Hurlers do it for the Town again

November 8, 2018

Match report – Aodhan Mac Rauri
Castlewellan seniors have beaten favourites Ballyvarley at the semi-final stage of the Down Junior Hurling Championship on a perfect surface for Hurling in Ballela. Ballyvarley went into the game as favourites based on league form but from the throw in it was Castlewellan who were on top. Early points from Ray Cunningham and Cormac Mc Cabe were followed by a brilliant first time goal from Neil Mc Veigh. However Ballyvarley responded somewhat against the run of play with two goals in as many minutes from Paul O Neill and Eunan Mc Conville. O Neill pointed to leave Ballyvarley ahead for the first and only time but the town stormed back in front with points from Cormac Mc Cabe, Jason Croskery, Cunningham again and Michael Mc Philips. A second goal duly arrived from that man Ray Cunningham and at this stage a it was only a series of wides from the town forward line and good work from goal keeper Cathal Mc Grath that kept Ballyvarley in the game. HT score Castlewellan 2-8 Ballyvarley 2-3.
The second half began much the same as the first with Castlewellan on top around the middle of the field. Thomas Jennings and Cyril Daly at midfield were ably assisted by Finnbarr Lennon at centre back. They seemed to find the target more easily than their West Down opponents and when points from Croskery, McCabe and Cunningham were followed by the games decisive score another goal from McVeigh. When Cyril Daly Pointed from 60 yards Castlewellan had stretched their lead to 11 points and the game was over as a contest. Late Ballyvarley pressure resulted in pointed frees from O Neill and a James McGrath goal but by that stage the result was not in doubt.
Overall goalkeeper Daniel Steele and defenders Ryan McCann, Paul McCabe and Colm Gallagher were resolute and kept the Ballyvarley threat to a minimum. Finnbarr Lennon and Martin Óg Keown hurled solidly while Daly and Jennings held sway around the middle. McVeigh, McCabe and Croskery were the pick of the forward line with Ray Cunningham turning in a man of the match performance. Final score 3:13 to 3:07 for the Town.

This was a solid and determined performance from a well drilled Castlewellan team under the guidance of Gary Cairns and Martin Keown. Further improvement will be needed if they are to overcome a Warrenpoint side that has made great strides over the last five years. Interestingly it is ten years since Castlewellan won the JHC for the first and only time. Castlewellan are now in two finals in September having already reached the Ulster league division five decider which will be played at the Athletic Grounds Armagh on Friday 4th September.
Castlewellan- D. Steele, C. Gallagher, P. Mc Cabe, R. Mc Cann, M. óg Keown, S. Rodgers, A. Ritchie, C. Daly (0-1), T. Jennings (0-1), C. Mc Cabe (0-3), R. Cunnngham (1-4), Jason Croskery (0-2), M. Mc Phillips (0-1), N. Mc Veigh (2-1), N. Johnston.
Subs- F.Lennon, B. McAlinden, C. Mc Cann, A. Keown, D. Morgan.

Supporter’s Bus for Ulster Final
The Club have booked a supporter’s bus for the Ulster Final in Armagh on Friday 4th September which will be played under floodlights. Anyone interested in booking a seat should add their name to the list in Clubrooms, cost £5.00 payable at time of booking – children £2.50. bus will leave club at 6.00pm.
Music back in the social club following the game with Terry Campbell – everyone welcome