Cloney Gael’s overcame the challenge of St. Paul’s in what was essentially a ‘dead rubber’ to finish top of Group 2 of the Andersonstown SC IHC and secure their place in the semi-final in two weeks-time against St. Gall’s.
Indeed that top spot had been already secured after their last game away to Gort na Mona on the 2nd September and Cloney Gaels would have been forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal for this one but the management team of Hugh Dobbin and Shea O’Hagan were determined to keep the momentum going.
Places are still up for grabs going into the semi-final and one man who did his chances of getting on the team sheet against St. Gall’s is youngster, Colla McDonnell who finished this game with a hat-trick as the Cloney attack ran riot.
James O’Connell once again gave a fine exhibition of free taking, converting five, (2 ‘65’) and one from play while Donal Graham struck some excellent scores from play and recorded 0-6 on the day.
Ahoghill now meet St. Gall’s in two weeks-time while Emmet’s Cushendun and Oisin Glenariffe meet in the other semi-final and both games look hard to call.
Ahoghill scorers: Colla McDonnell 3-1, Donal Graham 0-6, James O’Connell 0-6, Eoin Neeson 1-2, Gerard Graham 0-3, Thomas McGlone, Fionnbar O’Neill, Ronan Graham, Paddy Graham (01 each)
Cushendun Emmet’s breezed through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Hurling Championship when they beat Gort na Móna in their final group game on Saturday in Cushendun.
The team controlled the game from start to finish and it was clear from an early stage that they were going to go through. Early points from Donal O’Hara, Conor McHugh and Pearse Bannon were followed by two quick goals from the Kilgore brothers Harry and David. Conlaoth McNeill added a point from a 65 on eight minutes and Harry Kilgore sent one over from play before Dessie McClean got the Gorts on the board in the 13th minute.
Harry Kilgore got his second goal a minute later, David Kilgore and Tom Scally added points from play and ‘Loaf’ McNeill got another from a 65 before a depleted f Gorts got their second from play through Patrick McCaffrey. Points from Harry Kilgore and Loaf from a penalty were answered by twopointed frees from the evergreen Dessie McClean, but another David Kilgore goal just before the interval put Cushendun 4-10 to 0-4 clear by half time.
David Kilgore completed his hat-trick four minutes into the second half and though Cushendun emptied their bench to give as many players as possible a run out, the scores kept coming, with one of those subs, Conor O’Hara, getting the sixth goal four minutes from the end.
This win sets up an intriguing semi-final with Glenariffe in two weeks’ time. There have been a lot of links between the clubs over the years, with a good few of the Emmet’s team having played their minor hurling with the Oisins in recent years and this promises to be cracking contest.
Gareth McGhee, Sean Hamilton, Aidan Corbett, Jack McKay, Archie McSparran, Donal O’Hara, Tom Scally, Oisin McMahon, Calum Kilgore, Conor McHugh, Harry Kilgore, Conlaoth McNeill, Conor Bannon, David Kilgore, Pearse Bannon.
Subs – Michael McHugh, Conor O’Hara, Gavan McCormick, Aidan McSparran, Leo Morgan
Mark Rea, Conor Healy, Gavin McKenna, Noah McGivern, Patrick Cournane, Padraig McHugh, David Dixon, James Connolly, Declan Hughes, Patrick McCaffrey, Tiernan Morton, Tiernan O’Cadhlaigh, Manus MacMaolain, Joseph Caddell, Dessy McClean.
Glenariffe scored a facile win over an understrength Creggan in their final group game in the Intermediate Championship on Saturday to secure a semi-final place against their North Antrim neighbours Cushendun in two weeks’ time. Going into the game the Glenariffe boys knew they were in pole position, with a win or even a draw guaranteeing them a semi-final spot, and with Creggan short half of the team that lost to Carey in last year’s final the odds were heavily stacked against the visitors.
Right from the off the Oisin were on top and they had three points on the board inside two minutes through Alex O’Boyle, Seanie McIntosh and Seamus McDonnell, and when midfielder Odhran Gillan’s shot was spilled to the net by the Creggan keeper it was clear what way this game was going.
The scores kept coming, but all at the one end as Alex O’Boyle, Dan McKillop, Caolan O’Connor, Seanie McIntosh and even corner back Michael Haughey kept adding to the scoreboard. Diarmuid Mulholland broke the Creggan duck on 21 minutes with a point from play, but Dan McKillop came back with a goal and Alex O’Boyle added three late points to put the Oisins ahead by 2-17 to 0-1 at half time.
With the breeze behind them in the second half Creggan were expected to do better but it was more of the same as their weakened team struggled to stay in touch with Glenariffe. The O’Boyle brothers Alex and Michael scored heavily, while Dan McKillop got a couple, Caolan O’Connor and substitute Randal McDonnell all contributed. Creggan kept plugging away but it was not to be their day and they added just two more points to their tally in the second half.
ANDERSONSTOWN SOCIAL CLUB INTERMEDIATE HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
St Paul’s v Cloney Gaels, Ahoghill at Pairc Pól
The final round of the group games in the Intermediate Hurling Championship are down for decision on Saturday, with just one of them a ‘dead-rubber’. St Paul’s who sit second bottom in Group 2, cannot advance any further, regardless of the result against Group 2 leaders Cloney Gaels, The Ahoghill men have full points from their three games and cannot be caught. They have been highly impressive in their wins over Cushendun, Tir na nÓg and Gort na Móna and will start as short odds favourites to win this one as well.
Robert Emmet’s, Cushendun v Gort na Móna at the Rigs
In the other game in Group 2 Cushendun Emmet’s need to beat Gort na Móna at home if they are to leapfrog Tir na nÓg and make it through the to the semi-final. A point earned two weeks ago against the Randalstown men, thanks to an injury time point from free taker Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill, just about kept their hopes alive, and they need to get a win on Saturday over the Gorts to book that semi-final spot. Playing in Division 1 this season Cushendun have found the going tough, having lost all their games as they return to Division 2. When they lost their opening Round 1 Championship game to Cloney Gael’s the future did not look bright, but a home win over St Paul’s got things going again, and that draw with Tir na nÓg means they are still standing and a win on Saturday would see them through ahead of Tir na nÓg on score difference.
Oisins Glenarffie v Creggan Kickhams at Waterfoot
In group 1 a great comeback win against Group 2 leaders and already qualified St Gall’s two weeks ago at Milltown have kept the Oisins hopes of a semi-final spot alive, but they needed to beat Creggan in Saturday game in Waterfoot to secure that place. The Glenariffe men started the campaign with a high scoring draw against Sarsfields in the Bear Pit, before beating near neighbours Con Magees in round 2. They travelled to St Gall’s in round 3 and appeared to be in a bit of bother until a later rally saw them home by three points against the group leaders. If they beat Creggan on Saturday they will be through, but if they slip up they can still be overtaken by Sarsfields. Creggan have been off the pace this season, not surprising considering the number of players who are involved in the club’s defence of the Senior Football title, plus the loss through injury of their star man Conor McCann. Glenariffe certainly cannont take anything for granted, but if they can repeat the form they showed in the second half against St Gall’s then they should go through.
Con Magees Glenravel v Patricks Sarsfields at Fr Maginn Park
Sarsfields destiny is out of their own hands as they travel to Glenravel to face a Con Magees side who is managed by one of their own, Ciaran Tub McKernan. McKernan guided Glenravel to the Junior Hurling Championship title last season, and though they are winless in this years’ Intermediate campaign, they have put up good showings in all three games, and had they been more accurate with their free taking things would have been ever closer. Sarsfields, who are still aiming for an Intermediate Football and Hurling double, know that whatever they do on Saturday will be to no avail, unless Creggan can cause a shock a few miles down the road in Waterfoot.
Andersonstown Social Club Intermediate Hurling Championship
Tir na nÓg, Randalstown 2-14 Cushenun Emmet’s 1-17
An injury time point from a free by Cushendun full forward Conlaoth ‘Loaf’ McNeill threw his team a lifeline in this season’s Intermediate Hurling Championship and left their hosts Tir na nOg in a very precarious position after Saturday thrilling draw at Whitehill.
Trailing by a point going into added time the Emmet’s chances were hanging by a thread, when they were awarded a free sixty metres from the Tir na nOg goal, out near the sideline. The position was clear, miss it and the season was over for the seasiders, score it and they were still in with a chance. Loaf hadn’t missed a fee all day, but the pressure was on this time, but cometh the hour, cometh the man and the big full forward stepped up to send the ball between the posts, and if the can beat bottom of the table Gort na Móna in their final game in two weeks’ time then a semi-final spot is theirs.
This was a real championship battle with the lead switching back and forth during the hour. Early points from David Kilgore and Conrad McDonnell got Cushendun off to a good start, but the home side hit back with a point from Emmet Og McAllister and a Niall Devlin goal to go two ahead themselves. The gap remained the same as two Sean Duffin points from frees for Tir na nÓg were answered by points from McNeill and Jack McKay, but the Emmet’s were getting on top and four in a row from Loaf and one from Harry Kilgore swung the game in their favour and put them three clear.
Sean Duffin sent over two more frees for the Randalstown men, but a Conrad McDonnell point from play gave Cushendun a two point lead at the break. (1-5 to 0-10)
Tir na nÓg’s Conor McCamphill fired over early in the second half to leave just a point between the sides, and though McNeill pointed a 65 soon afterwards to restore the two point cushion, a Dairi Fagan goal for the Whitehill men put them ahead, and when Sean Duffin added a point from play the hosts were two clear. McNeill reduced the gap to a point on 36 minutes and two minutes later David Kilgore finished off a great move, involving his brother Harry and Conor McHugh, with a brilliant goal.
Another McNeill point from a free and the visitors were three clear and for a spell it looked like they were gaining a bit of control, but that all changed very quickly when Sean Duffin fired over two frees for the home team, but another David Kilgore point eased the pressure a little on the Emmet’s. A Sean Duffin point from a 65 and one from play by Aaron McNeilly brought the sides level going down the home stretch, and though Calum Kilgore got Cushendun back ahead, Duffin again found the target from a free to level it all up again.
When Pearse Bannon got the visitors back ahead on 57 minutes things were looking good for them, but two more points by Sean Duffin swung the game back in Tir na nOg’s favour in injury time. The Emmet’s hope were hanging by a thread, but when the last chance presented itself on 63 minutes Loaf showed his class to land the equaliser and give them a great chance of making the semi-finals.
TIR NA NÓG
Kevin Sheerin, Manus Smyth, Christy Sheerin, Brandon McLarnon, Donal Martin, Caoimhin Duffin, Ciaran O’Neill, Conor McCamphill, Aaron McNeilly, Darragh Fagan, Sean Duffin, Eamon Og McAlister, Niall Devlin, Colum Duffin, Kevin McCann
Gareth McGhee, Sean Hamilton, Aidan Corbitt, Cavan McCormick, Tom Scally, Donal O’Hara, Jack McKay, Oisin McMahon, Matthew McCartin, David Kilgore, Harry Kilgore, Conor McHugh, John V Morgan, Conlaoth McNeill, Conrad McDonnell.
Subs Pearse Bannon for John V Morgan (inj); Calum Kilgore for Oisin McMahon; Conor Burns for Cavan McCormick