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South West Antrim GAA

CON MAGEES ARE BRESLIN SHIELD CHAMPIONS

6th August 2018

Report & pics by Saffron Gael

Kelly Stone Ballymoney Breslin Shield under-16 (Final)

Con Magees Glenravel 3-10 Casement’s Portglenone 1-09

A blistering finish saw Con Magees Glenravel come from five points in arrears of Casement’s Portglenone to claim the Breslin Shield at Whitehill on Sunday evening.

The Portglenone lads led from flag fall and seemed to have done enough to secure the prize as a 35th minute Aiden McAleese goal aided them to a 1-08 to 0-06 advantage with less than ten minutes remaining.

The Casement’s lads seemed in charge at such juncture but a Ryan Lennon goal arrived to light the fuse of revival within the ranks of the green and white and a charge to the line saw a 60th minute Shea McDonnell goal put them in front and the come-back was complete when Lennon fired an injury time penalty to the back of the net.

Casement’s started in the positive on the pristine Whitehill sod and after both sides in turn had missed respective opportunities to open account it was Sean Byrne who nipped in from the left wing in the 5th minute to raise the opening white flag for the Bann siders.

A neat approach led by mid-fielder Ruairi Hagan had opened the door and a good finish by the wing man but it was to be after further openings went without reward that the next mark on the board was made as Aiden Mc Aleese who punished a foul on the incoming Michael Mc Garry by sending the placed effort firmly between the posts.

Casement’s were settling to the task the better in the opening phase and more composed in front of the target and after the Con Magees lads had missed back to back opportunities Sean Byrne made no mistake at the other end following a quick counter attack.

Ruairi Hagan went on to claim the resultant kick out to quickly return between the posts and it was 0-04 to 0-00 in favour of the Portglenone side at the 18th minute and they looked in charge.

Glenravel were on the board when Ryan Lennon, who was to destined to figure prominently in the latter stages sent a 30 meter free all the way over the bar and although the score was negated within a minute as Terry Lee Spears fired over at the other end the Con Magees had settled to the task on hand and found the way to the posts.

A fine intervention by Adam Campbell at the back and a slick interchange with Ryan Lennon concluded with a fine point for Ryan Mc Quillan in the 23rd minute and when Shea Mc Donnell and Rory Mc Closkey followed suit only a point separated the sides and it looked ‘game on’.

Aiden Mc Aleese did have the last say in of the half when he sent a late free over the bar to see the Bannsider’s at 0-06 to 0-04 in a game which had livened up in the closing stages.

Glenravel started the second half the better with an early score as a 33rd minute Shea Mc Donnell point ensured they were within a point of their opponents but such was not to remain for long as Aiden Mc Aleese raced away to find the net at the other end a couple of minutes later.

The hard grafting mid-fielder made strong approach and a finish to complete and after Eoin Butler and Daniel Mc Nicholl swapped points in turn at either end the Bann sider’s looked in charge when they still maintained a four point advantage, 1-07 to 0-06 as the game progressed into the last quarter.

Con Magee’s tried to respond but approach to the target was proving difficult as Casement’s led by the example of the impressive Ruairi Mc Guigan were standing tall in defiance.

Another Aiden Mc Aleese point at the other end increased advantage and with a five point lead accrued and just eight minutes remaining on the clock Casements seemed to have a firm hold.

The odds looked firmly against a comeback but Glenravel were not about to give up the ghost and in the event they were about to produce an astounding come back. It began when a strong up-field approach from Callum Higgins paved the way for a Ryan Lennon goal and a Lazarus like recovery was now in prospect and just a point separated the sides.

An Aiden Mc Aleese 56th minute point looked to have halted the Glenravel revival but that was not to prove the case as back to back white flags raised in turn by Eoin Butler and Ryan Lennon ensure it was all square and a period of extra time looked on as the game clock ticked towards the allotted sixty minutes.

The Glensmen had the whiff of victory at such juncture however and back they came in search of more and when the hugely impressive Ryan McQuillan raced forward to open the way for Shea Mc Donnell to fire to the net they were in the lead for the first time and the advantage was four when the latter added a point.

Glenravel were in control and with victory in sight they continued to look for more and when Ryan Lennon was upended inside the square deep into time added he delivered the resulting penalty to the back of the net and the comeback was complete.

T Glenravel had dared to believe and that belief saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and conclude with a seven point winning margin 3-10 to 1-09 to secure the ‘Breslin Shield’.

Glenravel: Jude Scullion, Adam Campbell, Sean Higgins, Shane Mc Kenna, Callum Higgins, Shea Mc Donnell (1-03), Ryan Mc Quillan (0-02), Mark Emerson, Rory Mc Closkey (0-01), Daniel Mc Quillan, Joe Martin (0-01), Eoin Butler (0-01), Ryan Lennon (2-02)

Subs

Eamonn Carey for Joe Martin

Casement’s: Peter Graham, Ryan Mc Erlaine, Ruairi Mc Guigan, Dylan Hawksford, Daniel Mc Nicholl (0-01), Sean Byrne (0-02), Ruairi Hagan (0-01), Aiden Mc Aleese (1-04), Terry Lee Spears (0-01), Michael Mc Garry, Fintan O’ Connell, Conor Marron.

Referee Thomas Eastwood (St Enda’s)

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