On a perfect evening for hurling, Laharna Og hosted Loch Mor Dal gCais at the Brustin Braes hoping to bounce back after their recent defeat by Naomh Colum Cille. Likewise, Loch Mor Dal gCais arrived in Larne hoping for a much needed victory and it was the Lough Shore men who opened the scoring with the first two points.
Laharna opened their account in the 4th minute with a McGoldrick point
followed by a McDonnell free before Loch Mor took the first goal of the game
after some good work by Darragh and Drayne. Laharna replied quickly with a well
taken goal by Matthews before the sides took turns splitting the sticks with
points for McKendry, Martin and Matthews. Lismore looked dangerous for the
Larne men and burst the net on the 21st minute after some good work by
McDonnell in the middle of the field.
Going into the half-time break it was a game that felt it could have
been taken by either team, though the Larne men had the edge on the scoreboard with
a 2:9 to 1:7 lead.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with both sides
taking turns at keeping the scoreboard moving with further points from Matthews
and O’ Donnell whose free taking accuracy was evident.
At this stage of the game with the result uncertain, it was the Larne
side who took control with a goal from McNeill followed by four unanswered
points to pull away with Loch Mor unable to keep pace.
The fourth goal of the night for Larne was another piece of Lismore
magic who had a solid game alongside McKendry and Shields but it was Conor
Matthews who was the star man scoring 1:6 and looking dangerous the whole game.
Larne – C KeenanB Petticrew, A O’Neill, G Bergin, T Carson, C Shields, C Martin, R O’ Donnell, P McKendry, P Craig, N McGoldrick, D Martin, M Lismore, S McNeill, C Matthews
Subs – D Hegarty,
Loch Mor – G PickeringM Morgan, L Burke, A Monaghan, C Jones, G Dunlop, S Burke, R Moran, G Pickering (Jnr), L Rooney, B Graham, M Braniff, R Bannon, J Drayne, P Darragh
All Saints, Ballymena made it three wins from five starts in
their first season back in ACHL action when they travelled to Fennell Park on
Sunday and proved too strong for an Ardoyne side, making their own return to
the All County hurling leagues this year.
blistering first half performance was enough to seal the two points as they
held Ardoyne scoreless in the opening thirty minutes whilst posting 2-14
themselves. Goals from Barry Dorrity and Paul Scullion paved the way and efficient
shooting and great defending at times from PJ O’kane and in particular, Chris
McAfee at full back gave the Ballymena men a healthy half time lead.
Injuries to Gary Miskella, Kieran Butler and Paul Scullion,
who had all posted scores in the first half halted the Saints momentum as they
found scores harder to come by but eventually ran out fifteen point winners
All Saints: Anthony Mitchell, PJ Okane, Chris McAfee, Frank
Casey, Sean O’Rawe, Colum Neeson, Vinny Esler, Brendan McDonnell (0-2), Gary
Miskella (0-1), Luke O’Rawe (0-2), Padhraig Magill (0-2), Paul Scullion
(1-0), Barry Dorrity (1-2), Kieran
Butler (0-3), Damian Gillan (0-5)
Subs Marty McNally (0-1) Ronan Laverty, Enda Casey
Glenravel hurlers stretched their lead at the top of Div 4 with a four
point victory over second place St Teresa’s at Fr Maginn Park on Monday
evening, but had the visitors been less wasteful of golden chances in this game
the story could have been very different. St Teresa’s piled on the pressure
with wave after wave of attacks across both halves but their accuracy let them
down and continually they had to rely on centre half forward, Philip Maguire
from frees. Maguire finished with 0-07 to his name – all from frees. An
impressive tally but not enough on the night to secure the points.
Niall Donnelly opened the scoring for the Con Magees after four minutes
with a free before Philip Maguire (free) and Ciaran Mooney nudged the visitors
ahead. Niall restored parity from a free but Maguire again put the visitors
ahead and it was clear the table toppers weren’t going to have things their own
way in this one. On 19 minutes, the Belfast men carved through the local
defence and midfielder Niall McCann fired a rocket to the roof of the net from
20 meteres – Ronan Donnelly in the Glenravel net was grateful to still be
alive! Now five points ahead St Teresa’s were dominating the game in all
departments. Declan Traynor and Stevie Acheson reduced the gap to three.
Maguire and Donnelly exchanged frees whilst Declan Traynor and Ciaran
Mooney did the same from play to leave the Belfast lads ahead by three points
at half time on a 1-06 to 0-06 scoreline, but in truth there should have been a
much bigger gap had Teresa’s been more efficient in front of goals.
It seemed Glenravel were not sure about coming out in the second half but eventually they did appear and started very strongly with Brain O’Neill now in the corner forward berth pointing after 19 seconds. One minute later Niall Donnelly’s free sailed between the posts and suddenly we were in a one point game. Maguire then pointed from a free to leave two in it. Con Magees mentors decided it was time to look for reinforcements from the bench and swapped Sean McElroy and Neill McCann with Sean McKay and Odhran McAleenan. St Teresa’s were creating a lot of chances but their wides count was still increasing. Free taker Maguire restored their lead to 3 points from a free but then the home team started to take more control of the game. Substitute McKay scored from a free and centre half forward James Duffin finished off a great move when he goaled on 45 minutes. The home team were now in front for the first time since the opening minutes – a lead they held to the end of the game. Conleth O’Loan put a rasper over the bar to put two between them but St Teresa’s pulled one back to leave us again in a one point game.
On 52 minutes, Padge O’Neill delivered the score of the game with a magnificent sideline cut splitting the posts and raising a cheer from the home support. O’Neill gave a master class in sidelines throughout the game and richly deserved the accolades for a sublime point. With 6 minutes left and all to play for, St Teresa’s were reduced to 14 men and were further punished when Sean McKay scored the resulting free. Glenravel were now on top for the first time in the game and though Maguire’s free on 55 minutes left St Teresa’s with a two point gap to close, Sean McKay replied with a 65 two minutes later. Connor O’Rawe’s 59th minute point gave the away team some hope but Glenravel finished stronger in the end with points from Declan Traynor and Sean McKay were enough to seal victory for the home team on a 1-15 to 1-11 scoreline.
Four points separated the teams on the scoreboard at the end and four
points separate them in the league table as well. Glenravel will feel
themselves lucky enough to get over the line in this game having pretty much
dominated all their games so far in this league. St Teresa’s will look back on
what might have been and rue the missed chances they created. Victory was
certainly within their grasp and would have left them level on top of the table
with Glenravel instead of four points behind. Small margins can lead to large
gaps – but then that’s what sport is all about.
Finally, a word on Ciaran McCloskey who was in control of the game and
refereed it excellently. As we look to recruit more referees into our games
this man is a fine role model to look up to.
Glenravel:: Ronan Donnelly, Declan McAuley, Conor Carey, Brian O’Neill
(0-01), Michael McDonald, James Duffin (1-00), Conleth O’Loan (0-01), Jonathan
Fyfe, Padge O’Neill (0-01), Declan Traynor (0-03), Neill McCann, Michael Magee,
Stephen Acheson (0-01), Niall Donnelly (0-04, 3f), Sean McIlroy
Subs: Sean McKay (0-04, 3f) for Sean McIlroy, Odhran McLeenan for Neill
McCann, Dean Kerr for Niall Donnelly.
St Teresa’s:: Robert Gallager, Philip Glennon, Gerard O’Rawe, Aodhan Dugan, Pierce O’Rawe, Ciaran Rouse, Conor McCann, Niall McCann (1-00), Conor O’Rawe (0-01), Philip Maguire (0-07f), Christopher Turley, Darren McCann, Kevin Burns, Ciaran Mooney (0-02)
Division 4 table toppers Glenravel
had a runaway win over old rivals All Saints in Monday evening’s Division
league game at Slemish Park. In what was the first league meeting between the
sides for a number of years Glenravel got off to a flying start and with Shane
Woulahan in fine scoring form on the edge of the All Saints square they raced
to a 3-15 to 0-1 lead at the break.
After the interval the scoring rate
slowed a little but there was still time for two more goals from the Glenravel
men as Woulahan got his fourth and Sean McKay his first to seal a win that
cements their place at the top of the division.
Ronan Donnelly, Brian O’Neill, Conor Carey, Michael Magee,Michael McDonnell, James Duffin, Conleth O’Loan, Paddy O’Neill, Stevie Atchinson,
Neil McCann, Sean Burns, Kieran McIntyre, Sean McElroy, Shane Woulahan, Sean
Latharna Og registered their first home win of the season on
Sunday with a high scoring victory over
Ardoyne. Captain Caolan Shields won the toss and elected to play with the wind
in the first half. This decision paid dividends with the home team building up
a 2-13 to 0-1 lead at the break. A classic game of two halves was anticipated
but because of the resolute defending from players all over the Larne team this
failed to materialise. The Latharna Og forwards turned the screw scoring a
respectable 2-11 against the strong Cairncastle end winds in the 2nd half.