Despite the fact that neither side can qualify for the play off stages of the league St Paul’s and Cloughmills served up a fine game of hurling at Shaw’s Road on Sunday, with the visitors just getting the edge to win by three.
With full forward Caolan Duffin, Anton Gallagher and Declan Chapman hitting scores St Paul’s lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the first half water break, Liam Kearns and Mickey Devlin grabbing two points apiece for Cloughmills. In the second quarter St Paul’s continued to hold the upper hand and a goal just before half time by corner forward Declan Chapman saw the end the first half with a 1-9 to 0-8 advantage.
Cloughmills started to eat into the St Paul’s lead during the third quarter and a goal from full forward Liam Kearns just before the second had water break had them ahead by 1-13 to 1-12. The final quarter remained competitive but the Biddies just had the edge as Kearns and Devlin picked off the points to end up winners by three points.
A dominant second half display saw Cushendun turn a four point half time deficit into a ten point win when Sarfields visited CushLig an Airgid on Sunday in Division 2 of the Antrim Hurling League Division 2
With the breeze behind them in the first half the Paddies played some great hurling and were good value for their half time lead, but after the change of ends the home side were able to up the pace and they soon overhauled their visitors to go on and win comfortably.
After ‘Loaf’ McNeill had given Cushendun an early lead with a pointed free Kevin McKernan came back with two for Sarsfields, while Donal McKernan added one from play to put their team 0-3 to 0-1 ahead. Two more pointed frees from Loaf brought the Emmet’s level, and though Donal McKernan edged Sarsfields back in front in the 14th minute two points from Conleith Ryan and one from Harry Kilgore put Cushendun two clear by the 18th minute.
The final ten minutes of the first half was all Sarsfields as they added points from Kevin McKernan (2), Brendan Gibbons, Michael Jackson plus a goal from Pearse Cusack to go in at the break leading by 1-9 to 0-8.
The introduction of David Kilgore and Corad McDonnell just before the break was to prove a big help to Cushendun and both were involved in a heavy scoring burst just after the restart, Kilgore getting 1-1 and McDonnell a point, the goal coming in the 40th minute to give the home team back the lead that they would not relinquish.
Kevin McKernan pulled one back for Sarsfields but the Emmet’s were now firmly in control and they hit six more on the trot to move clear of danger, two of them from Conleth Ryan, and one each from Harry Kilgore, Conrad McDonnell, Matthew McCartin and Conlaoith McNeill.
Ryan Carson and Kevin McKernan replied for Sarsfields but a Conleth Ryan goal in the 60th minute put the seal on the win for Cushendun
Gareth Magee, Archie Mcsparran, Aidan Corbett, Eoin McQuillan, Mickey Dunne, Conor McHugh, Tom Scally, Calum Kilgore, Matthew McCartin, Conlaoith McNeill, Harry Kilgore, Dominic Sharkey, Conor Bannon, Conleth Ryan, Eoin Magee
Subs – David Kilgore, Conrad McDonnell, Pearse Bannon, Alex McMullan
David Ward, Jack Daniel Daniels, James Cunningham, Dee McAllister, D Jackson, Eoin Rodgers, Jim McKernan, Kevin McKernan, Malachy Campbell, Brendan Gibbons, Ryan Carson, Donal McKernan, Michael Jackson, Pearse Cusack, Daniel McKernan
The Milltown men got off to a flying start in the glorious sunshine and playing with the wind they led Creggan 0.05 to no score going into the first water break. – Points from Dubhaltach MacLean 0.01, Marcus Donnelly, 0.02 and Mark Napier 0.02. The home side won a 20 m free and Napier in his attempt to kill off the game blasted the ball low directly at Creggan’s Teddy McKeown who saved it off the hurl and drove it deep into the Gall’s defence line. Then out of nowhere, the visitors’ Morgan Nelson sprinted 20 yards and rattled the home side’s net. St Galls responded from the puck out with a superb goal from Patrick Friel but this was to be the home side’s last score until the short whistle while Nelson doubled his goal tally and added 3 fine points from frees to leave the lough-shore lads up by 1 point as the half time whistle blew.
Half Time Score: St. Galls 1.05 v Creggan 2.03
St. Galls drew level within 2 minutes of the break – a point on the run from Mark Napier followed minutes later from another half-back, Dara Delaney, making a dash through the mid-field before sending the ball between the posts. Ciaran Rice levelled the proceedings just before Nelson got his hat-trick to put Creggan 3 points up. As we headed to the last 15 minutes, both sides traded 5 points apiece – Creggan, 3 more points from Nelson and their final score from veteran, Sam Maguire. St. Galls needed a second goal to get them out of trouble and they battled on determined – points from Marcus Donnelly, Patrick Friel 2 more from Mark Napier. Both sides scored 6 apiece in the 2nd half but it was Nelson’s 3rd goal that sealed the deal scoring 3.06 on the day.
St. Galls – No.1 Curtis McGreevy, No.2 Lorcan O’Ciarain, No.3 Stephen Morrison, No.4 Dara Delaney (0.01), No.5 David Churchill, No.6 Nial O’Neill, No.7 Ewan Rush, No.8 Jack Hopkinson, No.9 Fergus Donnelly, No.10 Marcus Donnelly (0.03), No.11 Connla McCarthy, No.12 Patrick Friel (0.01), No.13 Dubhaltach MacLiam (0.01), No.14 Oran McIlhatton, No.15 Mark Napier (0.05), No.17 Cormac Sheehan, No.18 Aodh Mullan, No.19 Conor Stinton, No.20 Eoghan McCrudy, No.21 Ronan Crossen.
CREGGAN – No.1 Emmet Long, No.2 Declan McCann, No.3 Thomas McCann, No.4 Dannan O’Hara, No.5 Lee Johnston, No.6 Aidan McKeown, No.7 Jake McAteer, No.8 Sam Maguire (0.01), No.9 Aidan Maguire, No.10 Mick Maguire, No.11 Morgan Nelson (3.06), No.12 Dermot Mulholland, No.13 Matthew Nelson, No.14 Ciaran Rice (0.01), No.15 Sean Donnelly, No.16 Joe Smith, No.17 Oliver Duffin, No.18 Sean McAuley.
A severely depleted, Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh proved no match for a rampant Cloney Gaels in Ahoghill today. The Tyrone side arrived in Ahoghill minus a large proportion of their team who are not permitted to play because of county duty and after hanging in during the opening quarter the floodgates opened.
The writing was on the wall from early on however with the Ahoghill side shooting seven wides during the opening exchanges and indeed it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a point from a Branan Molloy ‘65’ in the 5th minute to take the lead but it was to be short lived.
Points from Donal Graham and Eoin Graham and a goal from Ronan Graham left the home side four in front at the end of the opening quarter with Branan Molloy replying from a free and Padraig McHugh sending over a massive point from play for Eoghan Ruadh.
James O’Connell then began to stamp his mark on proceedings as he pointed three frees and another from play with youngster, Colla McDonnell also on target to put the home side 1-7 to 0-3 ahead by the 25th minute.
Branan Molloy replied from a free for the visitors before a flowing move from deep in defence by the Cloney men saw Owen Neeson placed in the clear and he fired to the net. James O’Connell from a free and Ronan Graham from play concluded the first half scoring to leave the Ahoghill side 2-9 to 0-4 ahead at the short whistle.
Cloney Gaels introduced PJ O’Connell and Danny O’Neill at the start of the second half and PJ announced his introduction with a goal in the second minute. With the breeze at their backs the home side continued to press as Colla McDonnell, James O’Connell 0-2 frees, and Eoin Graham added points.
The visitors were now fighting a desperate rear guard action though to their credit they battled manfully against almost impossible odds and Eoin Graham got in for goal number four in the 10th minute with PJ O’Connell placing Colla McDonnell for a fifth major, three minutes later.
James O’Connell added two more points from frees and Martin Graham pulled off a great save at the other end as the Tyrone side threated. It was soon back to defence for Eoghan Ruadgh however as James O’Connell, Colla McDonnell and James O’Connell from a ‘65’ and another free moved the Ahoghill men out of sight by the final whistle to leave them top of their group and a place in the play-offs.
Cloney Gaels: Martin Graham, Harry O’Donnell, Bernard Graham, James Magee, Fionnbar O’Neill, Neil O’Connell, Eamonn Brady, Thomas McGlone, Gerard Graham, Owen Neeson, Eoin Graham, Ronan Graham , Colla McDonnell, Donal Graham, James O’Connell. Subs:
PJ O’Connell for Donal Graham, Dan O’Neill for Thomas McGlone, Bernard Graham for Neil O’Connell, Dominic Neeson for Eoin Graham, Ryan McPeake for Gerard Graham
Eoghan Ruadgh: John Devine, Brian Rush, Brian McGiloway, Eoghan Orr, Mark McCann, Padraig McHugh, Dan McCrudden, Josh Ferguson, Ben Gormley, Branan Molloy, Piaras McErlean, Cathal McErlean, Matthew Mulgrew, Cormac Hughes, Turlough Mullan. Subs: Josh Campbell, Niall Tennyson
Top played bottom in Saturday’s Division 2A clash between Gort na Mona and Cloney Gaels and it went the way of the form side with Cloney claiming a 5-14-1-15 win thanks to three second half goals.
A quickfire double from James and PJ O’Connell ensured their side pulled away from a stubborn Gort outfit and despite Desi McClean giving his side renewed hope with a goal in the last ten minutes Eoin Graham thundered home his sides insurance goal.
Cloney were quickest off the mark with points from PJ O’Connell and namesake James.
Conor Healy hit back at the other end for the hosts, but PJ O’Connell confidently pointed from range and Ronan Graham angled the ball between the posts.
Gort closed the deficit to a single point again, following a Desi McClean point and a Mark Rea effort from range.
The opening goal fell to the Ahghill men with ten minutes on the clock, Ronan Graham slipped a pass inside to James O’Connell who finished low to the net.
Eoin Graham added his sides fifth point of the afternoon a superb shot that sailed between the posts.
Gort needed a lift and Desi McClean conjured up three scores on the trot, two of which were angled efforts and the third came from a free after Declan Hughes was fouled and at the first half water-break just two-points separated the sides (1-05-0-06).
The hosts closed the gap further upon the resumption with Declan Hughes splitting the posts from Desi McClean’s pop back. But Ronan Graham responded from range for Clooney.
Parity was restored at Enright Park as Neil Henry picked off a fine score from just inside the Cloney half and Darren Boyd added his first of the afternoon.
Cloney edged back in front following James O’Connell’s converted free and better was to arrive before the break as Ronan Graham gave it to Owen Neeson off the shoulder and Neeson struck to the corner of the net to make it 0-09-2-07.
Gort na Mona replied with a point from Ryan Cahill before the break- but his side trailed by three points at the midway point in proceedings.
Desi McClean notched his fifth of the afternoon and fourth from play to reduce his sides deficit early in the second period.
Cloney almost had their third goal of the game as Ronan Graham bore down on the target and rolled it past Conor McCann- it was frantically hooked off the line and James O’Connell somehow only secured a point from the loose ball that he picked up in front of the empty net.
McClean converted a free at the other end, but the hosts were to be undone by two quickfire Clooney goals.
The first of them arriving on 41 minutes when James O’Connell won possession and turned towards the target before picking his spot low in the corner of the net.
Shortly afterwards Eoin Graham burst forward and offloaded to PJ O’Connell who picked his spot high in the corner of the net- giving Conor McCann no chance.
Ronan Graham added a point in the aftermath with Desi McClean converting a free from range in response.
Further points were traded between Diarmuid Graham and McClean (65’) before Clooney substitute Colla McDonnell made an impact with a nice, angled effort.
4-10-0-14 down Gort na Mona needed quick action if they were going to take anything from the game and they were thrown a lifeline.
Desi McClean somehow missed a gilt-edged chance moments before he found the net after a poor puck-out from Aiden Graham went straight into his path and McClean made no mistake at the second time of asking with a deflected drive into the corner of the net.
Gort’s marksman would bring his tally for the afternoon to 1-09 with a further free that narrowed the margin to five-points with just over five to go.
But any hope of a late resurgence was dashed with a fifth Cloney goal, PJ O’Connell set off towards the target before picking out Eoin Graham for a close-range finish.
Cloney ended the game with three successive points through James O’Connell (free), Eamonn Brady and Colla McDonnell and Gort would finish the game out with 14-men after James Connolly received a second yellow card late-on.
It didn’t have a bearing on the final outcome as Cloney Gaels were home and dry by then and strengthened their position at the summit of Division 2A.
Gort na Mona: C McCann, J Connolly, C Devlin, L Dixon, N Henry (0-01), P McClelland, M Rea (0-01), G McKenna, D Hughes (0-01), R Cahill (0-01), D Boyd (0-01), T O’Cadhlaigh, R Coleman, D McClean (1-09, 0-04f, 0-01 65’), C Healy (0-01). Subs: C Fitzsimons for T O’Cadhlaigh (37), K Campbell for C Healy (39).
Cloney Gaels: A Graham, H O’Donnell, J Magee, D Graham (0-01), F O’Neill, N O’Connell, E Brady (0-01), G Graham, T McGlone, O Neeson (1-00), E Graham (1-01), PJ O’Connell (1-02), R Graham (0-03), D Graham, J O’Connell (2-04, 0-02f). Subs: C McDonnell (0-02) for R Graham (47), D Scullion for O Neeson (52), C Crossey for T McGlone (55), J Logan for PJ O’Connell (58).