Saturday 19 October 2019

Elliott topples holders with two late goals to seal Antrim title for Dunloy

Dunloy 3-16 Cushendall 2-15

Dunloy players Ryan Elliott and Paul Shields celebrate after the match. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Dunloy players Ryan Elliott and Paul Shields celebrate after the match. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dunloy claimed the Antrim senior hurling title for the 13th time as two late goals from Seán Elliott settled a thrilling final against holders Cushendall in Ballycastle.

Conal Cunning was top scorer for the winners with nine points - seven from frees - while Neil McManus landed 10 for Cushendall.

Dunloy's Sean Elliott scoring his side's second goal against Conor McAlister of Cushendall. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Dunloy's Sean Elliott scoring his side's second goal against Conor McAlister of Cushendall. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dunloy started brighter and led 0-4 to 0-3 before Cushendall grabbed the lead when Fergus McCambridge's shot dropped short, and ended up in the net after goalkeeper Ryan Elliott failed to control it.

McManus tagged on a couple of pointed frees as Dunloy struggled with their shooting at the other end, but Eoin O'Neill did settle them, weaving through traffic to score.

McCambridge hit back immediately, but three Cunning points got Dunloy to within one as half-time loomed. These scores were wiped out by Eoghan Campbell, Alex Delargy and McManus as it appeared Cushendall would take a healthy lead into the break.

Sucker But they suffered a sucker punch with the last act of the half as Nigel Elliott got in behind the defence to race in and find the net to leave Cushendall just one ahead at the break - 1-9 to 1-8.

Cushendall's Neil McManus in action against Ryan McGarry of Dunloy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Cushendall's Neil McManus in action against Ryan McGarry of Dunloy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

The teams were to go score-for-score after the break until Paul Shiels fired over from the right to level matters at 1-12 on 42 minutes before Cunning edged Dunloy back in front from a free.

They were still one ahead in the dying minutes before Elliott put his stamp on the final when he turned Fred McCurry and raced through to find the net.

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McManus tapped over a free to leave that goal between them, but Elliott wasn't finished and when Nigel Elliott handpassed across the face of goal, he gathered possession at the second attempt to bat home.

Cushendall didn't give up and McGill doubled on a dropping ball but saw his effort crash off the post before Dom Delargy had a goal ruled out for a square ball.

They did pull a goal back through Christy McNaughton, but Dunloy saw out the closing seconds to regain the title they last held in 2017.

Scorers - Dunloy: C Cunning 0-9 (7f); S Elliott 2-0; N Elliott 1-2; K Molloy 0-2; N McKeague, E O'Neill, P Shiels 0-1 each. Cushendall: N McManus 0-10 (8f); F McCambridge 1-1; C McNaughton 1-0; A Delargy, P McGill, E Campbell, N McCormick 0-1 each.

DUNLOY - R Elliott; P Duffin, C McKinley, A Crawford; E Smyth, K McKeague, R McGarry; P Shiels, R Molloy; K Molloy, C Brogan, N Elliott; E O'Neill, C Cunning, N McKeague. Subs: C Kinsella for A Crawford (34), S Elliott for N McKeague (40), S Dooey for C Brogan (52), G McTaggart for R Molloy (56).

CUSHENDALL - C McAllister; M Burke, P Burke, S Delargy; A Graffin, E Campbell, F McCurry; Stephen Walsh, Scott Walsh; N McManus, N McCormick, R McCambridge; F McCambridge, P McGill, A Delargy. Subs: D McNaughton for Scott Walsh (41), C McNaughton for S Delargy (49), E McKillop for A Graffin, D Delargy for F McCambridge (60).

REF - C McDonald (St Gall's).

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