Armagh’s Cuchulianns snatch victory in a tight affair.

Antrim Hurling League Divison 3

Glenravel 2-08.    Cuchulianns 1-12

Glenravel will definitely feel this was one that got away from from them having led for 95% of the game. Their opponents dominated the first five and last five minutes scoring four unanswered points in those final minutes to creep over the line in front when the final whistle blew.

Cuchulianns opened with a point in the first minute with full forward Jordan Murtagh scoring from a free. Murtagh would go on to score six from played balls before having to be substituted after an unfortunate strike to the head under a dropping ball in the second half. The Armagh lads really dominated the opening exchanges finding their men with ease and probably should have had more on the scoreboard than that solitary point. In the seventh minute though the home team opened their account with goal kicked over the line by dual player Eoin McCusker. Glenravel then went on to dominate with four unanswered points. Conleth O’Loan getting three with Declan Traynor slotting over the other score to leave the home on front 1-04 to 0-01. The last ten minutes of the half belonged to Cuchulianns with Jordan Murtagh scoring three consecutive points from frees in what was to be a foretaste of how the second half would end. That took us to the half time break with the Con Magees ahead by a goal 1-04 to 0-04.

Conleth O’Loan opened for the home team with a pointed free in the thirty first minute before Matthew Rafferty scored for the visitors one minute later. That was Cuchulainn’s first score from play; in fact of the twelve points they registered over the hour, only two came from play. Conleth O’Loan nudged his team ahead again with a well taken free but shortly after Ben Devlin netted for the Armagh men to reduce their deficit to a single point. With twenty minutes left on the clock Glenravel sent in a long ball which the defence couldn’t deal with and as the ball was bobbing around in the air Conleth O’Loan pounced to pull it to the back of the net and put the Glensmen into a four point lead once again. Jordan Murtagh pointed two frees to leave two between them but with the water break approaching the unfortunate Murtagh had to be helped off the pitch having just taken an accidental blow to the head. How would Cuchulainns perform without their ace free taker who had been so influential up to his substitution? We soon got our answer when Conleth Lavery took on free taking duties and pointed from a sixty five and we were down to a one point game with the hosts still leading. Cathal Hynds and Niall Donnelly extended that lead to three with five minutes left on the clock and the home team sensing victory. But Cuchulainns hadn’t made the lengthy journey from Armagh to go down without a fight and and three pointed frees in as many minutes from Conleth Lavery levelled the game as we entered added time. Both teams went for broke in the closing minutes of added time but unfortunately for the home team who had led for most of the game, the final score came from Cuchulainns with Matthew Rafferty scoring only their second point from play in the entire game. It was enough to send them back south with three points in the bag.

Glenravel:: Roan Donnelly, Brian O’Neill, Shan Lee Kerr, Stevie Acheson, Damian O’Hagan, James Duffin, Padge O’Neill, Jonathan Fyfe, Rian Lennon, Eoin McCusker (1-00), Cathal Hynds (0-01), Conleth O’Loan (1-05 4f), Declan Traynor (0-01), Shane Woulahan, Ryan McQuillan,
Subs:: Niall Donnelly (0-01), Sean Burns, Michael McDonald, Joe Martin.

Cuchulainns:: Adam Murtagh, Shane O’Hagan, Stefan McParland, Dermot Hicks, Ciaran Duffy, Tomas O’Mearthile, David Ryan, Connor Devlin, Fionntan Oliver, Conleth Lavery (0-03f)Tony Duffy, Patrick Heaney, Ben Devlin (1-00), Jordan Murtagh (0-06f), Matthew Rafferty (0-03, 2f)

Shane O’Neill’s good form continues at Dreen

ACHL Division 3

Rasharkin 1-11

Glenarm 3-22

Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm maintained their good start to the season when they travelled to Dreen on Sunday and recorded a comprehensive win over St. Mary’s Rasharkin. The visitors got off to a flying start with Daniel Black and Ciaran O’Boyle edging them two in front in the opening minute before Conor McKeever made quick reply for the home side.

The Feystown side were simply flying and came back with points from Liam Mulvenna, Daniel Black and Mulvenna again to move four in front by the 6th minute but again Rasharkin responded and Conor McKeever split the uprights.

It was only momentary respite however as the visitors continued to attack at pace with Daniel Black adding a couple of points and Aidan Scullion and Sean O’Boyle all on target as they opened up a six point gap with only 12 minutes gone.

Rasharkin were struggling to gain a foothold and were reliant on the accuracy of Conor McKeever and the number 10 was doing all in his power to get his side going and he hit his third point of the game to bring his and his side’s total to three but it failed to get a response from his side.

Shane O’Neill’s were simply flying as they came back with a point and then a goal from the splendid Daniel Black and Aidan Scullion and Sean O’Boyle added points to put them in a commanding position. Rasharkin Talisman McKeever hit the final point of the half but his side looked to have a mountain to climb as the half time whistle sounded with the visitors leading 1-12 to 0-4.

There was no respite for the men from Dreen on the restart as Daniel Black opened the second half scoring with a point for the visitors with Conor McKeever responding with a point from play and a converted free to bring his personal contribution to six but once again it brought a decisive response from Glenarm.

Aidan Scullion, Sean O’Boyle, Liam Mulvenna and Daniel Black were all on target as the visitors moved 1-17 to 0-6 ahead by the 9th minute and it was clear that there was going to be no way back for a Rasharkin side who were struggling to get their own game together.

One man who wasn’t struggling was Conor McKeever as he pointed a 10th minute free to bring his personal contribution to seven with Aidan Scullion replying before Fearghal Kennedy became the second Rasharkin player to score when he found the Glenarm net and Conor McKeever added another from a free.

Ciaran Magill and Aidan Scullion for Glenarm and that man McKeever for the Dreen side kept the score board ticking over before Liam Mulvenna got in for his side’s second goal in the 21st minute and Scullion tagged on another point.

The visitors refused to take their foot of the pedal as they continued to find the target as Aidan Scullion hammered home another penalty with Conor McKeever pointing a 27th minute free and Ruairi O’Boyle and Scullion exchanging late points to leave the men from Feystown comprehensive winners and now sitting on 5 points from three starts.

St Mary’s Rasharkin: Aidan Darragh, Liam Tunney, Aidan McKeever, Fergus Quigg, Daniel Hasson, Andrew Hasson, Shane Doherty, Conor Doherty, Thomas McMullan, Conor McKeever, Emmet McFerran, Declan McKay, Fearghal Kennedy, Ruairi OBoyle, Shane Hasson. Subs: Paul Reilly for Fergus Quigg, Kealan Darragh for Ruairi O’Boyle, Andrew Hasson for Conor Donaghy.

Shane O’Neill’s: Niall Hamill, Paul Magill, Barry Hamill, Hugh Pat McNeill, Christopher Matthews, Darren Hamill, Declan McDermott, Sean O’Boyle, Ben O’Boyle, Ciaran Magill, Daniel Black, Aidan Scullion, Ciaran O’Boyle, Dylan McLaughlin, Liam Mulvenna. Subs: Conal Ward, Aidan O’Neill, Kieran O’Boyle, Ryan McLoughlin, Liam McLoughlin, Ryan Millar, Ciaran Finnigan, Sean O’Hare, Darryl McMullan.

Referee: Ryan O’Reilly (Con Magee’s)

Glenravel come out on top in a ding dong battle.

ACHL Division 3

Glenravel 1-13   Rasharkin 1-11

Glenravel and Rasharkin senior hurlers came out of hibernation yesterday in Fr Maginn Park to serve up a ding dong battle in this Div 3 clash. For most of the game the gap between the two teams was never more than two points with both sides holding the lead at various stages. Paul McSparron took charge of the game and with Maginn Park bathed in sunshine enjoying almost Spring like temperatures both teams gave everything throughout the hour. The home side however finished stronger and claimed victory in the end by a two point margin. 

Glenravel started brightly and had the first two scores through Rian Lennon and a Jonathan Fyfe free in the opening five minutes. But Rasharkin then took hold of the game for the remainder of the first half and with a very talented half forward in Conor McKeever scoring three points in succession they crept into the lead. The Dreen men were showing some aerial dominance and applying pressure in wave after wave of attack but it must be said the home team’s last line of defence coped admirably and anything that did get past them was blocked out by some brilliant point blank saves by Ronan Donnelly in Glenravel’s nets. Glenravel have Ronan to thank for still being in the game at half time having thwarted the blue and yellow onslaught on three separate occasions when a goal looked odds on.

On twelve minutes, Jonathan Fyfe restored parity on the scoreboard for a short period but McKeever popped up again to push Rasharkin ahead by a point. Declan Traynor levelled a minute later and then a brace of points from Conor McKeever (free) and a fine long range effort from Tiernan O’Boyle put the away team into the lead by two on a 0-4 to 0-6 scoreline. A Jonathan Fyfe free reduced the gap to one but up stepped Tiernan O’Boyle again from the half back birth to put two between them once more. Fyfe and McKeever exchanged points before Padge O’Neill’s fine effort for Glenravel brought the game to the short whistle with Rasharkin leading by one point 0-7 to 0-8. Rasharkin probably felt they should have gone into the break with a bigger margin.

Conor McKeever pointed from a free in the opening minute of the second half and one minute later Cahal Hynds reduced the gap to one point before the decisive score of the game in the seventh minute of the second half. A long ball into the Rasharkin square was batted out and in the resulting melee the sliothar ended up crossing the goal line and being booted back out again. That the ball crossed the line is not in any doubt but I don’t believe anyone knows exactly who got the final touch to put it there. It could have been any one of about half a dozen players from both sides. That goal put the home team into the lead by two and it was a lead they would not relinquish to the end of the game. Donach Quigg pointed for Rasharkin 10 minutes into the second half and Glenravel’s lead was now down to a single point.

However as the water break approached, the home team really started to dominate all over the pitch and notched up three successive points from open play. Declan Traynor, Jonathan Fyfe and Cathal Hynds the providers. After the water break, Rasharkin pulled their danger man, Conor McKeever, into the edge of the square in the hope of some magic and indeed with ten minutes left on the clock McKeever found himself all alone in front of goal. This time, even Ronan Donnelly was helpless as McKeever’s bullet almost lifted the nets off the posts. Rasharkin were back in business, trailing by a single point 1-11 to 1-10 and ten minutes of action remaining. But Glenravel showed their mettle and when Conleth O’Loan rounded his man and pointed from a tight angle a two point gap was restored. That was followed by a Conor McKeever point from play and once again we had a one point game. The last ten minutes were end to end as both teams gave everything in search of the two league points on offer.  Both defences were on top however and neither side managed to raise a flag despite several chances. The final score of the game was a long range effort from Glenravel’s James Duffin one minute into added time and I think at that stage the Dreen men knew it just wasn’t going to be their day.

This was an entertaining game which either side could have won. It reminded us all how much we missed hurling during the Covid pandemic. Both teams are to be congratulated for the way they approached the game given the dearth of activity in the last year. Glenravel will be delighted to get off to a winning start and Rasharkin will rue those missed chances in the first half that could have put some daylight between the teams when they were more dominant. 

Glenravel: Ronan Donnelly, Brian O’Neill, Shan Lee Kerr, Stephen Acheson, Michael McDonald, James Duffin (0-1), Padge O’Neill (0-1), Cathal Hynds (0-2), Rian Lennon (0-1), Sean McKay, Eoin McCusker, Jonathan Fyfe (0-5, 3f), Odhran McAleenan, Shane Woulahan, Declan Traynor (0-2). 

Subs Conleth O’Loan (0-1) for Odhran McAleenan, Conor Carey for Padge O’Neill

Rasharkin: Aidan Darragh, Liam Tunney, Aiden McKeever, Conor Doherty, Daniel Hasson, Daniel Doherty, Tiernan O’Boyle (0-2), Thomas McMullan, Emmet McFerran, Conor McKeever (1-08), Kealan Darragh, Donagh Quigg (0-1), James Scally, Declan McKay, Shane Hasson.

Referee: Paul McSparron

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.