Hero Clarke fires Ballycastle hurlers into McAuley Cup showpiece

Ballycastle's James McLister tussles with St John's Colm McFall during Sunday's McAuley Cup semi-final in Armoy. INBM 10-780CS
Ballycastle's James McLister tussles with St John's Colm McFall during Sunday's McAuley Cup semi-final in Armoy. INBM 10-780CS

Three goals from Ciaran Clarke helped holders Ballycastle to a 5-14 to 2-14 win over St John’s in Sunday’s semi-final of the McAuley Cup Senior Hurling tournament at Armoy.

In a high-scoring game, wind-assisted Ballycastle made most of the early running and were 0-6 to 1-0 up after ten minutes, the Johnnies’ goal coming from a Collie McFall 20 metre free.

A couple of well taken points from corner-forward Conor McGarry and a goal from full-forward James McLister seemed to have put Ballycastle in the driving seat but St John’s hit back well with two points apiece from Andy Magowan and Mickey O’Neill to cut the gap to three, before Clarke got through for the first of his three goals in the thirtieth minute.

A Fergal Morgan goal from a penalty and points from Collie and Barry McFall brought St John’s right back into the game but two quick goals from KB McShane and Ciaran Clarke all but sealed it.

Clarke had time to complete his hat-trick when he broke through and kicked the ball into the Johnnies’ net before Chrissy Boyle, KB McShane and Cozy Dallas added points to seal the win.

BALLYCASTLE – Raymond McMullan, Paul McClernon, Daniel McLaughlin, Fergus Donnelly, Shane Staunton, Mickey Dallatt, Matthew Donnelly, KB McShane, Stephen McAfee, Malacy Dallas, James McShane, Chrissy Boyle, Conor McCarry, James McLister, Ciaran Clarke