Lámhs move into mid-table with victory at Gort

ACHL Division 3 

Gort na Mona 0-15-2-20 Lámh Dhearg 

Kevin Herron reports from Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh

Goals from Gerard Smyth and Sean-Paul Gibson proved the difference as Lámh Dhearg completed a league double over Gort na Mona and moved into midtable with a 2-20-0-15 win at Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh on Wednesday evening.

The Lámhs got off to the perfect start when Gerard Smyth latched onto a long ball down the channel and cut in towards goal before dispatching his low shot to the net. 

Gort responded through a converted Michael Carlin free, though Adam Murray opened his account from the same scenario. 

Fionn Mervyn then dropped a high shot over the bar, Murray doubled his account from Smyth lay-off and Aidan McCague popped a shot over to give their side a 1-04-0-01 lead. 

A fantastic Neil Henry score from distance yielded the hosts second point of the evening, but they would find themselves a further point in arrears with Adam Murray sending over back-to-back points. 

The first after Daire Cunningham was felled and Murray converted his second free of the evening, the 18-year-old then chalked up his second from play within 60-seconds. 

Gort na Mona had their best spell of the opening half thereafter. Nathan Gibson slipped a pass to James Connolly to land a terrific score from distance. 

Despite Gerard Smyth swinging over a reply after Murray’s free dropped short, the hosts claimed back-to-back scores courtesy of a converted Michael Carlin free and David Dixon point from play. 

The visitors hit back with successive scores of their own through talisman Adam Murray and an angled Sean-Paul Gibson point. 

Five minutes before break both sides were reduced to 14-men when Gavin McKenna and Conor McConville were dismissed. 

In the aftermath frees were traded between Murray and Neil Henry, and two further Murray points before the break would ensure his side were 1-13-0-06 ahead at the interval. 

Lámh Dhearg extended their lead upon the resumption through a fine Fionn Mervyn point from range. 

Neil Henry responded, sending over a free from distance and in-between a further Adam Murray point- Henry would drop a 65’ over the bar as the duo evenly matched each other score for score. 

The Gort’s closed the deficit through a Emmet Loughran point and Michael Carlin free and although Adam Murray converted his fifth free of the evening, Loughran doubled his account to ensure that the hosts were still within touch, trailing 1-16-0-11. 

A 48th minute goal would give Lámh Dhearg a bit more breathing space. Odrán Waldron slipped a pass to Sean-Paul Gibson- who burst forward and sent in a shot that dropped and was spilled to the net by John Kelly in the Gort na Mona goal. 

The last ten minutes saw the sides evenly share the last eight scores. Adam Murray helped himself to his sides last four scores, two from play and two from frees to finish with a tally of 0-14 for the evening. 

Michael Carlin would convert his fourth free before the conclusion, James Connolly doubled his tally and Ryan Cahill and Noah McGivern would chip in also for the hosts who despite a spirited display- remain bottom of the table. 

Gort na Mona: J Kelly, L Dixon, C Devlin, C Healy, D Dixon (0-01), G McKenna, N Gibson, J Connolly (0-02), N McGivern (0-01), R Cahill (0-01), E Loughran (0-02), M MacMaoláin, J Monaghan, N Henry (0-04, 0-02f, 0-01 65’), M Carlin (0-04f). Subs: T O’Cadhlaigh for J Monaghan (HT). 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, SP Gibson (1-02), O Waldron, F Mervyn (0-02), A Ferris, E Stanley, C McConville, A Murray (0-14, 0-07f), M McGuigan, D Cunningham, G Smyth (1-01), A McCague (0-01). Subs: C Megraw for A McCague (55). 

Referee: Piarais McCaffrey (Naomh Gall)

Another win for All Saints hurlers

ACHL Division 3

All Saints 4-22 Gort na Mona 0-5

All Saints collected another useful brace of points when they overcame the challenge of Gort na Mona in Ballymena on Wednesday night. A goal from Ciaran Neeson sent them on their way and by half time they had matters well in hand when they led 1-15 to 0-5.

Ciaran Neeson once again provided the majority of the points for the Ballymena side and finished the game with 1-11, (1-5 frees) and he drilled home the game’s opening goal from a 20 meter free in the first half while the excellent Eoin McGuigan was lively throughout for Chris Dornan’s side.

Things didn’t get any better for the struggling Enright Park men after the break as the home side continued to dominate and score at will and when a long range shot from Luke O’Rawe dropped to the Gort na Mona net for goal number 2 it was all over.

Further goals followed from Eoin McGuigan and Cormac Magill as Chris Dornan rang the changes and the Cushendall man will be well pleased by the form of his side this season.

Survival in the higher grade was always going to be the priority for All Saints and this win moves them onto seven points but with only three points separating second bottom and third place in the table there is a long way to go.

The new man in charge has brought a huge improvement to this All Saints team however and they are playing with a confidence and method that can only see them improve in the coming season.

All Saints: Ciaran Cassley, Dwayne McKee, Colum Neeson, Kevin Brady, Cathaoir Cunning, Luke O’ Rawe, Conor O’ Rawe, Padhraig Magill, James O’ Boyle, Cormac Magill, Eoin McGuigan, Ciaran Neeson, Damien Gillan (c), Liam Cassley, Joseph O’ Rawe Subs: Gary Miskella for Cathaoir Cunning Phil McKendry for James O’ Boyle Vincent Esler for Damien Gillan Daniel Kelly for Ciaran Neeson Archie McGreevy for Liam Cassley

All Saints Scorers: Ciaran Neeson – 1-11 (1-5f) Eoin McGuigan – 1-4 Cormac Magill – 1-2 Luke O’ Rawe – 1-0 Damien Gillan – 0-2 Liam Cassley – 0-2 Joseph O’ Rawe – 0-1 Score at half time: Ballymena 1-15 Gortnamona 0-5 Score at full time: Ballymena 4-22 Gortnamona 0-

Cuchuliann’s maintain winning start with victory at Hannahstown

ACHL Division 3 

Lámh Dhearg 3-08-1-19 Cuchuliann’s 

Kevin Herron reports from Hannahstown

Cuchuliann’s maintained their winning start to the Division 3 campaign but survived a Lámh Dhearg comeback in their 1-19-3-08 victory at Hannahstown on Sunday afternoon. 

The Armagh side were a point in arrears at the break, but by the midway stage had outscored the hosts 0-09-0-01 and held a seven-point lead.

Ten minutes later that lead was wiped out as Gerard Smyth and Adam Murray struck to have the game level, but the league-leaders finished stronger and Tom Marley’s goal ensured Cuchuliann’s would travel back to the Cathedral City with the spoils.  

Lámh Dhearg struck the game’s opening goal within four minutes. Sean-Paul Gibson’s clearance from defence was flicked on by Daire Cunningham and further into the path of Adam Murray, his shot was parried, and Paddy Mervyn swooped to find the net. 

Points were traded in the aftermath as Connor Devlin swung over a point in response for Cuchuliann’s, only for Niall McGarry to register his sides first point of the afternoon. 

Lee Murtagh popped over following a nice move with Caolan Rice and Adam Murray struck his first placed ball of the day as Mervyn’s goal was the difference 18 minutes in. 

The Armagh outfit hit a purple patch and registered five unanswered scores to lead for the first time. 

Back-to-back frees from Jordan Murtagh closed the deficit to a single point and Caolan Rice then clipped over his first. 

An angled Tom Marley point ensured his side hit the front and Connor Devlin doubled his personal tally and Cuchuliann’s lead, giving them a 0-07-1-02 lead. 

Lámh Dhearg would finish the half stronger though and regained the lead at the break. 

Adam Murray landed three frees in succession to give his side a slender 1-05-0-07 lead at the midway point. 

Cuchuliann’s dominated the first ten minutes of the second period and six unanswered points moved them five-points to the good after 38 minutes.

They began the half as they meant to go on, winning the break ball and sending Joe Burke in the clear to tie things up. 

Caolan McReynolds gave his side the lead for the second time in proceedings and from that point they stretched ahead through further points from Lee Murtagh, Tom Marley, John Donnelly, and Caolan Rice. 

It took almost ten minutes for Gerard Smyth to muster a response for the hosts was he landed a much-needed point, only for Jordan Murtagh to immediately restore his sides five-point advantage from a free. 

Lee Murtagh and Joe Burke scores ensured that Cuchuliann’s were 0-16-1-06 ahead with a quarter of an hour remaining and the Armagh outfit were well on course for victory. 

Adam Murray converted his fifth free of the contest and there was glimmer of hope for the hosts when Fionn Mervyn dropped a high ball into the square and Gerard Smyth flicked to the net to make it a three-point game with just over ten minutes remaining. 

It was a two score game when John Donnelly picked off a point from range, but Lámh Dhearg were in luck again when Niall McGarry popped the ball off to Odrán Waldron whose long ball was flicked to the net by Adam Murray to reduce the deficit to a single point (0-17-3-07). 

Goal scorer Murray would restore parity a minute later from the placed ball and with five minutes remaining it was game on again. 

Crucially it was Cuchuliann’s who edged ahead late-on, Connor Devlin guided a difficult shot inside the large posts and the clincher came on the 60-minute mark when Tom Marley saw his low shot squirm past Rhys Camlin and into the net. 

Jordan Murtagh would add a late free as Cuchuliann’s ran out 1-19-3-08 winners to maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign as it approaches the midway stage. 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, SP Gibson, O Waldron, F Mervyn, N McGarry (0-01), E Stanley, D Martin, A Murray (1-06, 0-06f), M McGuigan, P Mervyn (1-00), G Smyth (1-01), D Cunningham. Subs: A McCague for M McGuigan (55), A Ferris for D Cunningham (55). 

Cuchuliann’s: A Murtagh, D Hicks, O Richards, S O’Hagan, D Ryan, G Barton, S McParland, C McReynolds (0-01), T Marley (1-02), J Donnelly (0-02), C Devlin (0-03), C Rice (0-02), J Burke (0-02), J Murtagh (0-04f), L Murtagh (0-03). 

Referee: Paul McSparron (Cushendun)

Same score but different result as All Saints record second win of the season

ACFL Division 3

All Saints 1-18 Na Magha 2-14

All Saints staged a strong second half comeback to beat Na Magha of Derry in an entertaining ACFL Division 3 game at Quinn Park on Sunday. The newly promoted division 3 side have been turning in good performances without gaining the results that those performances merit and it looked to be going that way again against the Derry City men.

The visitors struck with two first half goals to lead by 2-8 to 0-10 at the interval and looked on their way to gaining the points they needed themselves but All Saints came back strongly in the second half with a goal from Liam Cassley igniting their comeback.

The Ballymena defence closed up shop in the second half, holding Na Magha to six points and as their forwards found their range, Ciaran Neeson, Eoin McGuigan and Damien Gillan fired over some excellent points.

In a nail biting finish it was Chris Dornan’s side who got their noses in front at the final whistle and this second win of the season moves them onto five points and out of the bottom three and they can be well satisfied by yesterday’s result.

Once again Neeson, who scored 1-15 against Rasharkin on Wednesday night, top scored with 0-11 while Eoin McGuigan, Damien Gillan and Liam Cassley were prominent in an attack that hit 1-18 for the second game in succession but this time with a different result.

All Saints: 1. Ciaran Cassley 2. Conor O’ Rawe 3. Colum Neeson 4. Kevin Brady 5. Cathaoir Cunning 6. Luke O’ Rawe 7. Daniel Gray 8. Padhraig Magill 9. James O’ Boyle 10. Cormac Magill 11. Eoin McGuigan (0-3) 12. Ciaran Neeson (0-11 6f) 13. Damien Gillan (0-3) 14. Liam Cassley (1-1) 15. Daniel Kelly Subs: Archie McGreevy for Cathaoir Cunning (40m) Joseph O’ Rawe for Daniel Kelly (40m)

Referee: Danny O’Neill (Gort na Mona)

Strong first quarter secures Biddies victory

Antrim Hurling League – Division 3

Glenravel 1-10  Cloughmills 1-17

Cloughmills retained joint top position in Division 3 with a seven point victory over neighbours Con Magees who now sit third in the table. With hardly a breath of wind in Fr Maginn Park St Brigids effectively won the game with a very solid first quarter performance which saw them leading by six points and by the end of the half they had stretched that to a seven point lead. With honours even in the second half that seven point gap is what separated the teams at the end. 

Throughout the first half Glenravel really struggled to retain possession from their own puc-outs and that yielded endless ball to St Brigid’s who certainly put it to good use. Eoin Dobbin opened the scoring after one minute with a free and indeed he proved deadly all evening going to score 1-10 of Cloughmills total, nine of which were from frees. An impressive contribution from a very impressive hurler. Reece Watt and Rian Dobbin added to the scoreboard before Declan Traynor pointed the home side’s first score after eight minutes. But Cloughmills were really dominant on the puc-outs and would go on to score four more points without reply to lead 0-07 to 0-01 and only thirteen minutes gone on the clock. Cormac McKeown put over two frees in succession for the home side but back came St Brigid’s with three frees, all from Eoin Dobbin to leave the half time score 0-10 to 0-03 in favour of a very dominant Cloughmills side. 

Whatever was said in the Glenravel changing rooms at half time certainly worked as the home side came out revitalised for the second period. Cormac McKeown reduced the gap to six points but then Cloughmills hit a purple patch scoring 1-02 in a three minute period half way through the half. Eoin Dobbin providing the goal that really sealed the game for them. In the final fifteen minutes Con Magees came back with 1-02 all from the stick of Sean McKay and with five minutes normal time left when Cormac McKeown reduced the gap to five points and the home side on the rise a shock looked possible. However Cloughmills held their nerve and went on to score the final two points of the game and regain the seven point advantage they had at half time, and indeed that is how the game ended. 

Both sides travel this weekend with Cloughmills heading to Dreen to take on Rasharkin whilst Con Magees have a tough encounter over in Armoy against Glen Rovers.