Niall Campbell was in fine scoring form for Burt against Castleblayney
Burt fell at the first hurdle in the Ulster Junior Hurling Championship in O’Donnell Park this afternoon as they went down to Castleblaney from Monaghan.
Castleblayney ……… 4-9
Two Castleblayney goals in the space of a minute early in the second quarter were the defining scores in the tie.
The Monaghan champions had the better of the early exchanges and led 0-4 to 0-2 when Hugh Byrne struck for the first of their two goals.
The first on 21 minutes came when Byrne found himself in behind the defence in a one and one with Burt keeper Paul Burns. And from five metres he gave the Burt stopper no chance with a rasper to the roof of the net.
And less than a minute later Burns was plucking the ball out of his net again with Byrne once again the scorer.
This time he first timed to the net after Burns had parried his initial strike.
The goals opened up a 2-4 to 0-2 lead and while Burt did, through Niall Campbell, pull two points back, the Monaghan men were in a good place as they trooped off at half-time, leading 2-4 to 0-4 and they had been the better side and had shown the greater energy and sharpness right through the field.
Burt were without the injured Enda McDermott and James Dowds, who has emigrated to the US, from their county final winning team.
They also had the look of a team that after five hard weeks of senior championship football had taken its toll on weary legs.
However in true Burt fashion they did mount an early second half revival. Veteran forward Niall Campbell nailed three quick points to cut the Castleblayney lead to four.
But with Burt forced to go for the game they left gaps at the back and Castleblayney took full advantage. Brian McGuigan and man of the match Fergal Rafter netted two more goals for a comfortable nine point victory and good start to their bid for an Ulster Junior crown.
Rafter and Hugh Byrne were the standout players and Burt had no answer for them. Between them they scored 3-9, Rafter posted 1-7 and Byrne hit 2-2 and were unstoppable on the day.
BURT: Paul Burns; Padraig Doherty, Martin McGrath, Dara Grant; Brendan Harrigan, Joe Boyle, Stephen Gillespie; Ciaran Finn, Ronan McDermott (0-2); Caolan McDermott, Christopher McDermott, Piaras Harrigan; Niall Campbell (0-8,6f), Conor Carlin, Ciaran Dowds (0-1). Subs: Ciaran Brady (0-1) for Piaras Harrigan, Mickey McCann (0-1) for C Carlin, both at h/t; Kevin Glenn for M McGrath 57.
CASTLEBLAYNEY: Paddy Collins; Colin Merrick, Eoin Leonard, Bernard Connor; Hugh Byrne (2-2), Peter Treanor, Jim McHugh; Paddy Finnegan, Mark Treanor; Brian Flanagan, Fergal Rafter (1-7,3f), Nathan Adair; Fintan Finnegan, Craig Callan, Brian McGuigan(1-0). Subs: Jack Deasy for C Callan 49; Jordan Carville for N Adair 59; James Lavelle for B Connor 60.
REFEREE: Kevin Parke (Antrim)