Naomh Éanna 2-17 v 0.03 Lamh Dhearg
Date: Wednesday 16th August 2017
Venue: Naomh Éanna
Referee: Hugh Torney
This evening saw the Round 17 Antrim Hurling Division 3 / 4 combined match between third place Naomh Éanna and 8th place Lámh Dhearg.
With the potential of a Division 3 slot in next year’s return to the natural league format, Lámh Dhearg had it all to play for
Last Wednesday in Cherryvale, Naomh Éanna played Bredagh, in a tough physical battle, the conditions where prefect on the summers evening, with the visiting team wining NÉ 1-13, Bred 0-06.
After heavy rain, the pitch was wet, but playable and the official for the match was Hugh Torney. After tonight’s match, Naomh Éanna would have three games remaining, NÉ v Gort na Mona on 21st August away, Naomh Pól on 26th August at Home, which will be three days after the championship semi-final, between the winners of Na Sairseil or Naomh Gall and the final league match will be against Na Sairseil at home, date, time and referee to be confirmed, so with their eyes focused on ensuring a strong finish to the league, Naomh Éanna lined out with a strong team ready for action.
Just ten days ago these teams met in the quarter final clash of the intermediate championship at Naomh Treasa, on that day Naomh Éanna finished eventual winners 1-13 to 0-09. So tonight no one was expecting a classic between these two teams and this is exactly how is played out, in a tough battling match, with Naomh Éanna playing all the hurling in this one-sided match that failed to ignite the imagination, it gave manager Paul Mullan a chance to give players a run out, including Conor McSteen who had just returned from his honeymoon.
Spectators were treated to two delightful side cuts that sailed over the bar one in each half from Full Forward John McGoldrick, and Philly Curran scoring Naomh Éanna second goal, the power and accuracy of the shot left the Lámh Dhearg Cúl Baire no chance whatsoever.
The other side of the story, Lámh Dhearg had twelve players remaining at the end of the match, two red carded in the second half and one in the first, with the first half being barely fifteen minutes old, however the response from Naomh Éanna was a beautiful side-line cut from about 45metres out on the Slieve side, NE 0-03, LD 0-01, within four minutes Naomh Éanna had stuck twice, NÉ 0-05, LD 0-01 and then on 25minutes with Naomh Éanna using the width and length of the pitch, placed a ball into Philly Curran, who had a raspier of a shot saved, but Naomh Éanna where quickest to respond and John McGoldrick made no mistake, NÉ 1-05, LD 0-01.
Minutes later and another point and Naomh Éanna looked in control, NÉ 1-06, LD 0-01, but for wasteful shooting Lámh Dhearg should have been closer to the home side with the wides count on half time at LD – 5 wides and NÉ – 4 wides.
Just before half time the match would be effectively be over as a contest, a long ball into the Lámh Dhearg danger area, was not dealt with by the defence and Philly Curran wasted no time in ripping the bottom right hand corner of the net with a beautifully taken goal, the Lámh Dhearg defence was in trouble again when they failed to clear a simple ball up the field, the matches first 65metre free, give John McGoldrick a chance to add another score and the referee called time on the first half, NÉ 2-07, LD 0-1.
Keeping the team on the pitch and ensuring concentration remained on the job in hand, Naomh Éanna where first to strike with a simple free and first score of the second half 2-08, LD 0-1.
It was clear that the words at half time tried to rejuvenate the Lámh Dhearg players, as they had some passages of play, however solid performances from half back line of Maskey, Ross and O’Connor, reduced Lámh Dhearg chances of a score and was the platform from which Naomh Éanna got scores, the home side did increase the wides tally and also dropped some shots short in the second half, but it was the points scored that was the dominant statistic.
Another point from target man McGoldrick, brought the score to NÉ 2-09, LD 0-01, and a masterful score from Killian Jennings on the side-line showed that Naomh Éanna could pick off scores from distance and the inside forwards can also produce goals, NÉ 2-10, LD 0-01.
Killian scored minutes later after Cormac Jennings and Ruairí Donaghy combined to find Philly Curran, the shot rebounded and the No.10 was first to pounce, marking a welcome return from injury with three points at the finish, NÉ 2-11, LD 0-01.
Jack Arthurs replaced Cormac Ross, who had powerful game a No.6 and Arthurs went to corner forward, with Naomh Éanna going to orthodox 15 and Brendy Cormican filling the Centre half back position, the argument for two points for a side line cut was well made tonight after a second from John, upped the score to NÉ 2-12, LD 0-01, the visitors yet to score in the second half and going approx. 30mins without a score seen Conor McSteen join the action replacing Darrach Cooper.
The pressure from No. 19 Jack Arthurs and John McGoldrick, was causing the visiting side to make mistakes and allowed John to take a point over the shoulder, NÉ 2-13, LD 0-01. The break in play allowed Daniel Lowry to replace Philly Curran, Curran’s power and experience caused problems for Lámh Dhearg all match.
With fifteen minutes remaining Joe Maskey, who had been driving at the Lámh Dhearg lines all through the match and full back Johnny McPoland made way for Eoin Maguire and Paul Baker.
On 26 minutes Lámh Dhearg did get their second score of the match, after 46mins without a score, the home side added one of their own, NÉ 2-14, LD 0-02.
On 27 minutes, great fielding by Ruairí Donaghy and pass to Cormac Jennings increased the gap to 19 points, NÉ 2-15, LD 0-02. Ruairí would got a score of his own, playing at half forward Ruairí would make it NÉ 2-16, LD 0-02.
With minutes left, Lámh Dhearg took the opportunity of a score, when Paul Magill saved the awarded penalty and the rebound gave the visitors their third score of the match.
The final minute would see Killian Jennings add his third and finished the match as NÉ 2-17, LD 0-03.
Foireann Naomh Éanna
- Paul Magill
- Dubaltach Mac Aoidh-Baicéir
- Johnny McPoland
- Manus Mullan
- Joe Maskey
- Cormac Ross
- Eddie O’Connor
- Cormac Jennings
- Aidan McGowan
- Killian Jennings
- Darrach Cooper
- Ruairí Donaghy
- Philly Curran
- John McGoldrick
- Brendy Cormican (Capt.)
- Paul Baker
- Jack Arthurs
- Conor McSteen
- Daniel Lowry
Foireann Lámh Dhearg
- Patrick Herron
- Seán Paul Gibson
- Mark Lynch
- Christopher Nolan
- Conor Herron
- Micheál Herron
- Cathal Kelly
- Charlie McCloskey
- Ryan Diamond
- Aidan McGuigan
- Brendan McComb
- Jack Trainor
- Mark Finnegan
- PJ Herron
- Micheál McGuigan
- Seán Byrne
- Paddy Cunningham
- Darren Fox
- Gerard Smyth