Casey fires Loughgiel to Antrim glory
Loughgiel Shamrocks lifted the Antrim senior hurling championship with a three-point victory over reigning champions Cushendall at Ballycastle.
The Shamrocks recovered from an early Cushendall goal to take the title for the 20th time in their history.
Paddy McGill fired to the Loughgiel net after just 38 seconds. It was a further 12 minutes before they would score again with Neil McManus pointing from play. In-between Loughgiel added three points through Maol Connolly, Benny McCarry and Liam Watson.
Cushendall eased ahead through two Eoin Laverty points but Loughgiel took the lead when Shay Casey fired past DD Quinn.
An Alex Delargy point had the sides level but Loughgiel finished stronger with points from Casey, Connolly and Donal McKinley to take a 1-8 to 1-5 lead into the break.
Substitute Christy McNaughton cut the gap seven minutes after the restart, but midway through the half Loughgiel led by five, 1-11 to 1-6. Points from Eoin Laverty, McNaughton and McManus had just two points between the sides on 54 minutes but Loughgiel replied through Eddie McCloskey and McKinley.
Cushendall pushed to close the gap but Watson closed the scoring to seal a three-point win.
SCORERS - Loughgiel: S Casey 1-2, M Connolly 0-4 (3f), L Watson 0-3, E McCloskey, D McKinley, B McCarry 0-2 each. Cushendall: C McNaughton 0-4 (2f, 1 '65), E Laverty 0-4 (1f), N McManus 0-3, P McGill 1-0, A Delargy 0-1.
Loughgiel - DD Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, R McCloskey; J Campbell, T McCloskey, T Coyle; M McFadden, D McMullan; M Connolly, E McCloskey, D McKinley; B McCarry, L Watson, S Casey. Subs: O McFadden for T McCloskey (50), D McCloskey for J Campbell (57), J McNaughton for D McKinley (60).
Cushendall - E Gillan; R McCambridge, M Burke, S Delargy; D Kearney, P Burke, E McKillop; E Campbell, A McNaughton; C Carson, S McAfee, E Laverty; P McGill, A Delargy, N McManus. Subs: C McNaughton for S McAfee (h-t), D McNaughton for E Laverty (51), K McKeegan for C Carson (56), C McAlister for D Kearney (59), R Delargy for A Delargy (63)
REF - O Elliott (All Saints)