NÉ v Tír na nÓg


O’Neill’s ACHL Division 2 – Round 12


Date: Wed 8th August May 2018

Venue: Whitehill

Time: 7 00 PM

Referee: Mark McNeill 


Tír na nÓg v Naomh Éanna


Wednesday evening at Whitehill seen the renewal of old friendships and the fiercest of rivalries, the battles between near neighbours is worth entrance fee alone and tonight would be no different, having already met in league, the home team at Páirc Éanna came away with that result on that night and so it would be again in the return fixture (two from two).


That was round five of the league, since then there has been, breaks, holidays and the resumption of games, this shall be three in a week for both teams and with the preparation for Championship well on the way, the compression of games can add to management headaches with the increased risk of further injuries, these factors can and does lead to players missing out with injuries and players who missed out earlier in the season have done the rehabilitation and are getting back to match pace, for others in particular the recent injuries are unwelcome, the visitors see Cúl baire – Marty Curran and Captean na Foireanne – Cormac Jennings missing for the rest of the season, both having had a significant influence on the previous meeting.


A both teams locked horns in this battle, both are in the search to secure Division two hurling for next year, with the winner having the possibility of being in the promotion shakeup, however that could depend on other results in other games and elsewhere too. On Sunday the home side pushed Ballycastle all the way to the end and with the game finishing with a one point difference to Ballycastle, their promotion and return to the top flight seems secure.

Other games in Division two, would see Sarsfield’s (last year’s intermediate winners) looking to secure division two status with a win against Glen Rovers in Armoy and the match between Cloughmills and Glenariffe would be of interest to move than just the participants, a win for Naomh Bríd could jump them to second place and a win for Glenariffe would be crucial for their survival.

It was a beautiful evening for hurling as Mark McNeill took charge of the match, the visitors opted to play with the slight wind advantage, and from the start Tír na nÓg won the throw in and had the first attack Ciarán Logan with the evenings first score, (Tír, 0.01, NÉ 0.00), one minute played.


The second score and first for the visitors side was from a sweetly struck free by John McGoldrick, Killian Jennings looked like he would get the nights first goal, but for the catlike reflexes of Rudi Graham in the Tír na nÓg goal, from the resulting 65, John McGoldrick pointed, (Tír 0.01, NÉ 0.02).

The second 65 of the night  would come as a result of save from Cúl Baire Philly Curran and from the free Kevin Sheerin would get his first of the night.


His recovery from injury and inclusion in the full forward line was rewarded in the fifth minute with a fine point from play, Diarmuid Maguire would make it, (Tír 0.02, NÉ 0.03), the pressure from the front six forwards on the Randalstown backs was rewarded with a penalty, however the save and clearance was intercepted by McGoldrick and pointed to make it, (Tír 0.02, NÉ 0.04), it was five to two on eight minutes and frees in the scoring zones were going to make the difference and again McGoldrick made it, (Tír 0.02, NÉ 0.05).


Eleven minutes played, the score was level with a well taken goal by Darragh Fegan, (Tír 1.02, NÉ 0.05) to bring proceedings level, it was anyone’s game, however a minute later the home side was forced to make a change with Emmet Martin replacing Tony Martin and as the half wore on, the introduction of Joe Maskey would eventually help the visitors to see out the match , however until that point Kevin Sheerin and John McGoldrick would swap scores all the way, a point for Sheerin on nineteen minutes made it (Tír 1.03, NÉ 0.06), then Conor Mc Steen  pointed on twenty minutes, (Tír 1.03, NÉ 0.07) and Ruairí Donaghy made it, (Tír 1.03, NÉ 0.08), in quick response Conor Fitzgerald easily converted a twenty metre free to make it, (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.08), it was going to be close!


With five until half time, but there could be additional time due to stoppages, John McGoldrick marked the period with another free, (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.09) and piling on the pressure and driving at the home side Cormac Ross converted his first and brought his teams score tally to ten, (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.10), two more frees before half time for the visiting side., John on twenty ninth (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.11) and again a minute later, (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.12) would lay down the challenge to Tír na nÓg in the second half.


Scór leath ama ag Whitehill: –


Tír na nÓg 1.04

Naomh Éanna 0.12


The second half began with the home side on the defensive, na fhir Éanna won possession from the throw in, winning a free and keeping the pressure on, Aidan McGowan added his first from play and the first score of the second hall, (Tír 1.04, NÉ 0.13).

With an uphill battle on their hands, Pearce Sheerin had returned the difference back to five, for the home side, (Tír 1.05, NÉ 0.13) with a free.


As the second half progressed, Naomh Éanna had the opportunity to add more scores to their tally and make the eventual win much more comfortable, but missed scores and wides certainly did not help, a change in the forward line, saw Eoin Maguire (24) replace Diarmuid Maguire (15) and this would signal the visiting endeavour to drive on, the visitors would eventually head back to Gleann Ghormlaithe with the points safe on the board, but that being said the home side had the opportunity to draw level, take the lead and win the match, however they too being guilty of misses ensured that losing by a single point would be their lot.


In the fourteenth minute of the second half, Tír na nÓg won a free from a side-line and from the strike on the forty five, Conor Fitzgerald easily pointed, (Tír, 1.06, NÉ 0.13). A minute later on fifteen minutes played, Aidan McGowan who put in a unbelievable shift and was replaced by Michael “Eggy” McQuillan, but Tír na nÓg had hit their purple patch and another score for Kevin Sheerin closed the gap to three points (Tír 1.07, NÉ 0.13) and then two, the pressure was on, (Tír 1.08, NÉ 0.13)! The response from the visiting side was instant and clinical, John McGoldrick made it, (Tír 1.08, NÉ 0.14), seventeen minutes played.


Fitzgerald had taken over the free taking responsibilities and added another on nineteen minutes to cancel out McGoldrick’s point, (Tír 1.09, NÉ 0.14), but in this tit for tat affair, John McGoldrick answered in his own way and added another from a free, (Tír 1.09, NÉ 0.15).


On twenty four minutes a forced change at full forward saw Colm Duffin in as a replacement for Darragh Fegan, a free from Conor Fitzgerald should have brought the difference back to two but as the wides tally rose, so did the frustration, the reintroduction of Michael McNicholl in place of Brendy Cormican added fresh legs to a tired defence, and free taker Fitzgerald would add another from a free to make it, (Tír 1.10, NÉ 0.15) twenty six minutes of the second half gone.


The visitors tormented the home defence all night, in both half Killian Jennings had goal chances and more, his goal chance late on was cleared out for a sixty five and from the free John McGoldrick made it  thirteen to sixteen, (Tír 1.10, NÉ 0.16), further changes on the visitors side seen the introduction of Jack Arthurs for Conor McSteen.


The introduction of Duffin a full forward would crucial from Randalstown as his point on twenty eight minutes took the difference back to two, (Tír 1.11, NÉ 0.16), Corner forward Ciarán Logan worked from the start to the final whistle and on twenty nine minutes he got his second  and his team’s second last point, (Tír 1.12, NÉ 0.16), one point between the teams, with four minutes of additional time to be played, a free from Kevin Sheerin levelled the teams with thirty one minutes played, (Tír 1.13, NÉ 0.16).


The home side went for the win and had the chance to go ahead for the first time in the match, since Logan scored the first point, Pearce Sheerin had a shot but the point went well wide, from resulting the puckout Naomh Éanna went on the attack and in a final display of frustration the visiting side earned a free, as ever up stepped the number 10 and pointed, (Tír 1.14, NÉ 0.17), winning the final puck out and over four minutes played the referee call time on the exciting contest.


Final score at Whitehill: –


Tír na nÓg 1.13

Naomh Éanna 0.17



Naomh Éanna


      1. Philly Curran
      2. Micheál McGivern
      3. Matthew O’Hare
      4. Michael McNicholl
      5. Eddie O’Connor
      6. Manus Mullan
      7. Brendy Cormican
      8. Cormac Ross
      9. Aidan McGowan
      10. Killian Jennings
      11. Ruairí Donaghy
      12. John McGoldrick (0.12)
      13. Brendan Cormican
      14. Conor McSteen
      15. Diarmuid Maguire
      16. Michael “Eggy” McQuillan
      17. Jack Arthurs
      18. Daniel Lowry
      19. Paddy Crummey
      23. Joe Maskey
      24. Eoin Maguire



Tír na nÓg


    1. Rudi Graham
    2. Michael Higgins
    3. Kevin Kerr
    4. Ronan O’Neill
    5. Tony Martin
    6. Colm Duffin
    7. Stephen Carey
    8. Sean Duffin
    9. Conor Fitzgerald
    10. Kevin Sheerin
    11. Pearse Sheerin
    12. Ciarán McKeown
    13. Emmet Martin
    14. Darragh Fegan
    15. Ciarán Logan
    16. .
    17. .
    18. .
    19. .
    20. .
    21. .
    22. .
    23. Colm Duffin


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