turlach McBride closed the gap to one with his third ‘65’ conversion of the evening with Eoin Dobbin replying from a 60 meter free to restore his side’s two point advantage and he increased that lead to three from his fifth free of the evening after the ball was moved forward for dissent.

Trailing by three at this stage it wasn’t looking good for the men from the Glen but they replied with a massive point from Callum Coyles from all of 80 meters from goal.

However St. Brigid’s struck a deadly blow, three minutes later when a long delivery from Eoin Dobbin broke favourably for team captain Liam Kearns and he fired past Conor Devlin from close range to put his side five ahead and they seemed to be gaining control.

Glen Rovers had other ideas however and they came back strongly with Rocky Dillon driving them forward with Eamonn McCaughan hitting three on the bounce and Eoin O’Boyle adding another to close the gap to one by the 16th minute.

They continued to press and Owen Kinney looked in for a goal but his effort was charged down before the ‘Biddies’ broke forward and Conor Laverty struck a fine point to relieve the siege.

Back came Armoy and Turlach McBride continued with his master class in long range free taking as he split the posts from 60 meters to leave just one in it again with two minutes of normal time remaining.

That was as close as they got however with the excellent Eoin Dobbin setting up substitute Reece Watt for the game’s final score at the other end with Paul McSparran’s full time whistle bringing a sea of Black and Orange racing onto the Glenariff pitch.

County chairman, Ciaran McCavanagh congratulated both sides for providing an entertaining game of a very high standard on the day before presenting captain, Liam Kearns with the cup to herald scenes of wild celebration.

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills: 1 Christopher McKiernan, 2 Sean McKendry, 3 Kevin O’Boyle, 4 Stephen Martin, 5 Johnny Duffin, 6 Geoffery Og Laverty, 7 Corey Blair, Joseph Smyth, 9 Odhran McCurdy, 10 Martin Dobbin, 11 Ruairi Laverty, 12 Liam Kearns, 13 James Doherty, 14 Michael Devlin, 15 Eoin Dobbin, 17 Conor Laverty, 18 Reece Watt

Glen Rovers: 1 Conor Devlin, 2 Callum Turlach McBride, , 3 Shane Devlin, 4 Arthur Devlin, 5 Turlach McBride, 6 Thomas Burns, 7 Liam Dillon, 8 Ciaran McKenna, 9 PJ McBride, 10 Eoin O’Boyle, 19 Colin Lordan, 12 Eamonn McCaughan, 13 Trevor Linton, 14 Owen Kinney, 15 Conor Christie, 11 John Dillon, 18 Joseph McFetridge.

Referee: Paul McSparran (Cushendun)

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