ACHL Division 2
St. Brigid’s Cloughmills 1-18 St. Gall’s 2-19
St. Gall’s finished strongly to edge out St. Brigid’s Cloughmills in a bad tempered encounter in Cloughmills on Sunday. Referee Francis Traynor was the busiest man on the field as matters threatened to get out of hand and dismissed two players from either side as things boiled over, seven minutes from half time.
Traynor’s actions took the heat out of the situation for as time and with both sides reduced to 13 men the game opened up and we had some periods of great hurling and excellent passages of play.
Liam Kearns opened the scoring with a Cloughmills point in the 4th minute but a minute later Ronan Crossan struck with the opening goal for the visitors. Mickey Devlin for Cloughmills and Jackson McGreevey for St. Gall’s exchanged points and at this stage we were being treated to some great scores.
Further points from Geoffery Laverty and Micky Devlin for the home side and a couple from Lorcan O’Ciaran and Patrick Friel at the other end saw the Milltown side lead 1-5 to 0-4 after 15 minutes and Rory Laverty and Jackson McGreevey exchanged further points to leave four between the sides at the first water break.
On the restart Jackson McGreevey extended the St. Gall’s lead with a massive point from a 70 meter free but controversy ensued a couple of minutes later when a long ball from Aaron Smylie appeared to drop to the St. Gall’s net with the visitors appealing that it had gone over but dropped through a hole in the top of the net.
After consultation referee Traynor awarded a point and Liam Kearns followed with a converted free to leave it 1-7 to 0-7 in favour of the Belfast men with 23 minutes gone. Jackson McGreevey pointed another massive free to extend that lead to four before the game exploded with players from both sides getting involved in an unseemly confrontation.
When the dust settled the man in the middle dismissed Jackson McGreevey and Gregory McGreevey from St. Galls with Conor Laverty and Aaron Smylie for St. Brigid’s following in the walk to the side-line.
When the dust settled Micky Devlin send a great side-line cut between the uprights and a Ruairi Laverty goal in the 34th minute and a late point from Eoin Dobbin saw the ‘Biddies’ leading 1-11 to 1-9 at the break and we looked to have a thriller on our hands for the second half.
When Liam Kearns struck the first point of the second half the home side had moved three in front for the first time and looked to be taking control but Chris Dornan’s side had other ideas and they hit back immediately with a couple of frees from Mark Napier and Ciaran McCaffery.
It was nip and tuck throughout the second half with Rory Laverty, Liam Kearns and substitute Johnny Duffin hitting a series of excellent points for St. Brigid’s and Ronan Crossan and Mark Napier on target for the Milltown side and at this stage it was still anyone’s game.
The turning point in the contest came with five minutes remaining when a Lorcan O’Ciaran shot from out on the right wing appeared to be heading over the bar but it took a cruel dip and deceived Adam Mooney in the Cloughmills goals and ended in the net.
Both sides exchanged points in the run in to the final whistle with substitute Dubaltach Wilson firing over the insurance point for St. Gall’s to leave them winners by four points.
Cloughmills: Adam Mooney, Steven Martin, Martin Dobbin, Joseph Smyth, James Doherty, Conor Laverty, Aaron Smylie, Rian Dobbin, Geoffery Laverty, Michael Devlin, Reece Watt, Eoin Dobbin, Liam Kearns, Corey Blair, Ruairi Laverty. Subs: Shane McKendry, Cookie McGuckian and Johnny Duffin.
St. Galls: Kurtis McGreevey, Lorcan O’Ciaran, Aodhan Gallagher, Ciaran McCaffery, Ewan Rush, Niall O’Neill, Daniel Churchill, Jack Hopkins, Fergus Donnelly, Patrick Friel, Jackson McGreevey, Gregory McGreevey, Ronan Crossen, Antoin McCaffery, Mark Napier Subs: Marcus Donnelly, Dubaltach Wilson.
Referee: Francis Traynor (Loughgiel)