ACHL Division 2
St. Brigid’s 1-18 Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh 3-14
A first half double from Eoghan Ruadh full-forward, Damien Casey were the scores that sank St. Brigid’s in a high scoring thriller in Cloughmills on Wednesday evening. The big number 11 proved a constant threat to the St. Brigid’s defence over the hour and provided a direct target as the visitors used the long ball to good effect.
St. Brigid’s though will feel they should have had something out of this game but Liam Kearns’ well struck shot came back of an upright with the keeper beaten, ten minutes from time and with the last puck of the ball Conor Laverty’s effort from close range sailed wide of an open goal.
The visitors opened sharply and points from Ben Gormley and Sean Donaghy saw them go two ahead by the 4th minute but St. Brigid’s responded and three points from Liam Kearns and another from Johnny Duffin saw them lead 0-4 to 0-2 with 12 minutes gone.
It was at this stage that Casey made his first contribution when he fielded a dropping ball and turned his marker before firing to the net. Aaron Smylie levelled matters with a point at the other end but Damien Casey restored the visitors lead with a point in the 17th minute.
Smylie and Lorcan Devlin exchanged further points before Matthew Mulgrew got the vital touch as he challenged Chris McKiernan to a hanging delivery to finish to the net in the 20th minute but Cloughmills continued to pick off their points with Liam Kearns leading the way from some well struck frees.
The home side continued to look vulnerable however to the quick delivery into Casey and again he got out first to the ball before firing home his second and his side’s third goal to see the Tyrone men head to the dressing room with a 3-5 to 0-12 lead.
On the restart St. Brigid’s were quickly off the mark and points from Mickey Devlin and Aaron Smylie had them back on terms by the 5th minute but Eoghan Ruadh came back strongly with two points from Brannon Molloy and two from Casey to go four in front with 14 minutes gone.
St. Brigid’s were playing some good hurling however and a shot from Aaron Smylie crept below John Devlin in the Eoghan Ruadh goals to close the gap to one with 13 minutes remaining. It was nip and tuck from there until the end as Mickey Devlin pointed a long range free before Liam Kearns saw his rocket from close range rebound of an upright and cleared to safety.
Aaron Smylie and Damien Casey exchanged further points to keep the gap at two going into the closing minutes but as St. Brigid’s went looking for the goal that would wrestle victory from their opponents Conor Laverty battered the ground in frustration as his effort from five yards out sailed the wrong side of the post.
A disappointing result for the ‘Biddies’ who played some good hurling throughout and in Liam Kearns they had a forward who looked dangerous every time he got the ball while Aaron Smylie and Ruairi Laverty were others to impress on a disappointing night which sees them firmly fixed to bottom spot in the table.
Eoghan Ruadh have turned in some good performances this year and under the guidance of Sean Og McGuinness they sit in fourth place with 7 points from six starts. Damien Casey was their outstanding player on the night while Stephen Donnelly, Paudie McHugh, Brannon Molloy and Matthew Mulgrew were others to impress in a solid team performance.
St. Brigid’s: Chris McKiernan, Aaron McGuckian, Steven Martin, Barry McFadden, Ruairi Laverty, Mickey Devlin, James Doherty, Johnny Duffin, Geoffery Og Laverty, Aaron Smylie, Joseph Smyth, Steven Smyth, Conor Laverty, John McGuckian, Liam Kearns.
Eoghan Ruadh: John Devlin, Ruairi Devlin, Stephen Donnelly, Conor McNally, Duibhir Marshal, Paudie McHugh, Mark Winters, Sean Donaghy, Josh Ferguson, Brannon Molloy, Damien Casey, Loran Devlin, Ben Gormley, Martin Devlin, Matthew Mulgrew. Subs: Tiernan Morgan, Piaras McErlean,
Referee: Kevin Parke (St. Enda’s)