Carey Faughs await first win after trip to Rossa

ACHL Division One

O’Donovan Rossa 0-24 Carey Faughs 0-13

Like the majority of sides that have stepped up from division 2 in recent years, Carey are finding life difficult in Division 1 and on Wednesday night the visit to Shaw’s Road proved another testing fixture for the Ballyvoy men.

They came up against a Rossa side inspired by Aodhán O’Brien who finished the evening with nine points to his name over the evening and with Thoams Morgan weighing in with 0-7 there was only going to be one winner.

Morgan’s pace and finishing ability created problems for the visitors throughout, while team-mate O’Brien top-scored with nine from placed balls and play on a good night for the city side.

Carey opened brightly with early points from Michael McVeigh and James Black in the opening minutes before Thomas Morgan got Rossa’s opening score when he fired over.

There was a great pace to the game but both were guilty of missed chances before Aodhán O’Brien got his first of the night from a free to level but another pair of Carey scores through Colm McBride and Patrick Gillan moved the visitors two ahead.

Rossa were starting to find their feet however and O’Brien and Morgan brought them level again with excellent points but again Cathaoir an Ri responded through Daniel Martin. Gradually the hosts began to get on top however as they hit the next four points on the bounce with Morgan, Stephen Shannon from distance and Dara Rocks with two inside a minute.

Daniel Martin replied for the visitors but the momentum was now with the home side as they hit the next three through the impressive Morgan, O’Brien and Eoghan McMenamin to put a bit of distance between the sides.

Colm McBride and O’Brien traded points, the Rossa man from a 65 after Carey goalkeeper Daniel McBride did well to recover with Stephen Beatty breathing down his neck and another Morgan score on the run in from the right helped the hosts into a 0-13 to 0-7 lead at the interval.

The hosts continued to carry the game to their opponents on the restart with Darra Rocks, O’Brien and Morgan all on target, while McBride was again called into action for Carey to deny Owen May when a goal looked on.

The game was threatening to get away from the North Antrim side, but they dug deep with James Black and Martin pointing but they never really looked like getting the goal they needed to get themselves back into contention.

The home side continued to keep the score board ticking with O’Brien landing back-to-back points and James Black responding from a 65 for the Faughs.

Owen May got his name on the Rossa score card and Morgan added his seventh of the evening with John McBride’s 20-metre free tipped over and James Black landing another from midway in response, but the hosts finished strongly through O’Brien (two), McMenamin and substitute Diarmuid Rogan.

Black did have the final point of the evening, but Rossa were long out of sight as they move into seventh place in the table while Cathaoir an Ri await their first win of the season in a division that has proved testing for newly promoted sides in recent years.

O’Donovan Rossa: D Armstrong; C Boyle, C McGuinness, C Shannon; R Murray, Stephen Shannon (0-1), P Short; Seaghan Shannon, C Orchin; D Rocks (0-3), S Beatty, A O’Brien (0-9, 4 frees, 1 65); T Morgan (0-7), E McMenamin (0-2), O May (0-1).

Subs: D Rogan (0-1) for Seaghan Shannon (43), J Kerr for S Beatty (51), C O’Neill for T Morgan (54), J Reynolds for C Orchin (58), B McCauley for O May (58)

Cathaoir an Ri: D McBride; S Mathers, S McBride, C McBride (0-2); D Hill, J McCouaig, M McVeigh (0-1); C McKinley, J Black (0-5, 1 free, 1 65); F McVeigh, C McCaughan, J McBride (0-1 free); P Gillen (0-1), D Martin (0-3), E McKinley.

Subs: A McBride for E McKinley (49), J Mullan for D Martin (52)

Referee: Kevin Parke (Naomh Éanna)

Strong second sees Ballycran safely home

O’Neill’s Sportswear Hurling League Division 1

Ballycaslte 0-17 Ballycran 3-18

Ballycran made the long journey to Ballycastle on Wednesday evening and came away with a ten point victory to maintain joint top spot at the top of the Division table, trailing Loughgiel on score difference, to set up a showdown with the Shamrocks at Fr Healy Park on June 4th in the last game before the league splits.

Ballycastle’s Lorcan Donnelly

A badly depleted Ballycastle team did well in the first half, despite gifting the visitors 2-1 in a five minute spell, but the Down men were dominant after the break and hit some fine scores on their way to victory.

With Neill McAuley rolling back the years at centre back Ballycastle started well and were 0-3 to 0-0 ahead after five minutes, the points coming from a McAuley 65, Lorcan Donnelly and Cathal Connor. Paul Sheehan got the visitors on the scoreboard with a well struck free and though Lorcan Donnelly hit back with one for the home side, Sheehan and Scott Nicholson brought Ballycran back to within a point, before Eoin McAlonan sent one over to put the Town 0-5 to 0-3 clear.

Ballycran’s Paul Sheehan sends over a point

Disaster struck for the home side in a three minutes spell between the 17th and 20th minute as they let the Down men in for two goals and a point, which brought them from one behind to six ahead, but to their credit Ballycastle battled back really well as they his six points without reply between the 21st and 29th minutes to draw level again. Lorcan Donnelly started the run with one from a free before Neill McAuley sent one over from distance after picking up a clever sideline ‘cut’ from Rambo McCarry. Lorcan Donnelly, who was giving the Ballycran defence a lot of problems, added two more, McCarry hit one from play before Reuben McClean brought them level, but the men from the Ards got back ahead just on half time when Scottie Nicholason sent one over from play.

Ballycastle were dealt another blow when Neill McAuley did not emerge for the second half and when Ballycran stated strongly with two points from Sheehan and a goal from James Savage it was clear they would be hard to restrain.

Ballycastle centere back Neal McAuley

Ballycastle stayed in touch with two points from Lorcan Donnelly and one from Feargal McKiernan, but Ballycran were now controlling the game and they added six on the trot with Scott Nicholson and Conor Dorrian adding two apiece, while Sheehan and Ben Arthurs got the other two. Donnelly and McAlonan pulled a couple back for Ballycastle but Ballycran always had an answer and Dorrian, Nicholson and substitute David Gilliland added points to wrap up a ten point win.


Craoiste McAuley, Oran Kearney, Conal Colgan, Jack McGowan, James McLister, Neal McAuley, James McShane, Eoin McAlonan, Ronan McCarry, Reuben McLean, Cian Waldron, Cathal Conor, Lorcan Donnelly, Cailin O’Conor, Feargal McKiernan

Subs – Thomas McIlroy, Conor Donnelly, Oisin McAuley


Stephen Keith, Brad Watson, Gerard Hughes, Rory Brown, Aaron Dorrian, Sean Ennis, Cormac McAlister, Liam Savage, Scott Nicholson, Conor Dorrian, Conor Woods, Philip Miskimmin, Ben Arthurs, Paul Sheehan, Jake Miskimmin

Referee – Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)

McGrath on target as Shamrocks maintain their unbeaten run

O’Neills Sportswear ACHL Division 1

Loughgiel 1-23 Dunloy 0-15

Wednesday 24 May

Brendan McTaggart reports from Fr Healy Park, Loughgiel

Loughgiel maintained their 100% league record on Wednesday evening with an impressive win over old rivals Dunloy.  Eleven points separated the sides at the end of the hour with the only goal of the game in injury time from Cahal Hargan.  In the right place at the right time, Hargan fired home for the Shamrocks but their main scoring threat came from the outstanding Shan McGrath.  The inside forward finished with 11 points beside his name, six coming from open play while he, Jack and Dan McCloskey formed a dangerous forward line.  Their movement and pace created space and chances throughout and moved the Cuchullains defence to areas they could exploit. With both teams short a lot of regulars due to county commitments this Sunday against Westmeath it is hard to read much into the result, and it has to be said that the visitors suffered a bit more in this department, with the starting fifteen short nine of the team who started their All Ireland club final against Ballyhale back in January. The Shamrocks also sufferered in this department but a bit less than their visitors and they will have been delighted to maintain their 100% record They lead Ballycran on score difference and they host the Ards men at Fr Healy Park on Sunday week, a game that will be decisive in the league race.

Dunloy’s Kevin Molloy hand passes the ball away

The Cuchullains struggled in the first half against the wind and while they posed more of an attacking threat after the break, Loughgiel’s nine point half time lead rarely looked like being reeled in by the visitors.

The introduction of Chrissy McMahon gave the Dunloy attack more potency while Ryan Mort and Ronan Molloy were always a threat.  Defensively they were overworked with the Loughgiel crisp and incisive passing coupled with the movement of the Shamrocks attacking unit creating space for them to exploit.

Aodhan McGarry top scored for the Cuchullains with four of his five points coming from placed ball while Mort’s contribution of 0-3 was the most from open play for the Cuchullains.

In a first half dominated by the home side, the game lacked any real intensity or fluency for that matter.  Mistakes were prevalent in either side with the Shamrocks reaching double figures for wides in the opening 30 minutes while the number of individual errors from the Cuchullains was inordinate.  Loughgiel did force a number of telling turnovers and capitalise on any indiscretion in the Cuchullains defence and the nine point half time difference certainly didn’t flatter them.  But for the bravery of Eoghan Richmond between the sticks to stop Jack McCloskey from scoring what seemed a certain goal in the 25th minute.

The Shamrock’s late first half rally put a fairer reflection of the first half on the scoreboard with five points coming from the 28th minute and the injury time allowed at the end of the half.

Dunloy started the second half with more vigour and played with more decisiveness and desire, scoring five points in the opening six minutes of the half with a pair of frees from Declan McCloskey and Shan McGrath the response for the Shamrocks.  The Cuchullains couldn’t maintain that streak of scoring however to try and put any real scoreboard pressure on Hugh McCann’s side.

Loughgeil’s Damon McMullan in action against Dunloy’s Aodhan McGarry

By the 39th minute the nine point Loughgiel lead was restored with Tiago McGarry, Pearce Patterson and McGrath (free) finding their range before Dunloy hit four unanswered points for the first time in the match.  A brace of scores from Aodhan McGarry (one free), Chrissy McMahon and a long range free from Eamon Smyth brought them to within five of the Shamrocks.  It was as close as they would get to their sparring partners however.

The Shamrocks fired over five points unanswered, three from McGrath with one each for Donal McKinley and Declan McCloskey’s fifth point of the evening.

Dunloy continued to look for ways to penetrate an impressive Loughgiel defence and laid an aerial assault on the Shamrocks goals but scores from Smyth and Nicky McKeague (free) was all they had to show for their efforts.

The Shamrock’s margin of victory was given further gloss with their major coming in the fourth minute of injury time.  Dunloy ‘keeper Richmond looked to have cleared the danger among a crowd of players but he was dispossessed with Hargan on hand to fire the sliotar to the back of the net.

Eight from eight for the Shamrocks in the league who travel to Corrigan Park for their next match in a weeks’ time while the Cuchullains will entertain the Johnnies in their next game on 4th June.

Loughgiel’s Tiago McGarry in action against Dunloy


Loughgiel: Chrissy O’Connell; Tiernan Coyle, Daniel McPeake, Caolan Blair; Ben McGarry, Declan McCloskey, Damon McMullan; Ruairi McCormick, Tiago McGarry; Cahal Hargan, Donal McKinley, Pearce Patterson; Jack McCloskey, Shan McGrath, Dan McCloskey

Subs: Rian McKee for D McPeake (HT); Odhran McFadden for J McCloskey (HT); Conor Dickson for D McKinley (51); Nicholas McNaughton for Dan McCloskey (55)

Scorers: S McGrath 0-11 (5fs); Declan McCloskey 0-5 (3fs); P Patterson 0-3; C Hargan 1-00; T McGarry 0-2; D McMullan 0-1; D McKinley 0-1

Dunloy: Eoghan Richmond; Cahir McCloskey, Conor McKinley, Daire McMullan; Eamon Smyth, Kevin Molloy, Barry Scott; Tom McFerran, Ciaran Elliott; Aodhan McGarry, Gabriel McTaggart, Ronan Molloy; Ryan Mort, Anton McGrath, Nicky McKeague

Subs: Chrissy McMahon for C McCloskey (HT); Kevin McKeague for B Scott (HT); Barry McCloskey for A McGrath (46); Ciaran McQuillan for Kevin Molloy (54)

Scorers: A McGarry 0-5 (4fs); R Mort 0-3; G McTaggart 0-2; E Smyth 0-2 (2fs); Kevin Molloy 0-1; N McKeague 0-1 (1f)

Referee: Eamonn Hassan (Cloughmills)

Strong second half sees Ballycastle win well

Antrim Hurling League – Division 1

St John’s 1-13 Ballycastle 4-21

Ballycastle scored a big win over St John’s at Corrigan Park on Sunday, a win that lifts them out of the bottom half of the table.

There was little between the teams in the first half and a Loughlin McCurdy goal, which he toe –poked through a crowded goalmouth put the home team in front after Eoin McAlonan and Rambo McCarry had given the Town an early lead. Tiernan Smyth restored the visitors lead with two points from frees before Domhnal Nugent brought the Johnnies level with a well struck point from distance. Three in a row from Seamus McAuley, Mattie Donnelly and Rambo McCarry open a gap for the visitors but Ruairi Galbraith and Aaron Bradley brought St John’s back to within a point, and though Cian Waldron and Tiernan Smyth hit back for Ballycastle there was just two between the sides at the interval and Sean Wilson and Aaron Bradley (3) hit late points for the Corrigan Park men.

With the breeze behind them in the second half Ballycastle started strongly and points from Cian Waldron and Tirnan Smyth put the gap out to five. Full forward Niall McCallin pulled one back for the Johnnies but two more from Smyth and one each from McAlonnan and Seamus McAuley saw the gap widen. Domhnal Nugent got one back from a free before Ronan McCarry got Ballycastle’s first goal. St John’s captain Nugent hit three points in a row, but Ballycastle were now dominant and a late flurry of goals from Lorcan Donnelly, Seamus McAuley and Donnelly again saw them run out convincing winners.

Sharp Shamrocks maintain top spot

ACHL Division 1

St. Enda’s 0-12 Loughgiel 2-24

St. Enda’s had no answer to a sharp Loughgiel Shamrocks at Hightown on Wednesday night with the North Antrim men in a strong position at half time when they led 0-14 to 0-2. The home side did improve in the second half, adding a further 10 points but goals from Christy McGarry and Ruairi McCormick ensured there would be no way back for the home side.

Loughgiel took the game to St. Enda’s right from throw in and the points came thick and fast as Declan McCloskey, Daniel McCloskey, Christy McGarry and two from Shan McGrath got them on their way with Cormac Jennings replying for the Hightown side.

Two more from Daniel McCloskey and points from Ryan McKee and Paul Boyle stretched Loughgiel’s lead before Jennings momentarily interrupted the onslaught but the visitors finished the half strongly as McGrath hit three on the bounce with Daniel McCloskey adding two to leave their side in a commanding 10 point lead at the short whistle.

The Glengormley men did much better in the second half and with the elements in their favour they began to find the target but an early goal from McGarry to add to a Rian Gillen point made the chances of a comeback extremely slim.

Ruairi Donaghy led the St. Enda’s charge and would score 0-3 in the second half while Joe Maskey 0-3, Jennings, Eddie O’Connor, Ryan Bogue and youngster Roger Eager were all on target for the home side during a much improved second half.

The visitors were in no mood to let it slip however with Shan McGrath hitting three on the bounce and adding another to bring his second half contribution to 0-4 and Ruairi McCormick’s goal all but finished the game as a contest.

This win moves Loughgiel to the top of the division with 7 wins from 7 starts and they are going nicely at present and despite last night’s defeat, St. Enda’s occupy a fairly comfortable mid-table position and will be happy with aspects of their second half performance.

St. Enda’s: 1 Martin Curran, 2 Conor McAllister, 3 Manus Mullan, 4 Malachi McGibbon, 5 Dara Maguire, 6 Rian Gillen, 7 Eoin Conlon, 8 Brendan Cormican, 9 Ryan Bogue, 10 Cormac Jennings, 11 Ronan Eager, 12 Diarmuid Maguire, 14 Conor Bradley, 15 Ruairi Donaghy, 22 Niall McGivern

Loughgiel: 1 Chrissy O’Connell, 2 Tiernan Coyle, 3 Damon McMullan, 4 Rory McCloskey, 5 Enda McGarry, 6 Declan McCloskey, 7 Caolan Blair, 8 Ruairi McCormick, 9 Ryan McKee, 10 Rian McMullan, 11 Paul Boyle, 12 Christy McGarry, 13 Jack McCloskey, 14 Shan McGrath, 15 Daniel McCloskey

Referee: Lorenzo McMullan