The senior hurlers avenged their group defeat to Latharna Óg when they had 9 points to spare over the same opposition in this preliminary tie at Ballymena. In a tough bruising encounter both teams gave their all with the prize a semi-final date with Naomh Úna awaiting the winners but ultimately our work rate, intensity in the tackles to limit scoring chances and some quality score taking at crucial times proved to be the deciding factors on the day.
Stephen McGivern opened the scoring with a well taken point following good work from Caoimhin Heaney and Cormac Maguire but Latharna Óg responded with a pointed free to level and then added another to take the lead. We were then reduced to 14 men with the sending of Caoimhin Heaney which seemed to stir the emotions and gave us a more determined focus and a higher work rate. Points from Stephen McGivern (0-2) and Cormac Maguire preceded an Anthony Rowntree goal which gave us a deserved advantage. Latharna Óg responded with a point but again we piled on the pressure with further points from Cormac Maguire and Stephen McGivern while Peter Carleton chipped in with a rasping low effort to the back of the net. The best point of the match followed when a puck out from Joe McCaffrey was fielded high by Peter Carleton, he hand passed off to Chris Gallagher who fed Colm McKee who duly dispatched the sliotar between the posts. A pointed Latharna Óg free on the stroke of half time concluded the scoring, giving us a lead of 9 on a score of 2-7 to 0-4.
Latharna Óg started the second half all guns blazing and scored 4 unanswered points from frees to get themselves back in the game. However, Stephen McGivern pointed from long range and when Peter Carleton stroked the sliotar to the back of the net we had restored our substantial advantage and saw the game through to the end as deserving victors 3-8 to 0-8.
Click here for photos of the game.