McMullan Cup Final Preview Ruairi Og v McQuillans On Sunday 1st July @ 2.30pm in Glenariffe
Ruairi Og and McQuillans U16s go head to head in the North Antrim Championship. When these teams met earlier on in the League Cushendall won with a bit to spare but in Championship hurling as we all know League form counts for nothing.
Ruairi Ogs Success this year to date has been down to in no small part to a tight back 6 who are all quality operators. Captain Stephen Walsh leads the team from full back, and with Cormac McClafferty, Joe McCurry, Seamus McAuley, Paddy Sharpe and Fergus McCambridge usually his other defensive colleagues, you can start to understand why the young Ruairi’s don’t concede to many scores.
Niall McNaughton and Ryan Delargy usually form a very mobile and skilful midfield unit who with their direct running can punch holes in any teams defence and while in the 3 quarter line Ruairi Kinney leads from centre Forward and for company he has Pearse Bannon and Conor Magee. This trio go through a mountain of so called ‘dirty’ work which leads to Cushendall winning possession and punishing teams.
The inside forward line is led by Christy McNaughton, who is in my opinion the best forward at U16 level in the County. Now, this is where I see the Cushendall Management teams biggest selection headache. There are 4 players - Raymond Burns, Jack McAlister, Paddy Doherty and Michael Delargy going for the 2 corner forward positions on Sunday and each has a good reason for inclusion.
Meanwhile opponents McQuillans will look to goalkeeper Benny Connor, defenders Ciaran Butler and Paddy Bonnar and forwards Jack Brown, Diarmuid McShane and Tiarnan Butler to put in top quality performances and lead their team but for me I think Ruairi Og will pull away in the 2nd half and get the win and go on to represent North Antrim in the U16 All County Final which will probably be in September