Gaels hold on for first title

Clooney Gaels (Antrim) 1-16 Cuchulainns (Armagh) 1-14
Antrim side Clooney Gaels won their first Ulster Intermediate club hurling title after surviving a strong comeback from Armagh champions Cuchulainns at Celtic Park yesterday.

Clooney played with a strong breeze in the first-half and looked comfortable when they led by eight points (1-11 to 1-3) at half-time.

Full-forward PJ O’Connell’s goal for Clooney stretched their lead to 1-8 to 0-2 after 24 minutes but Neil Duffy got a vital goal back for Cuchulainns just before the break.

Cuchulainns, inspired by Armagh county star Declan Coulter, made the game a real contest in the second half.

The heavens opened in the closing minutes and Clooney just about held on.

Scorers for Cuchulainns: D Coulter 0-8 (4f), N Duffy 1-0, C Coulter 0-2 (2f), C Toner, E Gribbin, T Marley, C Gorman 0-1 each

Scorers for Clooney Gaels: PJ O’Connell 1-3, G Graham 0-5 (4f and a ‘65), J O’Connell 0-3, M Graham 0-2, D Neeson, D Graham, F O’Neill 0-1 each

CUCHULAINNS: P Heaney; S Fields, C Clifford, M McCullough; N Duffy, R McGrattan, E Gribbin; C Toner, D Coulter; T Duffy, T Marley, C Kane; C Coulter, P Duffy, C Gorman

Subs: C Duffy for T Duffy (36), P McKernan for C Coulter (41), R Devlin for Gribbin (57), C Reid for McKernan (60)

CLOONEY GAELS: P Graham; E Brady, F Neeson, C McGlone; J Downey, D Graham, F O’Neill; D Neeson, M Graham; G Graham, T McGlone, D Graham; J O’Connell, PJ O’Connell, O Neeson

Subs: E Graham for O Neeson (42), S O’Connell for D Neeson (53), J Magee for Downey (60)

Referee: Eamonn Hasson (Derry).

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