O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division 1A
O'Donovan Rossa 0-21 St John's 1-19

SHEA Shannon led the way for St John's as his 11th point of the evening saw them edge out Rossa in a well-contested affair on their travels on Wednesday.

The first post-split game of hurling's top flight would hang in the balance right until the last as these rivals scrapped for everything, but it was to be the Johnnies' night as they moved to the top of 1A as Cushendall and Loughgiel drew.

It was a highly entertaining affair with some fine performances from each. 

Gerard Walsh top-scored with nine for the hosts with Thomas Morgan and Michael Armstrong contributing another seven between them, while Domhnall Nugent's physical presence was a huge asset for the Johnnies and Ciaran Johnston steady at full-back.

Aidan McMahon did the early honours for St John's with a point after just 10 seconds and although Rossa responded with a point from Eoghan McMenamin, they had to work for it with the Johnnies swarming around the ball.

That set the tone for the opening half with both sides looking to impose their will upon the other.

The hosts rattled off the next three through Declan McCartney, a monster Geared Walsh free and Thomas Morgan with his first of the night, but the Corrigan Park outfit remained close with Shea Shannon accurate from frees.

Rossa led 0-7 to 0-5 with Walsh thumping over his third of the evening before the hosts were warned when Ruairi Galbraith got on the end of a dropping ball, but the major was chalked off for a square ball.

Thomas Morgan tries to break through a challenge

Thomas Morgan tries to break through a challenge

He did land a point immediately after and following an exchange of points from Odhran Carleton and Morgan, the Johnnies did get their goal and this time Galbraith's touch to a dropping ball - delivered by Sean Wilson - was well outside.

But Rossa responded well with Gerard Walsh lashing over from play and a free to take his first-half tally to five.

Shannon briefly edged the Johnnies back in front, but Rossa would finish the half well as Ruairi Murray levelled, Morgan clipped over a superb point from a tight angle - his third of the half - and Michael Armstrong drilled over in added time as Rossa took a 0-13 to 1-8 lead into the break.

The visitors would make a much better start to the second period as they flew out of the traps with Shannon and Michial Dudley firing over within a minute and although Gerard Walsh replied, another there from Shannon and one from Aidan McMahon put them that goal to the good.

Three remained the gap as the sides traded but Rossa were gradually working their way back with Michael Armstrong landing a couple, but so too did Domhnall Nugent as the lead was two when Morgan scampered clear to tap over his fourth and make it a one-point game.

Yet another Shannon score, bringing his tally to 10 gave the Johnnies slightly more breathing space by the 49th minute, but the scores would dry up for nine minutes with shots tailing the wrong side of the posts.

Michael Armstrong gets away from Conor McEvoy

Michael Armstrong gets away from Conor McEvoy

It was still all to play for and Rossa looked like they may be set to edge home a pair of Walsh frees had them level going into added time.

Shannon converted a placed ball before Walsh had a chance to tie it up again right at the death, but a free from inside his own 45 just tailed right as St John's took the win.

ROSSA: C Rocks; O McVicker, C McGuinness, N Crossan; J Kerr, G Walsh (0-9, 7f), Stephen Shannon; C Orchin, C Boyle; E McMenamin (0-1), P Short, R Murray (0-1); D McCartney (0-3, 2f), T Morgan (0-4), M Armstrong (0-3).
Subs: E Trainor for T Morgan (49), B McCauley for C Boyle (59)

ST JOHN'S: S Doherty; C McEvoy, Ciaran Johnston, O Carleton (0-1); S Wilson, C Morgan, E McGurk; A McMahon (0-2), D Nugent (0-2); S Shannon (0-11, 7f, 1 65), S Tierney, D McGuinness; M Dudley (0-1), A Bradley, R Galbraith (1-1).
Subs: D McKeogh (0-1) for D McGuinness (27), B Quinn for R Galbraith (HT), M McCartin for S Wilson (43), L Heenan for S Tierney (59).

REFEREE: Colm McDonald (St Gall's)

Wednesday's results
O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division 1A 
O'Donovan Rossa 0-21 St John's 1-19
Cushendall 1-18 Loughgiel 0-21

O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division 1B
Ballygalget 2-19 Ballycran 1-22
Ballycastle 3-25 Naomh Éanna 2-17

O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division Two
Carryduff 1-9 St Paul's 1-16
Tír na nÓg 1-23 Clooney Gaels 2-20
Glenarm 0-21 Glenariffe 0-20
Sarsfield's 1-15 Cushendun 1-18
Carey 1-18 St Gall's 0-11

O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division Three
Creggan P-P Rasharkin
Lámh Dhearg 4-21 Glenravel 1-16

O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Hurling League Division Four
Loch Mór Dál gCais 4-19 Loughbeg Harps 1-13
Gort na Móna 13-23 Latharna Óg 1-12

O'Neills Sportswear Antrim Football League Division Three
St Malachy's 1-14 Éire Óg 1-7
St Agnes' 0-12 Laochra Loch Lao 1-8