Mac Uilin Ballycastle v Naomh Éanna Glengormley
Pairc Mac Uilín
Sunday 25th March
Antrim All County Hurling – Division 2
Mac Uilín Ballycastle: 3-18, Naomh Éanna: 0-09
Sunday 25th March, was a historic for a number of reasons. This was the first game for Naomh Éanna in the All County Hurling Division 2 section, this was the first time the Glengormley club had met the Ballycastle club in competitive leagues and it was a beautiful day after a long cold winter.
As the ongoing development of Naomh Éanna CLG at Football, Hurling and Camogie levels and age groups continues, this development is currently lead by no other than the current Chairman Stephen Jennings, a serious GAA man, who was born and bred in Ballycastle. Sunday saw the club chairman bringing his club, friends and family back to complete against his native club.
So Naomh Éanna take their place in Antrim All County division 2, in a league with seven other teams, the fixture list will be mouthwatering prospect for the forth coming season.
The beautiful weather and change in the clocks saw young and old out to watch our ancient game played at a good level at the breezy setting overlooking Ballycastle, as usual Naomh Éanna brought the excitement, colour and family feel as a big traveling crowd made the journey from Glengormley to the north coast. As a compliment to the senior match Na hÉanna Óga U9 & U10 hurlers played a couple of games against Ballycastle Óga. They say hurling is strong in the Glens, well Glengormley is equal to the task as the young generation of hurling completed a played Ballycastle every puck of the ball.
The match was fixtured to start at 3pm, and with the sun splitting the stones both teams took to the pitch.
After a brief conversation with the Referee about whether or not there was a clash as both teams wear amber and black, the referee was content that the stipes and the band had enough contrast.
Naomh Éanna won the toss and opted to play into the shop end, with a slight cross field wind that was to pick up as the game progressed.
Referee Paul McSparran from Cushendun, called for a minutes silence in memory of a recently deceased Mac Uilín gael. When both teams had lined out and game began. The new management (in Tam McGilligan, Ciarán McCavana and Martin McNicholl), at Naomh Éanna asked for hard work, commitment and endeavour and got that in spades during the first period of the first half. Naomh Éanna went for it hammer and tongs with Captain Cormac Jennings, Joe Maskey (who had played for Antrim U21 Hurling team the day before and was instrumental in beating An Dún in the Leinster GAA Hurling U21 Qualifier (@AontroimGAA 1-23 v @OfficialDownGAA 3-14 AET) and Manus Mullan who was massive at centre half back.
Ballycastle were first on the attack, but shot wide and shortly afterwards Ciarán Clarke opened the score with the first point from a free. It was quickly two points to no score to Ballycastle when Cormac Jennings pointed a ’65 to open the score for Naomh Éanna (NÉ 0-01, BC 0-02). Ballycastle score twice more to make it (NÉ 0-01, BC 0-04). Then Manus Mullan scored from a super point from long distance and last year’s captain Brendy Cormican also pointed but with scores from Tiernan Butler, KB McShane and Clark brought the score to (NÉ 0-03, BC 0-05). The first goal for Ballycastle came from Diarmuid McShane, upped the home sides advantage to (NÉ 0-03, BC 1-05). Both teams traded points, one from Eoin Colon and Ciarán Butler, (NÉ 0-04, BC 1-06) and Killian Jennings and two for the home side left it (NÉ 0-05, BC 1-08).
Naomh Éanna had chances to score a goal of their own, but on both occasions, Daniel Lowry and Eoin Conlon where denied and that would prove to be the score at half time(NÉ 0-05, BC 1-08).
Straight away Ballycastle added another and edged the score board onwards (NÉ 0-05, BC 1-09) and after a slow second half start the home side started to pull away it quickly became (NÉ 0-05, BC 1-12).
Killian scored his second and drove at the home side determined to bring the challenge, it was his brother Cormac who added another and (NÉ 0-07, BC 1-08), but Ballycastle snatched a goal to make it (NÉ 0-07, BC 2-12).
Joe Maskey had a good game and contributed with a point of his own but Ballycastle added one too (NÉ 0-08, BC 2-13).
It was at this point Naomh Éanna opted to bring in fresh legs and give the bench a run out,
A third goal was to come and again. Marty Curran had little chance in the Naomh Éanna goals(NÉ 0-08, BC 3-13). Ballycastle would add four more until substitute Oliver Breen got a late point.
Final Score at Pairc Mac Uilín: –
Mac Uilín Ballycastle: 3-18
Naomh Éanna: 0-09
NAOMH ÉANNA: Marty Curran, Michael McNicholl, Matthew O’Hare, Ruairi Diamond, Eddie O’Connor, Manas Mullan(0-1), Joe Maskey(0-1), Brendy Cormican(0-1), Cormac Jennings (0-2 – 1 ’65, 1 free), Ruairi Donaghy, Killian Jennings (0-2), David Lowry, Conor McSteen, Eoin Conlon(0-1), Matthew Muldoon.
Subs: Philly Curran for Matthew Muldoon, Oliver Breen(0-1), for Brendy Cormican, Jason Higgins for Eddie O’Connor (40); Michéal McGivern for Daniel Lowry
BALLYCASTLE: Brendan Connor, Shane McCurry, Conor Boyd, James McShane, Matthew Donnelly, Ronan McCarry, Ciaran Butler, Ben McQuillan, Kevin-Barry McShane, Tiernan Butler, Neal McAuley, Oran Kearney, Ciaran Clarke, James McLister, Diarmuid McShane
Subs: Ciaran Laverty for S McCurry, Sean McCleave for KB McShane, Shane Staunton for D McShane
Easter Saturday sees the exciting match between Naomh Éanna and Na Sairseil, both promoted from the Division 3/4 section last year. This is expected to be a fixture that shall see sparks flying and scores a plenty, The meeting of these teams over the past number of seasons has seen plenty of action,
Two fixtures stand out from last year. The Intermediate semi-final between these two, as expected the winner of that match would progress to the final and so fortune was with the green and black team on that day, the final game in the league saw Na Sairseil victorious and the final game of the season played at the Dub.
Naomh Éanna will be keen to reverse that result and having added to the squad and playing at home, the expectation of a big crowd to see the first home match in Pairc Éanna, the Hightown hills will be alive with hurling on the Easter Vigil.
|Naomh Éanna||Na Sairseil/Patrick Sarsfield’s||31/03/2018||17:30||AC Senior Hurling Leagues ACHL Division 2||Round 2||St Enda’s|