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2nd February Rhona McVeigh

 

9th February Francis McGinn

 

16th February Patrick McBride

 

23rd February Anthony Kerins

 

 

Intermediate Hurling Championship Final

Patrick Sarsfields 0-16 Carey Faughs 1-7
43 years.  A long time in any man’s books and more than a lifetime for many of those in attendance at Armoy on Saturday afternoon but by 4:20pm they were made to wait no more.  Sarsfields, county champions.  1973 was the last time the Paddies tasted success at the Intermediate level before going on and taking senior honours the following year and on Saturday evening they broke their duck.  Six points separated the Paddies and Carey after a tense battle played in horrible conditions in Armoy. To be honest the score line flattered the Faughs as Sarsfields were dominant, in the second half in particular, but a series of wides and missed opportunities meant that the Faughs were always in with a shout.

Just one point separated the sides with 15 minutes to go, largely down to the profligacy of the Sarsfileds attack but the McKernan brothers, Kevin and Daniel stepped up the tempo when it was most needed.  The duo had been a thorn in the side of Carey for the majority of the match but they, along with Niall McKenna and Darragh McGuinness were immense in the closing stages as the Paddies turned the screw.  Carey fought hard throughout the hour and once again, James ‘Rocket’ Black was a shining light for the men from Ballyvoy.  Rocket was played in a number of positions throughout the hour and played a main roll in a lot that was good in the Carey men.  James McCouaig was superb in defence while Cathal ‘Doog’ McAuley was always dangerous on the edge of the Paddies square.

The Faugh’s were reduced to 14 men with nine minutes remaining, their excellent full-back Sean McBride getting the line for a second yellow card but the writing was already on the wall at that stage for Carey.

With Donal McKernan unable to start the final with a leg injury, Sarsfields gave a Eoghan Rodgers a place in the starting 15.  Rodgers lined out in the corner forward berth but was Rockets shadow throughout the game, anywhere the influential Carey man went, Rodgers wasn’t too far behind.

With the weather worsening at the throw in, it looked like the heavy underfoot conditions would suit the Faughs and in the early exchanges that appeared to be the case as the boys from Ballyvoy got off to the dream start.  The match was only 90 seconds old when the Faughs scored the only goal of the game.  Sarsfields ‘keeper David Ward failing to clear a ’65 from Black that hung in the wind, McAuley pulling the lose sliotar to the back of the net.  The start they would have hoped for and the start that many neutrals would have been keen to see.  Despite Carey playing in a league above the Paddies in 2017, Sarsfields started the match as strong favourites.  Game on.

Daniel McKernan showed his pedigree when he opened the Paddies account with the next attack of the game but Carey’s dream start almost changed to a fairy-tale for the men from Ballyvoy when they were awarded a penalty in the 4th minute.  Again, it was McAuley who was causing the Sarsfileds defence problems.  The Carey full forward collected the sliotar before being bundled to the floor inside the square.  Match referee Colum Cunning awarded the Faughs a penalty which McAuley took himself, electing to drive the sliotar over the bar, much to the relief of the Sarsfields faithful, a decision that baffled most of the Faughs followers.

It was a reprieve for Sarsfields, in hindsight maybe going for goal with less pressure and in the circumstances was better option for Carey and the Paddies took full advantage.  They scored four unanswered points thanks to efforts from McKenna, Darragh McGuinness and two Kevin McKernan frees to take the lead and while Black replied for the Faugh’s, Sarsfields were well on top, scoring another trio of scores to lead by three in the 22nd minute and banish any memory of their nightmare start.  McKenna, Kevin McKernan and Niall McAlea raising the white flags for their side.  McAuley and Kevin McKernan traded frees in the closing stages but the Sarsfields midfielder should have put daylight between the sides in first half injury time.  Through on goal, Steven McGinn produced a superb save to deny the Paddies and while McKernan was also first to the rebound, his grounds stroke somehow managed to spin wide with the goal at his mercy.

The Faugh’s made a bright start to the second half with McAuley landing two more frees to take his tally to 1-4 for the match to leave the minimum between the sides and while Sarsfields always looked dangerous in attack, they were struggling to find their range.

The Paddies had goal chances, twice they were denied with referee Cunning calling a square ball on Gary Lennon on both occasions while the Sarsfields full forward brought the best out of McGinn in the 40th minute but a superb score from McKenna after a strong run was all they had to show for their efforts in the opening exchanges of the second half.

A long range point from half back Jack McBride brought Carey to within touching distance once more but Sarsfields found another gear when it mattered most.  Five unanswered points in as many minutes from the 46th minute put them firmly in control, Kevin McKernan with his fifth and sixth points of the final with Daniel McKernan (twice) and substitute Donal McKernan helping to open a six point gap with ten minutes remaining.

The Carey challenge hit a major road block when full back Sean McBride received his second yellow card soon after and while the Faughs never slackened in their pursuit of glory, Sarsfields proved to be a step too far.  McAuley and McKenna exchanging frees in the closing stages to leave six points between the sides at the full time whistle.

It’s another final defeat for the Faughs who have been knocking hard on the door for the last few years, it seems it’s only a matter of time before they make the breakthrough while the Paddies go on to represent Antrim in the Ulster championship and will be hoping that Saturday’s silverware will be added to when their football counterparts take on St Pat’s of Lisburn in the Junior football decider next Saturday.

Sarsfields: David Ward; Peter Corr; James Cunningham; Jack Daniels; Michael Callaghan; Caolan Mervyn; Caillin Caldwell; Kevin McKernan; Darragh McGuinness; Daniel McKernan; Niall McKenna; Niall McAlea; James McKernan; Gary Lennon; Eoghan Rodgers

Subs: Donal McKernan for M Callaghan (35 mins)

Scorers: Kevin McKernan 0-6 (2 frees); Niall McKenna 0-4 (1 free); Danial McKernan 0-3; Darragh McGuinness 0-1; Niall McAlea 0-1; Donal McKernan 0-1

Carey: Steven McGinn; Eoin Hill; Sean McBride; Daniel Hill; Michael McVeigh; James McCouaig; John McBride; Kevin Murphy; James Black; Shea Hunter; Nat Hunter; Martin Hunter; Peadar McVeigh; Cathal McAuley; Sean McLoughlin

Subs: Fiachra McVeigh for K Murphy (HT); Gerard McBride for S McLoughlin (50 mins); Daniel McBride for J McBride (inj)

Scorers: Cathal McAuley 1-5 (0-1 pen, 4 frees); James Black 0-1 (1 free); John McBride 0-1

Referee: Colum Cunning (Dunloy)
 

Fourteen man Carey hold off Tir na nÓg fightback

Carey Faugh’s 0-19 Tír na nÓg 0-17
Carey Faugh’s certainly did not make life easy for themselves in this Antrim Intermediate championship tie at Armoy. Midfielder Patrick Butler received a straight red card after just 50 seconds for an off the ball incident picked up by referee Mark O’Neill. But they still took the game by the scruff of the neck and won it with a power-packed display in the first half by the end of which they had opened up a 0-13 to 0-7 lead. Despite a valiant attempt by Tír na nÓg over the course of the second half, Carey held on for a narrow victory and passage into the decider next month where they will meet Sarsfields. Carey’s striking was that little bit crisper and they used their physicality better, particularly during the first half, to create and execute much needed scores. Tír na nÓg probably didn’t use the extra player well during the first half, but they raised their game significantly after the break with the half-back line in particular taking control and keeping Carey pinned back in their half for long periods. After the delay around the early red card, Kevin Sheerin pointed the resultant free and Tír na nÓg moved into a 0-5 to 0-3 lead after 10 minutes with Kevin’s brothers Pearse and Christy also making the score-board. However Carey were showing a battling mentality and chasing down everything with full-forward Cathal McAuley creating enough problems for the Randalstown defence that the points were totting up all the time. McAuley himself fired over some nice scores from frees and open play, while Martin Hunter’s second point put the team’s level at 0-5 each. James Black, who was magnificent in the first half, hit the target twice from long-range frees midway through that opening half and Sean McLaughlin added two more white flags in the five minutes before the break to open a 0-13 to 0-7 lead. Indeed Randalstown could have been in worse trouble only Kevin Kerr saved brilliantly from Fiachra McVeigh a short time before McLaughlin’s double.
Tír na nÓg came out strongly for the second half with an early point from Caoimhín Duffin followed by Ciaran Logan’s third from play and two frees from Kevin Sheerin. Suddenly the difference was down to two points, but over the next five minutes Carey hit four points of their own, two from ‘Doog’McAuley frees and one each from James Black and Fiachra McVeigh. That slowed Randalstown’s momentum and it wasn’t until the 50th minute that they were back down to a three point gap again. Sub Kevin Murphy however hit back with a point, but further Tír na nÓg frees from Sheerin (2) and Colm Duffin brought it back to a single point in the fourth minute of added time. However another Carey sub, Shay Hunter, came to their rescue pouncing on a loose ball and firing over from 40 metres just before Mark O’Neill sounded the long whistle. The north Antrim men certainly will be delighted that they were able to dig deep and come through 60 minutes of hard championship hurling with 14 men against 15, but Tír na nÓg will reflect on what might have been if they had not allowed the second quarter gap on the score-board to develop.

Carey : Stephen McGinn, Eoin Hill, Sean McBride, Daniel Hill, john McBride, James McCuaig, Michael McVeigh 0-1, James Black 0-3, 0-2 frees, Patrick Butler, Fiachra McVeigh 0-2, Nathaniel Hunter, Martin Hunter 0-2, Peadar McVeigh, Cathal McAuley 0-7, 0-5 frees, Sean McLaughlin 0-2.
Subs : Kevin Murphy for M Hunter (HT), Shay Hunter 0-1 for S McLaughlin (48), Chris Butler for F McVeigh (53), Gerard McBride for J Black (59).

Tír na nÓg : Kevin Kerr, Conor Fitzgerald, Tony Martin, Brendan Kerr, Ryan O’Neill, Colm Duffin 0-1 free, Ronan O’Neill, Christy Sheerin 0-1, Caoimhín Duffin 0-1, Ciaran McKeown, Pearse Sheerin 0-1, Ciaran Logan 0-4, Kevin McCann, Kevin Sheerin 0-9, 0-8 frees, Emmett Martin.
Subs : Conor Dougan for E Martin (24), Donal Martin for Ronan O’Neill (52).
Referee : Mark O’Neill (Armoy)
 

All County Hurling League Division 2

Carey 3-28  Randalstown 0-8
This championship rehearsal turned out to be a rather one sided affair. With the Whitehall men having one eye on the forthcoming football championship they travelled with a severely depleted side and now find themselves in the dreaded relegation area of the table. Despite facing the strong breeze carey found themselves 2.12 to 0.5 ahead at the break with scores coming from Sean mc laughlin 2.1 James black 0.4 john McBride 0.1 Gerald McBride 0.1 martin hunter 0.2 Mick McVeigh 0.2 and Doug McCauley 0.1 while tony martin, Neill Shannon, and Sean Duffin tagged on the Tir na nÓg scores.
 

Minor Hurling Championship quarter final

Naomh Padraig 4-11 Ossians 3-3

After 15 minutes of this quarter final contest, played at Carey, it looked like it was going to be Oisins’ night. The home side Naomh Padraig were rocked by 3 goals as Oisins lead was carved out by good work from Michael Mc Conaghie (2) and Caolan O’Connor. With the wet conditions making it difficult for both teams to get fluency into their play the question was would Oisins build on this decisive lead or could Naomh Padraig, with home advantage, rise to the challenge?

Conor Mc Hugh, Jack Mc Kay and Thomas Scally were probably the players that got to grips with the Oisins challenge best and turned the game in Naomh Padraig’s favour. Bit by bit Naomh Padraig got themselves back into the game and by half time they had closed the margin to a single point- Ossians 3-2 Naomh Padraig 1-7.

Centre-half forward Daniel Martin, with an ever growing fan club, chipped in with a goal and a point! Now Connor Mc Bride was beginning to find the range with some cleverly taken points. However Glenariffe took the fight to the home side but the defence had tightened up considerably to thwart the best efforts of the O’Connors, Mulvenna and McConaghie. A good win for the North Antrim boys but Coach Raymond Mc Mullan knows that his side will need to work hard before they meet Loughgiel Shamrocks in the semi-final in two weeks’ time, but they look forward to the challenge

Naomh Padraig scorers
Daniel Martin (1-1)
Conor McBride (1-5)
Tom Scally (0-2)
Ciaran McKenna (1-1)
James Morgan (1-0)
Darren McGowan (0-1f)
Liam O’Hara (0-1)
 

All County Hurling League Division 2

Glen Rovers Armoy 2-19 Carey Faughs 0-16

Armoy took a huge step towards safety in Division 2 with a swashbuckling victory over arch rivals Carey Faughs on Wednesday night. A goal in each half from Owen Kinney (16) and Liam Dillon (32) capped a fine performance from John McArthur’s men, who fought back after a slow start to keep their neighbours facing the very real prospect of Division 3 next year. Now a point above their closest rivals in the table, the resurgent victory and mathematical possibilities it brings with it make the last two games of this highly competitive division all the more exciting. Glenarriffe, Tir na nOg, Carey and Armoy could all fall victim of the last remaining relegation spot should results go against them in the run in.
With the sting of having gone out of the Championship to St Enda’s just a week previous still on their minds, Glen Rovers certainly needed no extra motivation heading into a local derby, however it was the visitors who started the stronger, John McBride and Patrick Butler capitalising during a frantic opening exchange to put Carey two points ahead in the first five minutes. It was to be as far ahead as the Faughs would get however as Conor O’Kane took the game by the scruff of the neck for the home side, scoring four clinical points in five minutes to settle their nerves. After registering his first from a long distance free, O’Kane and Owen Kinney drew a fantastic double save from Carey keeper Steven McGinn, before adding his first from play moments later. St Enda's v Armoy 9 copyJohnny McErlain was next in on the act with a long distance strike, however Carey found a reply through Martin Hunter, who ghosted into space on the right hand side and struck high between the posts to reduce the deficit to a single point.
O’Kane and Nathaniel Hunter traded scores at the midpoint of the second half before a sensational piece of skill from Shea Hunter left the Armoy defence on the back foot, his deft touch and burst of speed leaving two in his wake before restoring parity between the sides once more. Not to be outdone however, Glen Rovers responded in emphatic fashion, as a long ball into the forward line found talisman Owen Kinney, who held off the defender enough to find that crucial yard and unleash a thunderous drive at goal, McGinn unable to keep the effort from finding the corner of the net.
Both sides traded blows over the next five minutes as the game descended into an out and out battle for possession, Fiachra McVeigh coming the closest to registering a score as he turned his opposite number and made a dart towards goal, but a quick reaction save from Conor Devlin kept the comeback at bay for the time being. However Carey had their spirits lifted as Cathal McAuley pointed two frees either side of a Sean McLaughlin score to drag the visitors back into the game, Conor O’Kane once again replying to keep the home side ahead with five minutes left of the first half. Martin Hunter and O’Kane both struck in the final throws of an enthralling first 30 minutes, but the ever-present McAuley drew the last blow as he cut a fantastic sideline over the bar from 40 metres with seconds to spare ensuring there was nothing between the teams at the whistle.
The second half did not live up to the promise of the first however, as a succession of niggly frees and a dogged midfield battle ensued at the restart. It was the visitors who found themselves ahead as Martin Hunter capitalised on a loose ball and struck from distance in the opening exchanges. The lead was short-lived though as another astonishing sideline cut, this time from Martin McErlain, found Kinney on the edge of the square once more, and as the Carey defence struggled to clear their lines, Liam Dillon pounced to pull the ball into the net from close range. O’Kane added his seventh shortly after, before McAuley replied once again from a ‘placed ball’ to revive any hope of a comeback.  Carey introduced James Black to the fray minutes after the goal to try and salvage the game, but points from Johnny McErlain (2) and Ronan McCarry kept the home side’s advantage at a comfortable distance. Further efforts from McAuley (2f) and substitute Christopher Butler kept the Faughs in with a chance, however McCarry, McErlain and O’Kane continued to do the damage for Armoy.
Martin Hunter registered Carey’s last effort of the match in the 21st minute with an angled drive, but a buoyant Glen Rovers side gave a late push to put the game beyond their parish rivals. Scores from Owen Kinney, Ciaran McErlain, John Dillon and two fine efforts from substitute Pj McBride capped a pulsating performance from Armoy, one that will surely serve as a morale boost for their ongoing battle to beat the drop.

Armoy
C Devlin, S McCarry, C McCormick, G Laverty, R McErlain, D McPeake, M McErlain, R McCarry, C McErlain, J McErlain, J Dillon, T Burns, C O’Kane, O Kinney, L Dillon (PJ McBride 55)

Carey
S McGinn, E Hill, S McBride, D McBride, M McVeigh, J McCouaig, J McBride, P McVeigh (C Butler 44), P Butler, M Hunter, N Hunter, S Hunter, S McLoughlin, C McAuley, F McVeigh (J Black 35)