Friday 22 September 2017

Scullion inspires Shamrocks to title

Antrim SHC Final: Loughgiel 3-14 Cushendall 2-6

Loughgiel Shamrocks claimed their fourth Antrim title in a row at a breezy Ballycastle, powering past Cushendall by 11 points.

Loughgiel Shamrocks claimed their fourth Antrim title in a row at a breezy Ballycastle, powering past Cushendall by 11 points.

It was their third meeting in four years in the Antrim decider and in the previous two occasions only a puck of the ball separated the sides.

After the superb Joey Scullion put the 2012 All-Ireland champions 0-2 to 0-1 ahead after seven minutes, they bossed proceedings for all but for a five-minute period. First-half goals from Benny McCarry and Shay Casey set the Shamrocks on their way to a 2-6 to 0-5 lead at the break. A Paddy McGill major added to a Conor Carson point left just a goal between the sides on 35 minutes, but Loughgiel went on to add 1-7 without reply.

Casey was first to score. Liam Watson flicked the ball to Scullion whose driving run allowed Casey the space to collect a neat pass and fire to the net.

McCarry netted four minutes from half-time, but within 38 seconds of the restart McGill picked out the bottom right-hand corner of the Shamrocks net with pinpoint accuracy. Carson cut the gap to a goal but two minutes later Watson picked out McCarry's run for the corner-forward to drive home. Shane McNaughton's free rattled the net on 59 minutes to secure the title.

Man of the Match: Joey Scullion (Loughgiel)

SCORERS – Loughgiel: B McCarry 2-1, L Watson 0-6 (5fs), J Scullion 0-4, S Casey 1-0, M McFadden, T McCloskey, B McAuley 0-1 each. Cushendall: P McGill, McNaughton (1f) 1-0 each, C Carson 0-3, K McKeegan 0-2 (2fs); R McCambridge 0-1.

Loughgiel – DD Quinn; P Gillen, N McGarry, R McCloskey; M Scullion, Johnny Campbell, O McFadden; M McFadden, T McCloskey; J Scullion, D Laverty, E McCloskey; B McCarry, S Casey, L Watson. Subs: B McAuley for T McCloskey, D McCloskey for McCarry, D McKinley for Casey, James Campbell for Scullion, T Coyle for R McCloskey.

Cushendall – R Kearney; M Burke, A Graffin, R McCambridge; P Burke, N McManus, D McNaughton; E Campbell, P McNaughton; P McGill, C Carson, K McKeegan; S McNaughton, E McKillop, E Laverty. Subs: A Delargy for Laverty, S Delargy for McCambridge.

Irish Independent

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