Goals vital as Rossa beat Ballycastle

ACHL Division 1

Rossa 2-16 Ballycastle 0-19

Pics by Bert Trowlen

Goals from James Connolly midway through the opening half and another from Stephen Beatty 10 minutes into the second proved the deciding scores as Rossa overcame the considerable challenge of McQuillan’s Ballycastle at Shaw’s Road last night.

The home side led by a goal at half time, 1-10 to 0-10 but were pushed all the way in a tight contest but the visitors could not conjure up the goal that might have swung the balance of play in their favour.

Rossa led 0-3 to 0-1 after 8 minutes through Dara Rocks, Aodhan O’Brien and Seaghan Shannon from a long range effort and Ciaran Clarke replying from a free for the visitors. Ballycastle replied and Oisin McAuley and Ronan McAuley pointed but Rossa held the upper hand at this stage with Dara Rocks and Aodhan O’Brien replying with points for the home side.

Connolly then rose to flick a long delivery to the Ballycastle net and O’Brien followed with a great long range point as the home side appeared to be gaining control but the visitors came back strongly in the second quarter with Ciaran Clarke and Eoin McAlonan points at the other end.

Aodhan O’Brien responded with a point from a ‘65’ for the Shaw’s Road side but the ‘Castle’ finished the half strongly with Clarke, Ronan Laverty, Joe McToal and Tiernan Smyth to the fore and Seaghan Shannon and Thomas Morgan replying for Rossa to leave Connolly’s goal separating the sides at half time.

It was Ballycastle who were first on target at the start of the second half with Ciaran Clarke pointing but Dara Rocks replied immediately for the home side to keep their noses in front. McQuillan’s were starting to get a grip on proceedings however and they hit the next three points through Joe McToal Eoin McAlonan and a well struck long range free from Clarke to draw level and the momentum appeared to be swinging their way.

They suffered a severe blow however when a mistake in defence let Stephen Beatty in for Rossa’s second goal and it was this score that settled the home side and they were always able to keep a distance between the sides though the North Antrim side kept battling all the way to the whistle.

Feargal McKiernan, Ciaran Clarke 0-3 and Tiarnan Butler added points for the visitors, Clarke’s final score a massive point from inside his own half but Aodhan O’Brien 0-3 and Shannon kept the scoreboard ticking over for the home side to see them home with three to spare.

Rossa: 1 Donal Armstrong, 2 Conor Boyle, 3 Christopher McGuinness, 4 Niall Devlin, 5 Stephen Shannon, 6 Adrian Kennealy, 7 Eoin Trainor, 8 Ciaran Orchin, 9 Seaghan Shannon, 10 Dara Rocks, 11 Stephen Beatty, 12 Aodhan O’Brien, 13 Thomas Morgan, 14 James Connolly, 16 Phil Crean

Ballycastle: 1 Chris McAuley, 2 Oran Kearney, 3 Neal McAuley, 4 Dermot Donnelly, 5 Ciaran McKeague, 6 Conor Boyd, 7 Matthew Donnelly, 8 Ronan Laverty, 9 Ciaran Clarke, 10 Joe McToal, 11 Ciaran Butler, 12 Eoin McAlonan, 13 Tiernan Smyth, 14 Oisin McAuley, 15 Feargal McKiernan.

Referee: Kevin Park Parke (St. |Enda’s)

Ballycastle beat Ballygalget with strong second half display

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

McQuillan, Ballycastle 2-19 Ballygalget 0-12

As so often Ciaran Clarke’s precise accuracy from a dead ball proved vital for the Town. With the wind assisting Ballygalget in the first half, this had all the hallmarks of a closely fought encounter, It was point for point for large parts of the first half ,the sides being level on four occasions, however a strong second half performance from the Town saw them run out with a well-deserved 13 point win.

Ciaran Clarke opened proceedings with a pointed free but the Down side were to respond with two points before James McLister levelled things up.

Points apiece from the wing three quarter men Seamus McAuley and Joe McToal, were answered by similar scores at the other end, before a Ciaran McKeague clearance found James McLister for the full forwards second point of the game.

Four further Ciaran Clarke points and a brace from Feargal McKiernan would round off the first half scoring for the Town, and at half-time the home side were more than happy to turnaround with a two point advantage 0-11 to 0-9.

Ballygalget opened the second half with two points but would only add another single point in the remainder of the half which would also see them seen them reduced to 14 men.

Ciaran Clarke knocked over a free before Conor Boyd picked out Seamus McAuley with a sublime pass to help re-establish the two-point advantage.

The award and conversion of a penalty finished the game as a contest as Ciaran Clarke rifled the sliothar low to the keeper’s right.  The goal tally was to double minutes later, when Seamus McAuley was on the end of a neat passing move involving Oisin McAuley and Ciaran Clarke to find the top corner of the net.

Further points from Clarke, McKiernan and Smyth would round off a good scoring day for the home side, but injuries to James McLister (concussion) and Seamus McAuley (broken wrist) would cast a cloud for the Ballycastle camp.

McQuillan: Críostaí McAuley, Jack McGowan, Neal McAuley, Dermot Donnelly, Ciaran McKeague, Conor Boyd, Matthew Donnelly, Ronan McCarry, Ronan Laverty , Seamus McAuley (1-3), James McLister (0-2), Joe McToal (0-1), Tiarnan Smyth (0-1), Feargal McKiernan (0-3), Ciaran Clarke (1-9 (1-0 pen 0-8 f).

Subs used: Oisín McAuley, Lorcan Donnelly, James Bakewell, Oran Kearney, Michael Dallat.

Burke saves the day for the Ruairis with injury time point

Antrim Hurling League – Division 1

Cushendall: 0-16 Rossa: 0-16

Cushendall and Rossa shared the points in Sunday’s All County Hurling League game at Paric Mhuir. For Rossa it was their first game back with their county players on board, while Cushendall had use of their county players for the second time, having played St Enda’s in a rearranged game on Wednesday evening.

Cushendall were on top during the first half and led by five at the break, but after the change of ends Rossa were much stronger, and with the wind at their backs they had much the better of things, and it took a point from Paddy Burke deep in injury time to earn the Ruairis a share of the points.

Two Paddy McGill points gave Cushendall an early lead but Rossa were level by the sixth minute as Stephen Beattie and James Connolly found the target at the other end for Rossa. Scott Walsh and Paddy Burke put the Ruairis two ahead again, and though Thomas Morgan cut the Rossa deficit to a single point, three in a row from Mark Donaghy, Dominic Delargy and Fred McIntyre gave Cushendall a four point cushion.

James Connolly pointed a free for Rossa to cut it back to three, but two more from McGill, one from play and one from a 65, had the home team five to the good by the 17th minute. The scoring dried up a bit during the second quarter with only Connolly and McGill getting on the scoreboard with two points apiece, Connolly cutting it back to three with points in the 19th and 21st minutes, while McGill hit back with two for Cushendall to give them a 0-11 to 0-6 half time lead.

If Cushendall thought they were in control of the match they soon found out different as Rossa wiped out the deficit and went ahead with six points in a row all of them from play. Denis Rocks started the run, Gerard Walsh, Stephen Beaty, Stephen Shannon and Beaty again to draw level before James Connolly put them in front in the 40th minute. Scott Walsh brought the home team level, but Walsh and Connolly put Rossa ahead again by the 45th minute.

Two points by McGill in the 47th and 51st minute. It stayed that way as they game entered injury time, and when Michael Armstrong and Denis Rocks fired over points from play in the 62nd minute it looked like the points were on their way to Shaw’s Road, until Paddy Burke’s late point earned Cushendall a share of the spoils.

Cuchuallins Recover to See Off Ballycran

Senior Hurling League

Division One

Dunloy 1-16 Ballycran 0-13

Sunday June 19

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy

Dunloy senior hurlers and U17 footballers stand with Corpus Christi Gaels observing a minutes silence. Ballycran (not in picture) also paid their respects ahead of the league game at Pearse Park

Dunloy recovered from eight points adrift just after half time to record a six point win over Ballycran on Sunday afternoon.  This wasn’t one for the hurling purists among us with both sides struggling to find any rhythm.  The visitors to Pearse Park couldn’t deal with the elements, despite a bright day in the north Antrim village, the wind was causing havoc with Ballycran hitting a number of glaring wides in the opening 30 minutes.

Despite this, they were well worthy of their seven point half time advantage.  The Cuchullains were restricted to just three points in those opening 30 minutes while their first score didn’t come until the 12th minute of the game.  The home side regrouped at half time however and played more to their abilities in the second half.  They were helped with Ballycran being reduced to 14 men, Michael Hughes seeing red just three minutes after the restart.

The only goal of the game came in the 37th minute, Deaglan Smith finishing an excellent move that halved the Ballycran lead while Nicky McKeague’s accuracy from frees allowed the home side to chip away into the Ballycran lead.  The Dunloy midfielder would top score with 0-8 beside his name, seven from placed ball while Gabriel McTaggart’s four points was just reward for the mountain of work he had gone through.

With county players Ryan Elliott, Aaron Crawford and Phelim Duffin all making a return to the Dunloy starting team, the Cuchullains defence was stronger than it had been in recent league games, yielding just 13 points in an hour of hurling with a number of those coming from distance in the first half while just four from placed ball.  The Cuchullains full back line in particular tenacious throughout.

On a day were graft and work rate were king, style and finesse came second.  Ciaran Elliott, Kevin Molloy, McTaggart and Eoin McFerran all rolled their sleeves up for the home side.

Ballycran will look at the opening 30 minutes to this game and realise this is where the game left them.  So many glaring wides at a time when they were well on top, allowed the Cuchullains to remain in touch.  Defensively they were organised and astute in possession.  Conor Woods immense at half back while he was ably assisted Aaron Dorrian and Gerard Hughes before he had to come off injured.  Phelim Savage was at his impish best and had an intriguing battle with Ciaran Elliott in the middle of the field.  The Dunloy man following Savage everywhere as the Cuchullains set about nullifying his creativity.

Up front, Stuart Martin and Scott Nicholson did the lions share of the scoring for the Ardsmen.  Martin with the first three points of the game while Nicholson gave the Cuchullains defence plenty to think about.

The momentum visibly swung after Ballycran were reduced to 14 men.  The visitors led by eight points at that stage and nine minutes later the Cuchullains were back on terms.  A run of 1-7 without reply gave the home side the ascendancy and Ballycran never really recovered.

McKeague’s frees, defensive dominance and some glittering scores from McTaggart in the final quarter allowed the Cuchullains to take the league points on offer.

The Cuchullains travel to Naomh Eanna on Wednesday night for their next game while Ballycran will welcome Cushendall to their turf on the same evening.


Dunloy: Ryan Elliott; Eamon Smyth, Phelim Duffin, Oran Quinn; Aaron Crawford, Kevin Molloy, Dara McMullan; Nicky McKeague, Ciaran Elliott; Nigel Elliott, Gabriel McTaggart, Eoin McFerran; Chrissy McMahon, Deaglan Smith, Oisin Elliott

Subs: Ryan McGarry for O Elliott (HT); Conor Kinsella for D McMullan (53); Conall Kelly for D Smith (55)

Scorers: N McKeague 0-8 (7f’s); G McTaggart 0-4; D Smuth 1-00; C McMahon 0-2; O Elliott 0-1; E Smyth 0-1

Ballycran: Stephen Keith; James Clarke, Sean Ennis, Lukas Boyd; Aaron Dorrian, Conor Woods, Gerard Hughes; Michael Hughes, Phelim Savage; Ben Arthurs, Stuart Martin, Niall Breen; Scott Nicholson, Ayrton Gleeson, Christopher Egan

Subs: Conor Gilmore for G Hughes (15)

Scorers: S Nicholson 0-4 (2f’s); S Martin 0-3; P Savage 0-2; C Woods 0-2 (2f); A Dorrian 0-1; C Egan 0-1

Referee: Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)

Cushendall on top as county players return

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Cushendall: 2-25 (31) Naomh Eanna 0-15 (15)

Now that the county season has been put to bed Cushendall had their full team available or the first time this season on Wednesday evening when they faced Naomh Eanna in a re-arranged game at Pairc Mhuir, Cushendall. Fergus McCambride got the home team’s first score but the next four call came from the stick of Neill McManus, the first from 65 and the other three from play at the went 0-5 to 0-0 clear. Matthew O’Hare got the Glengormley men on the scoreboard after 12 minutes, and he added another four minutes later but Cushendall were well on top and as county players Paddy Burke and Ryan McCambridge joined McManus on the scoreboard as the Ruairis raced to an 0-12 to 0-5, Naomh Eanna’s own county man Joe Maskey also getting on the scoreboard.

The second half started with Naomh Eanna being more prominent on the scoreboard with Maskey adding two and O’Hare again chipping in with one, and for twenty minutes it was virtually score for score. Howeer Cushendall were able to up the pace and after hitting four points in a row through Sean McAfee (2) and Neill McManus (2) they dealt the visitors a double blow when Andrew Delargy and Sean McAgee grabbed goals apiece inside a minute.

Naomh Eanna kept plugging away and they came back with four in a row of their own with Conor Bradley and Matthew Hare getting two each before McAfee capped a fine second half display with the last score of the game.