2004 a big year for Shane O’Neill’s

2004 was a big year for Shane O’Neill’s GAC Glenarm and today we look back at their achievements that year and carry photographs taken during that memorable season.

Glenarm had actually been beaten in the Antrim final by Shamrock’s Loughgiel Reserves but went through to the Provincial series as the last non reserve side to be knocked out in the county series. They went on to defeat Newry Shamrocks of Down in the semi-final to advance to the final against St. Malachy’s Portadown.

Ulster Junior Club Hurling Final

Shane O’Neill’s 4-13 St. Malachy’s, Portadown (Armagh) 0-5

Shane O’Neills, Glenarm eventually cruised to an impressive victory over a gallant St. Malachy’s, Portadown in this first ever Ulster Club JHC final in Casement Park on the 31st October 2004. So the Antrim champions became the first ever holders of the Paddy O’Rourke Cup named after the former late Monaghan stalwart.

In a game that produced some good hurling it was always eveident, apart from the opening quarter, that the Glenarm side possessed too much power, skill and accuracy desp[ite a valiant effort by the Portadown side, which never gave up the battle despite the odds stacked against them.

Glenarm dominated mid-field through Ronan Matthews and Jim Petticrew while a brilliant half-back line of Bryan O’Neill, Blain McDermott and Ciaran Campbell blotted out the St. Malachy’s attack which lived of scraps of possession throughout the game.

However, Shay McStravick proved accurate from frees for the losers with Ruairi Garvey and Kevin Quinn working hard. The Shane O’Neill’s attack moved with fluency and precision with Hugh Martin McKay, Brendan McDermott and Brendan McAllister most prominent. Peter Gorman Ryan Sands and Charlie O’Neill worked overtime in the St. Malachy’s defence

St. Malachy’s played their best hurling in the first quarter. They took the lead with a point from Stefan McStravick after two minutes. Sean Waide levelled from a free two minutes later. St. Malachy’s playing strongly, regained the lead with a Ruairi Garvey point after 10 minutes but that proved to be their last score of the half.

Glenarm settled and Sean Waide pointed two frees while Hugh Martin McKay added another. The all-important goal came five minutes before half time when a long free from Blain McDermott was collected by Donal McAuley and the centre-half-forward fired low to the net to give Glenarm a 1-4 to 0-2 half time lead.

Brendan McDermott pointed a Glenarm free within a minute of the restart. St. Malachy’s fought back bravely with three pointed frees by Shay McStravick in the following eight minutes but these were their last scores of the game.

The final 20 minutes saw Glenarm move up a gear starting with Brendan McDermott and Hugh Martin McKay slotting home great goals inside two minutes to put the game beyond the reach of St. Malachy’s as they cruised through the final ten minutes adding their fourth goal from Blain McDermott.

Shane O’Neill’s: Kevin Cotttrell, B McMullan, C McNeill, J Milligan, C Campbell, Blain McDermott (1-2), B O’Neill, R Matthews (0-1), J Petticrew, B McAllister (0-3), D McAuley (1-0), J O’Boyle, HM McKay (1-2), S Waide (0-4) Brendan McDermott (1-1)

Subs: J McAllister for O’Neill, L McAuley for Brendan McDermott, J Magill for Petticrew, P McAuley for O’Boyle, B Campbell for McMullan.

After a hard-fought win against British Intermediate champions, John Mitchell’s in the All Ireland quarter-final, Glenarm gained their semi-final place against Galmoy of Kilkenny

Brendan McDermott’s last minute goal proved proved the decisive score as Shane O’Neill’s triumphed 1-7 to 0-8 against a good John Mitchell’s side at Pairc na hEireann.

All Ireland JHC club semi-final Galmoy Kilkenny 6-15 Shane O’Neill’s 1-5

Early in 2005 Shane O’Neill’s bid for glory came to an abrupt and sudden end at a bitter cold St. Vincent’s when they were comprehensively beaten by an excellent Galmoy of Kilkenny. A big crowd accompanied the Antrim champions on the trip to Dublin arriving early at the St. Vincent’s ground.

A driving and swirling wind which blew down the unfenced St. Vincent’s pitch hardly provided the perfect setting for such an occasion but in truth the conditions were the same for both sides but it was the lads from Kilkenny who adapted much better to the difficult conditions.

Shane O’Neill’s battled all the way but in the end were forced to succumb to superior Galmoy side who would not have been out of place in the Intermediate competition.

Today we carry some action photographs from that famous day in Dublin and photographs of the many fans who made the journey to St. Vincent’s to cheer on their heroes.

Later in the same year Shane O’Neill’s Minor team recorded their own little bit of history by beating Eoghan Rua of Coleraine in an Ulster Minor B Hurling final at Lamh Dhearg and today we carry some photographs from that game.

My thanks to Terence Mulvenna for his assistance in putting this article together. Terence supplied me with newspaper clipping from 2004-2005 and it would not have been possible to publish this article without his help.

St Teresa’s stage second-half fightback to claim Junior B crown

Antrim Junior B Hurling Championship final

St Teresa’s 0-14-1-07 Davitts

Kevin Herron reports from Rossa Park

It was a game of two halves at Rossa Park this afternoon as St Teresa’s overcame a faulty first 30 minutes to claim the Antrim Junior B title with a 0-14-1-07 win over Davitts.

Cormac Maguire’s goal gave Davitt’s the early incentive and it took St Teresa’s until 20 minutes into proceedings to register a reply to the 1-05 they had conceded.

The breeze played a strong factor and shooting into the Shaws Road end in the second-half the super T’s clawed their way back into proceedings through talisman Phily Maguire and once they hit the front they didn’t look back.

St Teresa’s would have begun the game as favourites in the eyes of many but fell behind in the game.

Both sides struggled to stamp their authority with the breakthrough eventually arriving on 6 minutes as Cormac Maguire flicked the ball to the net to give Davitt’s a dream start.

Donn Whelan converted a free and corner-forward Christopher Gallagher floated over another score for the Falls Road side who had settled into the game well.

Further scores arrived as Peter Carleton picked off a point from range, Chris Gallagher then linked up with Maguire and Jason Park added another as Davitt’s had six-scores on the spin and were 1-05 to the good.

St Teresa’s struggled shooting into the Stewartstown Avenue end and Conor O’Rawe flicked a half chance wide of the post and Phily Maguire sent a free wide of the target.

Maguire would get side his up and running with back to back frees in quick succession and added a third before the interval as Davitt’s led 1-05-0-03 at the midway point.

St Teresa’s picked up where they left off at the break as Niall McGettigan and Conor O’Rawe closed the deficit with confident points.

Philip Maguire then converted his fourth free of the contest but Stephen McGivern was on-hand to reply at the other end.

Maguire would again close the deficit before the second-half water break and after the brief halt to proceedings St Teresa’s pulled level.

Substitute Darren McCann floated the ball over with Maguire then conjuring his first from play to leave the game finely balanced at 0-09-1-06 with little over ten minutes remaining.

The Glen Road outfit then edged ahead for the first-time through a Robert Gallagher point which just squeezed inside the large posts.

They doubled their lead through Jordan McAllister with Niall McCann angling over their fifth score on the spin.

St Teresa’s moved four-points ahead through Gallagher- though Davitt’s remained in touch with Cormac Maguire combining with Caoimhin Heaney for a point to leave three between the sides as the game entered time added on (0-13-1-07).

There were no nerves within the St Teresa’s ranks and Niall McCann came up with the insurance point from range to ensure that his side would claim the Junior B title at the conclusion of affairs on the Shaws Road.

St Teresa’s: C Mooney, A Dugan, G O’Rawe, J Magornan, C Rouse, R Gallagher (0-02), P O’Rawe, C McGoldrick, N McCann (0-02), S Maguire, P Maguire (0-06, 0-05f), J McAllister (0-01), C O’Rawe (0-01), K Burns, N McGettigan (0-01). Subs: D McCann (0-01) for K Burns (37), E Connolly for A Dugan (40), A Varndell for C O’Rawe (53).

Davitts: J McCaffrey, A Rainey, T Toland, R McIlroy, C Heaney (0-01), T Maguire, C McKee, M Rowntree, J Park (0-01), P Carleton (0-01), S McGivern (0-01), D Whelan (0-01f), C Maguire (1-01) A Rowntree, C Gallagher (0-01). Subs: M Tully for S McGivern (41), G Cosgrove for C Gallagher (52).

Referee: Paul McDonnell (Rossa)

Second half goals seal it for St Paul’s

Casement Social Club Antrim Junior Hurling Championship final

St Paul’s 3-12 Rasharkin 1-8

Second half goals from Mark Munce and Colm McLarnon helped St Paul’s capture the Junior Hurling Championship title at Dunsilly on Saturday at the expense of Rasharkin. The men from the south west had defied the odds in the opening half and were level with the favourites at the break. However after the change of ends the Shaw’s Road side started to get on top, and thought the win was not sealed until midway through the final quarter it was clear to see they were getting on top.

Mark Munce scores St Paul’s second goal

Few outside Rasharkin gave the St Mary’s men much of a chance going into the game and when St Paul’s opened up an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead the game appeared to be following the script. However Rasharkin began to settle into the game and when Donach Quigg found the St Paul’s net the men from Dreen were back in business. Stephen Rooney pointed to bring St Paul’s level but McKeever edged Rasharkin back ahead at the first half water break.

When the game got going again St Paul’s hit the front again when corner-forward Caolan Crossan grabbed their first goal but it was nip and tuck for the remainder of the first half, at the end of which the teams were tied on 1-5 apiece.  

Colum McLarnon hits goal number three for St Paul’s

 An exchange of points between O’Duibhfinn of St Paul’s and McFerran of Rasharkin tied things up once again but St Paul’s were beginning to gain the upper hand and after Caolan Crossan put his team back in front with a pointed free they started to ease clear. Conal Finnegan put the winners two clear before the killer blows arrived minutes later when Mark Munce reacted quickest following a smart save from Rasharkin keeper Aidan Darragh to drill the rebound home and not long after corner forward, Colm McLarnon cut in along the endline to fire home goal number three.

From here on it was mostly one way traffic and though Rasharkin fought to the bitter end it was clearly St Paul’s day and they celebrated in style at the final whistle.

Rasharkin goal scorer Donach Quigg

ST PAUL’S: J Gillan; A Gallagher, G Carberry, S Bradley; F Gamble, F Sewell, S Lawell; C Finnegan (0-1), D Chapman; S Rooney (0-4, 0-3fs), N Ó Caireanlláin, C McLarnon (1-3); C Crossan (1-2, 0-2fs), J Farrell, C Ó Duibhfinn (0-2).

Subs: M Munce (1-0) for Chapman (40mins), S McCorry for Ó Caireanlláin (41mins), K Murray for Crossan (55mins), C O’Carroll for Finnegan (57mins), D Stevenson for Bradley (59mins).

RASHARKIN: A Darragh; L Tunney, D Doherty, C Doherty; D Hasson, C Hasson, T O’Boyle; E McFerran (0-1), T McMullan; D Quigg (1-1), A McKeever, C McKeever (0-6, 0-4fs); J Scally, D McKay, S Hasson.

Subs: C Donaghy for Tunney (37mins), F Kennedy for C Doherty (50mins), P Reilly for C Doherty (53mins), C Kennedy for T McMullan (59mins).

REFEREE: C McCloskey (Loughgiel)

Davitt’s had too much for Aggies and now face St Teresa’s in final

Antrim Junior B Hurling Championship semi-final

Michael Davitt’s 2-17  St Agnes’ 0-7

Michale Davitt’s secured a spot in the Junior B Hurling Championship final with when they had just too much scoring power for their Belfast neighbours St Agnes’ on Tuesday night at Davitt Park.

With the breeze at the backs in the opening half Davitt’s dominated from the start and scored seven unanswered points before all but sealing the game with a Cormac Maguire goal as the Aggies struggled to keep pace.

Two points apiece from Stephen McGivern and Cormac Maguire were followed by one from distance from Thomas Maguire. The procession continued up until the 14th minute as Gearoid Cosgrove and Gallagher tacked on points, but the Aggies finally broke their duck when Ronan Caroll got them off the mark with a pointed free and when Kevin Grieve added another soon afterwards they were just five in arrears.

It was to prove brief respite for the visitors however as Davitt’s came strong again with a goal from Cormac Maguire and two from Stephen McGivern to stretch their advantage into double figures.

The home team pushed on with a further succession of scores and by the time Paddy McDonnell blew the half time whistle the lead was out to 1-13 to 0-5.

The scoring dried up a little after the change of ends but once they got going again Davitt’s went further ahead and when Cormac Magurie got his team’s second goal their place in Saturday’s final was secure.

In that final Davitt’s will take on St Teresa’s at Rossa Park on Saturday at 1pm.

DAVITT’S: J McCaffrey; L McHugh, T Toland, C McHenry; C McKee, T Maguire (0-1), R McIroy; M Rowntree, J Park (0-1), S McGivern (0-6, 0-3fs), C Gallagher (0-4); C Maguire (2-0), A Rowntree, G Cosgrove (0-2).

Subs: D Maher for Cosgrove (55mins), K Brady for McHenry (57mins), C Mulligan for C Maguire (60mins).

ST AGNES’: C Fay; Sean McIlhatton, M Robb, N Gillespie; Stephen McIlhatton, D Kelly, A Mulvenna; A McQuillan, B McLarnon; C McLean, C Flannery (0-1), K Grieve (0-4, 0-4fs); R Carroll (0-2, 0-1f), M Caldwell, A O’Rourke.

Subs: J Morgan for Kelly (39mins), J Halleron for Sean McIlhatton (53mins).

REFEREE: P McDonnell (Rossa).

Shane’s the man as Rasharkin advance

Casement SC

Junior Hurling Championship semi-final

St. Mary’s Rasharkin 2-12 Glenravel 1-8

A personal haul of 2-5 for St Mary’s forward Shane Hasson saw Rasharkin advance to their first Antrim junior hurling final since 2015.

 Both goals came in a first half that saw both sides reduced to fourteen men, but it was the Dreen side who made the most of the extra space, two first half goals putting them in the driving seat.

 It was Con Magee’s, though, who asserted the early pressure, opening the scoring with a Conleth O’Loan free after three minutes, before Conor McKeever hit back for the 2015 champions.

 Referee Ciaran McCloskey allowed the game to flow as both teams exchanged scores, Glenravel’s free-taking just keeping them ahead by 0-4 t 0-3 at the first half water break.

 After a flashpoint on 20 minutes, Glenravel’s Padge O’Neill saw red with Rasharkin’s Conor McKeever also receiving a second yellow in the aftermath.

 St Mary’s adapted better to losing a man, with neat interplay working the ball to Shane Hasson, who shot past Chris McCann in the Glenravel goal.

 The St Mary’s men were dealt a further blow when the influential James Scally was forced to retire through injury, but on the stroke of half time, Shane Hasson doubled his goal tally to leave Rasharkin ahead by 2-6 to 0-6 at the break.

 Con Magee’s shifted things tactically for the second half, pulling an extra man back in front of their defence, but Rasharkin started brightly with a Declan McKay score.

 The Dreen men added a further three points before the second half water break to leave them ten points ahead going into the final quarter.

 Glenravel threw James Duffin into the full forward line in an last ditch effort to rescue the game and drew blood when a Declan Traynor shot was parried into the path of Eoin Hynds who pulled to the net.

 A huge Thomas McMullan point quelled any jangling nerves as Rasharkin traded late points with Con Magee’s, who saw two late 21 yard frees turned away by Tiernan O’Boyle and Daniel Doherty.

 The winners progress to a final meeting with St Paul’s as they look to bring the title back to Dreen after a five-year absence.

St Mary’s: Aidan Darragh, Liam Tunney, Daniel Doherty, Conor Doherty, Daniel Hasson, Conor Hasson, Tiernan O’Boyle, Emmet McFerran, Thomas McMullan, Donagh Quigg, Aidan McKeever, Conor McKeever, James Scally, Declan McKay, Shane Hasson.

Subs: Connaire Donaghy for James Scally 32′, Colm Kennedy for Declan McKay 51′, Anthony O’Kane for Aidan McKeever 53′, Kealan Darragh for Emmet McFerran 55′.

Con Magee’s: Chris McCann, Michael McQuillan, Shanlee Kerr, Conor Carey, Padge O’Neill, James Duffin, Brian O’Neill, Eoin McCusker, Eoin Hynds, Michael McDonnell, Conleth O’Loan, Niall Donnelly, Jonathan Fyfe, Shane Woulahan, Sean McKay