Battling Cloughmills fall in Ulster final



CLOUGHMILLS’ dream of landing an Ulster Intermediate title was thwarted by Lisbellaw from Fermanagh.

The Erne County champions continued their march through Ulster with a hard-fought seven point success against St Brigid’s.

It was a highly competitive game in which goals from Lisbellaw forwards Sean Corrigan, Declan McGarry and Ciaran Corrigan were the crucial scores.

Lisbellaw had the wind in their favour in the first half and midfielder and free-taker John Duffy finished the half with six points, five from frees as the Fermanaghmen went in at the break leading 2-10 to 1-5.

Duffy had opened the scoring when he pointed a first minute free after just 20 seconds but St Brigid’s hit back with points from Michael Devlin and James Doherty to take the lead - but it was short-lived.

The first goal for Lisbellaw came in the third minute when the Cloughmills defence failed to clear a free from Duffy and full-forward McGarry finished to the net.

Wing half-back Breslin picked up on a loose clearance to land a good point between similar scores from Duffy but at the other end St Brigid’s responded with points from Kearns and Devlin to leave only a point between the sides at the end of the first quarter.

But the second quarter was disastrous for Cloughmills as Lisbellaw went on a scoring spree hitting 1-5 without reply as they went eleven points ahead with the half-time whistle approaching but Cloughmills restored some hope when Stephen Smith smashed in a goal but it was double scores, 16 to eight, at the interval.

Cloughmills came out all guns blazing in the second half and hit four unanswered points within five minutes - two from Liam Kearns and one each from Michael Devlin and Ruari Laverty - and there were only four points between them.

However, St Patrick’s held strong and when Lisbellaw grabbed a third goal through Sean Corrigan the trophy was going into the West. To be fair to Cloughmills though they never gave up and Michael Devlin crashed a 13-metre free to the net to bring it back to four points again but Lisbellaw pushed on and hit three more unanswered points although Christopher McKernan for Cloughmills had a goal-bound effort cleared.

Cloughmills: A McNeill; M. Dobbin, D. Morrison, S. Martin; J. McGuckian, A. Smiley (0-1), R. Laverty (0-1); J Doherty (0-1 free), M. Morrison; M. Devlin (1-3), L. Connolly, C. McKernan; S. Smyth (1-0), C. Laverty, L. Kearns (0-4,0-2 frees). Subs: S McKendry for C McKernan (53).