5 Star ‘Dall cruise to win over Portaferry

Doherty Woodshavings Hurling League Division One

Cushendall 5-21 Portaferry 1-23

Wednesday July 14

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pairc Mhuire, Cushendall

Cushendall booked their place in the League Final after a comfortable victory over Portaferry on Wednesday evening at Pairc Mhuir.  After a slow start, the home side took control of the contest after the water-break where despite trailing by an early Tom McGrattan goal, they would score 3-5 in the space of 10 minutes with Portaferry raising just two white flags in the same period of the game.

It was another impressive performance from the Ruairi’s with eight different scorers and just seven points of their 5-21 coming from placed ball.  Their strong running from deep and ability to carve open the visiting defence almost at will with some neat interplay at times had those in attendance under the shadow of Lurig Mountain purring.  Scott Walsh, Niall McCormick and Fergus McCambridge all influential.  The returning Neil McManus top scored for the Ruairi’s with 1-7 while Eoghan Campbell, Andrew Delargy and Niall McCormick (two) also chipped in with goals.

The Ardsmen impressed in attack during that opening quarter with Daithi Sands and Tom McGrattan causing the Cushendall full back line plenty of problems.  Caolan Taggart had an intriguing tussle with Neil McManus, especially in the first half while Conor and Aaron O’Prey were always busy in midfield.  

The turning point came after the first half water break though when the Ruairi’s went through the gears, opening a gap that Portaferry couldn’t close by the final whistle.

The opening goal of the game came in the third minute when Daithi Sands weaved his way through the Cushendall defence before laying the sliotar unselfishly into the path of Tom McGrattan.  The Portaferry corner forward making no mistake from close range.

Cushendall’s first score came in the sixth minute, McManus registering a white flag but the visitors had hit the ground running and had opened a five point lead by the 12th minute with Eoghan Sands and Conor Mageean doing the damage on the scoreboard.

Cushendall began to settle however and had the deficit cut with Tom McGrattan’s goal the difference at the water break.

A scoring burst of three goals in six minutes helped the Ruairi’s to take a stranglehold of the game with McManus and McCormick heavily involved in both majors.  Both men combining before Andrew Delargy’s first timed effort hit the back of the net.  McCormick and Fergus McCambridge combined to create the second Cushendall goal as the home side took the lead for the first time in the 23rd minute.

The third Cushendall goal came two minutes later with McManus involved again.  This time Eoghan Campbell was involved before McCormick applied the finish.  Four further points form the home side gave them an eight point lead at the interval after outscoring Portaferry 3-5 to 0-2 in the second quarter.  Half time score 3-11 to 1-9.

The fourth Cushendall goal came six minutes into the second half with Cushendall pressurising the Portaferry defence into an error.  The Ruairi’s capitalised on indecision with Eoghan Campbell getting the last touch on the sliotar before it crossed the line.

Both sides made changes with the fluency of the game deteriorating but the home side showed moments of class that punctuated the second half.  Alec Delargy with four of his five points coming in the second half while substitute Christy McNaughton’s stickwork and free taking exemplary.  

Cushendall’s fifth major came in the last minute of normal time with Emmet Laverty providing the assist for McCormick.  ‘Mucker’ with a strong run through the middle before playing the sliotar into the path of McCormick who added his second major of the game and further gloss to the Ruairi’s scoreline.

Cushendall will now face Rossa in the League Final.

TEAMS

Cushendall: Eoin Campbell; Ryan McCambridge, Paddy Burke, Liam Gillan; Scott Walsh, Aaron Graffin, Ruari McCollum; Eoghan Campbell, Alec Delargy; Emmet Laverty, Neil McManus, Andrew Delargy; Francis McCurry, Niall McCormick, Fergus McCambridge

Scorers: Neil McManus 1-7 (3f 1’65); Niall McCormick 2-00; Alec Delargy 0-5; Christy McNaughton 0-4 (3f); Andrew Delargy 1-1; Eoghan Campbell 1-1; Francis McCurry 0-2; Scott Walsh 0-1

Portaferry: Paddy McNally; Emmet O’Neill, Tom Murray, Ronan Smyth; Darragh Mullan, Caolan Taggart, Conor O’Neill; Aaron O’Prey, Conor O’Prey; Padraig Doran, Eoghan Sands, Conor Mageean; Tom McGrattan, Niall Milligan, Daithi Sands

Scorers: Tom McGrattan 1-4; Ronan Blair 0-4 (4f); Padraig Doran 0-3 (3f); Eoghan Sands 0-3; Conor Mageean 0-3; Ryan Convery 0-2; Caolan Taggart 0-1; Niall Milligan 0-1; Daithi Sands 0-1

Referee: Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)

Rossa keep league hopes alive with Naomh Éanna win

Doherty Woodshavings ACHL Division 1 

Rossa 1-25 – 2-15 Naomh Éanna 

Kevin Herron reports from Pairc Rossa

Rossa and Naomh Éanna served up an entertaining encounter on the Shaws Road on Sunday afternoon with the hosts emerging victorious 1-25-2-15 to ensure that they keep their league hopes alive going into the final game on Wednesday evening. 

They were off the mark quickly on home turf with Tiernan Murphy swinging over the opening score inside of 20-seconds and a converted free from older brother Deaglan doubled their advantage. 

Naomh Éanna responded through a converted John McGoldrick free, but Deaglan Murphy found the run of Thomas Morgan who split the posts before Murphy himself knocked off his first from play of the afternoon. 

The opening goal arrived after six minutes at Pairc Rossa with Ruairi Donaghy’s low shot squeezing inside the posts and past Phil Crean to level proceedings at 1-01-0-04. 

Brendan Cormican’s point from range had the visitors in front for the first time, though Daire Murphy slipped a pass through to Thomas Morgan who doubled his tally for the afternoon and levelled. 

Rossa edged back in front after brothers Deaglan and Tiernan Murphy linked up- with the later picking off his second score of the half. 

Parity was restored within 60-seconds as Diarmuid Maguire popped the ball into the path of Donaghy who got his angles right and slotted over his first point. 

Morgan restored his sides lead- a goal chance may have been on, but he opted to send it high between then posts. 

On 12 minutes the hosts did find the net, Deaglan Murphy burst through the Naomh Éanna defence and powered a low drive past Martin Curran to give his side a 1-07-1-03 lead. 

With his last act before departing through injury- Aidan Orchin increased his sides lead with a point but Ruairi Donaghy responded with a point to ensure the gap was at four-points at the first half water break. 

Donaghy closed the gap upon the game’s resumption- converting a free to bring his points tally to three. 

In his first meaningful act since replacing Aidan Orchin on 15-minutes- Gerard Walsh conjured up a score from Deaglan Murphy’s lay-off. 

Antrim star Gerard Walsh came off the bench to land 0-03 for his side

Naomh Éanna responded with back-to-back points from Eoin Conlon and Ruairi Donaghy (free). 

But three scores on the trot from Deaglan Murphy gave Rossa a five-point cushion. Murphy converted two frees and then successfully combined with Gerard Walsh for his second point from play. 

Dominic McEnhill was penalised for taking too many steps and John McGoldrick closed the deficit to four from the resulting free. 

The Walsh and Murphy axis paid dividends again as Deaglan popped over a third point from play and Walsh to increase his tally with a further score – in-between a further McGoldrick free as Rossa led 1-14-1-09 at half-time.

John McGoldrick converted his fourth free of the afternoon as Naomh Éanna struck first in the second period, although Thomas Morgan brought his own personal tally to 0-04 in the immediate aftermath. 

Back-to-back scores from Niall O’Connor and Daniel Lowry put a single strike of the ball between the sides. 

But Rossa conjured up successive scores of their own, Deaglan Murphy converted his fourth free and Thomas Morgan swung over his fifth point following a nice move with Dominic McEnhill. 

Rossa appeared to have taken a grip of proceedings once more, however Naomh Éanna caught the Shaws Road side cold with their second goal of the game. 

Scorer of their first Ruairi Donaghy assisted this time as he floated in a high ball that John McGoldrick swooped to the net to make it 1-17-2-12 after 41 minutes. 

Points followed from Gerard Walsh and Deaglan Murphy (65’) before the second half water-break and Murphy swung over a further point upon the resumption as Rossa restored their five-point advantage. 

Ruairi Donaghy floated over a magnificent point from out by the side-line to keep Naomh Éanna in touch, although Deaglan Murphy replied with his fourth from play of the afternoon. 

Points were traded between Dominic McEnhill and Brendan Cormican and Rossa tagged on two further scores. 

Thomas Morgan linked-up with Daire Murphy whose goal-bound shot was helped over the bar by Martin Curran with Morgan himself adding to his tally soon after. 

 John McGoldrick ended the game with 1-05 to his name after converting a late free, in response Dominic McEnhill added his second as Rossa ran out winners after a great spectacle at Pairc Rossa. 

Rossa: P Crean, O May, C McGuinness, E O’Neill, N Crossan, A Kenelly, Darragh Murphy, Daire Murphy (0-01), M McGreevy, A Orchin (0-01), D McEnhill (0-02), T Morgan (0-06), T Murphy (0-02), R O’Neill, D Murphy (1-10, 0-04f, 0-01 65’). Subs: G Walsh (0-03) for A Orchin (15), C McParland for R O’Neill (HT), A McLean for Darragh Murphy (51), M Murray for Daire Murphy (57). 

Naomh Éanna: M Curran, Dara Maguire, E Conlon (0-01), E Maguire, R Bogue, M Donaghy, E O’Connor, L O’Connor, Diarmuid Maguire, K Jennings, R Donaghy (1-05, 0-01f), B Cormican (0-02), M McGivern, J McGoldrick (1-05, 0-05f), D Lowry (0-01). Subs: N O’Connor (0-01) for K Jennings (29), O Smyth for M McGivern (52), P Magaoidh for E Conlon (60+2). 

Referee: Colm McDonald (St Galls)

Cuchullains hold off Ballycran challenge

Doherty Woodshavings Antrim Hurling League Division One

Dunloy 3-13 Ballycran 2-14

Sunday June 27

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy

Dunloy recorded their third league win of the season on Sunday afternoon as they edged past Ballycran with just two points to spare.  This was an entertaining game of hurling with both sides contributing to a compelling 60 minutes of hurling.

Chrissy McMahon top scored on the day with his 2-4 all coming from play as he formed a blistering inside forward line with Seaan Elliott.  Elliott scoring the Cuchullains third goal and a further two points himself.

After a slow start, Ballycran matched the home side for long periods with Phelim Savage pulling the strings for the Ardsmen while Gerard Hughes at centre half looked to dictate.  Huw Flynn top scored with all of his six points coming from placed ball on the day while Savage and James Clarke bagged the goals for the visitors to Pearse Park.

While the Cuchullains started like a house on fire with McMahon’s goal putting them in an early four point lead, Ballycran kept in touch with Savage finding the back of Callum Mullan’s net after good work from Ben Arthurs. 

The second Cuchullain goal came soon after the first half water break, Seaan Elliott showing his searing pace before finishing superbly as the home side held a four point lead at the interval.

Dunloy started the second half in similar fashion to the opening of the game with three points in as many minutes from Elliott and substitute Shane Dooey opening a seven point lead but Ballycran hit back.  They scored 1-5 without reply to take the lead for the first time in the game before the second half water break.  The Down men’s second major coming from James Clarke as he rode a couple of heavy tackles before despatching the sliotar to the back of the Dunloy net.

The Cuchullains needed a response and they got it in the form of their third goal.  Seaan Elliott producing a moment of magic, dancing his way through three challenges before testing the relexes of Cahal Lavery in the ‘Cran goals.  The sliotar fell lose to McMahon and he swept home to give the Cuchullains the lead once again and one they would hold onto for the rest of the game.

Dunloy entertain their old rivals Loughgiel in the Feis Cup semi final on Tuesday evening while Ballycran’s next league match is on Sunday 11th July as Cushendall make the journey down the Ards Penninsula.

TEAMS

Dunloy: Callum Mullan; Phelim Duffin, Conor McKinley, Conor Kinsella; Eamon Smyth, Ryan McGarry, Aaron Crawford; Eoin McFerran, Liam McCann; Nicky McKeague, Anton McGrath, Gabriel McTaggart; Chrissy McMahon, Ciaran Elliott, Seaan Elliott

Scorers: C McMahon 2-4; S Elliott 1-2; N McKeague 0-2 (2f); Paul Shiels 0-2 (2f); L McCann 0-1; Shane Dooey 0-1

Ballycran: Cahal Lavery; Rory Brown, Michael Hughes, Sean Ennis; Michael Ennis, Gerard Hughes, Aaron Dorrian; Scott Nicholson, Cormac McAllister; Ben Arthurs, Phelim Savage, Stuart Martin; James Clarke, Connor Dorrian, Huw Flynn

Scorers: H Flynn 0-6 (6fs); P Savage 1-2; J Clarke 1-1; C McAllister 0-1; S Martin 0-1; B Arthurs 0-1; C McAllister 0-1

Referee: Kevin Parke (Naomh Eanna)

Murphy’s late trio wins it for Rossa

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Ballycastle 0-21 Rossa 2-16

Three points in injury time by top scorer Deaglan Murphy seen Rossa snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Ballycastle in Sunday’s Doherty Woodshavings Division 1 league game at Pairc MacUilin. Rossa had held a slight edge for a good part of the game but when Ballycastle staged a alter recovery with points from Conor Boyd, Feargal McKiernan and Lorcan Donnelly to move two points clear nearing the end of normal time, it appeared they had done enough to secure the points. However Rossa hit back and a point from play and one from a free from Murphy tied things up. It looked odds on to end a draw but there was still time and when the chance presented itself Murphy kept his cool to cut through and tap over the winner.

Ballycastle started well and went four points up after six minutes with points from Mark McClean, Tommy McIlroy, Lorcan Donnelly and Ronan Laverty. It could have been even better had the home side not shot as many wides as well and they were made to pay when Daire Murphy soloed through and fired the ball to the Ballycastle net.

Dominic McEnhill and Ryan O’Neill added points to put Rossa ahead and they went on to lead by 1-5 to 0-6 at the first half water break and when centre forward Seaghan Shannon cut through for their second goal soon after the restart they appeared to be in control of the game.

However Shannon’s goal was to be his team’s last score of the opening half and Ballycastle fought back with a series of excellent points from Seamus McAuley and Conor Boyd to trail by just a point at half time.

A fantastic save from Ryan McGarry early in the second half prevented Rossa stretching their lead, thought they Shaw’s Road men did pull three ahead with two more Murphy points.  Ballycastle hit back with two well taken points from Ciaran Butler and for most of the second half it was score for score with just a point separating the sides.

When Ballycastle staged what they thought was a late comeback to move two clear they were well placed for the win, but Murphy’s three late points gained his team the win and ended a really exciting game.

BALLYCASTLE

Ryan McGarry, Oran Kearney, Cormac Donnelly, Mark McClean, Conor Boyd, Neal McAuley, Ronan Laverty, Jack Magowan, Rueben McClean, Lorcan Donnelly, Ciaran Butler, Seamus McAuley, Eamon Elliott, Tommy McIlroy, Feargal McKiernan.

ROSSA

Donal Armstrong, Dylan Magee, Eoghan O’Neill, Darragh Murphy, Conall Shannon, Stephen Shannon, Ciaran Orchin, Cormac McGettigan, Eoin Trainor, Dominic McEnhill, Seaghan Shannon, Daire Murphy, Owen May, Ryan O’Neill, Deaglan Murphy

REFEREE – Michael Hardy (Rasharkin)

Loughgiel take the points…and end up in the Feis semi-final

Antrim Hurling League Division 1 – Senior Feis Cup quarter final

Loughgiel 0-21 Ballycastle -11

Loughgiel collected two more league points and booked themselves a place in the semi-final of the Feis Cup on Tuesaday evening at Fr Healy Park when they beat Ballycastle in a game that doubled as both league and Feis Cup.

Overall Loughgiel had that bit extra throughout the field and were more efficient in front of goal, while Ballycastle squandered a series of scoring chances, especially in the opening quarter.

Donal McKinley gave Loughgiel the lead in the opening minute but it was another five minutes before Ballycastle got on the scoreboard through Seamus McAuley, despite have several good chances. Loughgiel were finding the target a bit easier than the visitors and by the first half water break they were 0-6 to 0-the ahead, the pick of the scores coming from Declan Gillan from inside his own half, while Feargal McKiernan scored a great point for the Town.

The second quarter saw Lorcan Donnelly break through and score a great goal for Ballycastle to level up the score but a couple of great points from Paul Boyle and Eddie McCloskey had the Shamrocks 0-11 to 1-6 in front by half time.

Reuben McClean pointed for Ballycastle a minute into the second half to leave just a point between the sides, but Loughgiel were finding the target with a bit more ease and three from midfielder Paul Boyle and two from Rian McGarry frees helped them pull 0-17 to 1-9 clear by the second water break.

Seamus McAuley, Rueben McLean and Lorcan Donnelly kept Ballycastle in touch but a later run of scores from Eddie McCloskey, Caum McKendry and Shan McGrath saw them finish 0-21 to 1-11 in front at the final whistle.

LOUGHGIEL

Chrissy O’Connell, Caolan Blair, Rory McCloskey, Declan Gillan, Ciaran McKay, Seamus Dobbin, Od Laverty, Paul Boyle, Donal McKinley, Christy McGarry, Callum McKendry, Cormac McFadden, Rian McMullan, Eddie McCloskey, Shan McGrath

BALLYCASTLE

Ryan McGarry, Oran Kearney, Thomas McIlroy, Cormac Donnelly, Conor Boyd, Ciaran McKeague, Neal McAuley, Rian McCooke, Eamon Elliott, Ciaran Butler, KB McShane, Seamus McAuley, Tiernan Smyth, Fearghal McKiernan, Tiernan Smyth.