Shamrocks win first Ulster minor title

Leadon Timber Frames Ulster Minor club Hurling final

Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) 1-14 Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon (Tyrone) 1-10

A NEW name went on the Leaden Timber Frames Ulster minor club hurling Cup on Sunday with Loughgiel Shamrocks powerful first half setting them up for a first title as the competition reached the quarter-century milestone.

The Antrim champions had the aid of the breeze for that opening half and turned over with a 0-11 to 0-3 advantage. Indeed they were six points up (four of them from Michael McGarry frees) before Eoghan Ruadh got their first score from a Cian Ferguson free after 15 minutes.

LOUGHGIEL’S SHANE O’BOYLE GRABS A HIGH BALL

Ferguson scored the other two Dungannon points from frees as well as the competition favourites pinned his side back in their own half.

But things changed on the re-start when a long ball from Michael Little was pumped into the Loughgiel square and knocked down into the path of Rory Weir who pulled it to the net.

However from the puck-put, the Shamrocks went up the field and some good passing put Odhran McGrath in the clear and he also hit the net. 

But the Tyrone men were not going away and Ferguson pointed two frees and Sean Paul McKernan pointed from a side-line around 45 metres out and the gap between the teams was cut to 1-11 to 1-6.

Loughgiel needed to lift their game and a couple of points from Michael McGarry frees and another from Rian McMullan stretched their lead.

Just as well as Eoghan Ruadh came back strongly with points from McKernan, Donaghy, Ferguson and Little to make for an exciting finish with Kevin McAuley making two excellent goal-line clearances and one of his defenders turning away a 20m free.

At the close presentations were made to the Players of the Match for each team (Conall Devlin for Eoghan Ruadh and Loughgiel’s Rian McMullan) and also to Ballinascreen president Seamus Doherty who began the competition in 1995 and who has been a driving force in promoting it over the past quarter of a century.

LOUGHGIEL CAPTAIN DECLAN McCLOSKEY RECEIVES THE CUP AFTER HIS TEAM’S WIN

Loughgiel : Kevin McAuley, Conor Henry, Ruairi McCloskey, Christy Dickson, Enda óg McGarry 0-1, Declan McCloskey (capt), Tiernan McAlonan, Shane O’Boyle, Cathal Hargan 0-1, Ryan Hill, Michael McGarry 0-7 frees, Frank Boyle, Rian McMullan 0-4, Odhran McGrath 1-0, Christy McGarry 0-1.

Subs :  Conor O’Mullan for F Boyle (25)

Eoghan Ruadh : C Molloy, J Donnelly, F Devlin, B Rush, A Toner, C Devlin capt, SP McKernan 0-2, 0-1 sideline, M Little 0-1 free, C Fitzgerald, Matthew McCann 0-1, C MacGinty, F Donaghy 0-1, C Hughes, C Ferguson 0-6, 0-5 frees, R Weir 1-0.

Subs : C McCrory for B Rush (38), Mark McCann for C Fitzgerald

Referee: Alan Nash (Derry)

Naomh Éanna advance to fourth final of season

U16B Hurling semi-final

Naomh Éanna u16 hurling report 16th October 2019

Photographs: J.J. Lawell

Naomh Éanna U16s marched on to their 4th final of the season following a SW championship senior final against Loch Mór.

Spirits are high in Glengormley with na Laochra Gael having already secured an unprecedented quadruple. Indeed the town land of Baile Bocht is a wash with black and amber as Naomh Éanna senior hurlers are in the midst of an impressive senior championship campaign.

The U16 panel have very much emulated the standards set by Sambo; Paul and Niall who are at the wheel of the senior set up and have their sights on working their way into the panel in coming years.

There were excellent performances v’s Loch Mór from Ciarán McGinley and Leo Ashe in an exciting game played on a cold autumnal evening, under floodlight at the Crickey.

Luke Ó Connor; Dara Maguire; Ronan Eagar; Conor McAllister; Colm Curran and Oscar Smyth have been some of the most consistent performers all season – however, if truth be told all 27 of the panel deserve their own mentions for their dedication and commitment.

There were goals on the night from Richard Gorasau (3-0); Dylan Graham; Ciarán McAllister; Oisín Quinn; Luke Ó Connor And Malachaí McGibbon.

The result was a great one against an excellent and up and coming Loch Mór team.

Naomh Eanna now face All Saints in the final and will start as firm facourites against the Ballymena side who have quite a number of U`14’s in their team.

The final will be played this Sunday (20th October) venue and time TBC.

Tower secure final place

Danske Bank MacNamee Cup semi-final

St Killian’s Garron Tower 4-6 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 2-4

ST KILLIAN’S switched Daire Higgins and Oran McCambridge at half-time in this Danske Bank MacNamee Cup semi-final in Allen Park and turned the game on its head as both players were energised for the second half and both scored immediately changing an interval deficit of a point into a lead that the Tower expanded eventually into a comfortable win.

St Mary’s, through a goal from Shea Cunningham, led by 1-2 to 0-4 at the break and there seemed little between the teams.

However Higgins equalised with a point on the re-start and McCambridge hit a goal that was quickly followed by a second goal from Daniel Douthart as the Tower pressed the St Mary’s poc outs.

Further goals followed for Thomas McLaughlin and then a second from McCambridge as holders St Killian’s stretched their lead to 4-6 to 1-2 before a late rally from St Mary’s delivered a goal and two points for Niall May.

May and Cunningham had good games for St Mary’s along with Aaron Mackle while St Killian’s got stronger as the game progressed with John Scullion, Fintan McKillop and midfielders Callum McIlwaine and Callagh Mooney all catching the eye.

The second semi-final between St Patrick’s Maghera and Cross and Passion Ballycastle has been put back until Monday 2pm in Ballymena with the final scheduled for later next week.

St Killian’s : Joseph McKay, James Kearney, John Scullion, Oran McClintock, Aodhan Campbell, Fintan McKillop, Colla Ward, Calum McIlwaine 0-1, Callagh Mooney 0-1. Daniel Douthart 1-0, Oran McCambridge 2-2, Charlie McAuley 0-1, Thomas McLaughlin 1-0, Daire Higgins 0-1, Cahir McNaughton

St Mary’s : Daragh Brown, Conall Short, Shea Cunningham 1-0, Conall McLoughlin, Aaron Mackle, Corey Darragh, Cian McCann, Conor McConville, Lorcan McCallin 0-1, Niall May 1-3, Michael Marlow, Caoimhin Taylor, Josh Walsh, Corey Walsh, Shea Burns

Shamrocks book final spot

Leadon Timber Frames Ulster Minor club Hurling Cup semi-final:

Loughgiel (Antrim) 5-15 Ballygalget (Down) 0-8

DESPITE losing Rian McMullan to a second yellow card just before the break, Loughgiel comfortably progressed to next Sunday’s Leadon Timber Frames Ulster minor club final in Ballinascreen.

The Shamrocks had already built up a match-winning interval lead of 4-6 to 0-5 when the red card followed the second yellow and they were able to hold their shape during the second half to reach the decider.

Overall Loughgiel’s movement in the forward line on and off the ball was excellent and two goals from Odhrán McGrath in the opening quarter sent them on their way.

Loughgiel’s Enda Og McGarry makes a high catch.

Michael McGarry bagged a third goal in the 16th minute and when Frank Boyle picked up an excellent pass from McGrath to find the top corner for a score to grace any occasion in the 26th minute Loughgiel were coasting.

The dismissal of McMullan raised a question mark and, had Caolán Watson despatched a penalty in the opening minutes of the second half, Ballygalget might have found the confidence to bite back, but Kevin McAuley the shot saved and McGrath (2) and Cathal Hargan quickly punished the error with points.

When Michael McGarry bagged his second and Loughgiel’s fifth goal in the 39th minute the door closed on Ballygalget for whom goalie Rossa McGrath, Michael Toner, Owen McDermott, Caolan Coulter, Jon Fisher and Ciaran Watson were best.

Loughgiel’s Michael McGarry

Loughgiel had a number of stand-out players including Declan McCloskey and Enda óg McGarry in defence, Shane O’Boyle and Cathal Hargan in midfield, with all the forwards a threat.

Loughgiel : Kevin McAuley, Conor Henry, Ruairi McCloskey, Christy Dickson, Enda Og McGarry, Declan McCloskey (capt), Tiernan McAlonan, Shane O’Boyle 0-1, Cathal Hargan 0-3, Ryan Hill 0-2, Michael McGarry 2-2, 0-1 free, Frank Boyle 1-0, Rian McMullan 0-1, Odhran McGrath 2-5, Christy McGarry 0-1.

Subs :  Conor O’Mullan for F Boyle (50), Conor McCormick for M McGarry (54), Damien Quinn for R Hill (54), T McCaughan for E McGarry (56)

Ballygalget : R McGrath, E Pucci, J Lee, O O’Connor, O McDermoott, M Toner, J Higgins, C Coulter 0-2, J Fisher 0-1, O Coulter, C Watson 0-3, 0-2 frees, M Dorrian 0-1, F Gilmore, S Doran, B McNamara 0-1.

Subs : R Coulter for S Doran.

McClean’s late magic sends Gorts to semis

AIB Ulster Club Junior Hurling Championship quarter-final

Gort na Móna (Antrim) 1-14 St Eunan’s (Donegal) 1-13

A point from a Dessie McClean free with the final puc of the game saw Antrim champions Gort na Móna book a place in the semi-final of the Ulster Junior Hurling Club Championship at the expense of Donegal champions St Eunan’s Letterkenny on Sunday afternoon. The Turf Lodge men led by two points (1-9 to 1-7) at the end of a keenly contested first half but any thoughts their fans might have had of them getting on top in the second period were not well founded as the Letterkenny based outfit more than matched the Antrim champions and had moved two points clear in the closing minutes. The Gorts fought back to level entering injury time and when Darren Boyd pointed them in front it seemed that they had done enough to claim the win. However St Eunan’s captain Conor O’Grady stepped up to the mark to hit the equaliser on 62 minutes and extra time looked like the most likely outcome until Dessie McClean stepped up to fire over the winner and send the Gorts fans into raptures.  

Darren Boyd runs at the St Eunan’s defence

Gort na Móna started the brighter of the two sides and points from McClean and Boyd gave them an early edge but things changed when St Eunan’s took advantage of a defensive slip to claim the first goal. With the game nearing the quarter mark Gorts took charge again with a well worked goal involving McKenna and McClean, which was well finished by centre forward Martin Ward but their hosts were giving as good as they got and they were able to peg back the Antrim champions who only held a two point lead at the break.  

During the second half the Donegal men kept up the pressure on the visitors and a Conor O’Grady point, this time from play, closed the gap to the minimum. Martin Ward had a chance for a second goal soon afterwards but his shot was off target and it set a trend as the Antrim men were unable to create a gap between themselves and their hosts. In fact St Eunan’s took the lead in the final quarter and though midfielder Declan Hughes pointed to bring the Gorts back on terms. However the Donegal champions came back with points from Hartnett and O’Grady and with just eight minutes of normal time to play, a real upset seemed on the cards. Veteran substitute Sean Kelly came to the Gorts rescue when he fired over the bar to cut the gap to a single point again and a sweet strike from a free by Dessie McClean tied up the scores in the final minutes.

Gorts midfielder Padraig McCaffrey in action

Padraig McCaffrey appeared to have sealed it when he pointed from play but St Eunan’s hit back with two points from O’Grady to edge in front at the game went into injury time, but once again Dessie McClean found an answer to tie things up yet again. Boyd appeared to have sealed it with his late point but the Gorts fans had more anguish to endure as O’Gardy hit his eight score of the game. The Turf Lodge side must have been getting ready for extra time when not for the first time this season Dessie McClean produced his magic and his wonderful point from distance sealed a dramatic win.     

GORT NA MÓNA: P Fryers; S Doyle, N Henry, C Devlin; G McKenna, P McHugh, M Rea; D Hughes, P McCaffrey 0-3; T McCaffrey, M Ward 1-0, C McCann; B Quinn, D Boyd 0-2, D McClean 0-8 (0-7fs).

Subs: S Kelly 0-1 for Ward (48mins), C McErlaine for Doyle (48mins), N Healy for Quinn (55mins). .

ST EUNAN’S: C Hennessy; B McIntyre, A Gaffey, S Halvey; J Matthews, S Doherty, C O’Donnell 0-1; S McVeigh 0-1, C Finn; M Ahern, R Hilferty, T Hartnett 0-1; J Hartnett 1-0, C O’Grady 0-9 (0-7fs), K Kealy 0-1.

Sub: O McGonigle for Ahern (46mins).

REFEREE: A Ferguson (Fermanagh)