Gorts Ulster dream ended by slick Setanta

AIB Ulster Junior Hurling Championship

Semi-Final

Gort na Móna 1-6 Setanta 1-20

Sunday October 22

Celtic Park, Derry

 

By Brendan McTaggart

Setanta and the Ulster Championship proved to be a step too far for Gort na Móna as the men from Tír Chonnail crushed the Turf Lodge men’s provincial dreams in Celtic Park.  Under the strong autumnal sun in the Maiden City, the Gorts had no answer to a slick Setanta side who were worthy of their 14 point win after the hour.

The Donegal men were more sharp and efficient throughout the pitch but it was their attack that had the Gorts chasing shadows for the majority of the game.  Declan Coulter and Kevin Campbell did the majority of the damage on the inside forward line, scoring 1-12 between them but centre half forward Colm Melaugh and Bernard Lafferty also chipped in.  Setanta had too many threats all over the pitch for Gort to contend with and were on top from the first whistle to the last.

Gort na Móna showed two changes from the side that edged past Derrynoose in the quarter-final, Thomas McGoran and Sean Doyle replacing Dermott McVeigh and Gareth Armstrong in the Turf Lodge sides forwards.

The organisation and game plan for Setanta was evident from the early stages.  Coulter was being used primarily alone on the inside forward line with Campbell never far from his shoulder but it was in their engine room where they held all the aces in the first half.  Rich Kee and Danny Cullen in midfield were instrumental with Martin Bonner leading the Setanta defence from centre half.

The Gort defence were being worked over and under huge pressure in the first 30 minutes but they were a match for their counterparts.  Once they got to grips with Setanta’s style of hurling they were able to counter but it was their lack of any fluidity or creativity in attack that harmed their chances.

The Donegal men opened the scoring with Coulter and Campbell splitting the posts in the first four minutes but Gort got off and running when they scored the first goal of the match in the sixth minute.  A free from Patrick McCaffrey landed short and caused consternation in the Setanta defence.  The Donegal men scrambled the ball clear only for referee Colin Murray to be notified that Martin Ward’s flicked effort breached Gary McGettigan’s line.  A goal in fortuitous but welcome circumstances for the Turf Lodge men and as midfielder McCaffrey pointed a free three minutes later, everything was going to plan for the Antrim champions.

The Donegal men hit back though and scored eight points unanswered though to reinforce their authority on the game.  Lafferty and Melaugh contributing to leave six points between the sides as the semi-final approached half time.  Gort were struggling for fluidity and some uncharacteristic missed frees were hampering their chances of gathering any momentum.  They did manage the last two points of the half, McCaffrey scoring his second free of the match before Sean Doyle split the posts to reduce the deficit to four points at the interval.

With whatever wind there was blowing in Celtic Park now in their favour, Gort would have been content with the score line at the interval.  Their efforts would have worried them as they were outplayed for the majority of the opening 30 minutes, but they knew they were capable of more and needed a strong start to the second half.  Martin Ward and Darren Boyd provided the start they required.  Points apiece for the Gort duo halved the Setanta advantage and breathe fresh impetus into the Gort challenge but it acted as merely a wobble in the road for the Donegal men.

Three unanswered points, one each for Melaugh, Campbell and Coutler stemmed the Gort challenged once more but it was the 39th minute that proved to be the pivotal moment of the semi-final.  Gort na Móna had introduced Gareth Armstrong into the full forward line and he made his presence known straight away, giving the Setanta defence a headache and allowed Boyd the space to get an effort at goal away.  Diesel drilled his shot but the sliotar cannoned back off the crossbar with Gary McGettigan beaten in the Setanta goals.

A chance missed for the Turf Lodge men and their dismay was turned to anguish when Setanta made no mistake at the other end.  Campbell providing the assist for Coulter who applied a smart finish to beat Connor McCann in the Gort goals.  Gort’s luck let them down when they needed it most and it turned a potential two-point deficit into an eight advantage for Setanta and they never looked back.

Five further points for the Donegal senior hurling champs in the space of seven minutes all but ended Gorts hopes of making the provincial decider.  They laid siege on the Setanta goals in the closing minutes to get a goal that would reignite their Ulster championship aspirations but the Setanta defence thwarted any and all Gort attacks with a Patrick McCaffrey pointed free all they had to show for their efforts.

Campbell and Melaugh added further gloss to the score line for Setanta to stretch their advantage to 14 points and book a place in the Ulster Junior hurling final against Derry champions Na Magha.

TEAMS

Gort na Móna: Connor McCann; Christopher Devlin; Gavin McKenna; Conor Donnelly; Padraig McHugh; Mark Rea; Gary Doyle; Patrick McCaffrey; Declan Hughes; Sean Doyle; Martin Ward; Thomas McGoran; Thomas McCaffrey; Padraig Fryers; Darren Boyd

Setanta: Gary McGettigan; Brendan Tourish; Simon McMenamin; Mark Callaghan; Sean Anderson; Martin Bonner; Niall Cleary; Richie Kee; Danny Cullen; Bernard Lafferty; Colm Melaugh; Mark Kane; Shane Flynn; Declan Coulter; Kevin Campbell

SCORERS

Gort na Móna: Martin Ward 1-1; Patrick McCaffrey 0-3 (3 frees); Sean Doyle 0-1; Darren Boyd 0-1

Setanta: Declan Coulter 1-6 (4 frees); Kevin Campbell 0-6 (4 frees); Colm Melaugh 0-4; Bernard Lafferty 0-3; Danny Cullen 0-1

Ref: Colin Murray (Co. Down)

PHOTOGRAPHS: Ciaran O’Brochain

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Pic by Brendan McTaggart

Fryers goal seals safe passage for Gort

DSC_0302Gort Na Mona 1-12-0-13 Derrynoose

By Kevin Herron

Gort Na Mona saw off the fierce challenge of Armagh Junior champions Derrynoose on score line of 1-12-0-13 to advance to the semi-final of the AIB Ulster Junior Hurling Championship.

Trailing by a point at the break, the Turf Lodge men turned it around in the second-half and Padraig Fryers goal was the difference between the sides after two hard fought contests in the past seven days.

It was Derrynoose who forced a replay thanks to points at the end of normal time and extra-time by Pete McKearney and Stephen Keenan respectively and the Armagh champions were quickest out of the blocks on home soil as scores from Paddy McGrane, Pete McKearney [free] and David McCreash saw them race into a 0-03-0-00 lead.

Patrick McCafferty, Martin Ward and Declan Hughes were all off target for Gort Na Mona in the early exchanges, but on seven minutes Dermot McVeigh made space and fired over his side’s opener. Paddy McCafferty converted a tenth minute free and a minute later he played the providers role in setting up Thomas McCafferty who popped the ball over to level at 0-03-0-03.

Midway through the half the Gort’s hit the front through corner-forward Darren Boyd; Boyd raced out in onto the loose ball ahead of his marker and fired over the bar and two minutes later Padraig McHugh landed a super point from wing-half back to hit his sides fifth in succession and give them a two-point lead.

Derrynoose were almost in for a goal between Boyd and McHugh’s points, David McCreash offloaded to Pauric McNaughton who saw his low drive bravely blocked by Christopher Devlin in the Gort’s corner-back.

McKearney converted a free just before the twenty minute mark in the half and it gave his side some confidence.

Stephen Keenan; who landed the decisive equaliser in last week’s contest, levelled the game again on 24 minutes as his shot squeezed inside the large posts and David McCreash gave his side the lead a minute later.

A well worked training ground move led to Derrynoose’s next score as Paddy Kelly opted to pick out Kevin McKenna from a free and McKenna’s shot sailed over the bar give his side a 0-07-0-05 lead with the interval looming.

With almost the last puck of the half, Patrick McCafferty hit his second point of the game from a converted free to leave just the minimum between the sides at the midway point, 0-07-0-06.

Gort Na Mona were back on terms within a minute of the restart thanks to goal keeper Connor McCann, who converted a free from midfield though Fintan Corvan peeled off his marker and fired over to restore Derrynoose’s lead.

Patrick McCafferty landed his third point of the afternoon and first from play to level the game at 0-08 apiece and just before the forty minute mark Darren Boyd gave his side the lead from the second time.

On 41 minutes the decisive moment arrived for Gort Na Mona as Captain Padraig McHugh picked out full-forward Padraig Fryers who flicked the ball past the advancing Terry McCann and into the Derrynoose net to make it 1-09-0-08 at Davitt Park.

Pete McKearney converted a 65’ and a free within a minute to cut Gort’s lead to two-points with 46 minutes on the clock, but Connor McCann converted a 65’ at the other end to leave goal between the sides with ten minutes remaining, 1-10-0-10.

McKearney [free] and Fryers traded scores for their sides and Gort’s insurance point arrived with over five minutes remaining as Connor McCann converted his third placed ball of the half.

Derrynoose needed a goal and quickly if they were going to force extra-time for a second successive Sunday, however they could only conjure two points through Pete McKearney [free] and Stephen Keenan as Gort Na Mona ran out 1-12-0-13 winners at full-time.

The Turf Lodge men advance to next Sundays semi-final of the AIB Ulster Junior Hurling Championship where they will meet Donegal Champions Setanta as they hope to replicate the success of last year’s Antrim and Ulster Champions Lámh Dhearg.

Gort Na Mona: C McCann (0-03f), C Devlin, G McKenna, C Connelly, P McHugh (0-01), M Rea, G Doyle, P McCafferty (0-03,0-02f), D Hughes, G Armstrong , M Ward, D McVeigh (0-01), T McCafferty (0-01), P Fryers (1-01), D Boyd (0-02). Subs: N Gibson for C Connelly (36 mins), S Doyle for G Armstrong (40 mins), T McGoran for T McCafferty (45 mins).

Derrynoose: T McCann, D McGrane, R Murray, P Quinn, S Leonard, P Kelly, T Lennon, P McKearney (0-06f), F Corvan (0-01), P McGrane (0-01), P Lennon, P McNaughton, S Keenan (0-02), D McCreash (0-02), K McKenna (0-01). Subs: A Fox for T Lennon (40 mins), L McGrane for K McKenna (55 mins), M Bowe for D McGrane (60+4 mins).

Referee: Tarlach Conway (Doire)Huntinglodge(57)

 

 

 

 

Gort’s pegged back in epic Ulster clash

0-1Gort Na Mona 0-25 Derrynoose  2-19 AET

By Kevin Herron at Corrigan Park

Gort Na Mona and Derrynoose must do it all again in the Ulster Junior Hurling Championship after an epic clash between the Antrim and Armagh champions finished in a 0-25-2-19 draw after extra-time at Corrigan Park on Sunday afternoon.

The men from the Monagh bypass were ahead at the end of normal time and extra-time; however Pete McKearney and Stephen Kennan came up with the decisive scores for Derrynoose to ensure the Armagh champions will get a second bite at the cherry when the sides lock horns again during the week.

Both sides struggled to settle into the game with a sweeping wind and rain causing havoc in the early stages.

Eventually it was Gort Na Mona who registered the opening score as Dessie McClean picked out corner-forward Thomas McCafferty who floated the ball over the bar. David McCreash replied for Derrynoose who found themselves 0-03-0-01 to the good after ten minutes, thanks to a Paddy Kelly point which was helped over by Gort keeper Connor McCann and a converted free from Pete McKearney.

Much of the game centred on the free-taking of Dessie McClean and Pete McKearney, McClean opened his account with a twelfth minute free and then converted a 65’ to level the game up.

Derrynoose restored their two point advantage through scorers from Pearse Lennon and midfielder Joe Brennan, the sides then traded scores through Dermot McVeigh and David McCreash before the opening goal arrived.

Ten minutes before the break, Paddy Kelly picked out the run of David McCreash who burst through the Gort Na Mona defence and fired past a stranded Connor McCann to give his side a 1-06-0-04 lead.

Patrick McCafferty responded with a point which just snuck inside the post and on 23 minutes Gort almost found the net, Thomas McCafferty’s shot fell short and it was doubled upon by Darren Boyd whose shot clipped the post and rolled across the face of goal.

A free was awarded for an infringement in the follow up and Dessie McClean added a further point. On 27 minutes Gort Na Mona goalkeeper Connor McCann made a superb double save, first denying Liam McGrane before quickly returning to his feet to turn away David McCreash’s follow-up.

McClean struck his fourth placed ball of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time, but his side trailed by a goal as Pete McKearney converted a close range free to make it 1-07-0-07 at the break.

 

Derrynoose increased their lead two minutes after the break through a converted David McCreash free, however it was Gort Na Mona who had the better of the early exchanges as they forced their way back into contention.

Dessie McClean played in Declan Hughes for their opening point of the second period, then three points in three minutes from corner-forward Thomas McCafferty, Sean Doyle and a hooked shot from Darren Boyd; cut the Armagh Champions lead to just the minimum with ten minutes elapsed in the half, 1-09-0-11.

Gort Na Mona levelled the game up on 42 minutes after goalkeeper Connor McCann picked out Dermot McVeigh in space and the wing half forward got his angles right and sent the ball between the posts. Both sides then traded scores with McKearney twice converting frees to restore Derrynoose’ lead, but each time Gort Na Mona hit back through a sideline free from McClean and a point from Thomas McCafferty after some neat work from substitute Thomas McGoran.

Ten minutes from time Gort Na Mona took the lead for the first time since the 7th minute, this time it was McClean who converted from the placed ball to make it 0-15-1-11.However, the lead was short lived as Derrnoose number twelve Pauric McNaughton raced out in front of his marker and his turn and shot was good enough to raise a white flag and level the contest once more.

Gort Na Mona regained the lead, midfielder Patrick McCafferty stole the ball back in midfield and popped it between the posts and then struck a quick second to put his side two in front, McKearney responded with a well taken free to half the deficit.

With two minutes remaining Gort Na Mona’s chances were dealt a bit of a blow, a low shot was fizzed wide by Dessie McClean who was called over to referee Kieran Rice after an alleged off the ball incident. Rice proceeded to issue a red-card to McClean and Gort had to see out the game a man light, despite their numerical set-back Thomas McCafferty conjured up the next score to give the Gort’s a two point lead heading into two minutes of injury-time.

Pete McKearney converted a free to cut the deficit to one and a minute into injury-time Gort Na Mona had the chance to seal victory through a Paddy McCafferty free from around 35-yards out at the sideline. But with the pressure on, McCafferty failed to convert and Derrynoose quickly mounted a last chance to salvage extra-time, their persistence was rewarded when referee Rice awarded them a free with seconds remaining. There was bit of a delay between the awarding of the free and it’s taken, though the ever reliable Pete McKearney converted his pressure shot to level the game at 0-18-1-15 and force extra-time at Corrigan Park.

 

 

Extra-time

Gort Na Mona were able to call upon Dermot McVeigh as a replacement for McClean at the beginning of extra-time and in a one sided opening half the Gort’s established a three-point lead at the break. Martin Ward started the scoring with a fine turn and shot which was never in doubt, Thomas McCafferty hit the next two scores, but crucially missed the chance to find the net after Derrynoose shot stopper Terry McCann was caught in no man’s land, nonetheless Gort led 0-21-1-15 at the end of the first period.

The Monagh men increased their lead two minutes into the second period as substitute Padraig Fryers picked out Ward who sent the ball over the bar, Derrynoose substitute Conor McGrory responded and seconds later the game was tied up again as David McCreash cut inside and drilled the ball high into the roof of the net past Connor McCann to level at 0-22-2-16.

Gort Na Mona responded positively from their set-back and once more established a three-point lead through a converted Ward free, a point from a tight angle by Fryers and a Darren Boyd shot which sailed between the posts to put them 0-25-2-16 ahead.

Double goal scorer McCreash hit back for Derrnoose and a point followed from the placed ball by Pete McKearney. Gort held the slender advantage at the end of injury-time in extra-time, however Derrynoose were awarded a late free. With some distance between the free and the goal, McKearney wisely opted to pick out substitute Stephen Kennan whose shot sailed between the posts under pressure to level the game at 0-25-2-19 and ensure that both sides would meet again in order to settle the tie once and for all after an epic eighty minutes on the Whiterock Road.

Gort Na Mona: C McCann, C Devlin, G McKenna, C Connolly, P McHugh, M Rea, N Gibson, P McCafferty (0-03), D Hughes (0-01), S Doyle (0-01), M Ward (0-02), D McVeigh (0-02), T McCafferty (0-06), D McClean (0-07f), D Boyd (0-02). Subs: T McGoran for S Doyle (47 mins), P Fryers (0-01) for D McVeigh (52 mins), G Armstrong for N Gibson (54 mins), D McVeigh (Red Card substitution 61 mins) D Collins for C Connolly (80 mins).

Derrynoose: T McCann, D McGrane, R Murray, D McKenna, S Leonard, P Kelly (0-01), P Quinn, P McKearney (0-12,0-11f), J Brennan (0-01), P McGrane, P Lennon (0-01), P McNaughton (0-01), L McGrane, D McCreash (2-01), K McKenna. Subs: S Kennan (0-01) for D McGrane (36 mins), T Lennon for J Brennan (37 mins), M Bowe for D McKenna (41 mins), C McGrory (0-01) for P Lennon (57 mins), F Corvan for L McGrane (68 mins), C McNaughton for R Murray (75 mins), Herron for K McKenna (75 mins).

Referee: Kieran Rice (An Dún)

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Pics by Ciarán Ó Brolcháin

Huntinglodge(57)

 

 

 

Gort na Móna v Glenarm – The captains views

Huntinglodge(57) copyGorts looking forward to Ulster campaign

By Brendan McTaggart

After being put to the sword in the closing stages of the decider, Gort na Móna Captain Padraig McHugh was a relieved man when we caught up with him on the Armoy pitch: “They put it up to us so they did but the lads dug in and battled hard in defence.  The conditions there are awful, they may not seem too bad on the side line but there’s parts of the pitch that are seriously cut up, slippery and mucky but we got over the line and we’re back into the Intermediate and I believe that’s where we belong.”

McHugh paid tribute to the Gort defence for their defiance in the face of the Glenarm onslaught during the dying moments of the junior final: “The lads showed a bit of character towards the end and the defence was immense.  We were defending for our lives in there and there was people putting their bodies on the line so fair play to the lads for showing that commitment to the Gort shirt.”

Some had questioned the Gorts for dropping into the junior championship but as McHugh told us, the Turf Lodge side have been struggling: “We’ve had a lot of guys that have left through immigration with work and stuff.  We’re a small dual club and we’re battling against the tide in west Belfast.  We’ve got St John’s and Rossa around us and there’s some players that we’ve brought up that have ended up at St John’s or Rossa which is a bit hard to take for a small club with those two right beside us but that’s us back where we belong.

“We definitely needed this.  Hurling was struggling, down in numbers and hopefully this gives the young lads the belief that they can be part of something special at Gort na Móna.”

The conditions played a major role in the outcome of the final and the Gorts Captain told us that they are capable of more but they have their eyes fixed on a run in the Ulster championship: “We never really got out of second gear to be honest.  We’re a lot better than that but not making excuses, the conditions were terrible but we’re over the line and it’s all about Ulster now.

“It’s nine years since we had an Ulster campaign, we won the Ulster Intermediate nine years ago and that’s a long time for a lot of those lads out there.  We’ve been battling against the tide with the clubs around us and being a small club, alternating between the codes on a Wednesday and Sunday.  If you pick up injuries you’re in trouble so it’s good to have some reward for all the years of work that these lads have put in.”

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Gort na Móna captain Padriag McHugh (right) and his Glenarm counterpart Benny McDermott with match referee Colm McDonald before Saturday’s Junior Hurling Championship final in Armoy. Pic by John McIlwaine

McDermott hopeful for the future

By Brendan McTaggart

Team Captain Brendan McDermott was the picture of devastation as he left the Armoy pitch on Saturday afternoon.  No-one likes doing the interview after a defeat and after a final loss it’s more sickening but the Glenarm man gave us his thoughts before leading his team back to the changing rooms.

The Glenarm half forward bemoaned his sides slow start to the match: “It seems to be our way.  We don’t get out of the blocks in the first half.  We didn’t even get out of the blocks until the last ten minutes of the match and everyone seemed to want it that wee bit more.”

His side almost completely a remarkable comeback in the closing stages, getting to within two points of the Gorts after trailing by ten points but McDermott paid tribute to the Turf Lodge men when he added: “We just ran out of time and fair play to Gort na Mona for holding out in the end.”

Despite playing second fiddle to the Gorts for large periods of the first half, only three points separated the sides at the interval with the elements in Glenarm’s favour in the second half.  McDermott told us that the occasion may have gotten to his side in the second half: “We weren’t even thinking on the breeze at half time.  To be honest, it’s a really young side we have there and nerves played a major part for a lot of these lads.  It seemed to be that it took over some of the young boys but look, it is what it is and I wish Gort na Móna all the best in Ulster but I wish it was us.”

Glenarm’s search and wait for junior honours continues but McDermott told us that Saturday will hopefully be used as a stepping stone for this young side: “It’s all about stepping blocks for us.  This is a very young side and even next year there should be a crop coming up from the minors into the seniors next year and that’s something to look forward to.”

Gorts withstand late Glenarm goal rush to claim junior title

Gortnamona v Glenarm 1 copy

Gort na Móna celebrate their win over Glenarm in Saturday’s Junior Hurling Championshio final in Armoy. Pic by John McIlwaine

Junior Hurling Championship Final

Gort na Móna 3-12 Shane O’Neill’s, Glenarm 3-10

By Brendan McTaggart

With a little over 10 minutes to go in the junior final on Saturday, the result looked a foregone conclusion.  Gort na Mona were 10 points ahead and despite misfiring in front of the target, the Turf Lodge men were dominant and looked like they would see out the remaining minutes at a canter.  The Glenarm challenge had seemingly faltered but as the heavens opened again, the Glenarm men were planning the perfect storm.  They laid siege on the Gort na Mona defence in search for goals.  An aerial bombardment and all-out attack.  It was like the Glenarm version of the Alamo and the Shane O’Neills were winning but time was not their friend.

The Gort’s hung on to see out the win to claim the junior crown and on the evidence of the hour, deservedly so.  Two points was the margin of victory in the end as the Gort’s celebrated their first hurling crown in nine years.

Glenarm made a bright start to the final with Darren Hamill in particular causing the Gorts huge problems.  The former county star scored four points in the first half with three of those coming in the first ten minutes.  Gort were struggling to settle into their game and with the normally reliable Desi McClean misfiring from placed ball, they couldn’t get any form of footing in the game.  Sean Doyle, McClean and the impressive Padraig McCaffrey all registered scores for the Turf Lodge men in the opening quarter but Daniel Black and Captain Brendan McDermott split the posts to give the north Antrim side a two point lead mid-way through the first half.

Glenarm were looking lively all over the pitch and strong in defence.  McClean and Darren Boyd weren’t getting much change from their markers but it was a moment of brilliance that produced the opening goal of the final in the 18th minute.  Centre half Mark Rea sent a long ball into the heart of the Glenarm defence and for once former minor star Hugh-Pat McNeill didn’t claim the sliotar.  McClean rose highest but his shot was superbly blocked with some last ditch Glenarm defending.  The lose sliotar fell to Dermott McVeigh and he pulled first time to the back of Patrick Abraham’s net to give the Gort’s the lead and one that they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the final.

A brace of points from Patrick McCaffrey and McClean (’65) was answered by Hamill’s fourth point of the match in the 25th minute before the Gorts found the net once again.  Boyd’s effort for a point fell short but Abraham between the sticks failed to clear his lines.  Doyle gathered and punished the Glenarm defence with a drilled shot to the back of the net to open a five point lead for his side.

Glenarm finished the half well with a Black free and a Liam Mulvenna point, Mulvenna’s pulled effort just going over the bar with ‘keeper Connor McCann routed to the spot to leave three points between the sides at the short whistle.

The three point advantage was the minimum that the Gorts deserved from the opening 30 minutes.  11 wides, four from placed ball and passing up on two further goal chances meant that Glenarm were still in the game at the interval.  Glenarm had their own chances for goal, Mulvenna’s effort in first half injury time looked destined for the back of the net while Darren Hamill’s fourth point was ‘unlucky’ to not find the back of McCann’s net.

A trio of Gort points after the restart reaffirmed their position, Patrick and Thomas McCaffrey along with ‘Diesel’ Boyd.  It could have been better for the Gorts but McClean’s goal bound effort was blocked by the Glenarm defence.

Dylan McLaughlin and Padraig McDermott split the posts to keep the Glenarm men in touch but the Gorts found the back of Abraham’s net in the 43rd minute to all but secure the junior crown.  Thomas McCaffrey latching onto a lose sliotar, pulling first time and putting a Gort hand on the junior crown.  Martin Ward, Patrick McCaffrey (free) and Thomas McCaffrey all registered white flags in the space of four minutes to open a ten point lead in the 49th minute and Glenarm looked a beaten side.

The Shane O’Neill’s found a second wind to launch an attempt at the mother of all comebacks.  They had chances to score from frees and begin to chip away at the Gort na Mona lead but decided to look for majors.  With hindsight, the Glenarm men will rue their lack of composure in the closing stages with a series of missed chances in the space of five minutes.  Going for goal when electing for point may have been a better option.  They finally breached the Gort defence in the 55th minute when Barry Hamill fired home from close range but it brought a muted applause from the Glenarm support who looked consigned to defeat.

A point from McVeigh moments later did little to derail the new found Glenarm momentum as they probed for more openings in the Gort defence.  Their second goal came after McLaughlin latched onto a long ball from Blair McDermott in the last minute of normal time and left the Glenarm bench frantically looking at their watches to see how long was left.  More Glenarm pressure followed and again they found the net in the second minute of injury time.  Barry Hamill with his second and the Glenarm bench were asking how long was left.  The answer?  Not enough.  Gort na Mona hung on in the end to finish two points clear at the end of a dramatic final ten minutes.

Gort na Mona: Connor McCann; Christopher Devlin; Gavin McKenna; Brendan Cousins; Padraig McHugh; Mark Rea; Gary Doyle; Patrick McCaffrey; Declan Hughes; Sean Doyle; Martin Ward; Dermott McVeigh; Thomas McCaffrey; Desi McClean; Darren Boyd

Subs: Nathan Gibson for S Doyle (45 mins); Padraig Fryers for D Boys (58 mins)

Scorers: Thomas McCaffrey 1-2; Patrick McCaffrey 0-4 (1 free, 1 ’65); Sean Doyle 1-1; Dermott McVeigh 1-1; Desi McClean 0-2 (1 free, 1 ’65); Martin Ward 0-1; Darren Boyd 0-1

Glenarm: Patrick Abraham; Jake Hamilton; Hugh-Pat McNeill; Sean Moran; Patrick McAuley; Blain McDermott; Liam Mulvenna; Padraig McDermott; Shane Magill; David Black; Dylan McLaughlin; Brendan McDermott; Darren Hamill; Conal Ward; Barry Hamill

Scorers: Barry Hamill 2-00; Darren Hamill 0-4; Dylan McLaughlin 1-1; Daniel Black 0-2 (2 frees); Liam Mulvenna 0-1; Padraig McDermott 0-1; Brendan McDermott 0-1

Subs: Connor McNeill for L Mulvenna (38 mins)

Referee: Colm McDonald (St Galls)

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