Rooney points the way to victory

ACHL Division 3

Rasharkin 0-15, St Pauls 3-12

Despite a personal tally of 11 points from Conor ‘Bull Head’ McKeever for Rasharkin it was visitors St. Paul’s who claimed the points on their opening day visit to St. Mary’s Rasharkin for this Division 3 hurling league encounter.

Stephen Rooney was the star man for the Shaw’s Road outfit, finishing the game with 1-6 and the ‘Hoops’ could be serious contenders in the division this year. They moved the ball better than the opposition while both their corner forwards found the net.

Spare a thought for Conor McKeever however. ‘Bull Head’ carried the Rasharkin scoring challenge almost single handed, hitting 11 points (9 from frees) in the 11th, 12th, 16th, 18th, 36th, 38th, 45th, 47th, 48th, 51st and 60th minutes but in the end it was not enough.

James Scally was another who played well for the losers with the former keeper hitting two fine points from centre-half-back while Tiernan O’Boyle and Aidan McKeever were the other Rasharkin scorers.

The home side looked in with a shout when they only trailed by five at the break but those second half goals killed their challenge and the men from Dreen will now turn their attention to this weekend’s football championship.

Half Time:

Rasharkin 0-6, St Pauls 1-8

Rasharkin Team:-

1. Aidan Darragh

2. Liam Tunney

3. Daniel Doherty

4. Anthony O’Hane

5. Shane Doherty

6. James Scally (0-2) 14th, 32nd min

7. Tiernan O’Boyle (0-1) – 33rd min

8. Conor Doherty

9. Emmet McFerran

10. Conor McKeever (0-11)

11. Kealan Darragh

12. Declan McKay

13. Cathair Henderson

14. Aidan McKeever (0-1) – 5th min

15. Daniel Hasson

St Pauls:-

Top Scorer: Stephen Rooney (1-6).  Goal from Penalty in 3rd min.  5 points from frees, 1 sideline cut in 20th minute

Other goals came in 38th and 57th min from their 2 corner forwards (No 15 and No 13).

Biddies take the points in tough tussle.

All county Hurling League Division 3

Glenarm 2:17 Cloughmills 5: 21

By Pete Hyndman

The scoreline suggests a runaway victory but this was a fierce battle from two good teams in Sunday’s league game at Feystown.

Glenarm and Cloughmills player stand for a minute’s silence in memory of Glenarm stalwart Eddie Matthews who passed away a few weeks ago

Glenarm who have played Div 3 for a few years, and Cloughmills who dropped from Div.2 last term. It was nip and tuck in the early stages of play, before Darren Hamill slotted over a 40 yard free. The home side doubled their tally with Dylan Mc Laughlin working from his corner forward berth robbing the ball and bagging a point. This woke up the Ballyveeley boys as they hit a purple patch hitting four points in 4 minutes, Micky Devlin getting a brace, with Conor Laverty and Liam Kearns getting a point each. On the 12th minute Darren Hamill found alot of space and went for goal, he pulled sweetly on the ball but Chris Mc Kernan the Naomh Bríd goalkeeper to his credit blocked the ball down hitting a Glenarm forwards leg and rolling passed the post going wide. Liam Kearns slotted over a 35 yard free on 12 minutes followed by another Micky Devlin “65”.

Johnny Duffin was next to score for the visitors with a nice effort before another Hamill goal effort was thwarted when his fierce drive came off a Cloughmills body, which was cleared upfield. Young Johnny Duffin hit his second score with Devlin bagging his 4th point and Saint Brigid’s ninth point of this match to open a bit of a gap. The Feystown boys barren spell was halted when Darren Hamill slotted over a free, closely followed by Sean O Hare feeding Hamill a delightful ball and dissecting the uprights from 40 yards.

Micky Devlin was leading the scores for the orange and black boys with another converted “70”, he added with a goal from a 25 yard free to the top of the Shane O Neill’s net! With half time approaching Daniel Black drove over an excellent 65 yard free, with Cloughmill’s Rian Dobbin pointing for the visitors before the referee called for the ball at the short whistle. SHANE O NEILLS 00:05 CLOUGHMILLS 01:11

Glenarm came out fighting at the start of this second half with sub Ciaran Magill clipping over a point way out near the sideline. A minute later and team-mate Daniel Black rifled over the bar. Young Magill chipped in with another white flag effort after evading a couple of strong tackles. With both teams making a couple of changes at half-time, it was the visitors turn for their sub Owen Dobbin to hit a point. The versatile Dylan McLaughlin cutely picked up a low hit ball and carved a gap through 2 Cloughmills defenders, before drilling over another home score. Micky Devlin again, causing havoc won a loose ball and struck a rocket goalwards, Liam Mulvenna blocked the sliotar down but it rolled beyond him into the Glenarm nets on 40 minutes. A minute later with a lot of home pressure, a ball swung over from near the endline was collected by Dylan McLaughlin who took his chance and sent the ball beyond the Cloughmills keeper for a Glenarm green flag effort.
Devlin and Duffin for the visitors got a point each next, with another Darren Hamill effort for the boys in blue. James Docherty found space, and with a lapse of concentration from the home sides defense found himself bagging another Cloughmill’s goal.

Glenarm’s Darren Hamill and the visitors Docherty traded scores a few minutes later, unforunately for the home side it was a goal for the Biddies half forward. Another point for the visitors was cancelled out by a Dan Black effort, with Conor Laverty then hitting a further score for the away team. Duffin on 49 minutes again hit a point, this awoke Black who claimed a ball from Mc Laughlin and punished the away team with a fine green flag effort, driving the ball beyond a near static defence. After a late water break, Daniel Black penetrated the posts with another solo effort. A Cloughmill’s hat trick of point all but sealed this game, with Devlin, Owen Dobbin and Joe Smyth all on the scoresheet. A great catch from Glenarm’s Ciaran Magill resulted in him finding Dylan Mc Laughlin who obliged by slotting over a point, Mc Laughlin then drove over a 21 yard free. A minute later Dobbin for the away team won a loose ball and claimed Cloughmills fifth goal, Docherty again replied with a point for the visitors. Two late points for the home side off the sticks of young Magill and Mc Laughlin concluded this game, with Cloughmills running out victors of this Div. 3 game. A tough game to start this Div. 3 league, Glenarm fought valliantly with Liam Mulvenna unlucky for at least two of the goals, as he had blocked the point blank efforts down but couldnt clear. Paul Magill Decky Mc Dermott , Hugh Pat all worked hard. Upfront Dylan Mc Laughlin(1:05), Dan Black(1:03), Darren Hamill(:06) and young Ciaran Magill all scored well and deserve some credit. A point to mention Glenarm have a few young players coming through the ranks and in the future should make a massive difference to the squad. For the visitors Aaron Smiley. “Oggy” Laverty and Conor Laverty quenced any Glenarm threat, with Dobbin, Docherty(2:01), Duffin and danger man Micky Devlin(1:06) all taking the bulk of the scores.

GLENARM. Liam Mulvenna, Aidan O Neill, Barry Hamill, Paul Magill, Decky Mc Dermott, Hugh Pat Mc Neill,Ben O Boyle, Paddy Mc Auley, Conal Ward, Sean O Hare, Daniel Black, Sean O Boyle, Dylan Mc Laughlin, Darren Hamill, Kevin O Boyle..subs Liam Mc Loughlin,Joseph Cunnig, Ryan Mc Loughlin, Ciaran Black,Darryl Mc Mullan,Rory Mulvenna, Dan O Boyle, Ciaran Magill, Ruairi Mellon. CLOUGHMILLS. Chris Mc Kernan, Geoffrey Laverty, Darren Morrison, Aaron Mc Guckian, AAron Smiley, Micky Morrison, Steven Martin, Conor Laverty, Marty Dobbin, Micky Devlin,Ruairi Laverty, James Docherty, Johnny Duffin, Liam Kearns, Rian Dobbin, subs.. Adam Mooney, Benny Martin, Joe Smyth, Owen Dobbin, JB Mc Guckian.

Con Magees hurlers win promotion to Division 3

All County Hurling League – Division 3 & 4 Play Off

Con Magees 2-7 Na Magha 2-3

Con Magees Glenravel won promotion to Division 3 of the Antrim Hurling Leagues when they overturned a two point deficit from their first leg against Na Magha by winning Wednesday evening’s second leg by four at Pairc MacUilin, Ballycastle. On a wet and windy evening the Glenravel men played with the wind in the opening half and were 2-6 to 0-2 to the good at the break. When they got the first point of the second half it appeared to be one way traffic for the Division 4 runners up, but they failed to raise another flag for the remaining 29 minutes plus injury time, but their defence held out to see them become the first runners up to win a promotion play-off against higher opposition.

Johnny Fyfe punches the air after Niall Donnelly centre) scores Glenravels opening goal.

Early points from Johnny Fyfe and Niall Donnelly got the Con Magees going but when Alan Grant pulled one back for Na Magha in the tenth minute it was getting a little worrying for the Glenravel men. Two more points from Padge O’Neill and 45 year old veteran Vic McCann had them 0-4 to 0-1 clear at the end of the first quarter but when Grant pulled another one back for the men from Derry city things did not look promising for the Glenravel side. However they really got going in the second quarter and after McCann added a second point they won the puc-out and put together a good flowing move which ended with Niall Donnelly crashing in their opening goal.

That score really got the Glenravel men going and after Donnelly had added a point from a free he dropped a 65 in around the Na Magha square where Brian ‘Twig’ O’Neill connected with the dropping ball to send it flying to the back of the net and give his team a 2-6 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Na Maghas Dairmuid Shiels in action against Glenravels Shane Woulahan and Johnny Fyfe

When Donnelly grabbed another point in the opening minute of the second half the Con Magees were eleven clear, and when they still held that advantage at the end of the third quarter they appeared to have it all wrapped up. However when Alan Grant fired a 20 metre free to the Glenravel net in the 46th minute the game began to change and when he added a point from play on 50 minutes the game was still within the Derry mens’ grasp. It was backs to the wall for the Glenravel men as they battled the Na Magha forwards and the strong wind and, though the Derry men grabbed a late goal to cut the gap back to four it came too late to really make a difference and the Con Magees held out for the win.

CON MAGEES: Ronan Donnelly, Conor Carey, Shanlee Kerr, Caolan Mullan, Damian O’Hagan, James Duffin, Conleth O’Loan, Stephen Acheson, Padge O’Neill, Niall Donnelly, Sean Burns, Shane Woulahan, Brian O’Neill, Neill McCann, Odhran McAleenan.

Subs – Johnny Fyfe.

‘Loaf’ leads the Emmet’s fightback

Antrim Hurling League Division 3

Cushendun Emmet’s 2-20 Bredagh 4-9

Cushendun scored a morale boosting win ahead of Saturday’s Intermediate Hurling Championship game with Sarsfields when they came from nine point down to beat visitors Breadgh in Tuesday evening’s Division 3 League game at the Rigs.                  Last year’s Junior champions have been struggling for form this season and when the fell 3-1 to 0-1 behind after just six minutes their prospects did not look good. However with Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill leading the charge they fought their way back into the game and boosted by a McNeill goal from a penalty they ended the opening half on top, leading by 1-12 to 3-4.                                                     After the change of ends they pushed on and another Loaf goal on fifty minutes put them in charge, winning in the end by five, despite conceding a last minute goal.

Bredagh flew from the traps at the start of the game and goals from Michael Scullion, Ian Galway and Sean McGourty, plus a point from Costello had them 3-1 to 0-1 ahead, the Emmet’s point coming from Harry Kilgore. The comeback started with three pointed frees from Conor McHugh and when James Morgan and McNeill also grabbed points they were back in business. McNeill was having a bigger influence on the play as the game went on and two points inside a minute were followed by a goal from a penalty on 21 minutes after James Morgan had been hauled down in the large square. The big man was on a roll and he added two more from play to bring his team level by the 22nds minute. A Rory Costello point on 25 minutes briefly put Bredagh back on terms, but Loaf restored the Emmet’s lead with a brilliant point direct from a sideline cut before David Kilgore chipped in with another from play to give the home team a two point cushion at the break.

Another McNeill point early in the second half put three between the teams and two in quick succession by Dominic McQuillan gave them a bit of breathing space. Bredagh kept in touch with a series of points from Ian Galway frees but McNeill’s second goal direct from a free on 49 minutes killed the game off.

The man of the match added two more, while Pearse Bannon and Harry Kilgore chipped in with one apiece to go eight clear, and even though Costello grabbed an injury time goal for Bredagh it was to have no bearing on the overall outcome.

CUSHENDUN: Eoin Magee, Sean Hamilton, Aidan Corbett, Michael Dunne, Gavin McCormick, Donal O’Hara, Niall McAuley, Thomas Scally, Conor McHugh, Dominic Sharkey, Dominic McQuillan, Harry Kilgore, James Morgan, Conlaoth McNeill, David Kilgore

Pearse Bannon for Mickey Dunne.

Gorts wrap it up with win over St Paul’s

Antrim Hurling League Division 3

St Paul’s 2-7 Gort na Móna 1-15

Gort na Móna won the Division 3 Hurling League on Tuesday evening when they travelled down to St Paul’s and beat the Shaw’s Road side by five points. Going into the game St Paul’s were also in contention but they needed to beat their neighbours by at least seven points. However the Gorts got away to a good start and a goal after 18 minutes by Dessie McClean gave them an edge they were never to lose. The visitors continued to press and were 1-12 to 1-4 ahead at half time.

The second half saw St Paul’s battle back, scoring a goal and three points while holding Gort na Móna to just three points. However the Gorts were always in control and they held out comfortably to clinch the league title.

For most of this league campaign Thomas McGilligan’s side have looked odds on to win promotion but a couple of slip ups in recent weeks created the opportunity for them to be caught. On Tuesday evening they showed just why they had won so many games this season as they deservedly wrapped it all up and they will look forward to their Junior Championship campaign with great confidence.