Western Gaels and Naomh Eoin will meet again in semi finals
Senior Hurling Championship at Kent Park: Naomh Eoin 1-17 Western Gaels 3-16
Naomh Eoin hurlers were edged out by Western Gaels in an exciting Round 5 Sligo SHC game at Kent Park last Saturday afternoon by 3-16 to 1-17.
Naomh Eoin have still qualified in joint top of the group on 7 points and will play Western Gaels again in the senior hurling championship semi-final this Friday at 8.30pm in Scarden.
Easkey pipped Naomh Eoin to top spot in the group on scoring difference, and will play Calry/St Joseph's in the other semi-final.
In the first half Naomh Eoin faced into a stiff breeze which gave their opponents an advantage that they quickly converted into scores.
Western Gaels raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after five minutes of play, with the accurate Tony O'Kelly-Lynch converting the first of his three first half points from placed balls.
Naomh Eoin managed six first half points in total with Paul Kilcoyne (2) and Liam Henry adding excellent scores from play.
However the visitors were dominant in possession and Gaels wing forward Alan Cawley converted this dominance into scores from frees and play, as the depleted Naomh Eoin senior team struggled to cope with a determined opposition who had to win this game to join them in the semi-finals.
As the half wore on, Western Gaels became more dominant and a goal from a close-in free from the hurl of their keeper David Barrett meant that Naomh Eoin were behind by 11 points at the break with a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-6.
In the second half the tables were turned and the Naomh Eoin players made quick work of eating into the deficit with a succession of scores, initiated by a well worked move leading to corner forward Fergal O'Kelly-Lynch finishing into the net after two minutes of play.
His brothers Gerard and Tony contributed to a frequent series of scores but Gaels added a goal against the run of play from wing-back Bryan Moloney which arrested the Naomh Eoin comeback to a degree.
However after 20 minutes they had cut the deficit to a solitary point as Paul Kilcoyne added two further points leaving the score at 1-16 to 2-14.
Western Gaels then staged a comeback as Alan Cawley (two frees) and Simon Wade (goal) stopped the second half fight back from Naomh Eoin in its tracks.
A succession of desperate attempts to reel back the six point deficit lead to only one score from Naomh Eoin's top performer Tony O'Kelly-Lynch and at full time the result was Western Gaels 3-16 Naomh Eoin 1-17.