Cullyhanna showed battling spirit: Hoey

Cullyhanna needed to dig deep to fend off a tough Pomeroy side last Saturday evening but got through with one to spare.

Pomeroy opened up a three-point lead at the start of the second half, but the St Patrick’s men then kicked into gear.

Five on the bounce from Stephen Reel’s side gave them the lead. But they still needed a late Aidan Nugent effort to ensure their place in the last four.

“We knew this game was going to be a battle,” said playmaker Shea Hoey, who was named Man of the Match in the county final.

“We kept hearing that we haven’t been testing over the past few months, but we’re tested now, and we came through it.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

“We kept the ball very well and got the right men on the ball. Aidan (Nugent), that point at the end, I’ve been teaching him well!”

The large Cullyhanna faithful gathered in Healy Park cheered their men off the field. “It’s a great feeling,” added Hoey.

“At half time, I knew it was it us, we didn’t play at all in the first half, but we showed it there in the second half.

“I think Brookie (Ciaran McKeever) said we were three points down ten minutes into the second half. That just shows this team.

“We came through in the end. They got two good scores at the start, but we just kept kicking away with scores.”

Turning point

Trailing by one at the break, Cullyhanna focused on retaining possession after the turnaround and keeping the ball better.

“That was a big talking point,” explained Hoey of how the Cullyhanna team changed things at half time.

“Even before the game, two weeks ago, we knew how good at tackling they were. They just bottle you up, 3 v 1 and they just ship the ball away.

“In the first half we got tackled too much. We held the ball very well in the second half and stayed out of tackles and we’re going to reap the rewards now.

“It’s back to the drawing board now for two weeks and nothing is won yet,” added Hoey. His side will now take on Down champions Liatroim in the Ulster Intermediate Championship semi-final.