Dunloy turn on the style as they sink the Shamrocks

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Dunloy 4-23 Loughgiel 0-20

A brilliant first half display by county champions Dunloy saw them put on an exhibition of hurling and set them up for a big win over arch rivals, and league leaders. Loughgiel in Wednesday evening’s Division 1 league game at Pearse Park. In what was the Cuchullains first game of the season with anything near their full side they tore their opponents apart with some sharp, fast and accurate play which saw them lead by 3-17 to 0-7 at half time, a nineteen point margin.

The Shamrocks, who also started well short of their regular side, could not match last season’s All Ireland finalists. In the second half they fared much better and hit a series of excellent scores, but it has to be said by this stage Dunloy had called some of their top marksmen ashore as they gave some of their fringe players some game time.

Paul Shiels turns away after scoring Dunloy’s second goal

Starting with ten of the side who started against Ballyhale Shamrocks in the All Ireland Club final in January, Dunloy flew from the traps and full forward Eoin ‘Sammy’s O’Neill had the ball in the Loughgiel net inside 20 seconds, and the same player added a point before the clock had reached the one minute mark.

Ronan McCollum pulled a point back for Loughgiel on three minutes and added another soon afterwards, but by the time the Shamrocks got their third point Dunloy had 2-10 on the board, the second goal coming from Paul Shiels after a dreadful mix-up from a short Loughgiel poc-out. Some of the points during that period were spectacular as a much changed Loughgiel team failed to get to the pace of the game and by the time the half time whistle sounded they were nineteen in arrears (3-17 to 0-7) the third goal coming from man of the match Eoin O’Neill

Loughgiel’s Rian ‘Bubbles’ McMullan fires in a shot at goal during the second half

Loughgiel made a few changes at half time, and though they fell further in arrears as the brilliant Seaan Elliott grabbed his team’s fourth goal, they began to find a bit of rhythm in their play and the scores began to come.  Jack McCloskey, Rian McMullan, Ronan McCollum and James McNaughton were among the scorers, some of them right out of the top drawer, but they were never going to trouble the home side who by this stage had the league points safely wrapped up.

Dunloy’s Keelan Molloy who played some superb hurling during the opening half.

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Strong second half performance keeps Enda’s in touch at the top

ACHL Division 1

St. Enda’s 3-26 Cathaoir an Ri 1-17

Following their famous win over neighbours Ballycastle in mid-week, Carey travelled to Glengormley on Sunday hoping to gain their second win of the season. However they came up against a St. Enda’s side who are going well this year and find themselves in 5th place at the split.

Carey battled well during the opening half and were well in the contest at half time whern they trailed by only three points, but the Hightown side found another gear on the restart and hit three second half goals to win fairly comfortably in the end.

Cormac Jennings led the way for Naomh Eanna during the opening 30 minutes and hit 0-6 while Ruairi Donaghy 0-3, Nialll O’Connor, Eddie O’Connor0-2 and Luke O’Connor were the men on target for the home side.

The Faughs gave as good as they got for long periods during the first half with Patrick Gillan leading the way with 0-3 and Conlith McKinley, Michael McVeigh and Caolan McCaughan leading the charge for the Ballyvoy side.

After the break Naomh Eanna stepped it up a gear with Niall O’Connor leading the way and adding an early goal and completing a successful day for the Glengortmley men and another from Ruairi Donaghy, midway through the half put them into total control.

O’Connor added 3 second half points and Cormac Jennings, Ruiri Donaghy, Cormac Ross, Eddie O’Connor and Joe Maskey added to their total with Conlith McKinley, Michael McVeigh, Peadar McVeigh and Patrick Gillan replying for the North Antrim men

St. Enda’s: 1 Martin Curran, 2 Dara Maguire, 3 Manus Mullan, 4 Malachi McKibbon, 5 Eoin Conlon, 6 Joe Maskey, 7 Cormac Ross, 8 Brendan Cormican, 9 Owen Kennedy, 10 Luke O’Connor, 11 Niall O’Connor, 12 Eddie O’Connor, 13 Ruairi Donaghy, 14 Diarmuid Maguire, 15 Cormac Jennings

Cathaoir an Ri: 1 Daniel McBride, 2 Daniel Hill, 3 Colm McBride, 4  Soimhairle Mathers, 5 Michael McVeigh, 6 James Black, 7 Conlith McKinley, 8 Caolan McCaughan, 9 Fiachra McVeigh, 10 Eoin McKinley, 11 John McBride, 12 Peadar McVeigh, 13 Aaron McBride, 14 James McCouaig, 15 Patrick Gillan

Referee: Darren McKeown (St. Gall’s)

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Loughgiel had too much for understrength Ballycran

O’Neill Sportswear Hurling League – Division 1

Loughgiel Shamrocks 2-28 Ballycran 1-15

This top of the table clash between the two unbeaten sides in the division, Loughgiel and Ballycran, turned out to be a disappointment as the Shamrocks proved much too strong for a Ballycran side who were short a good few regulars. The Down men started promisingly and were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after six minutes, but once they got going Loughgiel beat them with relative ease, with an impressive scoring performance which saw them win the end by sixteen points

Loughgiel’s Paul Boyle in action during his team’s win over Ballycran

Two points from Paul Sheehan and one from James Coyle, in reply to one by Cathal Hargan gave Ballycran a good start, but they were soon reeled in by a slick moving Shamrocks side, and two Shan McGrath points brought the home side level. A great solo run and shot by Paul Boyle forced a great double save from Ballycran keeper Stephen Keith, but Declan McCloskey pointed the resultant 65 and when Rian ‘Bubbles’ McMullan got in for the first goal of the game the Shamrocks were in command and points quickly followed from McMullan (2), James McNaughton (2) and Cathal Hargan to take a firm grip on the game. Nearing half time Ballycran hit three in a row, two from Sheehan and one from Woods, but an excellent point from Shan McGrath just before half time gave the home team a 1-10 to 0-6 lead at half time.

Loughiel’s Tiernan Coyle clears the ball from defence

Two early points from Declan McCloskey and Rian McMullan stretched the lead to eight in the opening minute of the second half and it was clear the visitors had an uphill struggle in their hands. Phelim Savage, who had played at centre back in the first half, moved further up the field and he hit two great points to keep his team in touch, but two quick points from Shan McGrath were followed by a second goal from Bubbles McMullan and the only thing in doubt was the size of the winning margin.

Savage and Sheehan kept things ticking over for Ballycran with some excellent scores and Sheehan got a goal from a brilliantly struck 20 meter free three minutes from time, but the Loughgiel forward line were really flying and struck a succession of top class points to seal an impressive win

Ballycran goalkeeper Stephen Keith gets the ball away as he is challenged by Loughgiel’s Dan McCloskey and Christy McGarry

LOUGHGIEL

Chrissy O’Connell, Tiernan Coyle, Daniel McPeake, Rory McCloskey, Caolan Blair, Declan McCloskey, Damon McMullan, Ruairi McCloskey, James McNaughton, Paul Boyle, Cathal Hargan, Rian McMullan, Daniel McCloskey, Shan McGrath, Christy McGarry

BALLYCRAN

Stephen Keith, Michael Hughes, Patrick Hughes, Brett Hughes, Brett Nicholson, Phelim Savage, Stephen Gilliland, Philip Miskimmin, Scott Nicholson, Ethan Bell, Conor Woods, Paul Sheehan, James Coyle, James Miskimmin.

Referee – Kevin Parke

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Dunloy and St John’s can’t be seperated

O’Neill’s Sportswear ACHL Division 1

Dunloy 2-21 St John’s 1-24

Sunday June 4

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy

Dunloy and St John’s couldn’t be separated in blistering heat on Sunday afternoon with the sides finishing all square at the end of the hour.  This was a hugely entertaining hour of hurling where the Corrigan Park men looked to have done enough to earn the vital league points on offer when they took a three point lead at the end of the game but the Cuchullains finished with a flurry and a draw was probably the fairest result.

With Eoin O’Neill lining out, the home side were still shorn plenty of their county players while the Johnnies welcomed the two Bradley’s, Domhnall Nugent and Conor Johnston into their 15.

The visitors to Pearse Park looked lively in attack and with Oisin MacManus, Michael Dudley and Johnston all dangerous, they gave the Dunloy defence their fill of it and more.  Chrissy McMahon and O’Neill got the majors for Dunloy, one in either half and came at vital times.  St John’s were well worth their four point lead by the 22nd minute with Ryan McNulty, MacManus and Johnston all heavily involved but Chrissy McMahon’s major brought Dunloy to within touching distance.  Tom McFerran winning the ball in midfield and finding O’Neill in space.  ‘Sammy’ lured the St John’s defence before feeding McMahon and he made no mistake.

In fairness to the Johnnies, they had their goal chances previous to the Dunloy major with Johnston going close on two occasions while ‘keeper Eoghan Richmond did well to stop MacManus’ goal bound effort.

One point separated the sides at the short whistle with St John’s ahead 0-14 to 1-10.  The Johnnies probably deserved to be further ahead given how the first half panned out and after 10 minutes of the second half they had opened a four point lead once more.  MacManus, Johnston, Nugent and Dudley before a brace of frees from Aodhan McGarry brought Dunloy to within two before the second half water break.

The Johnnies goal came in the 49th minute through the lively Aaron Bradley, Johnston with the assist to give his side a four point lead once more but Dunloy’s second major came with the next attack – Eoin O’Neill, who’s assist set up McMahon’s major in the first half, found the back for Declan Cregan’s goal with an instant Dunloy reply.

With just three minutes of the hour remaining St John’s had a three point lead but scores from McGarry (free), O’Neill and Ronan Molloy ensured the league points were shared at the end of the hour.

TEAMS

Dunloy: Eoghan Richmond; Dara McMullan, Kevin McKeague, Oran Quinn; Conor McKinsella, Ronan Molloy, Barry McCloskey; Nicky McKeague, Tom McFerran; Eoin McFerran, Gabriel McTaggart, Aodhan McGarry; Chrissy McMahon, Eoin O’Neill, Ryan Mort

Scorers: A McGarry 0-12 (8fs 1’65); C McMahon 1-3; E O’Neill 1-1; R Molloy 0-2; P Shiels 0-2; R Mort 0-1

St John’s: Declan Cregan; Oisin Donnelly, Domhnal Nugent, Lorcan Heenan; Daragh McGuinness, Michael Bradley, Jack Bohill; Conal Morgan, Aaron Bradley; Ryan McNulty, Oisin MacManus, Michail Dudley; CJ McKenna, Conor Johnston, Ruairi Galbraith

Scorers: O MacManus 0-9 (2fs 1’65); C Johnston 0-5; M Dudley 0-3; A Bradley 1-00; CJ McKenna 0-2; R McNulty 0-2; D Nugent 0-1; M Bradley 0-1; C Morgan 0-1

Referee: Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)

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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)

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