Liatroim are U-21 champs of the county

Liatroim are U-21 champs of the county

29 November 2017

LIATROIM won an enjoyable county U-21 hurling championship final at Downpatrick on Sunday when they justified their favourites’ tag with an commanding performance against Ballycran. 

Credit to both sides as Ballycran played their part in keeping the crowd entertained as they fought tooth and nail and it was only in the final 10 minutes when the destination of the Joe McCrickard was decided.

Three weeks ago Ballycran were crowned county minor champions at the same venue and with a number of this team involved, they were confident of causing an upset. 

However, Liatroim were determined to make up for defeat in last year’s final. The manner of Liatroim’ s success with comprehensive victories throughout this competition speaks volumes of the talent coming through to senior level and provides them with a platform to push on, and progress to joining the Ards clubs as the main driving force of hurling in Down. 

They dominated the first 20 minutes of the first half playing against the breeze. They were sharper and stronger and used the open space with Oisin McManus and Matthew Muldoon hitting majors. supplemented by points from Ryan McCusker and Pearse Og McCrickard. 

Ballycran showed great character, scoring a goal through Cathal Ritchie and unanswered points by Niall Breen and Hugh Flynn, which closed the gap nearing half-time.

The goal from Ritchie was a beauty after collecting a long delivery under pressure, turning and finding the net with a superb finish. 

At half-time Liatroim led 2-9 to 1-5 with wind advantage to come in the second half.

Liatroim continued to dominate, hitting some excellent scores from Matthew Muldoon, Oisin McManus, Pearse Og and Conor McCrickard. 

Ballycran were ten points down midway through the second half, but a Gerard Hughes goal and point from midfielder Liam Savage sparked life into their challenge.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Ballycran trailed by six points when Liatroim stepped up the tempo to finish in style with Conor McCrickard finding his range with two well-taken goals to secure victory. 

Liatroim: Sean Duggan, Caolon Moorehead, Jarlath McAleenan, Cormac Lynch, Joe Moorehead, Oisin Duggan, Ruairi McCrickard, PJ Davison, Sean Hardy, Pearse Og McCrickard (0-4),Liam Middelton, Matthew Muldoon (1-3), Oisin McManus (1-12, 0-9 frees), Ryan McCusker (0-1), Conor McCrickard (2-4). Subs: Joe Cunningham, Conor Branniff, Ronan Owens, Gavin Lively, Aaron McMullen.

Ballycran: Martin Caldwell, Brad Watson, Conor Gilmore, Joe Watson; Cathal Ritchie (2-0), Liam McCarthy, Zach Hickey, Liam Savage (0-2), Ben Arthurs, Huw Flynn (0-2), Gerard Hughes (1-1), Phelim Savage (0-1), Bren Hughes, Niall Breen (0-2), Caolan Arthurs. Subs: Conor Caldwell, Aaron Dorrian, Michael McCarthy, Phillip Miskimmin, Stephen Gilliland.

Referee: Mick Blair (Portaferry).

Liatroim 4-24

Ballycran 3-8