McAteer Solutions Sponsor New Jersey’s For Creggan Camogie Senior Team

McAteer Solutions Estate Agents with offices based in Toomebridge, Dungiven and their new branch recently opened at the Innovation Factory, Springfield Rd, Belfast are delighted to sponsor the Creggan Camogie Senior Team.

Founder Olga McAteer of McAteer Solutions Estate Agents was asked by the Creggan Camogie committee member Maureen McConville would she sponsor the team jerseys this year. Olga said she would be delighted to sponsor the ladies as her daughter Aoife McAteer plays dual for the club. Aoife also works with her mother at McAteer Solutions Estate Agents.

Olga McAteer of McAteer Solutions presents a new set of jerseys to Creggan Camogie Club captain Ciara McCollum and player Aoife McAteer.

“We are delighted to sponsor Creggan Camogie Senior team this year and we hope to continue to support them in the future. We love to give back into the community; as the local community and surrounding area support us. It’s about giving back”. Olga McAteer MBA – Founder Of McAteer Solutions Estate Agents

McAteer Solutions Estate Agents:
Branches: Toomebridge • Dungiven • Belfast
Specialising In Residential & Commercial Property

Shane O’Neill’s can finish the season unbeaten and take the title

Casement Park Social Club Junior Hurling Championship final

Shane O’Neill’s v Con Magees

Glenariffe – Throw-in 2pm

By Paddy McIlwaine

Shane O’Neill’s, Glenarm go into Sunday’s Casement SC Junior Hurling championship final as firm favourites when they take on Con Magee’s, Glenravel in Sunday’s decider in Waterfoot. The Feystown side have already beaten Sunday’s opponents twice this year but will never the less be wary of Sunday’s opponents.

It has been a good year for Glenarm and an injection of young blood into the side has coincided with them having their best season for some time and going into Sunday’s final they are still unbeaten this season.

The sides met in the group stages at the end of August in a seven goal thriller at Pairc Uí Fhearsithe that captured everything that championship hurling is about. Two strong physical sides gave their all with score’s a plenty and some fantastic goals, some great tackling and superb point taking.

Con Magee’s showed early promise when just after forty seconds Declan Traynor goaled for an early lead

This gave the home side an early kick up the backside as Ciaran Magill struck a point and he followed up with a cracker of a goal, a superb unstoppable effort. Daniel Black also pointed a free before the versatile Darren Hamill sent over a “65”, giving the home team a three point lead

Shane O’Neill’s went on to hit five goals and run out fairly comfortable winners in the end but the Con Magee’s showed enough in glimpses to suggest that Sunday’s final could be much closer and indeed they will fancy their chances of causing an upset.

Daniel Black led the way for Glenarm in that Feystown encounter, hitting 1-6 on the night while Ciaran Magill, Kevin O’Boyle, Sean O’Boyle and Ciaran O’Boyle all weighed in with majors for a rampant Shane O’Neill’s

Glenarm have an excellent free taker in Darren Hamill and he scored 0-6 against the Con Magee’s on that occasion while his brother Barry at full-back, Declan McDermott and Dylan McLaughlin add experience and knowhow to the Glenarm side

Both sides struggled for a time in their respective semi-finals and it took an injury time free from Niall Donnelly to finally kill off the challenge of Lamh Dhearg to see Glenravel advance to the final on a scoreline of 0-16 to 1-12 at Whitehill. Donnelly is a very doubtful starter for Sunday which would be a bad blow for the Con Magees.

Glenarm were pushed all the way in their semi-final against a Rasharkin side who had beaten them in last year’s championship with the men from Dreen leading 1-7 to 0-6 at half time. Shane O’Neill’s rallied after the break and slowly reeled in the opposition with Ciaran Magill finishing with six points and Daniel Black 0-4 and Dylan McLaughlin 0-4 as they ran out winners 0-18 to 1-13

The Glenarm men will take confidence from their two previous wins over Sunday’s opponents but as the respective semi-finals show, they certainly can’t take anything for granted and they are likely to come up against a Glenravel side knowing they have nothing to lose and determined to cause an upset.

Padge O’Neill, Shanlee Kerr, Declan Traynor, James Duffin and Niall Donnelly are the men who Con Magee’s will look to, to lead by example.

I don’t expect there to be too much between the sides on Sunday but Shane O’Neill’s have shown enough in their two previous encounters to finish their season unbeaten and collect the Casement SC Cup.

Emmet’s get the nod to edge local derby

Andersonstown SC IHC Semi-Final

Emmet’s Cushendun Emmet’s v Carey Faughs

Armoy 2-00pm Sunday

By Paddy McIlwaine

Emmet’s Cushendun will start Sunday’s Andersonstown SC IHC semi-final in Armoy as favourites but that will probably suit a Carey side who will be still buzzing following their facile mid-week win over Gort na Mona at the Dub that secured them passage to Sunday’s semi-final.

The Cushendun men have had an excellent season to date and won all four of their Group 2 championship games following a division 2A league campaign where they won 4 and drew 2 games to finish second to Cloney Gaels.

In the championship the Emmet’s have been impressive to date and wins over St. Brigid’s Cloughmills, St. Paul’s, Kickham’s Creggan and Sarsfield’s has seen them installed as many pundits favourites to go all the way.

Cathaoir an Ri have reached Sunday’s semi-final the hard way and came with a late run down the home straight to pip Glenariffe Oisin for the second qualifying place in Group 1 with that win in Belfast in mid-week.

The Ballyvoy men made a bright start to their qualifying group when they beat St. Gall’s by five points but their progress was halted when their fixture against Gort na Mona was postponed on day two owing to Covid in the Gort’s camp.

An 0-24 to 2-18 draw with Oisin on day 3 left Cathaoir an Ri in a seemingly strong position but when they lost to visitors, Cloney Gaels the following Wednesday night their fate looked precarious. Glenariffe Oisin looked favourites to join Cloney Gaels in the play-offs due to a superior score difference as the Carey men headed to the Dub for their rearranged meeting with Gort na Mona.

Carey needed to win by 25 points to edge out the men from Waterfoot but what transpired is like something out of a fiction story as the Ballyvoy side raced into a 4-17 to 0-2 half time lead that saw many of those Glenariffe supporters who had made the journey, leave Queen’s at half time.

Cathaoir an Ri went on to win by a massive 43 points against a depleted Gort na Mona side to earn their place in Sunday’s semi-final against neighbours Emmets and will be looking forward with relish to a semi-final that looked out of reach nine days earlier.

Cushendun will fancy their chances of bringing their neighbours back down to earth with a bang following that massive 50 point haul at the Dub and Cathaoir an Ri are unlikely to find the passage to their opponents posts as easy to negotiate.

The Emmet’s are a solid outfit with Gareth Magee, Aidan Corbett, Tom Scally and Conor McHugh strong and reliable defenders. Cork native, Conleth Ryan and Calum Kilgore form a strong mid-field partnership while Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill, Harry Kilgore, Dominic McQuillan and Calum Kilgore pose a serious scoring threat.

Carey have a reliable and experienced keeper in Cathal McAuley while Sean McBride, Peadar McVeigh and Michael McVeigh are strong defenders. Daniel McBride and Patrick Butler are hard-working mid-fielders who are capable of contributing scores while in attack James ‘Rocket’ Black and Connor McBride are potential match winners.

The Ballyvoy side will start this one as outsiders but their draw with Glenariffe Oisin, that win over St. Gall’s and a narrow loss to Cloney Gaels would suggest they might not be too far away but in a tight contest Emmet’s get the nod.

More drama expected in the semi’s

Bathshack Senior Hurling Championship

Semi-Final

Cushendall vs Rossa 12:30pm Referee: Colum Cunning (Dunloy)

Dunloy vs St John’s 4.30pm Referee: Kevin Parke (Naomh Eanna)

Brendan McTaggart previews the doubleheader at Dunsilly

And then there were four.

The race for the Volunteer Cup reaches the semi-finals and like last year, a double header in Dunsilly. Lovely stuff.

Rossa and Cushendall, Dunloy and St John’s and two ties that could really go either way, no matter what the bookies might tell you.  For the record, they have Cushendall at -2 and Dunloy at -6.  Extremely generous and there may be a few who might have a look at the betting in the second semi-final.

So a look at the quarter-finals first of all.  Cushendall safely negotiated as expected, the challenge of Naomh Eanna.  Although maybe just not as handsomely as initially thought.  It was a solid if not spectacular performance from the Ruairi’s who were relieved for a broken Joe Maskey hurl and a favourable square-ball call.  Naomh Eanna gave a good account of themselves and but for some horrendous luck, they could have been closer to Cushendall but you got the feeling the Ruairi’s could go through the gears if required.

After an initial burst from the Hightown Road men, Cushendall settled with Christy McNaughton and Neil McManus dovetailing well in attack and Niall McCormick’s early goal and menace giving the ‘Dall an edge.

They go into Sunday’s first semi-final as slight favourite’s as thoughts turn to the encounter with Rossa a little over 12 months ago.  At the Hightown Road, a brace of goals from Stephen Beatty caused an upset with Colly Murphy’s men defeating Cushendall by a score line of 2-11 to 0-16.  A match that could be looked upon as a watershed moment for the Jeremiah’s and a belief in what they’re building towards underlined with a big win over Loughgiel in the group stage.

That win in Fr Healy Park had more significance for Rossa given the fact they have had that more than a few of their squad have dual responsibilities also.  The extra week break for their hurlers will be exactly what the doctor ordered and has allowed for a clean bill of health with Michael Armstrong recovering from a hamstring injury.  Cushendall’s injury concerns are a little less clear cut with Alex Delargy missing the Naomh Eanna game after picking up a knock in the group game win over St John’s while Paddy McGill was introduced as a sub but taken off against Naomh Eanna with a niggle.

It’s a fascinating game with sub-plots every way you turn.  Cushendall will feel like they have a point to prove following last years defeat to the same opposition and perhaps a point to prove to themselves, they are better than the performance they gave in the last round.  For Rossa, they want to keep their momentum going.  An unbeaten league campaign and another scalp against one of the north Antrim big guns under their belt, momentum, a clean bill of health and a chance to reach a first county final since 2004.

The bookies have Cushendall as narrow favourites and with league victories (two) and a win against Rossa in the reserve championship, you can see why that is.  They are a side who are never easily beaten and have a knowhow when it comes to the championship.  I have a sneaky suspicion that the Jeremiah’s will upset the odds, however…

The second semi is a repeat of the classic between these sides three weeks ago in Corrigan Park.  Dunloy came out on top 2-30 to 1-26 in a scorefest between the best two attacking sides in the county.  Dunloy purred through the gears early on and controlled that contest but St John’s more than played their part.  Shea Shannon, Conor Johnston and Donal Carson excellent in attack and Michael Bradley was excellent from midfield.

The Johnnies made some positional changes for their quarter-final with Oisin Donnelly moving to midfield and partnering Michael Bradley while Peter McCallin and Ciaran Johnston took a starting 15 jersey.  Donnelly is carrying a niggle and is a doubt for Sunday’s quarter-final but I’d expect a similar 15 again.  The Johnnies will know where they got it wrong against Dunloy in the group stages and coming off the back of a big win against Loughgiel, they will have a huge amount of confidence.  So often in recent years they have come up short in tight matches but against Loughgiel, they rode out the storm and edged home in a titanic tussle.

If the Johnnies go man for man against Dunloy, it will be an incredible spectacle but you have to think they will come out second best.  Dunloy have the best attacking unit in the county and if you’re going to beat the reigning champions, you have to limit their attacking threats.  That being said, it’s easier said that done. Cushendall did it in the first match of the championship and St John’s tried it in Corrigan Park but the Cuchullains were in top form by that stage with cobwebs blown and ring rust gone.  They should have Paul Shiels back in the starting line up, Shorty has been carrying a niggle since the Cushendall game but played the last five in Corrigan. 

Who wins?  Dunloy are favourites and it will take something special from St John’s to stop them but if any team is capable of it, Brian McFall’s men certainly are.  They will need to go beyond and reach a higher performance level than they’ve shown to date in 2021 but momentum is a wonderful attribute in this beautiful game.  The expected weather conditions could even the playing field and make this anyone’s game but I see the Cuchullains making the final.

Dunsilly direct.

Gaels can shade a tight semi-final

Andersonstown SC IHC Semi-Final

Cloney Gaels v Kickham’s Creggan

Sunday 2-00 (Randalstown)

By Paddy McIlwaine

This year’s Intermediate Hurling championship has been a real thriller to date with both groups undecided until the last round of games. In Group 1 it was Cloney Gaels who finished tops on 9 points from five starts but they had to win their final game against St. Gall’s in Cloney to ensure qualification.

Four wins and a draw from five starts however suggests that the Ahoghill men are in rude health with those victories coming against Glen Rovers, Gort na Mona, Cathaoir an Ri, and St. Gall’s with a draw against Glenariffe Oisin the only blip on their record.

It was perhaps in that draw against Glenariffe in Cloney that the Ahoghill side showed their real character however. The visitors looked to be in a strong position at half time when they led by six points.

After the break the sheer intensity of the home side slowly wore down the opposition and they drew level by the 18th minute and looked to be taking over but Oisin came back strongly with the lead changing hands several times before Alex O’Boyle brought matters level for the final time with a pointed free for the visitors in injury time.

In the other group things were slightly more clear cut with Emmet’s Cushendun winning all four of their games to finish on eight points from four starts including a 2-16 to 1-15 win over Kickham’s in Cushendun but that was the Creggan men’s only defeat in the group stages.

As in Group 1 things were not decided until the final day and Kickham’s travelled to Shaw’s Road knowing that a victory over St. Paul’s would probably guarantee them a place in the semi-final but aware that a win for Sarsfield’s over Cushendun at the Bear Pit could leave three sides on six points each and that score difference could come into play.

Cushendun spared the mathematicians the problem of deciding who qualified when they defeated the ‘Paddies’ by five points to win the group with Creggan securing second place by that win over St. Paul’s.

Meetings between Cloney Gaels and Kickham’s have always been keenly contested and hard to call and Sunday’s semi-final meeting at Whitehill is unlikely to be any different.

Both these two South West rivals have a rich hurling history with both clubs winning Ulster Junior and Intermediate hurling titles in the past and the Kickham’s going all the way in the Junior championship to win the All Ireland in 2014.

Cloney Gaels came close to All Ireland glory seven year’s earlier before losing out to Danesfort of Kilkenny and while those results are unlikely to have any bearing on Sunday’s game they never the less show the rich vein of hurling history in both clubs.

Cloney Gaels were last year’s beaten finalists, losing out to Tir na nOg in the final at Dunsilly and are determined to go one better this year but their South West rivals Creggan will be determined to stop that happening.

The Ahoghill side are vastly experienced and most of Sunday’s lineout have seen it all before. Martin Graham has proved an excellent keeper since his switch to the number 1 jersey at the start of last season.

Stephen O’Connell, James Magee, Eamon Brady, Fionnbar O’Neill, the Graham’s, Francis Neeson and Thomas McGlone will bring their vast experience into Sunday’s semi-final but it’s up front that the Gaels have the real aces in the pack in PJ and James O’Connell, both potential match winners on their day.

Their opponents on Sunday, Kickham’s, Creggan have a number of players who are no strangers to the big occasion with Sam Maguire, Aidan Maguire, Aidan McKeown, Rory McCann, Thomas McCann, Kevin Rice and Oran McCann all excellent hurlers and like Cloney, they have their own ace in the pack in county captain Conor McCann.

Conor McCann for Creggan and James and PJ O’Connell for Cloney Gaels are likely to come in for some very close attention on Sunday and the ability of both defences to contain the oppositions danger men may go a long way to deciding the issue.

However both teams have others who could be potential match winners on the day and there might not be too much between the sides come 3-10 pm on Sunday but Cloney Gaels have shown this year that they can dig out results when the chips are down and I expect Hugh Dobbin’s side to shade a tight semi-final by a couple of points.