Ulster Intermediate Club Hurling semi final
Carrickmore Eire Og’s 7-11 – Armagh Chuchullains 3-10
ULSTER Intermediate club hurling silverware is within touching distance of Carrickmore after the Eire Og’s produced a competent display of hurling to overcome the challenge afforded by Armagh Chuchullains, in a semi final goal feast, at Clones on Sunday.
The Tyrone champions entered the last four tussle on the back of a confidence boosting victory over Bredagh and, while Chuchullains played their part in a titanic struggle, it was the Eire Og’s ability to find the net that saw them advance to an appetising Provincial showdown with Antrim representatives St Johns in two weeks time.
John Crossey’s men were full value for their victory because, when the questions were asked, they held all the trump cards with Chuchullains relying heavily on the scoring prowess of ace marksman Declan Coulter. Coulter, who was named in the half forward line actually lined out at midfield and contributed eight points to their final tally, but it wasn’t enough as Carrickmore went goal crazy in half two to the delight of their support.
Two well-drilled teams successfully negated each other out in a competitive opening thirty minutes with Carrickmore holding a slender 2-7 to 2-6 interval lead. Justin Kelly crashed home their opening goal with dual star Paul Hughes, who was making a rare start at full forward bagging the second to compliment a succession of Aidan Kelly frees (three), while Hughes (two), Gary Fox and SP Begley all managed white flags.
Chuchullains responded with majors from Chris Coulter and Conor Coulter but their reliance of Declan Coulter from frees was becoming a worrying feature in their play. Conor Coulter registered an excellent point and, as the half time beckoned the scene was set for a fascinating second segment, with the Tyrone men one point to the good.
Within minutes of the restart Chuchullains regained the lead, when Tony Duffy was sent through to beat Conor McElhatton from close range, but the Carrickmore response was swift and decisive. Seamus McLoughney rippled the net twice in succession before Justin Kelly added his second three pointer for a comfortable lead.
Christy Kane and Coulter kept Chuchullains fading hopes alive but Carrickmore were in the ascendancy with Kelly bringing his tally to 0-6 before two Conor Grogan goals cemented a very impressive victory.
Carrickmore will relish their first appearance in an Ulster Final since this competition was formed as they attempt to emulate the historic achievements of Naomh Colum Cille twelve months ago.
Carrickmore – Seamus McLoughney 2-1, Aidan Kelly 0-6, Justin Kelly 2-0, Conor Grogan 2-0, Paul Hughes 1-2, Gary Fox 0-1, SP Begley 0-1
Chuchullains – Declan Coulter 0-8, Conor Coulter 1-1, Tony Duffy 1-0, Chris Coulter 1-0, Christy Kane 0-1
Chuchullains – Liam Mone, Sean Fields, Ciaran Clifford, Conor Devlin, Neil Duffy, Gerard Barton, Cormac Toner, Eoghain Gribben, Christy Kane, Declan Coulter, Paul McKernan, Ciaran Reid, Conor Coulter, Chris Coulter, Tony Duffy. Subs – Martin Gillespie for Devlin, Niadh Harvey for Clifford, Ryan Sands for Duffy, Rory Devlin for Chris Coulter