Junior Hurling Championship
Cuchulainns 1-10 Keady 1-9
Cuchulainns seemed comfortable at the break as they had built up a five point lead in the first half, while holding the opposition to just four points but a second half comeback by the Lamh Dhearg team saw the game go right down to the wire, with the eventual winners reduced to 14 men five minutes after half time.
Blaine Cassidy recorded the opening score with a point inside the first minute but a long range free from Ruairi McGrattan tied the game for Cuchulainns. Cuchulainns were on top during the early stages and a long ball into the goal mouth broke to the waiting Sean Clifford who struck low and hard to the net.
Keady pulled one back when Dean Nugent played through Peter McGuigan for his sides’ second point but Cuchulainns replied with three points on the spin, David Ryan (free) and Sean Clifford’s (2) scores left Cuchulainns five ahead with 13 minutes still to play until the half time whistle.
Blaine Cassidy again split the posts with captain Adam Nugent providing the final pass while a brilliant Oliver Fegan save meant Keady were still in the contest. Dean Nugent split two Cuchulainns points from Tommy Turley and David Ryan (free) just before the interval, the scoreboard reading Cuchulainns 1-6 Keady 0-4.
Adam Nugent narrowed the margin to four with the first score of the half before Cuchulainns were reduced to 14 men with 25 minutes yet to play. Daniel McDermott’s point meant that Keady were now just a goal behind and another superb save from Fegan denied Tommy Turley a three pointer.
The momentum was with Keady at this stage and two more points from the hurl of Adam Nugent made it a one point game. Tommy Turley came to the rescue for his side and his three points in a row put some daylight between the teams once again, as Cuchulainns now led 1-9 to 0-8 with five minutes left.
A high ball into the square was shot to the goal by Adam Nugent and quickly followed by a point from first half substitute Conor McKee; the sides now level for the first time since the third minute. But Cuchulainns would have one final say, Turley’s cross field pass found Lorcan Coulter who fired over the top to ensure a one point victory for Cuchulainns who will now meet Sean Tracey’s in the JHC Final.
Cuchulainns: Liam Moen, Seamus Muldoon, Eoghan Gribben, Michael McCullagh, Padraig Foy, Ruairi McGrattan (0-1), Sean Murphy, Sean Gribben, Daniel Rafferty, Joseph Quigley, David Ryan (0-2), Oisin Moen, John Monaghan, Sean Clifford (1-2), Thomas Turley (0-4). Subs: Tiarnan Fegan for R. McGrattan, Seamus Hutchinson for J. Monaghan, Darragh Murphy for M. McCullagh, Lorcan Coulter (0-1) for David Ryan, Cathal Moen for Oisin Moen.
Keady: Oliver Fegan, Oisin McKee, Francis McMullan, Sean McCooey, Caolan Mone, Barry Molloy, Ciaran Finnegan, Peter McGuigan (0-1), Jack Molloy, Daniel McDermott (0-1), Dean Nugent (0-1), Adam Nugent (1-3), Blaine Cassidy (0-2), Oisin Murphy, Sean Patrick Gibney. Subs: Conor McKee (0-1) for Blaine Cassidy, Martin Cunningham for O. Murphy, Paraic Hughes for S.P. Gibney, Brian Molloy for P. McGuigan.
Senior Hurling Championship
Cuchulainn’s 0-9 Keady 2-19
Keady laid down a firm marker that they mean business in this year’s championship with a devastating 16 point victory over Cuchulainns. Keady led from start to finish and their domination was inspired by Conor Corvan who pulled the strings while Paul Green hardly put a foot wrong all evening, finishing with 10 points, all from frees.
A late addition to the starting line up, Odhran Fullerton got the first score of the day and the nippy corner forward caused havoc in the Cuchulainns full back line during the first 30 minutes. Connor McAnallen doubled his sides lead before a Ciaran Duffy free in the 5th minute halved the margin.
Fullerton was on target once again while Duffy also found his range with another point from the dead ball. A Barry Breen challenge denied Cuchulainns a goal scoring opportunity, with Paul Green converting a free from the resulting attack while Caoimhin Rafferty also got in on the action with an impressive effort on the turn.
Green and Fullerton raised white flags once more to expand their lead to six while Cuchulainns did pull one back in the 23rd minute through Connor Devlin but once again Green scored from a free to deny Cuchulainns any chance to build momentum and get themselves back into the game.
Fullerton’s jinky run through the Cuchulainns defence ended with a brilliant drive low to the net while Tiarnan O’Neill put the game out of sight with his sides’ second goal in as many minutes. Ciaran Duffy struck a point for the trailing team while Conor Corvan got his first and only score of the game.
A long range point from Conor Cartmill was followed by two Keady points, Fullerton hitting his 5th of the half while Green knocked over an easy free after Fullerton had been fouled, the Cuchulainns defender receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence. This ended the half with Keady well ahead, 2-13 to 0-6.
The sides played out a dull second half with no scores for long periods as Cuchulainns could only play for pride in the second 30 minutes. Duffy hit an outrageous free from close to the sideline to open the scoring but following the same pattern as the first half, Keady responded with three Paul Green points.
Duffy finished top scorer for his team with six points, two coming in the final seven minutes while Keady hit three through Green (2) and John Corvan during the same time. This ended the contest and Keady were full deserving of their win and will face a tougher challenge in the final as they take on Middletown.
Cuchulainns: Patrick Heaney, Sean Muldoon, Kevin Muldoon, Connor Devlin (0-1), Ciaran Duffy (0-6), Ciaran Clifford, David Bridges, Caolan Rice, Conor Cartmill (0-1), Cailin Gorman (0-1), Sean McCann, Stefan McParland, Jordan Murtagh, Rory Devlin, Neil Duffy. Subs: Ciaran Reid for C. Gorman, Sean Murphy for S. McCann, Matthew Rafferty for S. McParland, Tom Marley for R. Devlin, Tony Duffy for J. Murtagh.
Keady: Joby Burke, Liam McKee, Dylan McKenna, Barry Breen, Odhran Fullerton (1-5), James King, Oisin Keenan, Michael McDermott, Stephen Renaghan, Caoimhin Rafferty (0-1), Paul Green (0-10), Conor Corvan (0-1), Tiarnan O’Neill (1-0), John Corvan (0-1), Connor McAnallen (0-1). Subs: Liam McIlroy for T. O’Neill, Conor Farrell for L. McKee, Barry Shortt for M. McDermott, Adam Nugent for O. Fullerton.