05 August 2012
All Ireland Club champions Loughgiel took the first step towards retaining their county title when they produced a powerful second-half display to convincingly beat Rossa in Sunday’s preliminary round at Casement Park.
Rossa hurled very well in the opening half and must have had many hurling fans wondering why they are not playing their hurling in Division 1. When they went in at half-time trailing by just a goal (2-7 to 1-7) after playing into a stiff breeze they must have thought they were in with a chance of an almighty upset, but Loughgiel’s undoubted class shone through in the second-half and brilliantly led by man of the match Eddie McCloskey they powered their way to an emphatic victory.
After an early exchange of points Shay Casey set Loughgiel on the victory trail when he cut through to rifle the ball to the Rossa net, but the Belfast side hit back strongly and boosted by a Johnny McGuinness goal they levelled the scores at 1-2 apiece. Eddie McCloskey was creating havoc in the Rossa defence however and after clever work the left-half-forward and centre-forward Declan Laverty the latter placed Benny McCarry for his team’s second goal and sent them to the dressing room with a 2-7 to 1-7 cushion.
When Rossa cut the gap to just two points within twenty seconds of the restart an exciting battle looked to be on, but slowly but surely Loughgiel’s class began to show through and further goals from Benny McCarry, Eddie McCloskey and substitute Seamus Dobbin saw they coast through to a meeting with Glenariffe in the first round proper on the first weekend in September.
LOUGHGIEL – DD Quinn, Paul Gillan, Neilly McGarry, Ronan McCloksey, James Campbell, Martin Scullion, Johnny Campbell (capt), Tony McCloskey, Barney McAuley, Eddie McCloskey, Declan Laverty, Joey Scullion, Benny McCarry, Damian Laverty, Shay Casey. SUBS – Liam Watson for Damian Laverty; Seamus Dobbin for Shay Casey
ROSSA – Phil Green, Mickey Kettle, Gavin Bell, Kevin McDonald, John Kerr, Eoghan O’Neill, Ciaran Orchin, Chris McIlhatton, Paul Close, Johnny McGuinness, Michael Armstrong, Stephen Beattie, Thomas Morgan, Liam McAuley, Michael Turley.
Referee – Garrett Duffy (St Gall’s)