Armoy win keeps promotion hopes alive

Antrim Hurling League Division 3

Armoy 4-19  Davitt 2-13

Armoy kept up their promotion challenge in Division 3 of the Antrim Hurling League when they beat Davitt’s on Wednesday evening in Armoy. With the wind in their favour in the opening half Armoy were slow to get started, but once they found their range they scored heavily. Jason Parkk got the opening point of the game for Davitt’s on nine minutes but a points from Liam Dillon and two by Trevor Linton were followed by a goal from Linton on eighteen minutes. Tommy Buurns added a point for the home side but a great ball into the Armoy square by Marcus Toner was turned to the net by Andrew Rowntree and Davitt’s were back in the hunt.

However they only managed another point for the rest of the first half and Armoy pushed on to move 2-13 to 1-2 ahead, the second goal coming from Tommy Burns, when he blocked an attempted clearance to the Davitt’s net.

Armoy fared much better in the second half as they used the wind very well to close the gap. Two pointed frees by Christopher Gallagher in the first two minutes got them going and when Andrew Rowntree and Anton McLauglin all grabbed ppoints there spirits were lifted. Owen Kinney and Ciaran McCormick replied for Armoy but Davitt’s came back well with a great goal from Peter Og Carleton and two top class points by Christopher Gallagher.

PJ McBride pulled one back but Davitt’s came back with points from Marcus Toner, Christopher Gallagher and Carleton. However they were dealt a bad blow when a shot from Armoy’s Owen Kinney was turned to his own net by the Davitt’s keeper. To their credit Davitt’s kept battling until the last and Gallagher added two more points in injury time.

Shane O’Neill’s singing in the rain in Feystown

ACHL Division 3

Shane O’Neill’s 4-14 Rasharkin 0-10

Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm maintained their second spot in division 3 following this comprehensive win over St. Mary’s Rasharkin at a wet and windy Feystown last night.

Rain fell for most of this game but it didn’t stop the enthusiasm of two teams who served up a treat despite the awful conditions.

Glenarm settled better winning a lot of dirty ball. Darren and Barry Hamill cleared their lines feeding the wet sliotar up field to a forward line with Niall Mc Garel and Sean O Boyle in blistering form.

It was the visitors who were first to register when Conor McKeever pointed a free in the third minute but it would be the only time the men from Dreen would be ahead. Glenarm mad an emphatic reply as Kieran O’Boyle 0-2, Ciaran Magill 0-2 and Dylan McLaughlin fired over points and when Sean O’Boyle fired home a goal in the 18th minute they were in control.

Full-forward McKeever replied with Rasharkin’s second point of the game and their first for 16 minutes from a free and the same player would bring his total to three from another free but it was Glenarm who continued to turn the screw.

Kieran O’Boyle and Darren Hamill replied with points and then a long range effort from the excellent Hamill dropped to the net in the 27th minute. The home side were flying and Ciaran Magill hammered home his side’s third goal from a free to conclude the first half action and leave the Feystown side with a comfortable 3-7 to 0-3 half time lead.

It looked a long way back for the visitors as the second half got under way and when corner-forward Kevin O’Boyle added a goal and a point for Shane O’Neill’s in the opening minutes of the new half it was as good as over.

To their credit St. Mary’s never gave up with Conor McKeever pointing a free and another from play but Glenarm responded through Niall McGarel and substitute Daryl McMullan to maintain their advantage.

Rasharkin were still battling hard against the odds as the sweet striking McKeever kept the score board ticking with a couple of frees and another from play to add to one from Shane Hasson but at this stage it was an exercise in damage limitation.

The visitors would manage only one further point in the closing stages through Donagh Quigg which was sandwiched by a couple from Glenarm’s number 12, Ciaran Magill to conclude the scoring and leave the Feystown men in a healthy position.

Mc Garel was a constant threat all night while Ciaran Magill was in fine form and Darren Hamill improves with age and young Sean O Boyle also hit a brace of goals with a rasper going beyond the Rasharkin keeper. “Murph” O Boyle and Daniel Black also deserve a mention as they won their own battles against their Dreen counterparts and sprayed the ball well to the fast flowing forward line.

Glenarm: 1 Christopher Magill, 2 Padraig McDermott, 3 Barry Hamill, 4 Patrick McAuley, 5 Aidan Scullion, 6 Darren Hamill, 7 Declan McDermott, 8 Ben O’Boyle, 9 Daniel Black, 10 Sean O’Boyle, 11 Dylan McLaughlin, 12 Ciaran Magill, 13 Kevin O’Boyle, 14 Niall McGarel, 15 Kieran O’Boyle

Rasharkin: 1 Liam Tunney, 2 Connaire Doherty, 3 Conor Doherty, 4 Daniel Hasson, 5 Ruairi O’Boyle, 6 Daniel Doherty, 7 Conor McFerran, 8 Aidan McKeever, 9 Tiernan O’Boyle, 10 Declan McKay, 11 Cormac Gaston, 12 Donagh Quigg, 13 Conor MacPhilib, 14 Conor McKeever, 15 Shane Hasson

Referee: Mark McDonald

Rasharkin rally in the final ten minutes to secure the points.

Antrim Hurling League – Division 3

Glenravel 1-14  Rasharkin 1-17

A series of seven unanswered points form Rasharkin in the closing ten minutes of this game saw them come from behind and overtake the home side to end the game three points to the good and more importantly two very valuable league points. They took better advantage of the strong breeze in the second half and always looked like they could recover their first half deficit.

Glenravel got off to a perfect start when a speculative ball in from the right wing from Niall Donnelly confused the Dreen defence and pin-balled off the left upright and a few players in the square before crossing the goal line. Deccy Traynor followed up with a point a few minutes later and the home side were looking good. Big midfielder, Tiernan O’Boyle got the visitors off the mark with a good long range point but veteran Martin Scullion pulled one back to leave Glenravel ahead 1-02 to 0-01 with one quarter gone. Rasharkin were starting to get into their stride and their superior stick work was paying dividends as they picked off the next two points from play. However the Glensmen were stung into action with three points in a minute from Connor Deery, Niall Donnelly (F) and Declan Traynor. Conor McKillop was getting on a lot of ball for Rasharkin and he was next on the scoresheet. Niall Donnelly demonstrated his usual accurate free taking and his two points before the break meant the teams retired with Glenravel leading on a 1-07 to 0-06.

Rasharkin signalled their intention playing with the breeze in the second half when Aiden McKeever pointed with only seventeen seconds on the clock. They followed that up with a free but back came the home team with a brace of frees from Niall Donnelly and a nice point from Connor Deery when he looked likely to be bottled up. Declan McKay pulled one back for the visitors but a further brace of frees from the trusty Niall Donnelly left the scoreline 1-12 to 0-09 with Glenravel seemingly in control.

That was all to change though as burly full forward Cormac Gaston goaled for the visitors after twelve minutes and Declan McKay followed with a point one minute later. Suddenly the Dreen lads were back in the game big time. A Niall Donnelly free in the seventeenth minute left the score 1-13 to 1-10 in favour of Glenravel but with the wind, Rasharkin were looking a lot more menacing. In those final ten minutes they would go on to record seven consecutive points, Cormac Gaston and Conor McKillop providing scores from play and Rasharkin’s Shane Hasson putting over five frees from close range as the Glenravel defence started to weaken. Fittingly Niall Donnelly completed a fine personal performance with a pointed free two minutes into added time but it wasn’t enough, Rasharkin’s scoring spree had seen them home safely with three points to spare. Final score Glenravel 1-14  Rasharkin 1-17. A vital win for Rasharkin as both teams are hovering at the wrong end of the Division 3 table.

Cloughmills and Armoy can’t be separated

ACHL Division 3

St. Brigid’s Cloughmills 0-11 Glen Rovers Armoy

League leaders, St. Brigid’s and today’s rivals, Glen Rovers, Armoy couldn’t be separated in a dour struggle in Cloughmills today. St. Brigid’s played with the elements in their favour in the first half but too often got bogged down as their short passing game got closed down by a resolute Armoy defence in which Thomas Burns was excellent in a sweeper role.

Indeed it was the visitors with their more direct style of play who shaded the opening half with Trevor Linton driving them forward and they looked to be in pole position when they turned around a point ahead at the short whistle.

Cloughmills opened on the offensive in the early stages but were off target three times in the opening minutes before the men from the Glen went ahead through Eoin O’Boyle with 10 minutes gone.

Trevor Linton hit a second to move the visitors two in front before Mickey Devlin finally got the ‘Biddies’ off the mark from a 50 meter free in the 12th minute and two further close range frees from Liam Kearns had the home side 0-3 to 0-2 ahead after 17 minutes and they seemed to be getting on top.

Armoy were having none of it however and a great long range point from Emmet O’Hara reignited their challenge and further points from a Trevor Linton pointed free and another long range effort from PJ McBride moved them two in front after 21 minutes.

The St. Brigid’s efforts continued to get bogged down with a lot of the play turning into rucks and free flowing hurling at a premium but Reece Watt, who had replaced Corey Blair early in the contest, sent over a late point to leave just one it at the end of an easily forgettable opening half.

Eoin Kinney extended the visitors lead to two with a point in the 4th minute of the second half but points from Eoin Dobbin and Mickey Devlin had matters all square by the 8th minute and the league leaders looked like they were getting it together but again they had flattered to deceive.

Armoy came back strongly with Thomas Burns sweeping up everything that came his way and Emmet O’Hara fired over a massive free from deep in his own half, Tarlach McBride added a couple from play and Trevor Linton followed with another to move the visitors four in front by the 16th minute and it wasn’t looking good for the league leaders.

It was at this stage that St. Brigid’s finally got it together as they began to show why they are topping the table as Mickey Devlin pointed a free, their first score for 12 minutes before Dobbin set up Liam Kearns who split the posts to close the gap to two with nine minutes remaining.

The momentum was now with the Cloughmills’ side as Glen Rovers started to concede needless frees and Mickey Devlin punished these indiscretions as he sent over two long range efforts and followed from a ‘65’ to edge his side ahead with time almost up.

It looked at this stage like the Armoy effort might have been for nothing but to their credit they came back strongly and missed a couple of chances before Trevor Linton fired over with the last strike of the game to give them a deserved share of the spoils.

Today’s result leaves St. Brigid’s top of the table on 9 points from 5 games where they are joined by Cuchullainn’s on 9 from the same number of games with Glen Rovers handily placed in third on 7 points from five starts.

St. Brigid’s: 1 Chris McKiernan, 2 Aaron McGuckian, 3 Sean McKendry, 4 Seosamh MacGabhann, 5 Johnny Duffin, 6 Conor Laverty, 7 Stephen Martin, 8 Geoffery Og Laverty, 9 Ruairi Laverty, 11 Michael Devlin, 12 Rian Dobbin, 13 Eoin Dobbin, 14, Liam Kearns, 17 Corey Blair. Subs: 19 Reece Watt, 28 Stephen Smyth, 23 Gary McCollum, 18 Timothy McNeill

Armoy: 1 Conor Devlin, 2 Calum Coyles, 3 Shane Devlin, 4 Joseph McFetridge, 5 Emmet O’Hara, 6 Arthur Devlin, 7 Liam Dillon, 8 Ciaran McKenna, 9 PJ McBride, 10 Eoin O’Boyle, 11 Thomas Burns, 12 Trevor Linton, 13 Colin Lordan, 14 Owen Kinney, 15 Tarlach McBride, 17 Liam O’Hara

Referee: Shane McDonnell (Glenariffe)

Lámhs stage late fightback to defeat Davitts

ACHL Division Three

Davitts 0-16-2-12 Lámh Dhearg

Kevin Herron reports from Davitt Park  

Lámh Dhearg rallied in the second period to fightback from six-points down at the interval and beat Davitt’s 2-12-0-16 at Davitt Park on Wednesday evening.

The hosts benefited from the advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half and Chris Gallagher landed seven of his sides 0-13 points. 

Fionn Mervyn’s red card may have proved a stumbling block for Lámh Dhearg- who fell five behind in the aftermath. 

But they regrouped, battled back and then hit the front at the third time of asking late-on. Joe McCaffrey kept Declan Lynch’s penalty at bay, blocked the follow-up and was finally beaten from a deflected shot in quick succession. 

Davitt’s failed to recover from the late blow and finished with 14-men themselves as Canice Mooney departed in injury-time of a fantastically contested derby. 

Davitts’ hit the front from the throw-in as the ball was quickly recycled to Marcus Toner to float over the opening score. 

Daniel Murray replied from a free and Odhran Waldron then curled a shot over the bar to give the Hannahstown side a 0-02-0-01 lead. 

The hosts were back on terms through a Stephen McGivern point and forged ahead for the second time thanks to a converted 65’ from Chris Gallagher. 

Gallagher was almost inch perfect from frees all evening, converting back-to-back placed balls before adding another and one from play; in-between points from Stephen McGivern and Thomas Maguire which had the home side 0-09-0-02 ahead. 

But with 17 minutes on the clock, a stroke of fortune had Lámh Dhearg back within reach when Declan Lynch’s free spun against the breeze and dropped into the net over Joe McCaffrey to make it 0-09-1-02. 

Jamie McNally notched up the next score and a further free from Chris Gallagher followed, but Daniel Murray then converted two frees of his own in response. 

Davitt’s would head in at the interval with a six-point advantage, Gallagher brought his personal tally to 0-07 with his fifth free of the half and Marcus Toner added to his early score to give their side a 0-13-1-04 lead. 

Despite playing against the swirling elements, it was Davitt’s who registered the opening score of the second period, again it was Chris Gallagher who continued to punish the visitors from frees. 

Gerard Smyth dropped a shot over at the other end and Ciaran Boyd then won the resulting puck-out and returned it over the black spot as the Lámhs were on a roll. 

A converted Daniel Murray free followed imminently and Odhran Waldron landed a magnificent score from range to cut the deficit to three (0-14-1-08). 

Although they had the momentum the visitors were dealt a blow when referee Paul McDonnell spotted a confrontation and issued a red card to Fionn Mervyn. 

Davitt’s pulled two-points further clear as Chris Gallagher reached double figures for the evening, converting a free and then landing a 65’ in the aftermath. 

The 14-men from Hannahstown responded however, Declan Lynch played a short free to Waldron to float the ball over and the Kilkenny native converted a free to bring it back to a three-point game.

Declan Lynch steadies himself before striking a vital free

Declan Lynch then landed a long-range free as the game ticked towards the conclusion with the pendulum swinging. 

With little over a minute remaining Sean-Paul Gibson was chopped down in a promising position and referee McDonnell signalled for a penalty. 

Lynch seized responsibility for the opportunity to give his side the lead for just the second time. 

However, Joe McCaffrey thwarted the initial effort and then kept a second effort at bay in the scramble that ensued. 

But at the third time of asking Lynch saw an effort deflected to the net by a Davitt’s player as Lámh Dhearg went 2-11-0-16 ahead. 

The player count was evened up in the aftermath with Canice Mooney shown a second yellow-card. 

Declan Lynch doubled his sides advantage from a free, but a tense finale played out as Davitt’s pursued a goal that would win the game. 

They thought they would have the opportunity when a high ball was flighted into the path of Marcus Toner- who looked to be on his way to goal- though the silother spilled from his possession and the visitors did enough to hold on for the two-points and make it back-to-back league victories.

Davitts: J McCaffrey, O Gorman, M Rowntree, A McLaughlin, C Gallagher (0-09, 0-06f, 0-02 65’), T Maguire (0-01), J Park, P Carleton, D Mooney, J McNally (0-01), C McKee, M Toner (0-02), R McIlroy, O Persson, S McGivern (0-02). Subs: C Mooney for J McNally (21), A Rowntree for O Persson (47). 

Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, C Nolan, J Brady, B Rice, T McKenna, D Lynch (2-02, 1-02f), P Mervyn, R Diamond, C Boyd (0-01), F Mervyn, O Waldron (0-04, 0-01f), D Murray (0-04f), E Murray, G Smyth (0-01), SP Gibson. Subs: N McGarry for E Murray (50). 

Referee: Paul McDonnell (Rossa)