O’Brien inspires Rossa to first win of the season

ACHL Division 1

Dunloy 0-17 Rossa 0-22

Rossa travelled to Pearse Park on Sunday and recorded a much needed win over a Dunloy side still missing their county players. The visitors made all the running during a first half in which they dominated and looked well on their way to victory when they led 0-18 to 0-6 at half time.

After the break it was the turn of Cuchullian’s to dictate matters as they outscored the visitors 0-11 to 0-4 but it was the Shaw’s Road side who held on for their first win of the present league campaign.

Aodhan O’Brien top scored for Rossa with 0-8 (4 frees) and Darra Rocks 0-4, Aidan Orchin 0-2, Dominic McEnhill 0-3, Eoghan McMenamin 0-2, Eoin Trainor 0-2 and Seaghan Shannon were the men on target for the Blue & Gold’s.

Ballygalget finish strongly to take the points

ACHL Division1

Cathaoir an Ri 1-10 Ballygalget 1-18

Twenty minutes into this fiercely contested ACHL Division 1 clash in Ballyvoy, Cathaoir an Ri must have felt they were on course to get their first win of the season when they led visitors Ballygalget by 1-10 to 0-10.

They would not score again however as events swung dramatically in favour of the ‘Ards’ men who would score 1-8 to 0-0 in the closing stages.

The deluge that fell for half an hour before throw in finished just in time for referee Fionntan McCotter to get the game underway on a pitch made heavy from the falling rain and it was the Ballyvoy side who were first on the scoreboard when Connor McBride pointed a 25 meter free.

The visitors replied through Eoin Pucci and Daniel Toner to take the lead but Cathaoir an Ri responded with two of their own with Shea Hunter and Conlith McKinley the marksmen to take the lead for the second time by the 10th minute.

Ballygalget were trying to move the ball around but their short game was being thwarted by a combination of the poor conditions and an aggressive press by the home side but Daniel Toner escaped his marker to level matters for the third time.

The Carey men were starting to enjoy a bit of success however and a couple of points from McKinley and another from a Connor McBride free had them two in front by the 20th minute, the Ballygalget point a great long range effort from Ciaran Watson.

A Connor McBride pointed free for the home side and a reply from Eoin Pucci for the visitors had last year’s division 2 champions one ahead at the break and they had just about done enough to deserve their lead.

Pucci hit two more on the restart to move the Down men ahead and then brought a smart save from Daniel McBride as Ballygalget opened on the front foot but Cathaoir an Ri replied through Connor McBride and Caolan McCaughan to retake the lead once more.

Things were certainly livening up and some of the challenges were not for the faint hearted as Jordan Doran fired over a massive point from over 70 meters and Eoin Coulter was guilty of a bad miss before the visitors were awarded a penalty.

Up stepped Marc Fisher but his shot cannoned off the crossbar and over for a point and it looked to be swinging the way of the men from the Ards peninsula.

Back came Cathaoir an Ri and the visitors defence failed to deal with a dangerous dropping ball into the danger area and in the frantic scramble that ensued Conlith McKinley got the vital touch to send to the net and restore his side’s lead.

It should have got even better for the Ballyvoy men but Connor McBride pulled his shot agonisingly wide of the upright as he found himself on a one to one with advancing keeper Eoin Clarke.

It was to prove a turning point as the home side had Sean McBride dismissed for a second Yellow card offence and as a bit of space began to open up Ballygalget took advantage and began to move the ball around with confidence.

Jordan Doran, Daniel Toner and Michael Og Dorrian fired over points and when Toner cut in from the left after finding himself in space and rifled his shot past Daniel McBride it was as good as over.

Marc Fisher added another long range point and Eoin Pucci and substitute John McManus concluded the scoring with another excellent score to see his side home with a somewhat flattering eight points to spare.

Cathaoir an Ri: 1 Daniel McBride, 2 Daniel Hill, 3 Sean McBride, 4 Colm McBride, 5 Michael McVeigh, 6 James McCouaig, 7 Zach McCaughhan, 8 Eoin Hill, 9 James Black, 10 Caolan McCaughan, 11 Shea Hunter, 12 Conlith McKinley, 13 Connor McBride, 14 Daniel Martin, 15 Sean McLaughlin, Subs: 19 Fiachra McVeigh.

Ballygalget: 1 Eoin Clarke, 2 Michael Toner, 3 Peter McManus, 4 James Higgins, 5 Caolan Coulter, 6 Marc Fisher, 7 Joseph Smyth, 8 Eoin Coulter, 9 Jordan Doran, 10 Eoin Pucci, 11 Ciaran Watson, 12 Michael Og Dorrian, 13 Tim Prenter, 14 Owen McDermott, 15 Daniel Toner. Subs: John McManus, Daniel Doran, Ryan Watson

Referee: Fionntan McCotter (Sarsfields)

St. Enda’s continue to impress in Ballycastle

ACHL Division 1

Ballycastle 1-17 St. Enda’s 1-17

Last year St. Enda’s struggled to maintain their division 1 status but they have started the 2023 season very much on the front foot and to date have recorded two wins and two draws from five starts.

On Sunday they travelled to Ballycastle and were involved in a thrilling contest against McQuillan’s and after an hour’s hurling these sides couldn’t be separated.

It was the visitors St. Enda’s who edged the first half exchanges and a goal from Eoin Conlon saw them lead 1-8 to 0-8 at half time with Cormac Ross hitting four points for the visitors and their other first half scores coming from Ruairi Donaghy 0-3 and David Maguire.

Ross was in scintillating form for the Glengormley side and he continued to carry their greatest scoring threat in the second half as he added 0-5 to bring his personal tally to 0-9 for the evening and Ruairi Donaghy getting 0-2 but Ballycastle edged the second half exchanges and came back with a goal of their own to share the points.

St. Enda’s find themselves in third place in the league after five rounds of games and while it is early days, their form to date would suggest that they can more than hold their own in the division and avoid the threat of relegation that haunted them for most of last season

Jonty earns the Johnnies a share of the points

Antrim Hurling League – Division 1

St John’s 0-20 Ballygalget 1-17

A point from a long range free five minutes into added time earned the Johnnies a share of the spoils with Ballygalget in Sunday’s Division 1 League game at Corrigan Park. Ryan McNulty had drawn them level just at the end of normal time but there was still time for Eoin Coulter to put Ballygalget back ahead with a point from play. It appeared that the both points were heading down the Ards, but in the time added on Jonty saved the day by hitting a late equaliser.

Despite the fact both teams were short of their county players this was a good competitive game with little between them at any stage. St John’s had the better of the early minutes but Ballygalget hit back with an Owen McDermott goal. It was score for score for a long spell until the Johnnies hit four in a row through CJ McKenna, Ryan McNulty, Ruairi Galbraith and Darragh McGuinness, which helped them to a 0-13 to 1-7 lead at half time.

With Ciaran Coulter accurate from frees Ballygalget fought their way back and 3 in a row from Eoin Coulter, Cormac Coulter and Michael Og Dorian put them a point clear going down the ‘home straight’.

When Ryan McNulty brought the Johnnies level that appeared to be it decided, but the fans had to endure a bit more excitement as Eoin Coulter got the Down men back in front, but Ciaran Johnston was to prove the saviour of the home side as he split the posts from distance to earn his team a point

Strong second half gives Loughgiel victory

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Loughgiel 1-19 Portaferry 0-10

By North Antrim PRO – Darach Ó Maolin

A drenched and soil-churned field is never a pretty sight, nor is it pleasant to play upon. Loughgiel and Portaferry were to meet on such a field at Fr Healy Park on Sunday afternoon as the inclement weather of recnt weeks has taken its toll of the Fr Healy Park surface.

With more than a third of the Portaferry team on duty with Down in Portlaoise at the same time the Ards men faced a tough task but the battled manfully as always and were still well in touch at the break.

Loughgiel ushered in the beginning of the game with a strong deliverance which was manifested through a great performance by Odhran McFadden and Ryan McKee. Despite this strong start, Loughgiel’s forward line was put to the test by the physicality of Portaferry’s Emmett O’Neill and Conor O’Neill. 

Loughgiel’s Ryan McKee scored a fantastic point by chipping the ball from the sideline, but this was swiftly overturned by an equally impressive point by Paudie Dornan.

Half Time Score

Loughgiel 0-8

Portaferry 5

Loughgiel returned to the field with great intensity and scores by Cathal Hargan and Ruairi McCormick helped widen the score difference. Ciaran Milligan continued to hold the line against Loughgiel’s advances but this was not enough to stop a fantastic goal by Dan McCloskey who had spent a great deal of effort combating Ronan Smyth.