McCloskey secures final berth
Loughgiel 1-25 Middletown 0-12
ULSTER CLUB SHC SEMI-FINAL
All-Ireland champions Loughgiel safely saw off Middletown at Casement Park.
The battling losers found the Antrim side a step up in class on their first outing at this level.
Middletown looked far from overawed and only trailed by three, 0-8 to 0-5, on 22 minutes when Ryan Gaffney converted his fourth free of the day, but four unanswered scores from Loughgiel ensured a seven-point cushion -- 0-12 to 0-5 -- for the Antrim side going into the break.
Shortly after the restart Eddie McCloskey had the sliotar in the Middletown net after latching on to a ball from sub Joey Scullion to kick past Padraig Moan for a 1-12 to 0-7 lead.
Loughgiel cantered over the line, with Declan Laverty and Mark McFadden also getting their names on the scoresheet, but they will face a tougher examination from Portaferry in the decider in two weeks' time.
SCORERS -- Loughgiel: E McCloskey 1-6, L Watson 0-8 (4f), B McCarry 0-6, D Laverty, M McFadden, 0-2 each, S Casey 0-1. Middletown: R Gaffney 0-5f, K McKernan, 0-3, 0-1 '65', E Carvill 0-2, M Maguire, C McCann 0-1 each.
Loughgiel -- DD Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, R McCloskey; J Campbell, M Scullion, J Campbell; M McFadden, T McCloskey; L Watson, D Laverty, E McCloskey; B McCarry, D McCloskey, S Casey. Subs: J Scullion for D McCloskey, S Dobbin for R McCloskey, B McAuley for J Campbell, O McFadden for N McGarry, D McCloskey for L Watson.
Middletown -- P Moan; B Mallon, P Hughes, E Carvill; P Gaffney, N Curry, B McCann; P Lappin, K McKernan; M Maguire, C McCann, C Carvill; S Gaffney, R Gaffney, M Moan. Subs: E O'Hanlon for P Lappin, P Curry for E Carvill, F Woods for M Moan, K Hughes for C McCann.
Ref -- E Hassan (Derry)