Loch Mor through to final meeting with Ardoyne

Casement SC JHC Semi-Final

Loch Mor Dal gCais 2-14 Belfast Saints 0-17

Loch Mor Dal gCais booked their place in the Casement SC JHC final after a hard fought victory over Belfast Saints at Dunsilly on Saturday. Last week Belfast Saints conceded 8 goals to Ardoyne at Fennell Park but they recovered from that setback to give Saturday’s game a real lash and were still in contention right up to the final whistle.

 Belfast Saints put in a great shift but with some outstanding performances right across the field, Loch Mor held on and secured their place in the county final.

They will now go head to head once again with Ardoyne in two weeks-time and if previous meetings between these two are anything to go by then we should be in for an excellent final.

Herron shines as Lamh Dhearg advance in a game of two halves

Casement SC JHC Quarter-Final

Lamh Dhearg 6-16 All Saints 0-13

Veteran full-forward, Michael Herron was the star of the show in the proverbial game of two halves at Hannastown on Saturday when Lamh Dhearg came from a point down at half time to overrun All Saints in this Casement SC Junior Hurling championship quarter.

Former Antrim and Ulster hurler, Herron led the comeback with four second half goals and proved unmarkable as the visitors meekly surrendered the lead they had fought so hard to win in the opening half.

Chris Dornan’s side certainly looked up for it as they dominated the opening exchanges with their high press forcing quite a number of turn overs and raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after11 minutes and should have been further ahead.

Three of the opening four points came from Ciaran Neeson frees while Luke O’Rawe struck an excellent point from play with Lamh Dhearg’s point coming from a well struck 50 meter free from Adam Murray into the wind.

Murray and James O’Boyle exchanged further points and another great point from Eoin McGuigan had the Ballymena side four in front by the 17th minute and looking good.

Indeed at this stage they might well have had a goal with Conor McConville somehow blocking a close range effort from Damian Gillan and it was a miss that the visitors would live to regret.

Herron made his first contribution to his sides cause with a point in the 17th minute before the influential Murray pointed a 45 meter free and then cut in from the left to fire past Ciaran Cassley after the All Saints defence had failed to deal with a long ball into the danger area.

Neeson levelled matters from another free and in the run in to half time Donal Martin and Murray again added points for the Hannastown side but Neeson replied with his first from play and another free and James O’Boyle added another to leave the visitors leading by the narrowest of margins at the break.

Niall McGarry brought his side level with a point in the opening minute of the second half and with the wind now behind them it would be the Hannastown side who would push on.

Michael Herron added a goal in the second minute and added another in the third with full-back Colum Neeson injured in the build up to the second and ther bifg number 3 was unable to take any further part with Archie McGreevey replacing him in defence.

The mercurial |Murray extended the Lamh Dhear lead before Cormac Magill pulled one back for All Saints with their first score of the second half in the 6th minute.

Adam Murray was making a massive contribution for the home side and he pointed a ‘65’ before Ciaran Neeson in gthe All Saints goal made a great save to deny Herron his third goal of the game.

The big full-forward wouldn’t be denied his hat-trick for long however as he fired to the net in the 12th minute after Neeson had converted another free at the other end.

The Lamh Dhearg dominance was almost constant at this stage and Adam Murray and Declan Straney split the uprights before Murray got in for his second goal and his side’s fith of the game in the 19th minute.

There would be no respite for the visitors going down the home straight with Micko Herron getting his fourth goal and Daniel Murray and Adam Murray adding points with All Saints only reply coming from another Neeson conversion.

Lamh Dhearg now face St. Brigid’s Cloughmills in the semi-final in two weeks -time while the other semi-final sees Gort na Mona take on Glen Rovers Armoy on the same weekend.

Lamh Dhearg: 1 Conor McConville, 2 Christopher Nolan, 3 Sean Paul Gibson, 4 Tiernan McKenna, 5 Daniel Murray, 6 Odhran Waldron, 7 Fionn Mervyn, 8 Ciaran Boyd, 9 Aidan McGuigan, 12 Adam Murray, 11 Declan Straney, 10 Mark Finnegan, 13 Donal Martin, 14 Michael Herron, 15 Niall McGarry.Subs: Micky McGuigan, Ryan Diamond, Darra Cunningham, Evan Stanley, Joel Brady

All Saints: 1 Ciaran Cassley, 2 Dwayne McKee, 3 Colum Neeson, 4 Kevin Brady, 5 Conor O’Rawe, 6 Cathaoir Cunning, 7 Daniel Gray, 8 Padhraig Magill, 9 Luke O’Rawe, 10 Cormac Magill, 11 Eoin McGuigan, 12 Jack Magill, 13 Damian Gillan, 14 Ciaran Neeson, 15 James O’Boyle. Subs: Vinny Esler, Finton Brady, Anthony Mitchell

Referee: Ray Matthews (Rossa)

Goal Feast for Ardoyne takes them into Junior B Final

Junior B Hurling Championship

Ardoyne 8-18 Loughgbeg Harps 0-11

It was a goal feast for Ardoyne at Fennell Park this afternoon as the Kickhams made it into the final of the Junior B Hurling Championship against a valiant Loughbeg. The men from the loughshore had no answer to Ardoyne’s machine Matt McKillen, who bulged the net on four separate occasions to put the Northenders back into a hurling final.

It didn’t look like it was going to be the visiting team’s day from the start, as a free from Aran Stewart somehow found its way into the Loughbeg net. The depth of Ardoyne’s first half dominance was demonstrated through eight different players lighting up the scoreboard, while Loughbeg struggled to get a grip on the game.

Half-Time: Ardoyne 6-8 Loughbeg Harps 0-4

The second half started with another McKillen goal for Ardoyne in the opening minute. However, while still outscored, Loughbeg showed glimpses of play as the game proceeded that must surely give them heart in the quest to re-establish hurling around the loughshore. They more than held their own at times during the second half but in the end they had no answer to the strength in depth of the Ardoyne team.

Padraig O Deorain came off the Ardoyne bench in the closing stages and produced a point of the highest quality that Henry Shevlin would have been proud of. Ardoyne now look forward to a final against Loch Mór Dál gCais who have run them close on several occasions this season. Ardoyne will know that their finishing will need to be more clinical if they are finally to lift the Junior B Championship.

Ardoyne: 1 JP Agnew, 2 Pascal Clarke (0-2), 3 Paul Baker, 4 Cathal Clarke, 5 Sean Searle (1-0), 6 Caolan Wallace, 7 Micheál McGreevy (0-1), 8 Dean Goodall, 9 Paul McGuigan, 10 Oisin Mac An Bhiocaire (1-2) 1f, 11 Aran Stewart (1-3), 12 Pearse Hull(1-2), 13 Matt McKillen (4-2), 14 Cormac Barnes (0-3), 15 Jim Og McAuley (0-1), Kealan McCallan, Diarmuid Martin, Joe McDowell, Conor Flannery, Stephen Hill, Eoghain Mac An tSearraig, Eamon Mac Lochlainn (0-1), Matthew Crommie, Padraig O’Deorain (0-1), Paul O’Halloran, Christopher McShane, Cahal Keown

Loughbeg: 1 Francis Boyd, 2 Gary Maybin, 3 Diarmuid Scullin 0-1, 4 Paul Quinn, 5 Aidan McErlain, 6 Seanchan O Duifinn, 7 Rory Taggart, 8 Colm McStocker, 9 Shannon O Lochlainn, 10 Damian Carroll, 11 Conor McElhinney 0-5 (3f), 13 Shane McGinty 0-1, 14 Brian McManus 0-3 (2f), 15 Conor Harrison 0-1, 17 Adrian Hegarty, 18 Mark Walsh

Gort na Mona find that little bit ‘extra’ to snatch a semi-final spot

Casement SC Antrim JHC quarter-final (AET)

Gort na Móna 3-21 Rasharkin 2-23

Gort na Mona and Rasharkin produced a drama filled encounter in the quarter final of the Casement SC JHC in Belfast on Saturday. The men from Dreen looked on their way to victory at one stage when they led by six points but Gort na Mona came back with a late goal to send the game into extra time.

Once again Rasharkin appeared to have turned the game in their favour when they led by two with time almost up but Manas McMullan became the Gort’s hero when he finished from close range with time almost up to send his side into the semi-final.

There was little to suggest that Gort na Mona would turn this game around with Rasharkin leading by nine at half time and they were fully worthy of that lead as they had dominated proceedings.

Gort na Mona slowly reeled in their opponents in the second half and despite scoring only one point from two penalties, Dessie McClean’s last gasp goal sent the game into extra time.

The visitors were first to score when Tiernan O’Boyle fired over a free from deep in his own half and then Conor McKeever added another.

It would get even better for Rasharkin six minutes in as a superb ball put McKeever in and he finished to the net to put his side in a strong position.

Dessie McClean finally opened the home side’s account with a point in ther 8th minute and he and McKeever exchanged further point as things started to liven up.

It was Rasharkin who continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges as they dropped deep and continued to hit on the break with Daniel Hasson and O’Boyle adding to their total after McKeever had split the posts from a free.

Gort na Mona had been under the cosh for a time but Darron Boyd raised their first point from play in the 20th minute with Donagh Quigg replying for St. Mary’s before Niall Healy add another for the home side with 20 minutes gone.

It was Rasharkin who were still calling the shots as James Higgins added two further points before Conor McKeever added another to extend their lead.

Gort na Mona were starting to get a foothold as Neill Henry and Patrick McCaffrey split the posts but another free from McKeever put Rasharkin in a strong position when they led 1-13 to 0-7 at the interval.

Things swung very much in the direction of the Enright Park men on the restart as they stepped up the intensity with Nathan Gibson pointing in the opening minute and Declan Hughes added another before Patrick McCaffrey was brought down as he bore down on goal.

Dessie McClean fired to the net but the goal was ruled out as referee Niall Clifford adjudged the Gorts’ talisman had struck the ball from with inside the 20-meter line.

Undeterred Gort na Mona continued to push forward and McClean tapped over a free before Darren Boyd added another from play as they continued to eat into the Rasharkin lead.

The visitors had been totally in control up to half time but were struggling to get their game going again but normal service appeared to have been resumed when Shane Hasson, Conor McFerran and McKeever responded to Gort na Móna points as that gap remained despite losing goalkeeper Tunney to injury.

His replacement, Kevin McLernon’s first piece of action was to face Dessie McClean from another penalty in the 53d minute after David Dixon was fouled and McLernon proved up to the job as he tipped McClean’s penalty over for a point.

Undeterred, McClean closed ther gap to three from a free as the clock ticked down but a Conor McKeever point at the other end looked to be enough to see the visitors home.

Once again McClean closed the gap to a goal from a free and then seven minutes into time added on, the same player flicked a Patrick McCaffrey delivery to the net to force extra time.

The sides exchanged points as extra time got under way before Gort na Mona gained the initiative for the first time when McCleran and Michael Carlin combined to set up Neill Henry who pulled first time on the dropping ball to fire to The net.

The visitors looked stunned but they responded well with Conor McKeever, Connor McKillop and Donagh Quinn points in quick succession bringing them level but McClean would edge his side into a 2-19 to 1-21 lead at the change of ends when he fired over from out near the sideline.

Patrick McCaffrey increased the lead to two with his fifth of the day, but Rasharkin came back strongly and looked to have snatched it at the death.

Conor McKeever levelled the contest once more from a couple of frees and with time almost up, McKillop fired a loose ball to the Gort na Mona net and that seemed to be it.

However that man McClean replied from a pointed free with a minute remaining and with virtually the last strike of the game, McMullan got on the end of a breaking ‘65’ to send it to the net through a crowded goalmouth and snatch victory at the death.

Heartbreak for the men from Dreen as Gort na Mona celebrated an unlikely victory and a place in the semi-final where they will meet Armoy in a fortnight’s time while St. Brigid’s Cloughmills will face Lamh Dhearg in the other semi-final.

Gort na Mona: J Kelly; C Healy, C Devlin, C Connolly; G McKenna, P McHugh, N Gibson (0-1); N Henry (1-1, 0-1 free), A Hicks; D McClean (1-9, 0-7 frees, 0-1 penalty), P McCaffrey (0-5), D Hughes (0-1); N Henry (0-1), D Dixon, D Boyd (0-2).

Subs: M Carlin for D Dixon (60+1), M McMullan (1-0) for N Healy (60+1), E Loughran (0-1) for A Hicks (60+1)

St. Mary’s Rasharkin: L Tunney; C Doherty, D Doherty, C McKillop (1-1); T O’Boyle (0-2, 1 free), R O’Boyle, D McKay; S Hasson (0-1), J Higgins (0-2); D Quinn (0-2), A McKeever, C Henderson; C McFerran (0-3), C McKeever (1-11, 0-11 frees), D Hasson (0-1).

Subs: K McLernon for L Tunney (40), E McFerran for D Hasson (46), C Donaghy for D McKay (60+2), C Maria for A McKeever (60+5).

ET subs: D McKay for E McFerran (15), C Higgins for C Henderson (17)

Referee: Niall Clifford (Armagh)

Second half goals swing it Armoy’s way

Casement SC JHC Group 1

Armoy 4-12 Lamh Dhearg 3-12

Glen Rovers Armoy overcame the considerable challenge of Lamh Dhearg in this top of the table-winner takes all Casement SC Group Junior Hurling Championship meeting in Armoy on Saturday.

In the proverbial game of two halves, it was the men from Hannastown who looked on their way to victory and a direct spot in the semi-final when they led the local side 3-5 to 0-8

It was a much improved Glen Rovers in the second half however as they scored 4-4 while tightening up considerably at the back to overhaul the Lamh Dhearg lead and win by three in the end.

The early exchanges were fairly even with Turlach McBride 0-2, Eamon McCaughan and Owen Kinney on target for the men from the Glen and Aidan McGuigan, Daire Cunningham, Mick Herron and Patrick Mervyn responding at the other end to leave it 0-4 to 0-4.

The game swung dramatically in favour of the visitors however as they struck with three goals between the 15th and 24th minute to put themselves in a commanding position.

Full-forward Gerard Smyth began the onslaught at the end of the opening quarter and added a second in the 21st minute and another from Daire Cunningham put the Lamh’s in a strong position as they went on to lead 3-5 to 0-8 at the short whistle.

Six of Armoy’s first half points came from the stick of Turlach McBride with Owen Kinney and Eamon McCaughan completed their first half total but the Glen Rovers look to have it all to do in the second half.

The home side started the second half on the front foot and within four minutes they had clawed back the visitors lead with Eamon McCaughan rattling the Lamh Dhearg net after two minutes and Owen Kinney following with a second.

Trevor Linton put Glen Rovers ahead with a point from a free in the 8th minute with Declan Straney, Aidan McGuigan and Mick Herron keeping Lamh Dhearg in touch with points at the other end.

Ciaran McKenna put Armoy in a strong position when he fired home their third goal in the 13th minute and when Trevor Linton added another in the 20th minute the game had swung dramatically in favour of the home side.

Lamh Dhearg fought right to the end with Gerard Smyth, Aidan McGuigan and Finnegan adding points but late points from Eamon McCaughan, Trevor Linton and Turlach McBride sealed the win for Armoy.

Glen Rovers top the group and earn an automatic semi-final place but Lamh Dhearg will not be too despondent as they go forward to a quarter-final meeting with All Saints in a fortnight’s time.

Armoy: 1 Conor Devlin, 2 Callum Coyles, 3 John Dillon, 4 Liam Dillon, 5 Hugh O’Kane, 6 Thomas Burns, 7 Shane Devlin, 8 Ciaran McKenna, 9 Turlach McBride, 10 Eoin O’Boyle, 11 Eamon McCaughan, 12 Joseph McFetridge, 13 Trevor Linton, 14 Owen Kinney, 15 Colin Lordan

Lamh Dhearg: 1 Conor McConville, 2 Sean Paul Gibson, 3 Odhran Waldron, 4 Tiernan McKenna, 5 Daniel Murray, 6 Declan Lynch, 7 Fionn Mervyn, 8 Ciaran Boyd, 9 Padraig Mervyn, 10 Mark Finnegan, 11 Aidan McGuigan, 12 Micheal Herron, 13 Daire Cunningham, 14 Gerard Smyth 15 Michael McGuigan, 19 Declan Straney

Referee: Declan McGarry (Loughgiel)