Our Junior A hurlers began their Championship tonight in Cloneen where they took on Newcastle.
After a slow start, we were brought back into the game midway through the first half with an absolute peach of a goal from Tommy McGrath. He stuck it into the keepers left-hand side of the net, from 30+ metres, in the bottom goal in Cloneen, giving the keeper no chance. You’ll go far to see a better finish this year.
Or so you would have thought.
A few minutes later, up stepped Tiger Diffily to do exactly the same. An exquisite strike. Same corner. Same result. Green flag. This time from approximately 22 metres.
We were unlucky late in the first half not to have another goal. It was disallowed for square ball which meant we went in 2-05 to 0-09 up at half time even though Newcastle did a lot of the hurling, early on, especially.
Within the opening two minutes of the second half, Newcastle pulled a goal back to put them into the lead again.

The second half was very stop start, with neither team really taking a foothold, and most scores coming from placed balls. Paul Diffily was very accurate for Swan as was Sweeney for Newcastle.

Swan were 2 points up with less than 5 minutes remaining but a late Newcastle flurry meant we went into injury time a point down.

In the dying seconds, Newcastle had an opportunity to pop the ball over the bar which probably would have got them over the line but they went for the jugular. Tom Kennedy made an outstanding double save, and the Swan defence somehow cleared the ball off the line.

Up the field we went in need of a score. A high ball dropped short, just in front of the Newcastle square. A ruck developed, with both teams piling players in looking to win possession. Paddy Ivors deemed a Newacastle player to have fouled the ball on the ground which resulted in a 20 metre free in, right in front of the posts. Paul Diffily converted to level the game.

Within 30 seconds of the restart, the game was over. Draw game. Full time: Carrick Swan 2-14 Newcastle 1-17