Armoy secured a win in style today in Fr Maginn Park when they overcame the home side with a superb second half performance but in reality they looked the better side throughout. Upfront they had too much power for the locals with Emmet O’Hara, Trevor Linton and Colin Lordan contributing 2-13 between them. That alone would have been enough to secure victory on the day. Before throw in, both teams stood for a minute’s silence in memory of the late Hughie Dobbin who had been buried earlier in the day. Hughie was a well loved member of the Glenravel Hurling team of 1975 who won the Antrim Junior Championship, the Junior Feis and Antrim Division Three title that year. Ar dheis Dê go raibh anam.
Cormac Doherty opened with a goal for Armoy after two minutes but Glenravel came back with a couple of points from James Dufffin which were followed up by two points from Emmet O’Hara to leave a goal between the sides. Declan McAuley and Cormac McKeown would reduce the deficit to a single point inside ten minutes but back came the men from Armoy with a point from O’Hara and a goal from Trevor Linton to open top a five point gap. The home side were giving as good as they got at this stage and four points shared between Cormac McKeown and Declan Traynor would see them back in the game but the final score of the half came from O’Hara so the teams went in at half time with Armoy ahead on a 2-05 to 0-08 scoreline.
O’Hara again and Conleth O’Loan for the home side exchanged points to keep the three point gap with five minutes of the second half gone. But at this point Armoy started to turn the screw and three unanswered points from P J McBride and Trevor Linton put significant light between the teams. Conleth O’Loan got a point back for Glenravel but when Colin Lordan’s point on forty one minutes was followed up by a goal from the same player one minute later the game was over as a contest with Armoy ahead 3-11 to 0-10. A goal from Cormac McKeown and two points from Conleth O’Loan reduced the gap to six points with ten minutes of the game remaining but Armoy put on the after burners and went on to record seven more points without reply in this closing minutes. O’Hara, Linton and Lordan the providers leaving the visitors comfortable winners on 3-18 to 1-12 scoreline.
Lámh Dhearg claimed their first league win in five attempts after seeing off All-Saint’s Ballymena 5-18-4-11 in a high scoring affair at Hannahstown on Sunday afternoon.
The sides had shared the spoils the last time out in Quinn Park and another lively encounter was in store in the Belfast Hills.
Paddy Mervyn nudged the hosts ahead early-on, though Ciaran Neeson offloaded to Damian Gillan to float over the leveller.
The opening goal of the afternoon arrived after five minutes. Ciaran Boyd dropped a high ball on top of Gerard Smyth, his initial shot was blocked before Smyth slammed the follow-up low to the net.
Cormac Magill responded with a point for the Saints, but they found themselves further in arrears when Adam Murray converted his first free of proceedings and Niall McGarry and Micko Herron landed points from play.
Lámh Dhearg stretched their lead with a second goal on the 12th minute. Again, Ciaran Boyd was involved in directing a pass to Daire Cunningham – who took on his man and fizzed an effort into the corner of the net to give his side a 2-04-0-02 advantage.
A second converted Murray free made it 1-04 without reply for the hosts, though Ballymena hit back.
Luke O’Rawe conjured his sides first response with a fine angled effort and Ciaran Neeson dropped over his first of the afternoon.
A goal then arrived on the 17th minute as Eoin McGuigan sent a low drive past Rhys Camlin to move within five-points of the Hannahstown side.
That was a wake-up call the Lámhs needed, and they regained the initiative with 1-02 in a flash.
Adam Murray swung over his first from play and then Gerard Smyth doubled his goal account at the third time of asking- having saw two initial efforts kept at bay.
A fourth goal may have presented itself almost immediately, but Dan Murray’s stinging drive rose over the bar instead.
Lámh Dhearg would find a fourth goal before the interval. Odrán Waldron dropped in a free from range that Adam Murray gathered and dispatched to the net – the goal coming in-between points from Ciaran Neeson as the hosts held a 4-07-1-06 lead at the midway point.
The hosts extended their lead with five points on the trot inside the opening four minutes of the restart.
Donal Martin started and ended the run, with Adam Murray, Fionn Mervyn and older sibling Paddy all scoring from play in-between times.
All-Saint’s talisman Ciaran Neeson would get his side up and running through a converted free and Damian Gillan burst through and fired home a second goal with little over twenty minutes still remaining.
Any potential thoughts of a potential comeback was partially shelved as Adam Murray converted a free in response and 60-seconds later Daire Cunningham ran onto a through ball and netted his second of the afternoon. Donal Martin then popped over his third of the half to give his side a 5-14-2-07 lead with the midway point approaching in the second period.
Ballymena continued to plug away as Ciaran Neeson dropped over two frees and Eoin McGuigan claiming a point between times.
Paddy Mervyn’s 51st minute point was his third of the afternoon and stopped the visitor’s momentum briefly, although they would soon regain it.
Five minutes from time, McGuigan dropped a high ball into the square and Ciaran Neeson was there to meet it and steer a shot past Rhys Camlin.
He would add a further free a minute later and on 57 minutes Cormac Magill nipped in and flicked home his sides fourth goal to ensure they had halved the deficit in the space of two minutes and made it 5-15-4-11.
The Lámhs would recover and closed out the game with three scores on the spin courtesy of Adam Murray, Fionn Mervyn and Daniel Murray to ensure they ran out 10-point winners at the conclusion.
Lámh Dhearg : R Camlin, M McGuigan, D O’Brien, SP Gibson, F Mervyn (0-02), O Waldron, D Murray (0-02), C Boyd, N McGarry (0-01), D Martin (0-03), P Mervyn (0-03), A Murray (1-06, 0-03f), D Cunningham (2-00), M Herron (0-01), G Smyth (2-00). Subs: A McCague for M Herron (37).
All-Saint’s: F Brady, D McKee, Colum Neeson, K Brady, A McGreevy, L O’Rawe (0-01), P Magill, P McKendry, J O’Boyle, C Magill (1-01), E McGuigan (1-01), J Magill, D Gillan (1-01), Ciaran Neeson (1-07, 0-05f), J O’Rawe. Subs: L Walsh for J Magill (46).
A pointed free from Conor McKeever as the game edged into injury time earned St. Mary’s Rasharkin the points in a tight game of hurling that could have gone either way and was perhaps cruel in the end to visitors, Na Magha.
The Derry side’s talisman, Deaglan Foley looked to have earned his side a point when he pointed frees in the 28th and 29th minutes to draw the side’s level but there would be one last play remaining and McKeever gladly accepted the opportunity.
It was Na Magha who made the early running and aftewr Conor McFerran edged the home side ahead, they came back with a rather fortuitous goal when a long range free from Deaglan Foley dropped to the Rasharkin net.
Foley followed with a point from play and points from Ruairi Crossan and Timoth Rankin had the visitors four in front at the end of the opening quarter.
Donagh Quigg struck Rashrkin’s second point in the 17th minute with Tommy Gallagher replying for Na Magha and another pointed free by the impressive Deaglan Foley moved the Derry side five in front after 23 minutes and the South West side looked in a bit of trouble.
They finally came to life as the opening half neared conclusion with Donagh Quigg firing to the net and Tiernan O’Boyle splitting the uprights to leave just two between the sides at the break.
Conor McKeever closed the gap to the minimum on the restart but that man Foley replied at the other end to restore his side’s two point advantage as play swung from end to end.
McKeever and Foley exchanged further points before Ryan mcAdams extended the Na Magha lead to three with a point in the 10th minute and it looked like the visitors might push on at this stage.
Rasharkin had been second best up to this stage of the contest but they suddenly came to life with Conor McKeever, Donagh Quigg 0-2 and Tiernan O’Boyle from a sideline cut striking unanswered points to see them hit the front at the end of the third quarter.
The visitors replied through Tommy Gallagher to tie the contest once more but a Conor McFerran point from play and a pointed free from Conor McFerran moved the home side two in front by the 20th minute.
Deaglan Foley for Na Magha and Conor McKeever for the home side exchanged points as the free count increased in this keenly contested encounter and another from mid-fielder Tommy Rankin left matters finely balanced with six minutes remaining.
A Rasharkin pointed free from Conor McKeever looked to be enough to seal it for the Dreen men but Na Magha quite simply would not go away and Deaglan Foley looked to have earned them a share of the spoils with those latew pointed frees.
That late winner from Conor McKeever for the home side must have been a bitter pill to swallow but Na Magha’s division 3 future for next season looks to have been secured and on the evidence of what they produced on Sunday they deserve to be there.
Deaglan Foley was excellent for na Magha and ended with 1-7 while Conor |McKeever with 7 pointed frees for the Dreen side was vital for Rasharkin in a game of fine margins that could have gone either way
1. Liam Tunney;
2. Conor Doherty, 3. Daniel Doherty, 4. Connor McKillop;
5. Ruairi O’Boyle, 6. Tiernan O’Boyle, 7. James Higgins;
8. Emmet McFerran, 9. Shane Hasson;
10. Cathair Henderson, 11. Conor McFerran, 12. Daniel Hasson;
A win in Armoy on Sunday would probably have secured the division 3 league title for Armagh club, Cuchulainn. They went into this game against second placed Glen Rovers with a four point lead over the North Antrim club and a win would have put them six clear with just three games to play.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the visitors however and at a wet and windy Armoy they came up against a Glen Rovers side who have shown a lot of improvement in recent weeks and who clearly haven’t given up the chase for the title themselves.
Cuchulainn’s chose to play with the wind in the opening half but in an error ridden opening period both sides were guilty of missed chances before Joe Burke pointed the visitors ahead from an 8th minute free.
Owen Kinney levelled from a 40 meter free into the wind and the big number 11 would play a major part in his side’s eventual success.
David Ryan eased the Armagh side back in front but Emmet O’Hara levelled matters for the second time in the 13th minute and edged them ahead for the first time, a minute later and when Kinney drove another long range free between the posts, the momentum was with the men from the glen.
Cuchulainn’s responded and their keeper, Paddy Heaney drove a free from over 80 meters over Conor Devlin’s bar and Lee Murtagh brought the sides level with a point from play in the 21st minute but Ciaran Coyles replied immediately to restore the home sides lead.
Given the strength of the wind, the Armagh side needed scores going into the final stages of the half and they finished with a flurry as Rhys Stevens, Connor Devlin, and the excellent Jordan Murtagh 0-2 edged them four in front as Fergus ‘Skinner’ McAlister sounded the half time whistle.
Given the severity of the elements the question was, ‘would four points be enough?’ as Armoy turned with the proverbial wind in their sails and Emmet O’Hara landed a massive point in the opening minute.
A minute later Owen Kinney got on the end of a tantalising delivery before turning and firing to the Cuchulainn net and the sides were level and the league leaders looked in trouble.
They responded however as their talisman, Jordan Murtagh fired over a couple of good points at the other end to move them two in front once more but Glen Rovers now had the bit firmly between their teeth.
Owen Kinney replied with a point at the other end and another Emmet O’Hara long range special had the side’s level once more with 11 minutes of the new half gone.
Caolan Rice briefly restored the visitors lead with a point at the end of the third quarter but the momentum was very much with the home side as Owen Kinney equalised once more from a ‘65’ and Emmet O’Hara 0-2 and PJ McBride moved them three in front.
The league leaders have been excellent this year and they showed just why they are top of the division as they responded with points from Lee and Jordan Murtagh to leave just one in it again and when Jordan Murtagh fired over the equaliser with 8 minutes remaining the fat was very much back in the fire.
Armoy quite simply refused to concede however as the excellent Kinney fired another ‘65’ between the uprights and added another from play with Murtagh again replying with a point for the visitors.
The ‘Hoops’ struck a telling blow however as Trevor Linton fired home from close range in the 29th minute and although Jordan Murtagh closed the gap to three as the game entered time added on it would be as close as the visitors got.
Trevor Linton, Owen Kinney with his third ‘65’ of the evening and Emmet O’Hara ensured that there would be no way back for the league leader with three unanswered points to move the Glen Rovers to within two points of the league leaders and keep their own ambitions very much alive.
Cuchuliann Armagh: 1 Paddy Heaney, 2 Rona n O’Hagan, 3 Oisin Richards, 4 Jack Scallon, 5 Stephan McParland, 6 Brian Bell, 7 David Ryan, 8 Gerald Barton, 9 Tom Marley, 10 Rhys Stevens, 11 Caolan Rice, 12 Connor Devlin, 13 Joe Burke, 14 Jordan Murtagh, 15 Lee Murtagh Subs: Dermot Hicks, William Wong
Rasharkin secured their third straight win to move into fourth place in the table with a 5-21-1-13 win over Lámh Dhearg at Rasharkin on Wednesday evening.
Although it took four minutes for the hosts to register their first score in the form of a Conor McFerran point- they never looked back and dominated the game for long spells.
Conor McKeever floated over his sides second of the evening and then converted a 65’ a few minutes later.
Lámh Dhearg replied after Fionn Mervyn was felled and Adam Murray converted the resulting free.
Mervyn turned provider for his sides next score with a popped pass to pick out Daniel Murray and he pointed from range.
Approaching the midway point in the half, Rasharkin found the net for the first time in the evening through a low Donagh Quigg strike into the corner that gave his side a 1-03-0-02 lead.
The visitors would chalk up three points in succession to make it a one-point game once again.
Adam Murray dropped over a 65’ and then converted his second free of the evening. Then Chris Nolan sent a pinpoint pass down the channel that Micky McGuigan got on the end of and swung over the bar.
McKeever would convert his first free of the evening in response and then turned provider for a Cathair Henderson point that ensured Rasharkin were 1-05-0-05 to the good.
Lámh Dhearg briefly cut the gap through a third Murray free, though the hosts put significant daylight between the sides with 2-03 in the space of five minutes.
Conor McKeever had the chance to grab his sides second goal but opted to kick over the bar instead- the goal would come in time, however.
The full-forward added his fifth point and then found the net after Cathair Henderson had dropped a high ball into the danger area where McKeever swung low past Rhys Camlin to open up a 2-07-0-06 advantage.
Rasharkin’s talisman made it four points unanswered with a second converted free of the half and a minute into injury time Donagh Quigg doubled his goal tally, reacting quickest to the loose ball breaking and stabbing home to make it 3-08-0-06.
Paddy Mervyn hit back with a point before half-time after a link-up with younger sibling Fionn- though the Hannahstown side were 3-08-0-07 in arrears with work to do.
The sides traded the opening few scores of the second period, McKeever added a further point to his increasing personal tally and Cathair Henderson dropped over his second point of the evening.
In-between times Paddy Mervyn saw his shot rise over the bar and Adam Murray landed his fourth placed ball.
Rasharkin claimed their fourth goal on the 35th minute after Henderson launched a high ball that Conor McKeever got on the end of, Rhys Camlin did well to deny McKeever’s initial shot, but Donagh Quigg was on hand for the simplest of tap-ins to claim his hat-trick and give his side a 4-10-0-09 lead.
Paddy Mervyn notched up his third point in response and the Lámhs captain gave his side a slight glimmer of hope, meeting Dan Murray’s pass and leading the charge that would end with him firing a low angled shot past Liam Tunney in the Rasharkin goal.
The visitors could have further closed the gap when referee Colm McDonald awarded them a penalty, but Adam Murray scuffed the opportunity wide of the target.
Conor McKeever got his side back in the ascendancy- converting his third free of the evening and a point from play followed through Tiernan O’Boyle.
Adam Murray would atone for his penalty miss with another conversion from the placed ball and after a short water-break further scores were traded.
O’Boyle doubled his tally with a long-range effort and Daire Cunningham dropped over an angled point in reply.
Adam Murray would also conjure up a magnificent, angled score that had three goals separating the sides going into the final ten minutes (4-13-1-13).
It was one-way traffic thereafter as Rasharkin chalked up with 1-08 without reply to make the outlook more empathic.
Conan McMullan would start the late scoring burst; Conor McKeever added a further point from a free and substitute Terry McGregor made an impact from the bench.
Goal scorer Quigg added his first point of the evening before the steering home his fourth goal of the evening to make it 5-17-1-13 a minute from time.
Talisman Conor McKeever hit three scores in succession, two coming from free and another from play. Conor McFerran started the evenings scoring and ended it with a late point that wrapped up a comfortable night’s work for his side at the conclusion.
Rasharkin: L Tunney, J Higgins, A McKeever, C Higgins, R O’Boyle, S Hasson, C McMullan (0-01), E McFerran, D Hasson, C Henderson (0-02), C McFerran (0-02), T O’Boyle (0-02), C Maria, C McKeever (1-12, 0-06f, 0-01 65’), D Quigg (4-01). Subs: T McGregor (0-01) for C Maria (43), J Quinn for C Higgins (48), C Donaghy for E McFerran (56).
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, T McKenna, D Murray (0-01), O Waldron, F Mervyn, N McGarry, E Stanley, A Murray (0-07, 0-05f, 0-01 65’), P Mervyn (1-03), A McCague, D Cunningham (0-01), M Lynch, M McGuigan (0-01). Subs: A Ferris for E Stanley (44), C Tumelty for A McCague (54), M McGarry for M McGuigan (60), C Megraw for M Lynch (60).