Hurling and camogie

Ruairi Og's and Na Piarsaigh ratings from All-Ireland final

Ruairi Og's Christy McNaughton goes down under the challenge of Na Piarsaigh's Kieran Breen and Kieran Kennedy during Thursday's All-Ireland Club Hurling final at Croke Park
Picture by Seamus Loughran 
Brendan Crossan & Neil Loughran

RUAIRI OG, CUSHENDALL

Eoin Gillan: The Cushendall ‘keeper didn’t have much chance of saving Na Piarsaigh’s two first-half goals, but he made a stunning double save late on to deny the Limerick men further majors. 7

Ryan McCambridge: The 21-year-old had an outstanding year but he struggled to contain the lively Kevin Downes who bagged 1-2. 5.5

Martin Burke: Another solid citizen for the Ruairi Ogs this season, the 27-year-old full-back got better as the game progressed and made some excellent clearances under serious pressure. 6.5

Arron Graffin: The match-up with Adrian Breen looked the right call, but the Na Piarsaigh wing-forward was simply too powerful and accurate to contain. Troubled by a knee injury all season, Graffin never got to grips with his man. 5.5

David Kearney: The 21-year-old made a nervy start but improved as the game wore on. Had a decent spell on David Dempsey and battled gamely. 6

Eoghan Campbell: More suited to a wing-back role, the Antrim defender was cleverly pulled out of the centre by David Breen. Good in possession though and raced through to hit a fine second half point. 6

Sean Delargy: Got off to a shaky start and conceded ground to the in-form Shane Dowling. Called ashore in the second half after struggling with a calf problem in the build-up. 5.5

Shane McNaughton: One of the few Ruairi Ogs who played to their potential. McNaughton was outstanding from start to finish and was a man-of-the-match contender. Hit four points from play. Nerveless display in midfield and later in attack. 8.5

Alec Delargy: Got Ruairi Ogs off the mark with a fine score but was off target with another moments later. Out-muscled in the aerial stakes. Came back after nine months to play the shirt off his back in the All-Ireland semi-final. 6

Conor Carson: Cushendall’s big target man started slowly but came alive in the closing stages of the first half. Hit a brilliant 27th minute point and offered stout resistance in the air. 6.5

Neil McManus: In the wars in the first-half. Missed two early placed balls but flawless thereafter. Grabbed Cushendall’s first major and his turn and pass for Karl McKeegan’s goal was superb. 7

Sean McAfee: After a quiet opening, the Cushendall attacker fired a ground shot just wide of Na Piarsiagh’s goal. Had a couple of bright moments in the second-half. 6

Paddy McGill: He withdrew into the middle of the field but never got on the ball. He pushed further forward in the second half but with little reward. 5.5

Donal McNaughton: Competed well for several high balls and was up for the fight, but made way for Karl McKeegan after 38 minutes. 5.5

Christy McNaughton: Started at wing-forward and planted one high ball onto the Na Piarsaigh square that nearly yielded a first-half goal. Otherwise, the teenager was on the fringes. 5.5

SUBSTITUTES
Paddy Burke: Injured for most of the year, but played most of the second-half on Dowling. 5.5

Karl McKeegan: Added much-needed composure to the attack and majored with a clever flicked finish. 6.5

Aidan McNaughton: Entered when it was all but over. Had fine county and provincial campaigns. 5.5

Eunan McKillop: Not on long enough to be rated.

Eoin Laverty: Not on long enough to be rated.

 

NA PIARSAIGH

Padraic Kennedy: Mixed up his puck-outs left and right, short and long. Targeted the roving David Breen at centre-forward to good effect. 7.5

Mike Casey: Yellow carded for a foul on Conor Carson that led to a Cushendall point, but otherwise wasn’t found wanting. 7.5

Kieran Breen: Unflappable under the high ball in the first half but struggled when the lively Shane McNaughton moved to the full-forward line in the second half. 7

Kieran Kennedy: Produced a good block in the 14th minute to stop Donal Naughton’s effort finding the net when a goal at that stage could have brought Cushendall back into it. 7.5

Mike Foley: Found himself up against both Donal and Christy McNaughton at times and coped admirably, nullifying their threat. 7.5

Ronan Lynch: Provided a perfect shield for the full-back line, always there to hoover up breaking ball from Cushendall puck-outs, his quick, clever distribution often getting the Limerick men on to the front foot. Scored a free in the second half. 8

Cathal King: Had a good battle with McManus in the first half which he probably edged. Produced a lung bursting run from deep in his own half before laying the ball off for Downes to score the killer second goal five minutes before half-time. 8

Alan Dempsey: The tall midfielder provided a physical presence around centrefield, seeing plenty of ball and firing over four points from play, including one monster effort in the second half. 8.5

Will O’Donoghue: Held the fort while Dempsey roamed free. The shackles came off late on when the game was all but over as he burst forward to fire over a point. 7.5

Shane Dowling: Fluffed his lines with a 17th minute goal chance but didn’t let that bother him. Unerring from frees, and when given any sight of the posts. Finished with 0-7 after a superb performance. 8.5

David Breen: The focal point of the attack, Cushendall struggled to get to grips with the big forward. Drifted out to the right to get his hand on Kennedy’s puck-outs and had a big influence in the first half. Picked up a yellow card and was eventually substituted late on. 8.5

Adrian Breen: See Star Man below

Kevin Downes: Finished the game with 1-2, he was cool in firing low to the net for Na Piarsaigh’s second goal. Showed his class. 8.5

David Dempsey: Didn’t score but laid on Breen’s crucial early goal. Worked hard and won plenty of ball. 7.5

Peter Casey: His pace caused Cushendall problem’s at times, and also won his fair share of high ball. Finished with 0-3. 8

SUBSTITUTES
Kevin Ryan:
Came on with six minutes left when the game was well won. 7

Pat Gleeson: Added some gloss to the scoreline with a late 65. 7.5

 

STAR MAN
Adrian Breen:
A late replacement for Kevin Ryan - and boss Shane O’Neill could hardly have wished for a greater dividend. Fired to the net within 30 seconds, Cushendall just could not cope with his direct running as he added a further four points from play and almost scored another goal late on. 9

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Hurling and camogie