All County Hurling League Division 2- Round 3
Naomh Éanna V Naomh Bríd Cloughmills
Date: Sunday 8th April
Venue: Páirc Éanna
Referee: Hugh Torney
Naomh Éanna: – 3.20
Naomh Bríd: – 2.8
This fixture is the repeat of the Intermediate Hurling Final of 2016, the game that day was played in near perfect conditions at the Glenshesk Pitches on Saturday 17th September. Naomh Éanna should have won on that day, however a puck of the ball (or two actually) allowed Naomh Bríd to progress to the Ulster stages. Both teams have improved from that day and it is fitting that they will do battle again in division two.
There was to be a reversal of fortunes on this occasion and Naomh Éanna weathered an onslaught to their goal from the Cloughmills side and finished the game with the full allocation of subs used and a comfortable win.
As the team took to the pitch the recent rain and lack of any drying made the going heavy and the ground sticky. The pitches all over the county and broadly in the country, could do with some warm dry weather. Unfazed, it didn’t slow the Naomh Éanna start and within as many minutes na Fhir Éanna were four points to the good, with Ruairí Diamond, John McGoldrick with two and Ruairí Crummey all scoring (NÉ 0.04 – NBCM 0.00). After a brief stoppage for an injury to Eggy, Big Joe and Cormac Jennings made it six to no score (NÉ 0.06 – NBCM 0.00), it wasn’t until the 11th minute that the visitors opened their account (NÉ 0.06 – NBCM 0.01), Cormac Jennings added another for Naomh Éanna on the 12th minute (NÉ 0.07 – NBCM 0.01).
With a defensive setup, designed to stop the home side from playing, Cloughmills did attack on several occasions, even attacking the Naomh Éanna goal, with a possible chances, but failing to gain possession from puck outs was the Cloughmills Achilles heel. Not the case for Cúl Baire Marty Curran. He was magnificent and his quick transfer of possession from defence to attack gave Ruairí Crummey the opportunity to increase the advantage, but it was on fifteen minutes that John McGoldrick did add to his tally and got his third (NÉ 0.08 – NBCM 0.01). On seventeen, Ruairí Diamond got his second (NÉ 0.09 – NBCM 0.01) and the resourcefulness of Diamond showed as he finished the game in the full back line and a tally of a goal and two. At twenty minutes all six of the Naomh Éanna forwards had shots and or scored on target and it was clear that as a unit were they were causing major issues for the Naomh Bríd defence, a clear warning to the other teams in division two.
picture by John Lawell
With an outstanding performance at number eight, Eoin Conlon scored the point of the match on eighteen minutes to bring the score to (NÉ 0.10 – NBCM 0.01). Brendy Cormican received a clean pass at the end of a good passage of play, brought ten between the teams at (NÉ 0.11 – NBCM 0.01). Naomh Bríd did up the efforts and went in search of scores to stop the home side pushing further ahead. The first was their first 65m converted to add a second (NÉ 0.11 – NBCM 0.02), but the conversion of the Cloughmills score spurred Naomh Éanna to life and the within minutes McGoldrick added a point (65m) and Cormac Jennings scored a Cúl after a free was given for chopping (NÉ 1.12 – NBCM 0.02). It didn’t stop there, as Ruairí Diamond was causing serious headaches for the visitors’ defence and as Cloughmills scrambled to clear the ball another 65m was conceded. Responsibility again was with John McGoldrick and he tapped another point over to keep the score board moving onwards (NÉ 1.13 – NBCM 0.02). The Naomh Éanna number seven and Antrim hurler, Joe Maskey, got his score and opened the difference out to fifteen points (NÉ 1.14 – NBCM 0.02).
picture by John Lawell
Cloughmills had the chance of a third, but the free was sent wide, then on twenty six minutes played another 65m eventually bought a third score (NÉ 1.14 – NBCM 0.03).
At this stage Joe had moved to the square and he too was causing issues for Naomh Bríd. Matt O’ Hare cleared a long free after Michael McNicholl won a free after being pushed. Straight down to Joe and Joe won another 65m. Up steps John McGoldrick to convert another score (NÉ 1.15 – NBCM 0.03) maintaining the pressure. The half ended with a superb block from Micheál “Eggy” McQuillan, when he stopped a certain goal and at half time the score was:
Naomh Éanna – 1.15
Naomh Bríd – 0.03
As the rain started to come down, it in no way dampened the attacking play of the home side who drove on with more scores, John McGoldrick and Joe added more points (NÉ 1.17 – NBCM 0.03), Ruairí Diamond added another goal (NÉ 2.17 – NBCM 0.03) and John McGoldrick another point (NÉ 2.18 – NBCM 0.03), in a period of play that showed Naomh Éanna’s positive approach and ability to take scores from every position. As the conditions became more difficult and the ground started to cut up, the challenge for both sides to ensure that work rate is improved and that the concentration remains focused, is always difficult. For the visitors the challenge to maintain focus and be determined to win the individual battles is essential to help kickstart the comeback. For the home side ensuring focus to ensure that complacency or lack of concentration has no place despite the score.
Minutes into the second half the introduction of Philly Curran for Joe had the design that variance in play would continue, the scores from play continued and Ruairí Crummey added to his tally with a rasper in the 39th minute (NÉ 2.19 – NBCM 0.03). A defiant Cloughmills side scored 1-2 in five minutes and brought the score to (NÉ 2.18 – NBCM 1.05). The revival was on!
Changes to the Naomh Éanna side saw Jason Higgins replace Micheál “Eggy McQuillan and minutes later Michael McGivern replaced Eddie O’Connor. Without delay Naomh Bríd went hunting for more goals and attempted to expose the defensive spine of Naomh Éanna but the Glengormley side were up for the onslaught, clearing and launching attack after attack of their own. Substitute Conor McSteen, on the forty first minute upped the score to (NÉ 2.20 – NBCM 1.05). Backs were on top for most of the game and at times, possibly due to conditions, the shot selection could have been better. Cloughmills added another and another (NÉ 2.20 – NBCM 1.07). The threat of a comeback was snuffed out when John McGoldrick caught the Naomh Brid Cúl Baire with a wonder shot, (NÉ 3.20 – NBCM 1.07). Cloughmills added another from a free, (NÉ 3.20 – NBCM 1.07) that being the penultimate score for the visitors. A second goal for Cloughmills and a win for the home side would see the end of the match.
Final Score at Páirc Éanna
Naomh Éanna – 3.20
Naomh Bríd – 2.08
Next match is against Glen Rovers Armoy. Glen rovers have managed to stay in division two, on the last day of the league they escaped the drop to division three last year. Naomh Éanna will look at this and will also remember that in the preliminary round of the Championship, Glen Rovers saw bat agus Bóthar from Naomh Éanna in their early exit from the Championship.
Sunday 30th July at 3pm these teams lined out at the Whitehill Pitch at Tír na nÓg. Rovers were beaten by Naomh Éanna in an excellent match in the preliminary round of the intermediate championship. The game was played in difficult conditions, however despite the weather the quality of the Naomh Éanna side showed and at the end the final score was a fair result.
The journey to Glenarm to play in the Glenshesk basin will be a game that Naomh Éanna believe that they can win.
|Glen Rovers||Naomh Éanna||15/04/2018||15:00||AC Senior Hurling Leagues ACHL Division 2||Round 4||Glen Rovers GAC|
- Martin Curran
- Michael “Eggy” McQuillan
- Matt O’Hare
- Michael McNicholl
- Eddie O’Connor
- Manus Mullan
- Joe Maskey – 0.03
- Eoin Conlon – 0.01
- Cormac Ross
- John McGoldrick – 1.08
- Killian Jennings
- Cormac Jennings – 1.02
- Ruairí Crummy – 0.02
- Ruairí Diamond – 1.02
- Brendy Cormican – 0.01
- Conor McSteen – 0.01 for Brendy Cormican
- Jason Higgins for Eggy
- Philly Curran for Joe Maskey
- Matthew Muldoon
- Eoin Jennings
- Micheál McGivern for Eddie O’Connor
- Eoin Maguire
- Ruairí Donaghy for Killian Jennings