HURLING: Banagher lay down Championship marker against Ballinascreen

Shane Farren was in excellent form for Banagher against Ballinascreen. 2509JM25
Shane Farren was in excellent form for Banagher against Ballinascreen. 2509JM25

Banagher 3-15, Ballinascreen 1-09

After a fine league campaign Brian McGilligan posed the question could his Banagher charges could replicate that in Championship arena?

Well, on this evidence they have put down a marker and will be an extremely difficult side to beat.

With Ruairi McCloskey dominant behind a tight-marking half-back trio of Darragh McCloskey, Sean McCullagh and Mark Lynch, and Brian Óg McGilligan patrolling midfield, the Banagher attack overwhelmed Ballinascreen in the second half.

Oisin and Steafan McCloskey gave Banagher an early platform, Dean McBride’s point for ‘Screen quickly followed by a fine Oisin McCloskey 9th minute goal.

A wonderful McGilligan point opened up a 1-4 to 0-3 but some poor finishing contributed to a half time 1-6 to 0-5 lead for Banagher.

On the restart Paul Cleary and McGilligan exchanged points, Ballinascreen cutting the lead to 1-7 to 1-6 in 34th minute when Cleary batted the sliothar to the net.

However Banagher hit back immediately when Mark Lynch hit the net from close range and that was the end of the game as a contest, Shane Farren’s 58th minute bringing his second half tally to 1-02.

McGilligan brought his tally to 0-4, Mark Lynch, substitute Johnny O’Dwyer and Tiarnan McCloskey also on target as Banagher cruised impressively into the semi final.

Banagher: Darrell McDermott; Gabriel Farren, Ruairi McCloskey, Shane Murphy; Darragh McCloskey, Sean McCullagh, Mark Lynch (1-1); Niall Farren, Brian Óg McGilligan (0-4); Oisin McCloskey (1-2), Shane Farren (1-4, 0-3 free), Tiarnan McCloskey (0-1); Darragh Cartin, Steafan McCloskey (0-2), Ciaran Lynch. (Subs) Johnny O’Dwyer (0-1) for S Murphy 35 mins; Gary Stevenson for D Cartin 59 mins.

Ballinascreen: Gareth Haskins; Johnny McCullagh, Ciaran Conway, Eoghan Gilmore; Phillip McGlade, Conor McSorley, John McCloskey; Brendan Herron (0-5, 2 sixty-fives, 2f), Sean McGuigan; Declan Conway, Aaron Kelly, Sean McBride (0-1); Hugh Pat Kelly, Paul Cleary (1-2), Damian McGlade (0-1). (Subs) Sean Brunton for J McCullagh, 38mins

Referee: Eamon Hasson (Swatragh)