Hurling & Camogie

Bellew’s Boys reap rich harvest against Orchard

Armagh fall to consecutive Allianz NHL defeats to Ulster rivals

Ollie Bellew is also managing Queen's University's hurlers until the end of January
At the helm: Ollie Bellew, a Belfast man, is currently the manager of the Cavan senior hurlers.
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A, round four
Cavan 2-13 Armagh 0-16

CAVAN edged themselves closer towards a shot at promotion from Division 3A thanks to a pulsating second-half display at Kingspan Breffni.

St Gall’s clubman Ollie Bellew saw his charges play a poor second fiddle in the opening half with sharp-shooter Alex O’Boyle in inspirational form up front for the visitors.

Tyrone Ruairi Slane with Kieran McKernan of Armagh during the National Hurling League Division 3A Final match at Owenbeg on Saturday 2nd April 2022. Picture Margaret McLaughlin.
Tracking back: Kieran McKernan (left) of Armagh, among the scorers yesterday, during the National Hurling League Division 3A Final match at Owenbeg on Saturday 2nd April 2022. Picture Margaret McLaughlin.

A Nicky Kenny free (4) was Cavan’s solitary score in the opening 21 minutes by which time the Orchard county were 0-5 to 0-1 ahead and on easy street.

Cavan continued to find their opponents’ speed-off-the-mark and greater cohesion difficult to master and although Canice Maher scored a great point (33), O’Boyle and Seán Óg McGuinness both pointed in added-on time to leave the Blues trailing by 0-3 to 0-10 at the interval.

Aided by a slight breeze on the restart, Cavan were a transformed team with their improved workrate, concentration levels and confidence springing immediate scores.

By the three-quarter hour mark, they had cut their deficit to a manageable six points (0-7 to 0-13) and although the hosts’ sub Brian Fitzgerald saw his goal-bound shot skip narrowly wide (46), Armagh found themselves increasingly on the ropes.

Cavan got a massive breakthrough in the 48th minute when Jack Barry goaled to leave just two points separating the sides and then a major from Fitzgerald catapulted Cavan into a lead (2-9 to 0-14) they were never to subsequently relinquish.

Armagh pressed hard to the bitter end and Shay Harvey’s classy effort (64) plus another O’Boyle free (66) left the Orchard county searching for a winning goal down the home straight.

However, Cavan battened down the hatches and an impressive solo point by Thomas Leonard and the red-carding of the aforementioned Harvey in the run-in made for a malady beyond a cure for the visitors.

Cavan N Kenny 0-3 (0-1f); L O’Brien 0-5 (0-3f); J Barry 1-1; B Fitzgerald 1-0; T Leonard 0-2; C Maher & S Keating (0-1)
Armagh A O’Boyle 0-11 (0-8f); F Donnelly, S Óg McGuinness, A Fox, K McKernan & S Harvey 0-1 each