All Saints, Ballymena continued their recent good run of results when they travelled to Falls Park on Sunday and came out winners by two points in a high scoring thriller against Loch Mor Dal gCais.
Loch Mor made the running during the opening half and looked well placed at half-time when they led by 2-9 to 1-9 but the Ballymena men were beginning to find a bit of form and they stepped matters up after the break.
In an end to end contest the scores continued to come thick and fast with All Saints Ciaran Neeson proving almost un-markable and he was the difference between the sides in the end.
At the second water break the teams could not be separated and went into the final quarter locked at 2-13 apiece.
The Slemish Park side turned the screw during that closing period with the superb Neeson finishing the game as top scorer with an impressive tally of 2-14 over the hour and Cory Lyttle proving to be a useful addition to the side this year getting the other goal.
All Saints: Ciaran Cassley, Dwayne McKee, Chris McAfee, Kevin Brady, Sean O’Rawe, Colum Neeson, Terrence Diamond, Padhraig Magill, Vincent Esler, Cormac Magill, Gary Miskella, Daire Hasson, Cory Lyttle, Damian Gillan, Ciaran Neeson. Subs: Luke O’Rawe for Daire Hasson (half-time)
Lámh Dhearg overcame fatigue and the blistering heat as they powered to a 1-28-1-09 victory over Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon B team on Sunday morning.
With five victories from five the Hannahstown side are hoping to finish in top spot- which would earn a home quarter-final against the bottom club in next month’s knock-out rounds and they made the perfect start in their quest for a sixth successive win.
Drawing first blood inside of three minutes when Daniel Murray caught Eoghan Ruadh napping with a quick flick to Sean-Paul Gibson who picked out Niall McGarry and McGarry popped a pass over his shoulder to cousin Fionn Mervyn who applied the finish to the net.
McGarry and Mervyn linked up again for the opening point and the scores followed thereafter with Daniel Murray claiming points either side of Ronan Fegan.
Eoghan Ruadh had a few early chances and eventually got off the mark through dangerman for the afternoon Conor McGinty with an angled effort that was floated over.
By the end of the first quarter in the half Murray would bring his tally to 0-04 with another two points in play, in-between scores from full-forward Gerard Smyth and linkman McGarry.
Dungannon had a half chance of a goal when Mark McCrory floated a dangerous ball into the area and forced Francis Dugan into decisive action at the expense of a 65’- which would come to nothing in the end.
The Lámh Dhearg half-back line of Pearse Fitzsimons, Paddy Mervyn and Sean-Paul Gibson were adding an attacking threat with Mervyn landing a fantastic point to extend his sides lead.
Conor McGinty picked off his sides second score of the half, but Sean-Paul Gibson landed a terrific score from Mark Hamill’s pass and Fionn Mervyn did well to win back possession and fed Daniel Murray for a further score.
Points were traded between Gerard Smyth and Conor McGinty before Lámh Dhearg extended their lead with back-to-back Fionn Mervyn points and a sixth from Daniel Murray to lead 1-15-0-03 at the break.
Murray and Lámh Dhearg picked up where they left off before the break with Mark Hamill winning the break and feeding the wing-half forward who scored at the second time of asking.
Eoghan Ruadh hit back through a converted Conor Molloy free, and the sides would be point for point for the majority of the first quarter after the break.
A converted Murray free was followed at the other end by Paul Laverty’s shot that was floated over the angle.
Gerard Smyth then popped the ball off to McGarry for a simple point in front of the posts, but Josh Ferguson was on hand to reply to Eoghan Ruadh.
Mark McCrory reduced the deficit for the first time in the half and Daniel Murray was tasked with responding this time- notching up his ninth from play.
Paddy Mervyn landed a second terrific point of the afternoon after coming in off the side and wing back Tiarnan McKenna added his name to the list of scorers from range shortly after.
At the other end Conor Fitzgerald picked off a nice score and just before the second-half water break Murray converted a further free to bring his tally to double figures for the afternoon.
Eoghan Ruadh conjured up a goal with Mark McCrory slipping the ball across to Adam Fleming whose strike was sizzling and gave Dugan no chance in the Lámh Dhearg goal- but with the score 1-22-1-08 it was little more than scant consolation for the hosts.
Daniel Murray would convert his third free and Ronan Fegan picked off his second point of the game 60-seconds later.
Murray added two further scores to his afternoon reel and a response from Conor Fitzgerald arriving at the other end- his sides final score of the day.
A final Murray score was later followed up by Sean-Paul Gibson as Lámh Dhearg completed the job and stand a game from going the group campaign unbeaten ahead of the knock-out rounds next month.
Eoghan Ruadh, Dungannon B: J Campbell, C Casey, B Cummins, D Cushely, E Gildernew, E Lougue, D Rush, M McCrory (0-01), C Fitzgerald (0-02), P Laverty (0-01), A Fleming (1-00), C Molloy (0-01f), J Ferguson (0-01), D McCrudden, C McGinty (0-03).
Lámh Dhearg: F Dugan, C Nolan, M Lynch, T McKenna (0-01), SP Gibson (0-02), P Mervyn (0-02), P Fitzsimons, R Diamond, M Hamill, F Mervyn (1-03), N McGuigan, D Murray (0-14, 0-03f), R Fegan (0-02), G Smyth (0-02), N McGarry (0-02). Subs: A Ferris for N McGuigan (38), C Boyd for R Diamond (47), S McGarry for G Smyth (54), C Megraw for N McGarry (54).
Doherty Woodshavings Antrim Hurling League Division 1
Cushendall 0-17 Ballygalget 0-15
Two points in the last seven minutes, one from Sean McAfee and two from Christy McNaughton, gave Cushendall victory over Ballygalget in Sunday’s Division 1 League game at Pairc Mhuir. In a well contested game in which the visitors lead at half time, and on three more occasions during the second half, a Finbarr Kelly point with eight minutes left for play put them ahead once again. However Cushendall held the men from the Ards scoreless during that last spell and after McAfee levelled on 53 minutes Christy McNaughton put them ahead from a pointed free and sealed the win from play two minutes from time.
It was McNaughton who has the first point of the game in the opening minute, but Ballygalget hit back with points from Tim Prenter and Marc Fisher to edge ahead in the sixth minute. Three in a row from Sean McAfee, Paddy McGill and Alex Delargy had Cushendall back in front by the tenth minute, but the see-saw pattern of the game continued when the Down men came back with two from Marc Fisher and one from Owen McDermot to retake the lead. The teams were level on three occasions during the second quarter but an injury time point from corner forward Caolan Coulter gave Ballygalget a one point lead at the break. (0-9 to 0-8)
The second half saw a similar pattern with Aidan McNaughton bringing the home side level soon after the restart, with Fisher and Kelly giving the visitors back the advantage in the 33rd and 34th minutes. An exchange of points from Scott Walsh (Cushendall) and Ciaran Watson (Ballygalget) kept two between the sides, but two inside a minute by Christy McNaughton and Scott Walsh tied the scores again by the 40th minute.
It was score for score for the next eighteen minutes as the Down men edged ahead on three different occasions, only to see the Ruairis claw it back, and when Finbarr Kelly restored their lead in 52nd minute they must have felt they would get at least a share of the points. However that was to prove their last score of the game and Cushendall added three more without replay down the home stretch to seal the win.
Eoin Gillan, Joe McCurry, Martin Burke, Liam Gillan, Scott Walsh, Terry McAlister, Mark Emerson, Alex Delargy, Francis McCurry, Dominic Delargy, Christy McNaughton, Aidan McNaughton, Paddy McGill, Sean McAfee, Andrew Delargy.
Subs – Conor Carson,
Eoin Clarke, Eoin Pucci, Peter McManus, Joe Smyth, Michael Toner Eoin Coulter, John McManus, Tim Prenter, Paul McManus, Ciaran Watson, Finbarr Kelly, Marc Fisher, Cormac Coulter, Owen McDermott, Caolan Coulter.
All Saints produced a strong scoring burst in the third quarter of this U17 Hurling League division 2 encounter to overcome the challenge of a good Ard Na Ri at Slemish Park today and maintain their unbeaten start to this year’s campaign.
It looked something of a formality for the Slemish Park side when Joseph O’Rawe pointed after 30 seconds before following with a goal to leave his side leading by four with only two minutes gone. Any notions of an easy day for the home side was soon dismissed however as the visitors came roaring back to draw level through a Fintan Cleary point and a goal from Niall Duffy.
It soon became clear that the combination side were not there just to make up the numbers as David Prenter kicked over to give them the lead and Fintan Cleary followed with a great point to move the visitors 1-3 to 1-1 ahead with 11 minutes on the clock.
TP McGurk for All Saints and Cleary for Ard Na Ri exchanged further points and Aodhan McGarry cut the gap to one before Fintan Cleary punished a slip by All Saints keeper, Ciaran McQuillan to scramble the sliotar over the line and leave his side leading by four points going into the first water break.
The home side looked in a spot of bother but strong words from Joey McNally, Roisin O’Boyle and Paul McGarry seemed to lift them and they came out strongly to hit the first three points of the second quarter through TP McGurk (0-2) and an Aodhan McGarry free to leave just one in it after 18 minutes.
A fine point from Manus McCrossan edged Ard Na Ri two in front but the momentum had swung in the way of the home side as Matthew Mullan replied with a point before Kevin O’Boyle hammered the sliotar to the net to put All Saints two in front after 25 minutes.
David Prenter replied with an excellent point for the visitors but the final point of the half fell to Aodhan McGarry to leave the Ballymena side with a slender 2-8 to 2-7 half time lead and all still to play for in the second half.
All Saints made a bright start to the second half as Aodhan McGarry, Matthew Mullan and Joseph O’Rawe struck unanswered points in the opening five minutes and when Fintan Brady fired home their third goal with eight minutes gone it looked a long way back for the city combination.
Kevin O’Boyle added a great long range point before Gairech McAdam finally got the visitors opening score of the second half when he pointed a good long range free with McGarry replying for the home side just before the second water break.
All Saints were threatening to run away with it at this stage and further points from Matthew Mullan and the excellent Kevin O’Boyle moved them ten in front but the plucky visitors refused to throw in the towel and Niall Fallon lifted their spirits when he shot to the net.
Gary McAdam added a point but once again the home side found a response through Aodhan McGarry and Joseph O’Rawe (0-2) and it looked done and dusted. TP McGurk added another but the visitors were handed a slender lifeline when referee Seamus Reid spread his arms to award a penalty.
Niall Fallon duly obliged from the award to fire home his side’s fourth goal and Niall Duffy followed with a point but it was as close as they got as All Saints finished strongly to run out winners by eight points and maintain their place at the top of the league.
All Saints: Ciaran McQuillan, Diarmuid Casey, Conor McKenna, Archie McGreevey, Senan O’Boyle, Conan McMullan, Rhys Haveron, Aodhan McGarry, Kevin O’Boyle, Fintan Brady, Joseph O’Rawe, TP McGurk, Matthew Mullan, Daniel McCoy, Rian Thom. Subs: Pearse Martin, Edward McKendry, Rory Taggart, Conor O’Hara
Ard Na Ri: Caoimhin Pierce, Emmet Corey, Eoghan O’ Mainnin, Oliver Corey, Owen McCarney, Brian McGurk, Oisin Kelly, Manus McCrossan, Gary McAdam, Aodhan McDonagh, Niall Fallon, Diarmuid Martin, David Prenter, Fintan Cleary, Niall Duffy. Subs: Niall McDonnell, Cormac Barnes, Caolan Baird.
St. Gall’s finished strongly to edge out St. Brigid’s Cloughmills in a bad tempered encounter in Cloughmills on Sunday. Referee Francis Traynor was the busiest man on the field as matters threatened to get out of hand and dismissed two players from either side as things boiled over, seven minutes from half time.
Traynor’s actions took the heat out of the situation for as time and with both sides reduced to 13 men the game opened up and we had some periods of great hurling and excellent passages of play.
Liam Kearns opened the scoring with a Cloughmills point in the 4th minute but a minute later Ronan Crossan struck with the opening goal for the visitors. Mickey Devlin for Cloughmills and Jackson McGreevey for St. Gall’s exchanged points and at this stage we were being treated to some great scores.
Further points from Geoffery Laverty and Micky Devlin for the home side and a couple from Lorcan O’Ciaran and Patrick Friel at the other end saw the Milltown side lead 1-5 to 0-4 after 15 minutes and Rory Laverty and Jackson McGreevey exchanged further points to leave four between the sides at the first water break.
On the restart Jackson McGreevey extended the St. Gall’s lead with a massive point from a 70 meter free but controversy ensued a couple of minutes later when a long ball from Aaron Smylie appeared to drop to the St. Gall’s net with the visitors appealing that it had gone over but dropped through a hole in the top of the net.
After consultation referee Traynor awarded a point and Liam Kearns followed with a converted free to leave it 1-7 to 0-7 in favour of the Belfast men with 23 minutes gone. Jackson McGreevey pointed another massive free to extend that lead to four before the game exploded with players from both sides getting involved in an unseemly confrontation.
When the dust settled the man in the middle dismissed Jackson McGreevey and Gregory McGreevey from St. Galls with Conor Laverty and Aaron Smylie for St. Brigid’s following in the walk to the side-line.
When the dust settled Micky Devlin send a great side-line cut between the uprights and a Ruairi Laverty goal in the 34th minute and a late point from Eoin Dobbin saw the ‘Biddies’ leading 1-11 to 1-9 at the break and we looked to have a thriller on our hands for the second half.
When Liam Kearns struck the first point of the second half the home side had moved three in front for the first time and looked to be taking control but Chris Dornan’s side had other ideas and they hit back immediately with a couple of frees from Mark Napier and Ciaran McCaffery.
It was nip and tuck throughout the second half with Rory Laverty, Liam Kearns and substitute Johnny Duffin hitting a series of excellent points for St. Brigid’s and Ronan Crossan and Mark Napier on target for the Milltown side and at this stage it was still anyone’s game.
The turning point in the contest came with five minutes remaining when a Lorcan O’Ciaran shot from out on the right wing appeared to be heading over the bar but it took a cruel dip and deceived Adam Mooney in the Cloughmills goals and ended in the net.
Both sides exchanged points in the run in to the final whistle with substitute Dubaltach Wilson firing over the insurance point for St. Gall’s to leave them winners by four points.
Cloughmills: Adam Mooney, Steven Martin, Martin Dobbin, Joseph Smyth, James Doherty, Conor Laverty, Aaron Smylie, Rian Dobbin, Geoffery Laverty, Michael Devlin, Reece Watt, Eoin Dobbin, Liam Kearns, Corey Blair, Ruairi Laverty. Subs: Shane McKendry, Cookie McGuckian and Johnny Duffin.
St. Galls: Kurtis McGreevey, Lorcan O’Ciaran, Aodhan Gallagher, Ciaran McCaffery, Ewan Rush, Niall O’Neill, Daniel Churchill, Jack Hopkins, Fergus Donnelly, Patrick Friel, Jackson McGreevey, Gregory McGreevey, Ronan Crossen, Antoin McCaffery, Mark Napier Subs: Marcus Donnelly, Dubaltach Wilson.