Under 17A Hurling Championship semi-final
Dunloy 1-15 Glenariffe-Glenravel 0-12
Dunloy Cuchullians advanced to the final of the minor hurling championship for the first time since 2018 with a six point victory over a strong Glenariffe/Glenravel amalgamation.
Played out in beautiful autumnal sunshine at Pearse Park Dunloy the large crowd in attendance treated to an exciting and close fought game. The opening quarter was keenly contested, Dunloy opened the scoring with their first attack as Oisin McCallin fired over a point. McCallin would go on to be a constant threat to the Glensmen throughout the hour.
Glenariffe/Glenravel started with their chief dangermen Orin O’Connor and Peader McDonnell in the full forward line and during the early exchanges this was certainly causing concern for Dunloy with O’Connor landing a monster score from the sideline and 2 further frees to race into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
Dunloy then struck for the only goal of the game as Oisin McCamphill found the Glenariffe/Glenravel net after a fantastic team move. The impressive Ben O’Kane started the move, winning the ball in defence and clearing his lines under considerable pressure. Paudie Martin picked up the possession and had the vision and accuracy to find Oisin McCallin in space, isolated one on one he turned his man and unselfishly offloaded to the other Oisin to clinically dispatch to the net.
O’Connor was looking lively and forced a smart save from Caolan McFerran in the Dunloy goals, the same player then traded frees with Dunloys Paudie Martin as the pendulum swung from side to side in a frantic opening half. A sharp Phelim Ward point nudged the Ossians/Con Magees into a lead but Dunloy ensured they would hold the initiative at the short whistle as points from Oisin McCallin and two incredible efforts from midfielder Jack Martin left the half time score Dunloy 1-6 Glenarrife/Glenravel 0:8
The third quarter saw no let up in the pace of the game as both teams defied the heavy underfoot conditions to play some high quality hurling. It was the home side that was threatening to score goals with a combination of resolute defending and some outstanding saves denying Dunloy the major they craved. Paudie Martin continued to be assassin like from frees with Orin O’Connor equally unerring.
Defences began to dominate with Callum McIlwaine dropping back to good effect for Glenarrife/Glenravel and the Dunloy centre forward Luke McFerran popping up everywhere to aid the Cuchullains cause. During this third period both teams found scores hard to come by only for the elusive Jack Martin to pop up with a further 2 points as Dunloy moved into a 4 point lead. However the boys from the Glens did not throw in the towel and the powerful Niall Hynes roared into the game scoring a great point after a driving run.
The pacy Peadar McDonnell and Orin O’Connor came further out the field in search of possession and the message seemed to be to run at the Dunloy defence but on each occasion they were met with a Green & Gold wall as Ben O’Kane, Ryan McClements and Charlie Cunning in particular excelled in their defensive responsibilities
Another O’Connor free did close the gap to just that solitary goal with 10 minutes of the game to go, however this was as good as it got for them as Dunloy scored 4 unanswered points. Paudie Martin would finish the game with 8 points to his credit and McCallin added to his 2 first half points. While Glenarrife/Glenravel would not score in this period they did throw the kitchen sink at Dunloy to find a stubborn defence led by Sean Og Blaney unwilling to yield. Dunloy now progress to the County final on the weekend of 14/15 October where they will face Loughgiel