DUNLOY picked up their second win of the week in the Travel Ireland Coaches Antrim senior championship with two late frees seeing them over the line against Ballycastle on Sunday evening.
The McQuillan’s got the perfect start with a goal from Samantha McKillen after just three minutes. That score spurred Ballycastle on and they led by 1-3 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter.
However goals from Áine Magill and Cassie McArthur drove Dunloy on to a lead of 2-8 to 2-5 at the break, Fionnuala Kelly pulling Ballycastle back into the game with a goal after 25 minutes.
Points from Sionainn Graham and Niamh Cosgrove edged Ballycastle closer as the second half developed and a long range free from Cosgrove levelled the game at 2-10 each with seven minutes to go.
However Katie Molloy hit the next two points from frees to edge Dunloy ahead. Niamh Cosgrove fired over from distance and had a chance at the death with another free close to the sideline, but this time her effort tailed wide.
Dunloy: Á Magill 1-2, C McArthur 1-1, K Molloy 0-5 frees, E Johnston 0-2, C Molloy 0-1, Bronach Magill 0-1
Ballycastle: S McKillen 1-1, F Kelly 1-0, N Cosgrove 0-5 frees, S Graham 0-4, 2 frees, J McIntosh 0-1.
Brídíní Óga Glenravel 3-4 Cushendall 3-21at Fr Maginn Park
In the earlier game, Ashling Millar hit the net twice inside the opening ten minutes to give Brídíní Óga a shock lead in Glenravel. However a penalty strike from Brogan Abram two minutes later levelled the game and Cushendall went on to lead by 1-11 to 2-1 at the break.
They put the game to bed in the first five minutes of the second half with five quick points and a goal from Orla O’Hara. Molly Wolouhan pulled a goal back but a second O’Hara goal in injury time gave Cushendall their second victory ahead of their clash this weekend with Dunloy on Saturday afternoon.
Ruairí Óg: O O’Hara 2-4, B Abram 1-1, 1-0 pen, D Cosgrove 0-8 frees, C O’Boyle 0-3, S McKillop 0-3, O McAllister 0-1, O McCurry 0-1, K McNeill 0-1
Brídíní Óga: A Millar 2-0, M Woulahan 1-0, E McAleenan 0-2, 1 frees, C Duffin 0-1, S Fyfe 0-1
Moneyglass won their third Senior Football Championship title in a row at Davitt Park on Sunday when they beat St Paul’s in the final by 3-8 to 0-7. In a hard fought first half the champions did not have things all their way, and it took a Laura Marron goal to help the Marrian Hill girls to a 1-4 to 0-3 half time lead. However a second goal early in the second half put then in control and a third major seven minutes from time wrapped it all up.
Orla Prenter gave Moneyglass an early lead with a point from a free, but St Paul’s came back to level on seven minutes with a point from play by Lara Dahunsi. Cliona Griffin put the champions back ahead when she sent over a point on eight minutes and they struck a significant blow a minute later when Laura Marron found the St Paul’s net.
When Cathy Carey increased the Moneyglass lead with a point in the tenth minute they were five clear but St. Paul’s responded with points from Niamh Ritchie and Emily Rodgers, in reply to one from Orlaith Prenter to leave Moneyglass four clear at the half time whistle.
Bronagh Devlin’s goal soon after the start of the second half pushed the gap out to seven but St Paul’s fought back with points from Emily Rodgers, Niamh Ritchie and substitute Clodagh Mervyn to close to within four by the 39th minute.
That was as close as they would get however as two points from Orlaith Prenter and a goal from Maria O’Neill all but sealed the win. Emily Rogers pulled one back for St Paul’s but the last score went to the holders when Alicia Boyd sent one over to finish ten points to the good.
Anna McCann, Danielle Duffin, Emma McArreavey, Cara McKeefrey, Niamh McIntosh, Rebecca Bradley, Clionna Griffin, Sarah O’Neill, Cathy Carey, Eleanor Mallon, Bronagh Devlin, Alicia Boyd, Aine Devlin, Orlaith Prenter, Maria O’Neill.
Brendan McTaggart reports from Pairc Mac Uilin, Ballycastle
When Dunloy were last beaten in the senior hurling championship, it was called a Loughgiel ambush and ‘dug-out gate’. Fast-forward some five years later and the Shamrocks derailed the Cuchullains drive for five in 60 minutes of skill, intensity and out-hurling the reigning champions.
Eleven points at the end of the hour, a score line that certainly didn’t flatter Hugh McCann’s side, Loughgiel were superior all over the field. Indeed, were it not for those in red and white having an off day from placed ball, it could have been a greater margin of victory for the Shamrocks.
They started with a fire in their belly and that fire showed no signs of extinguishing as they played a silky brand of hurling that tore Dunloy apart with the Cuchullains defence chasing shadows.
On a day where Dunloy couldn’t buy a first touch and struggled in rucks, Loughgiel dominated puck outs and their attacking unit were on fire. Paul Boyle walked away with the Man of The Match award and rightly so, but it could have easily gone to Rian McMullan, Ryan McKee or Christy McGarry on an afternoon where the young Shamrocks came of age.
Their touch, their ability to round a player and find the yard needed, you see for periods in a game of championship hurling. Loughgiel produced it from start to finish and never gave Dunloy an inch of space to make any kind of fightback.
It’s fair to say Gregory O’Kane’s men looked lethargic and flat with their play, some will look at the schedule they’ve endured in both hurling and football and while the majority of the Cuchuallins handling errors were of their own doing, the Shamrocks work rate led to a considerable number of turnover ball on a day where they were in the mood to capitalise at every opportunity.
Playing with the wind in the first, while Dunloy and Coby Cunning opened the scoring, it was Loughgiel who was making all the early running. They had already registered three wides, two from placed ball before Rian McMullan split the posts in the 5th minute.
Cunning was giving the Louhghgiel defence their fill of it in those opening exchanges while Nigel Elliott was a handful in midfield. Dunloy did mange the next two scores of the game, a brace from Cunning but it was answered from two long ranged efforts from Ryan McKee.
Keelan Molloy and Seaan Elliott fired points either side of Christy McGarry’s opening score of the semi-final before the only goal of the game came midway through the first half.
Collecting the ball down the Loughgiel left, Paul Boyle showed the Dunloy defence a clean pair of heels and unorthodoxly hitting the sliotar beyong the rushing Ryan Elliott.
The Cuchullains responded with the next score of the game, Chrissy McMahon with an instant reply before Coby (free) and Dan McCloskey exchanged scores to leave the minimum between the sides with nine minutes of the half remaining.
Cunning’s fourth point of the half would be Dunloy’s last score however as Loughgiel finished the half superbly. A quite brilliant score from Boyle from wide on the left, punishing another error in the Dunloy defence was followed by scores from James McNaughton and Shan McGrath (2).
After a recount during the half time interval, referee Mark O’Neill corrected the score to 1-9 to 0-6 for the Shamrocks and while there were plenty thinking in the bumper crowd at Pairc Mac Uilin that it could be a bone of contention, it actually mattered little in the end. Loughgiel did play into whatever wind was blowing after the restart but it would be a push to say it was a six point wind.
It was far from an insurmountable lead and if anything, the Shamrocks could and probably should have been further ahead at the short whistle. Dunloy did start the second half with more urgency, twice reducing the Loughgiel lead to four points in the opening ten minutes of the second half. The introduction of Deaglan Smith and Eoin O’Neill having an instant impact for the Cuchullains but the Shamrocks weren’t going to be denied.
By the time McNaughton fired over his third of the half, first from free and fourth overall, the Loughgiel lead had already reached five points again before Christy McGarry and Shan McGrath split the posts to put daylight between the sides.
Keelan Molloy did respond for the Cuchullains to leave six between the sides with 14 minutes remaining. The Cuchullains were going to have to dig deep in the last quarter to revive their championship hopes.
It never materialised as Loughgiel continued to score at will and defend with feverish intensity to nullify the Cuchullains threat. They kept Dunloy scoreless in a 16 minute period where they hit five points unanswered and Dunloy had Nigel Elliott sent off for a second yellow card.
When the final whistle came, it signalled the end of the Cuchullains reign as county champions and Shamrocks sealing their date in the county show piece final for the first time since 2020 where they’ll face familiar foes Cushendall.
The Ruairi’s having already defeated Loughgiel earlier this championship campaign will start that one as favourites but on this showing, the Shamrocks will take some stopping.
Loughgiel: Chrissy O’Connell; Tiernan Coyle, Rory McCloskey, Ruairi McCormick; Declan McCloskey, Damon McMullan, Caolan Blair; Enda Og McGarry, Ryan McKee; Dan McCloskey, James McNaughton, Rian McMullan; Shan McGrath, Paul Boyle, Christy McGarry
Subs: Ben McGarry for E McGarry (34); Jack McCloskey for R McKee (inj)
Scorers: P Boyle 1-3; S McGrath 0-5 (2fs); J McNaughton 0-4 (1f); R McKee 0-3; C McGarry 0-3; R McMullan 0-2; D McCloskey 0-1
Dunloy: Ryan Elliott; Oran Quinn, Conor McKinley, Phelim Duffin; Eamon Smyth, Ryan McGarry, Conor Kinsella; Paul Shiels, Eoin McFerran; Seaan Elliott, Ronan Molloy, Keelan Molloy; Nigel Elliott, Conal Cunning, Chrissy McMahon
Subs: Deaglan Smith for C Kinsella (HT); Eoin O’Neill for C McMahon (HT); Aodhan McGarry for R Molloy (42)
Scorers: C Cunning 0-6 (3fs); S Elliott 0-2; K Molloy 0-2; P Shiels 0-2 (1f); C McMahon 0-1; Eoin O’Neill 0-1
Success may have been a long time coming for the hurlers of Ardoyne Kickhams, but they completed a historic double with a win in the Junior B hurling championship over Loch Mór Dal gCais at Musgrave on Saturday afternoon to build upon their earlier league success.
Last year, the North Belfast side fell to St Brigid’s in the decider and they were in no mood for a repeat, finding a way over the line in a game that was extremely hard going for both teams as the rain poured throughout, cutting up the well prepared pitch as the game progressed.
The previous game between these two sides in the round robin stage and played in similar dismal conditions finished in a draw, so anticipation was high to see if Loch Mór could bring the Ardoyne men’s unbeaten run to an end in the final game of the season. It was apparent from early on in this highly competitive match though that the men from the north of the city were determined to bring the championship home after several years of near misses.
Conditions were not favourable to the forwards and while the majority of the scores came from placed balls that was a credit to both free-takers who missed very little with Ardoyne’s Aran Stewart finishing with 14 points to his name – 13 from frees – while Loch Mór’s Darragh Turley converted nine of his chances.
Despite the atrocious underfoot conditions, both sides served up a highly entertaining game.
Loch Mór opened well and Bailey Graham put them on the board when pulling on a loose ball that just about cleared the bar.
Stewart replied with his first point from frees and then Oisin MacAnBhiocaire split the posts from a tight angle to put Ardoyne into the lead and went on to have one of his best displays in an Ardoyne jersey that galvanised the Ardoyne team.
Ardoyne led by two points after 12 minutes, but Turley stroked over four frees in succession to put Loch Mór ahead by the same margin. Aran Stewart then stepped up to the mark for Ardoyne and responded with a display of free taking that was inspiring in the atrocious conditions.
At the half time whistle Ardoyne were ahead by 3 points as both teams headed for the shelter of the dressing rooms.
Half Time: Ardoyne 0-11 Loch Mór 0-8
The second half could not have started better for Loch Mór as Turley lined up a free from inside his own half just a minute in but this time it dipped and Ferdia Carson rose to get a deft flick and divert it into the net. However, a subsequent point from play from MacAnBhiocaire left the minimum margin between the two sides.
Stewart and McAuley engaged in their own private sharp shooting duel with Stewart pushing the Ardoyne men ahead anytime Loch Mór looked like pulling back their lead. While Ardoyne exerted increasing pressure on Loch Mór, the conditions were such that their lead was always vulnerable. However, two moments of inspiration put the game beyond any remaining doubt. Substitute Enda Slattery scored an exquisite point from a narrow angle for Ardoyne that was followed by a wonder catch from the inspirational Paul Baker in the Ardoyne full back line.
As the final whistle blew, the years of frustration for the Northenders had come to an end and the celebrations were about to start. “Going into that last quarter, there was no way we were going to lose,” said manager Conor Barnes, “We went down into the trenches there, quite literally because of the state of the pitch, and the players were super right to the end. We’ll enjoy our day today – it’s amazing.”
Man of the Match was a close contest between Stewart and MacAnBhiocaire for Ardoyne. Given the former’s display of free taking along with his inspirational display of skill and commitment the honour narrowly goes to Aran Stewart.
Given the extreme conditions, credit must be given to both teams who gave full commitment and the game was played in a great spirit. The match officials allowed the game to flow and contributed to a great game of hurling. Special thanks to St Brigid’s for having the pitch well prepared to withstand the atrocious conditions for this County Final.
Ardoyne: 1 JP Agnew, 2 Pascal Clarke, 3 Paul Baker, 4 Cathal Clarke, 5 Sean Searle, 6 Caolan Wallace, 7 Micheál McGreevey, 8 Dean Goodall, 9 Paul McGuigan, 10 Oisin Mac An Bhiocaire 0-3, 11 Cahal Keown, 12 Pearse Hull, 13 Matt McKillen, 14 Aran Stewart 0-14 (0-12f), 15 Jim Og McAuley, Cormac Barnes, Paul O’Halloran, Joe McDowell, Conor Flannery, Stephen Hill, Eoghain Mac An tSearraig, Eamon MacLochlainn, Matthew Crommie, Patrick McGreevy, Padraig O Deorain, Cormac Curran, Enda Slattery 0-1
Subs: P McGreevy for C Keown (42), C Barnes for M McKillen (55), E Slattery (0-1) for P Hull (57).
Loch Mór: 1 Cathan O hEireamhoin, 2 Brogan Graham, 3 Sean Burke, 4 Aaron Monaghan, 5 Declan Phillips, 6 Conor Jones, 7 David McAreavey, 8 Martin Branniff, 9 Cormac Dwyer, 10 Cal Burke, 11 Matthew Jones, 12 Darragh Turley 0-10 (0-10f) 13 Bailey Graham 0-1, 14 Ferdia Carson (1-0), 15 Michael McCullough
Subs: M Robb for C Burke (38), R Bannon for A Monaghan (38), P Molloy for D McAreavey (55).
St. Brigid’s Cloughmills recovered from a slow start to sweep aside the challenge of a Lamh Dhearg side who flattered to deceive in the opening exchanges of this Casement Social Club JHC semi-final in Cloughmills on Saturday afternoon.
After Mickey Devlin had given the home side the lead with an excellent long range point it was the Hannastown side who sprung to life to hit the next four points with Odhran Waldron, Adam Murray, Michael Herron and Murray again from a 7th minute free putting them three in front and looking good.
The visitors would only add one further first half point however as Cloughmills suddenly realised they had a game on their hands and a couple of superb side-line cuts from Michael Devlin, which sandwiched an Eoin Dobbin point from play had them back on level terms by the 13th minute.
Dobbin followed with a couple of converted frees by the 17th minute and a fine point from Reece Watt from close to the side-line had the ‘Biddies’ three in front and in control.
The Cloughmills side were now firing on all fronts as their opponents struggled to contain their pace and precision and James Doherty got his name on the score board with two well taken points.
Another long range effort from the sweet striking Devlin and a converted ‘65’ by Eoin Dobbin moved the Cloughmills side seven ahead by the 23d minute with Mark Finnegan replying with Lamh Dhearg’s first point for 23 minutes to leave the home side 0-11 to 0-5 ahead at the break.
After a slow start, the Cloughmills defence had taken control but they were thankful to Chris McKernan who made a sharp save to deny the visitors in the second minute of the new half.
Donal Martin did get the first point of the half for the visitors in the 5th minute but the Hannastown side were conceding too many frees and these were being punished by the radar like accuracy of Eoin Dobbin.
Dobbin added two more in the 6th and 9th minutes with Liam Kearns getting one in between from play and as St. Brigid’s threatened to overrun the opposition, Conor McConville in the Lamh Dhearg goal brought off an excellent save to deny them.
Dobbin added another point from a free before things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Aidan McGuigan got his marching orders following a second yellow card in the 11th minute.
To their credit Lamh Dhearg responded with a pointed free from Adam Murray and another from play from Mark Finnegan to give them a glimmer of hope but the Cloughmills reply was immediate and decisive.
Eoin Dobbin added another pointed free and substitute Odhran McCurdy put the contest to bed with a goal in the 25th minute with Dobbin adding to his ever increasing total from the placed ball in the 26th and 28th minutes.
The Hannastown side kept fighting against impossible odds and Christopher McKernan pulled off his second good save of the half as they briefly threatened before Odhran Waldron struck a late consolation point to bring matters to a conclusion
After a slow start, Cloughmills went on to play some excellent hurling and their well organised defensive structure denied Lamh Dhearg the space and time they needed.
Mickey Devlin’s two points from side-line cuts and a couple of massive efforts from deep in his own half were worth the admission money on their own while Eoin Dobbin’s free taking was right out of the top drawer.
Cloughmills now face neighbours, Glen Rovers in the final in a fortnight’s time and it promises to be an interesting decider with Cloughmills having defeated Armoy in the Junior Feis Cup final earlier in the year but Armoy gained revenge when they met in the league in Armoy.
Cloughmills: 1 Christopher McKernan, 2 Sean McKendry, 3 Kevin O’Boyle, 4 Stephen Martin, 5 Johnny Duffin, 6 Geoffery Og Laverty, 7 Corey Blair, 8 Joe Smyth, 9 Martin Dobbin, 10 Reece Watt, 11 Ruairi Laverty, 12 Liam Kearns, 13 James Doherty, 14 Michael Devlin, 15 Eoin Dobbin, 18 Odhran McCurdy, 21 Oran Corrigan
Lamh Dhearg: 1 Conor McConville, 2 Christopher Nolan, 3 Sean Paul Gibson, 4 Tiernan McKenna, 5 Daniel Murray, 6 Padraig Mervyn, 7 Fionn Mervyn, 8 Ciaran Boyd, 9 Aidan McGuigan, 10 Mark Finnegan, 11 Declan Straney, 12 Adam Murray, 13 Odhran Waldron, 14 Michael Herron, 15 Donal Martin