Ugly scenes at end of Ulster Junior Hurling final

Disappointment for Sean MacCumhaill's in provincial decider

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

Sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Ugly scenes at end of Ulster Junior Hurling final

Lamh Dhearg of Antrim were deserving winners of Sunday's Ulster Junior Hurling Club championship title following a three point win over Sean MacCumhaills.

Lamh Dhearg . . . 0-16

Sean MacCumhaills . . . 0-13

This game however, will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. An ugly melee broke out in the dying minutes with players and mentors from both sides involved in an unsavoury row close to the side line.

The incident lasted for several minutes and spilled over into the main stand where there was fighting between both sets of fans.

It was a very unfortunate end to what up until then had been a decent spectacle.
The end result was the dismissal of two players from each side – Paddy Hannigan of MacCumhaill's was shown a second yellow and Gerard Gilmore a straight red.
Two of the Antrim players, Declan Lynch and Paddy Mervyn, were also shown straight reds.

At that stage, Lamh Dhearg were three points to the good and even with 5 minutes of injury time, MacCumhaill's were unable to find a goal that would have sent this game to extra time.

Even on the final whistle, there were more unruly scenes with the match referee, Barry Winters of Tyrone, coming in for some heavy abuse from some of the supporters.

The match official's performance over the hour wasn't exactly impressive. At times he was extremely fussy and MacCumhaill's might rightly argue that they had to work hard for almost every free that came their way.

Lamh Dhearg were best served by their full forward, Domhnall Nugent who hit 11 points, 9 of them from frees.
He had a fine game and he helped his team into a 0-10 to 0-6 lead at half time.

Once again Lee Henderson top scored for MacCumhaill's with ten of his side's 13 points, all of them from frees.

Marty O'Reilly hit two glorious points for the Donegal club, one in each half while the other point came from Gerard Gilmore. O'Reilly almost grabbed a goal in the closing stages when his shot was saved by keeper Paddy Joe Herron.

At that stage of the game, MacCumhaill's were well in the tie and had got the deficit back to just two points, 0-15 to 0-13.

But Lamh Dhearg always seemed able to fashion a score when the pressure began to tell and when Paddy Mervyn pointed to open up a three-point lead with five minutes to go, they looked in a strong position again.

Then came the unfortunate row which began with a couple of players from each side involved. Within seconds it quickly spiraled out of control and a number of fights broke out on the pitch and in the main stand.

Once play resumed, MacCumhaill's just couldn't muster the goal they so badly needed and their day ended in deep disappointment.

Sean MacCumhaill's: Dylan Laverty; Anthony Patton, Jamesie Donnelly, Bernard McMenamin; Conor Gallagher, Gavin Browne, Conor Griffin; Patrick Hannigan, Lee Henderson (0-10, all frees); Barry McGranaghan, Marty O'Reilly (0-2), Sean Curran; David White, Gerard Gilmore (0-1), Aaron McAuley. Sub: Kyle Tourish for Curran (45).

Lamh Dhearg: Paddy Joe Herron; Michael McGuigan, Mark Lynch, Conor Herron; Conor McConville, Michael Herron, Cathal Kelly; Brendan McComb (0-1), Paddy Mervyn (0-1); Terry McCrudden (0-2), Charlie McCloskey, Declan Lynch (0-1); Aidan McGuigan, Domhnall Nugent (0-11, 9f), Ryan Diamond. Sub: Jack Trainor for McGuigan (53).

Referee: Barry Winters (Tyrone).