Category: Archive

Antrim prevail over NY

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

New York were reduced to 14 men just six minutes into the second half when midfielder Leon Dunican earned a second yellow card and a trip to the sideline for a second rash pull of his hurl. Dunican had picked up his first card in the opening seconds of the match for the same offense.
Antrim built a 1-8 to 0-5 half time lead despite some sloppy shooting which saw them fire 12 wides. New York were having problems of their own, finding the range in the opening stanza, shooting five wides, and dropping a couple more shots into the keeper’s bread basket.
The first score of the match didn’t come until the 10th minute when Brian McFall pounced on a breaking ball and lashed it past Timmy Cullen in the New York goal. The same player followed two minutes later with a pointed free and when midfielder Michael Herron pointed, the easy Antrim victory predicted by most looked to be in the cards.
Roy Henley, a late addition to the home team’s starting line up, filling the spot listed as A. N. Other in the program, opened New York’s account with a well-taken 14th minute point.
Karl Stewart and Brendan Quinn were stretching the New York defense with their quickness but Antrim’s wastefulness was undermining the visitor’s cause. Still, Antrim extended their advantage to 1-5 to that single New York point as the hosts struggled to find their way into the match.
Bonny Kennedy pointed a New York free after Denis McCarthy was dragged down, but points from Quinn and Stewart and McIntosh were Antrim’s response, while Trevor Fletcher got one back for New York. A long free from Bonny Kennedy and nice Fletcher point allowed the Gotham boys to close the gap and finish the half on an up note.
The New York GAA’s recent woes have been well documented and hurling has been hardest hit, losing two premier teams in Limerick and Westmeath while the sport’s very future has been called into question.
Against that backdrop, little, if anything, was expected from New York against the Ulster champions and when Dunican received his walking papers from referee Sean McMahon, the bookies in Ireland who had installed Antrim as 16-point favorites appeared prescient.
A wonderful 50-yard sideline cut from McCall looked like the beginning of an Antrim onslaught but New York said no. New York management switched Tom Moylan, who started on the 40, from midfield to center back in a swap with John Madden, and the tide began to turn.
Madden found Henley, who pointed after wingback Adrian Guinan had done the spadework. With Moylan majestic in the center of the New York defense and fullback Peter Dalton a rock behind him, the home team refused to fold.
Now Moylan was pulling double duty, cutting off the Antrim attack and pushing New York forward. Roy Henley went off with a cut, replaced by blood sub Michael Maher as Bonny Kennedy pointed five times to a lone Antrim point from substitute Karl McKeegan.
Trevor Fletcher, who was only added to the starting lineup after Cathal Curtin was withdrawn shortly before game time, was buzzing and won two of the frees. Dual star Tadgh Healy and fellow wingback Guinan were coming on by leaps and bounds flanking Moylan and spurring the New York charge.
Antrim introduced McKeegan and Paddy Richmond as Dinny Cahill tried to get to Kennedy Airport, and the Ulster Final. Bonny’s fifth point in that stretch brought New York within a goal, 1-12 to 0-12 as the match entered stoppage time.
The crowd, disappointingly numbering less than a thousand, was surging forward now, the rain forgotten, as New York refused to settle for the gallant loser tag.
Moylan rushed forward to take a sideline cut with time very much of the essence. Moylan’s cut from 50 yards out floated into the Antrim goalmouth where just about every player but Moylan seemed to await its descent. Then the slithoar disappeared among the tangle of arms, legs, and hurls before reappearing in a flash in the back of the Antrim net as the crowd and the New York players erupted.
Not surprisingly it was Bonny Kennedy whose hurley had been the quickest, and seconds later when McMahon’s whistle blew, New York were headed to extra time.
New York had come all the way back, outscoring Antrim 1-6 to 0-3 over the final 29 minutes while playing a man down. Now the teams were restored to 15 a side as Paddy Richmond edged Antrim in front of the game’s 71st minute.
New York came right back at the Glensmen. Bonny launched a long shot that Antrim keeper Quinn blocked, but New York sub Michael Maher alertly volleyed the rebound to the back of the Antrim twines.
New York’s first ever championship victory, in either code, was beginning to seem possible. Then Bonny Kennedy, already on a yellow card, flew in for a reckless tackle and the captain was gone.
The resilient New Yorker’s kept at it and led by a point, 2-13 to 1-15, when disaster struck yet again. This time it was corner back Conor Casserly that caught the referee’s eye with an overzealous challenge and his second yellow card earned him a seat on the bench next to Bonny.
A McKeegan free leveled it when a tremendous defensive play from New York’s veteran cornerback Philip Wickham launched a New York attack that culminated in a free as Denis McCarthy was fouled.
Fletcher pointed and after 80 minutes the rank outsiders, down two men, were up one point. The second half of extra time finally saw New York’s legs begin to tire and McKeegan’s third-minute goal was the beginning of the end.
New York didn’t score in the final ten minutes and before it was over goal keeper Timmy Cullen earned a straight red card and New York had to finish with 12 men.
Two late Antrim points made it a six point victory for Antrim, a score line that flattered to deceive.
New York Chairman Seamus Dooley called New York’s display “absolutely brilliant,” and added, “this was a great lift for hurling in New York.” New York Captain Bonny Kennedy was proud of the “great heart that our team showed.”
Manager Monty Maloney echoed Chairman Dooley saying, “It did New York hurling justice. We do have good hurlers in New York, division 1 hurlers, and for that hour we beat a division 1 team.” Adrian Guinan said, “We’ve no regrets, we put our heart and soul into it and we have some good club hurling coming up.”
Bonny summed up New York’s attitude, saying, “we showed that hurling is stills strong in New York and I hope people realize that.”
After Sunday’s display few would argue.

Man of the Match: Tom Moylan
Referee: Sean McMahon
Antrim: Damian Quinn, Michael Kettle, Michael McCambridge, Chris Hamill, Gerard Cummingham, Jonathan Campbell, Ciaran Herron (0-1), Martin Scullion, Michael Herron (0-2), Brian McFall (1-2), Colm McGuckian (0-3), Karl Stewart (0-3), John McIntosh (0-1), James Connolly (0-1), Brendan Quinn (0-3) Subs: Darren Quinn, Karl McKeegan (1-2), Joe Scallion, Padraig Richmond (0-2)
Manager: Dinny Cahill
Selectors: Gerard Holden, Malachy Elliot

New York: Timmy Cullen, Philip Wickham, Peter Dalton, Conor Casserly, Tadgh Healy, John Madden, Adrian Guinan, Leon Dunican, Paul Murray, Bonny Kennedy (1-7, 4 fr), Tom Moylan, Trevor Fletcher (0-4), Denis McCarthy (0-1), Kevin Kennedy, Roy Henley (0-2) Subs: Michael Maher (1-0), Liam Kilkenny, Aiden Power, Tomas O’Meara, Tomas O’Meara
Manager: Monty Maloney
Selectors: Mike Kennedy, Donnacha O’Dwyer

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