Cushendall goal blitz sees off Creggan Kickham's in Antrim
Antrim Senior Hurling Championship: Cushendall 6-29 Creggan 1-12
THERE is no answer to six goals. That's the position Antrim intermediate champions Creggan found themselves in when they faced the might of Cushendall.
The Antrim and Ulster champions wiped the floor with them in winning by 32 points to send out a warning to all would be contenders. Three goals in a five-minute spell during the opening-quarter put an end to any ambitions Creggan had and, when they found themselves 19 points back at the break, they could well have packed up and gone home.
Five points on the board in the opening four minutes gave some idea of the intensity of the champions' approach and, when Alex Delargy followed that up with back-to-back goals in the sixth and seventh minutes, it was curtains.
Conor Carson three minutes later added number three and, while the south-west side had their moments, Odhran McCann hitting three points and Conor Small and Thomas McCann one each at 3-15 to 0-5 at the break, it became one great yawn.
There was no relenting in the second-half from the Philip Campbell-managed side, the new man in charge hoping to impress. And impress he did, with his charges adding three further second-half goals. Sean McAfee, in the eighth minute, following four opening points, crashed the sliotar home and, as the gap between the sides increased further, it got painful to watch. Midfielder Aiden McNaughton hit the 'Dall's fifth goal in 18 minutes, with substitute Andrew Delargy making it six with five minutes remaining.
Stifled by the intensive defending of the Ruairi Og backs, Kickham's found their chances limited, but they did have a purple patch near the end, when Odhran McCann led a mini revival with a good point, followed by a Kevin Small goal and two more white flags from Frank Maguire and Kevin Rice.
Led by Paddy McGill, Eoghan Laverty, Alex Delargy, Eoghan Campbell, Sean McAfee, Paddy Burke and Aiden McNaughton, the champions will be hard to shift.
Loughgiel 4-24 St Gall's 1-7
WHEN these sides met at quarter-final stage of the Antrim senior hurling championship last season, the Shamrocks won by 11 points before losing out to Cushendall in the semi-final.
This time around, they increased their winning margin to 26 in a slick performance which saw St Gall's struggle from start-to-finish. Level at one each after two minutes, the Belfast side drifted into very deep water and, by the half-way mark, struggling to stay afloat.
An early goal from corner-forward Dan McCloskey put the cat among the pigeons and, thanks to the accuracy of Maol Connolly and Shay Casey, the gap between the sides widened despite the best efforts of Sean McAreavey and Jackson and Gregory McGreevey.
Changing ends at 0-5 to 1-10, the Milltown lads must have felt they were still in the hunt, but a sixth minute Shay Casey goal followed by Maol Connolly and Mark McFadden points put paid to that idea. Scoring just one point in the opening 25 minutes of this half, the Belfast side made it easy and the Shamrocks pounced.
Corner-forward Benny McCarry crashed home their third goal in the 19th minute and, as the points flowed from Connolly and substitutes Liam Watson and Barney McAuley, it was left to St Gall's to pick up a couple of consolation scores from a Brendan Bradley point and late Mark McAreavey goal.
The Shamrocks still had the last say though, with yet another replacement, Donal McKinley, claiming their fourth goal.
Cushendall scorers: P McGill (0-10), Alex Delargy (2-5), E Laverty (0-6), E Campbell (0-5), S McAfee (1-2), A McNaughton (1-1), Andrew Delargy (1-0), C Carson (1-0).
Creggan scorers: O McCann (0-5), K Rice (0-3), K Small (1-0), C Small (0-2), F Maguire (0-1).
Referee: E Hasson.
Loughgiel scorers: M Connolly (0-10), S Casey (1-3), D McKinley (1-1), B McCarry (1-1), D McCloskey (1-0), L Watson (0-2), B McAuley (0-2), M McFadden (0-2), E McCloskey (0-1), D Laverty (0-1), E McMullan (0-1).
St Gall's scorers: M McGreevey (1-0), S McAreavey (0-3), G McGreevey (0-2), J McGreevey (0-1), B Bradley (0-1).
Referee: O Elliott.