Sport

Antrim SHC: Rossa, Dunloy and Loughgiel start with wins

Loughgiel's Caolan Blair gets away from St Enda's Eoin Conlon during Sunday's game at Hightown          Picture: Mark Marlow
Loughgiel's Caolan Blair gets away from St Enda's Eoin Conlon during Sunday's game at Hightown Picture: Mark Marlow Loughgiel's Caolan Blair gets away from St Enda's Eoin Conlon during Sunday's game at Hightown Picture: Mark Marlow

Antrim Senior Hurling Championship

Group One

St John’s 0-21 O’Donovan Rossa 2-21; Clooney Gaels 0-14 Dunloy 3-34

ROSSA opened their 2023 Antrim SHC campaign with a win over city rivals St John’s at Corrigan Park on Saturday night.

The home side dominated at times against their old rivals, but goals from Eoin Trainor and Dominic McEnhill in either half ensured it was Rossa who started their championship campaign on a winning note.

At one stage, St John’s were ahead by six points and, with Oisín MacManus in accurate form from dead balls and Ruairí Galbraith giving the Rossa full-back line plenty to think about, the Johnnies looked to have Rossa on the ropes. However, with the game entering first-half injury-time, Rossa had reduced the deficit to four points before they produced the opening goal of the game. Eoin Trainor broke from a pack of players before bearing down on goal and, despite the efforts of Declan Creggan, his effort went over the line. 

Rossa controlled the second-half from the off and took the lead for the first time in the game in the 42nd minute. From there, they never looked like relinquishing their lead, with McEnhill putting in a man of the match performance.

In yesterday’s other Group One game, defending champions Dunloy hammered Clooney Gaels in Ahoghill. The game was over as a contest by half-time as an Eoin O’Neill hat-trick of majors had Cúchullain’s 19 points up, 3-17 to 0-7, and they coasted the second-half.

St John’s will be hoping to get their first points on the board in a fortnight’s time when they travel to Loughgiel to take on Ahoghill, while Rossa will face Dunloy at Dunsilly.

Group Two

Naomh Éanna 1-22 Loughgiel Shamrocks 3-23

LOUGHGIEL travelled to Glengormley and emerged with a battling victory over Naomh Éanna on Sunday.

With 20 minutes gone on the outskirts of north Belfast, the Shamrocks were seven to the good, 0-10 to 0-3, but Naomh Éanna refused to give up the ghost and it was only an Enda Óg McGarry goal on the stroke of half-time that sent the visitors in with a relatively comfortable lead, 1-14 to 0-9.

Naomh Éanna continued to fight in the second-half and with 40 minutes gone had reduced the deficit to four, only for Jack McCloskey to pop up with Shamrocks’ second goal.

Back came the home side with a goal of their own and, entering the final 10 minutes, the gap was down to three. Loughgiel always found the extra edge, however, and a late Shan McGrath goal confirmed their victory.

Naomh Éanna will line out against last year’s beaten finalists Cushendall next Friday night, while Shamrocks will travel to Ballycastle that Sunday.