ULSTER CHAMPIONS

31 October 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By JOHN GRAHAM

Castleblayney 4-13

Na Magha  1-07

CASTLEBLAYNEY engineered a magnificent second-half turnaround to clinch victory and their second Ulster Club Junior Hurling Championship title when they literally overran the Derry champions Na Magha who had no answer to the pace and power of the Monaghan champions in Dungannon last Sunday.

The second-half was in total contrast to the opening period though which was a closely contested affair with the Derry champions taking the lead once at 0-4 to 0-3 after 12 minutes and the sides went in level at the break Castleblayney 2-4, Na Magha 1-7. Castleblayney’s prospects got a boost and Na Magha’s prospects suffered a severe setback within a minute of the resumption when the Derry champions were reduced to 14 players, Breandan Quigley, who had been an influential figure in the first half, being sent off on a second yellow card.

The prevailing conditions too were difficult with a strong swirling breeze and a greasy surface which did affect the standard of play but when Castleblayney turned over to enjoy whatever edge there was in the strong breeze they began to take increasing control and by the end of the third quarter they had increased their lead to 5 points.

Castleblayney’s big men were now increasingly dominant, Deaglan Crowe and Mark Treanor in midfield, Peter Treanor a tower of strength at centre back while substitute Bernard Connor was also seen to good effect on a number of occasions in the full-back line. That dominant display in the middle third kept the supply going to the inside men with substitute Tony Forde rifling in two goals and Hugh Byrne continuing to find the range especially ..

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