Brendan McTaggart reports from Pearse Park, Dunloy
Cushendall recorded a three point win over Dunloy in the burning sunshine at Pearse Park on Sunday afternoon in front of the Pairc TV cameras. It was a deserving win for the Ruairi’s as they continue their evolution under Brian Delargy's management.
The Cuchullains started brightly and played some fluent hurling in the opening exchanges, Chrissy McMahon and Kevin Molloy performing well in attack with Conor McKinley and Ronan Molloy catching the eye on the Cuchullains half back line. Cushendall finally got going however and asserted their style on the game with Ryan McCambridge putting in a top performance in the half back line and Martin Burke not far behind him on the edge of the Cushendall square. Up front, it was another match where Christy McNaughgton showed glimpses of his best. The touch was there, the outrageous scores weren’t far behind. ‘Sambo’s youngest’ is well on the way to putting his injury nightmares behind him. He was duly assisted in the Ruairi’s attack by Paddy McGill and Fergus McCambridge. The two men sharing eight points between them with McGill claiming the lions share.
The visitors to Pearse Park showed exemplary work rate in the middle third to turn an early four point Dunloy lead at the first half water-break to a three point lead soon after the interval. It could have been a greater difference between the sides but for some heroic defending from Phelim Duffin and a top drawer save from Paul Doherty between the sticks for the Cuchullains. Fergus McCambridge and Dominic Delargy denied certain goals by the Cuchullains.
If Dunloy were on top in the opening quarter, Cushendall dominated until half time with McNaughton, McGill and Dominic Delargy catching the eye.
Dunloy improved in the second half with but trailed by three points by the time Nicky McKeague scored their eighth point of the game and ending a long barren scoring spell for the Cuchullains. Despite the best efforts of Kevin Molloy who would finish the game with four points from play, the home side couldn’t quite rein the Ruairi’s in as the ‘Dall kept the Cuchullains at arms length for the majority of the second half.
The game became scrappy towards the end of the hour, referee Eamon Hassan let the game flow and the quality of play certainly benefitted from it but as tired limbs and minds set in, frees became more frequent with Shiels and McGill benefitting.
The Cuchullains couldn’t get the sustained momentum needed to pressurise the Cushendall men on the scoreboard however as the Ruairi’s saw out the time that remained with little alarm.The Ruairi’s sit top the table after four wins from their opening five games and welcome Ballygalget to the Glens when they next play, on June 20th while the Cuchullains travel to St Johns on the same afternoon hoping to return to winning ways.
Dunloy: Paul Doherty; Aaron Crawford, Ciaran McQuillan, Phelim Duffin; Ryan McGarry, Conor McKinley, Kevin McKeague; Paul Shiels, Ciaran Elliott; Nicky McKeague, Kevin Molloy, Ronan Molloy; Chrissy McMahon, Gabriel McTaggart, Padraig McGilliagan
Scorers: P Shiels 0-5 (3f); K Molloy 0-4; N McKeague 0-2; C McMahon 0-2; R McGarry 0-1; R Molloy 0-1; P McGilligan 0-1
Cushendall: Eoin Gillan; Shane McKenna, Martin Burke, Liam Gillan; Scott Walsh, Terry McAllister, Ryan McCambridge; Alex Delargy, Francis McCurry; Dominic Delargy, Sean McAfee, Fergus McCambridge; Paddy McGill, Christy McNaughton, Andrew Delargy
Scorers: P McGill 0-6 (4f 1’65); C McNaughton 0-5; F McCambridge 0-2; A Delargy 0-2; Niall McCormick 0-1; F McCurry 0-1; Mark Emerson 0-1