Antrim Senior Hurling League Division One
Rossa 2-17 St Gall’s 3-12
After St Gall’s poor start to the hurling season most fans attending Saturday evening’s league game at Rossa Park were expecting to see an win for the home side but as things turned out it was far from the case as St Gall’s made their west Belfast neighbours work to the very end to secure the victory. Just two points separated the sides at the end and indeed it could have been even closer. Rossa appeared to be comfortable as they held a four point lead with just minutes remaining, but a goal from St Gall’s star performer Sean McAreavey cut the gap to a single point and they had the chance to draw level second later but missed a very scorable free before Rossa eased the pressure and Aidan Orchin sealed it with a point for the home side.
There was nothing between the
sides in the opening quarter and after Gerard Walsh pointed Rossa ahead McAreavey
levelled for the visitors. It was score for score during the next period of
play before Rossa eventually got their noses in front as a Stephen Beatty point put them 0-7 to 0-6
A stunning long range free from Gerard Walsh got the hosts off the mark before McAveavey replied for St Gall’s.
This early back-and-forth scenario set the tone for the game with neither team able to steal a march on the other during the opening 20 minutes.
A well-taken ’65’ from McGourty cancelled out Ciaran Orchin’s strike before Anto Healy put St Gall’s into the lead.
Aidan Orchin made it 0-3 each
while the next six points were evenly split with Jackson McGreevy, Healy and
Ronan Crossen on target for St Gall’s while Dominic McEnhill and James Connolly
(two frees) raised white flags for Rossa.
St Gall’s lost corner-forward
Oran McIlhatton to injury before a Stephen Beatty point then put Rossa back in
the lead at 0-7 to 0-6 after 23 minutes.
A Connolly ’65’ moved Rossa two ahead while St Gall’s goalkeeper Kurtis McGreevey made a fine save to deny Beatty moments later.
In a thrilling finish to the half St Gall’s appeared to have taken a grip on the game when Antoin McCaffrey placed Sean McAreavey for a brilliantly taken goal. It looked like the visitors would go in at the break with the lead but Rossa battled back in the minutes that remained and after Callum McVeigh had pulled a point back Aidan Orchin reacted well to stab the ball home after Domo McEnhill’s well struck goal effort was parried on the line to give his team a 1-9 to 1-7 interval lead.
St Gall’s got back in front
early in the second half when Antoin McCaffrey grabbed his team’s second goal
but Rossa responded well with points from Gerard Walsh, substitute Cricky
McGuinness (2), Domo McEnhill and Seaghan Shannon to move five clear. CJ
McGourty pulled one back for St Gall’s with a great long range point from a
free but when McGuinness (on for the injured Jamesie Connolly) got in for a
goal at the other end Rossa appeared to be in complete control.
When McAreavey grabbed his
second goal five minute from time St Gall’s were suddenly back in contention
and when Jackson McGreevey and McAreavey added points in the dying minutes it
looked like the game could go either way.
CJ McGourty had the chance to bring the Milltown men level but his late free from distance was just off target and Rossa eased the pressure as Aidan Orchin hit the insurance point to send some very relieved home fans home happy.
ROSSA: C Breathnach; M Smith,
E O’Neill, C Shannon; P McGreevy, G Walsh 0-2 (0-2fs), A O’Brien; C Orchin 0-1,
M McGreevy; J Connolly 0-3 (0-2fs, 0-1 ’65), S Beatty 0-2, D McEnhill 0-2; A
Orchin 1-2, C McVeigh 0-1, S Shannon 0-2 (0-2fs).
Subs: C McGuinness 1-2 for
Connolly (30mins), C Mac Parthalain for S Shannon (58mins)
ST GALL’S: K McGreevy; S
Morrison, J McDaniel, A Gribbon; N O’Neill, CJ McGourty 0-3 (0-2 65s, 0-1f), C
McCaffery; J Hopkins, A Healy 0-2; J McGreevy 0-3 (0-1f), S McAreavey 2-3, C
Stinton; O McIlhatton, A McCafferty 1-0, R Crossen 0-1.
Subs: E Walsh for McIlhatton
(15mins), P Friel for Crossen (52mins).
REFEREE: B Toland (Lámh