Ballycran run up a big score in Cushendun

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Cushendun 2-9 Ballycran 4-27

When Cushendun won promotion to the top division last season they knew there would be a few tough days ahead this years. Sunday was one of those days, as they faced a Ballycran side who are in top form this season. The Down men were ruthless as they ran up a big score, most of the damage done in the first half, at the end of which they lead by 4-14 to 1-5.

Ballycran’s four goals all came in the opening half as Ayrten Gleeson and Conor Dorian struck early with majors in the 3rd and 4th minutes and by this stage it became clear that the home side were in for a tough afternoon. Conlaoith McNeill pulled on back for the Emmet’s in the seventh minute but it was to be a brief lull as the visitors came back with four points in three minutes through Martin (2) Savage and Arthurs. Bannon and McNeill replied with points for Cushendun but the points kept coming at the other end, while Niall Breen and Gleeson grabbed two more goals in their way to a 4-14 to 1-5 lead at the break.

When you are that far ahead you tend to ease your foot off the throttle a bit and Ballycran did. They scored no more goals but they still managed to add thirteen points, which is good shooting in anyone’s book. Loaf McNeill grabbed another goal for the home side, plus a couple of points, and Harry Kilgore grabbed one, but it was mostly one way traffic as Nicholson, Doran, Martn and Savage picked off the points to wrap up a big, big win.

Cushendun will lick their wounds and look forward to their visit to St Enda’s on Wednesday evening, while Ballycran will welcome their Ards rivals, and table toppers, Portaferry to McKenna Park on the same night in what should be a great battle.

Cushendall got on top in second half

Antrim Hurling Leauge – Division 1

Cushendall : 1-22(25) St Johns: 0-16(16)

A strong spell of scoring midway through the second half, which brought a goal and four points without reply, set Cushendall up for a win over St John’s at Pairc Mhuir on Sunday. With teams fielding without a good few regulars there was nothing to separate them in the opening half, which ended on 0-11 apiece . Paddy McGill did the bulk of the scoring for the home team during this period while Oisin McManus Ruairi Galbraith and Michael Kieley were to the fore for the visitors.

A goal and three quick points early in the second half, two from Padriag McKillop and one from Paddy Magill. Conor Hand and Declan Creggan came back with points for the Johnnies to keep them well in touch but a goal and a point from Cormac McClafferty, two points from Paddy McGill, plus a point from Padraig McKillop saw them open a seven point gap going into the last ten minutes.

It was score for score down the home straight as McGill and McMahon picked off the points, but hard though they tried St John’s just could not bridge the gap and the Ruairis held on for the win.

Portaferry remain unbeaten

Antrim Hurling League Division 1

Dunloy 2-18 Portaferry 3-23

Portaferry maintained their unbeaten run in Division 1 of the Antirm Hurling League when they travelled to Dunloy on Friday evening and came away with an eight point win to make it 4 wins from 4.

On the pace from the opening minute, the Down men lead by 3 points after a high scoring opening half. (1-10 to 0-16). After the change of ends they withstood an early fightback by what was an understrength Dunloy side, but two quick goals swung the game back firmly in their favour and the finished with a flourish scoring five of the last six points of the game.

Dunloy’s Deaglan Smith takes a tumble during Friday’s evening’s league game with Portaferry.

Both teams were quick out of the traps and it was 3 pointes each after three minutes. Midfielder Fionn Turpin put them 0-4 t 0-3 ahead but Dunloy came back points from Kevin McKeague and Chrissy McMahon, plus a goal from Ryan Mort to open up a 1-5 to 0-5 lead. However Portaferry never faltered and they fought back with a series of excellent points from Diathi Sands, Eoghan Sands, Ronan Blair, Ryan O’Neill and Matthew Conlan to lead by 0-16 to 1-10 at the half time.

A goal from Matthew Conlon early in the second half doubled the Portaferry lead, but Dunloy hit back with four points on the trot from Ciaran Elliott, Nicky McKeague (2) and the returning Ozzy Nigel Elliott to bring them back into contention. However Portaferry continued to hold the upper hand, and goals from Ryan O’Neill and Daithi Sands, which saw the full forward dive full length and flick to the net after he had initially lost control, gave them back control and they went on to win by eight in the end.

Dunloy’s Ciaran Elliott and Ryan Mort battle with the Portaferry defence

Smith’s late goal seals Dunloy’s win

Antrim Hurling League Division One

St John’s 1-12 Dunloy Cuchullains 1-19

Dunloy travelled to Corrigan Park on Sunday and came away with the league points after recording a seven point win. With teams understrength due to county commitments and injuries there may not have been a lot at stake, but the players on the field always like to be competitive and catch the eye of the selectors.

St John’s started strongly and corner forward Ruairi Galbraith hit the Dunloy net in the opening minutes and Jack Bohill knocked over a point, but the visitors began to find their touch and Chrissy McMahon and Nicky McKeague sent over points at the other end. McKeague’s point was to be the first of ten the midfielder would register over the hour.

Oisin McManus and CJ McKenna kept the Johnnies on top with points apiece but Dunloy came back with points from Deaglan Smith, Barry Scott and Nicky McKeague (2) to draw level. The remainder of the half was nip and tuck. Dunloy went back ahead but injury time points from Oisin McManus and Dannan McKeogh bring the Johnnies level at the break.

After the break Dunloy began to step up the pace a little and with McKeague in top form they began to edge ahead. With Deaglan Smith knocking over an nice point they went three ahead but points from Oisin McManus and McKeogh cut the gap back to a single point midway through the second half.

The visitors gained the upper hand again as Nicky McKeague added to one by Kevin Molly. St John’s closed the gap as McManus again found the target, but Deaglan Smith sealed the win for the Cuchullains with a fine individual goal in injury time.   

ST JOHN’S: S Doherty; A McMahon, R McNulty, O Carleton; J Bohill (0-1), P Nugent, CJ McKenna (0-1); Ciaran Johnston, D McKeogh (0-2); C Hand, O Donnelly, O McManus (0-8, 4 frees); R Galbraith (1-0), L Boyd, P Martin.

Subs: D McCallin for L Boyd (52), L Loughlin for C Hand (54)

DUNLOY: C McMullan; O Quinn, K O’Kane, C Kinsella; K McKeague, D McMullan, C McKinley; N McKeague (0-10, 7 frees, 2 65s), R Mullan (0-1); E McFerran (0-1), R Molloy, D Smyth (1-2); C McMahon (0-1), K Molloy (0-1), G McTaggart (0-1).

Subs: B Scott (0-1) for R Molloy (9), R Mort (0-1) for B Scott (48), C Elliott for R Mullan (50).

REFEREE: Tarlach Conway (Ballinascreen)

Rossa tops in scorefest as goalkeeper McGhee hits 1-2 for the Emmet’s

Antrim Hurling League – Division 1

Rossa 2-30 Cushendun 4-19

In a real scorefest of a game at Rossa Park on Sunday Rossa and visitors Cushendun put on a display of scoring that kept the scoreboard operator on their toes from start to finish. Cushendun scored 4-19, which is probably club’s biggest ever score, and lost by five points in an amazing match in which the home side hit 2-30. Cushendun goalkeeper Gareth McGhee scored a goal and two points,  the first point direct from a poc-out which sailed well over the crossbar at the pavilion end of the ground, something the local fans we spoke with said they never saw happen before. His second point was from a free on his own 20 metre line, while the goal also came from a poc-out which dropped just below the crossbar and off the fingers of the Rossa goalkeeper Donal Armstrong and into the net.

Dunloy goalkeeper Gareth McGhee who scored directly from a poc-out again Rossa.

The first half the game was score for score with the home team playing ‘up the slope’ and against the strong breeze. Aodhan O’Brien put them two clear in as many minutes but Cushendun went ahead with a goal from David Kilgore and a Conor McHugh point . Thomas Morgan and O’Brien came back with points for  Rossa again and after an exchange of points between O’Brien and Conor McHugh the north Antrim side hit three without reply through the Kilgore brothers David and Harry, and one from Conlaoith McNeill

The Emmet’s appeared to be getting on top but goals in the last ten minutes of the half from Stephen Beatty and Dara Rocks, on either side of McGhee’s goal from the puc-out for the visitors, had them all square at 2-12 apiece at half time.

Playing down the slope in the second half Rossa started to pull away and with Aodhan O’Brien showing great accuracy form frees the gap between the sides began to widen. It looked like the gap between the sides at the end was going to be big, but Cushendun grabbed a couple of late goals through Conor McHugh and Callum Kilgore to cut the gap back to just three entering injury time, but two more O’Brien and Shannon had them five clear at the final whistle.