Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

County title still a Loughguile priority

Loughguile currently supply one-third of the Antrim county team's outfield defence - and they certainly have cause to be grateful for that as they contemplate tomorrow's Antrim senior hurling championship semi-final against Ballycastle.

It's at Dunloy (4.00) that Loughguile will bid to take another step towards erasing the painful memory of four county final defeats on the trot.

And to achieve this they will need huge performances from Johnny Campbell and Barney McAuley who have been among Antrim's most consistent performers this year.

If this duo can help curb the Ballycastle attack, then midfield ace Martin Scullion can help operate the supply line that could see his brother Joey and Liam Watson, both ex-members of the Antrim squad, apply the necessary finishing skills up front that might just take Loughguile through.

But if McMullan's men live in hope, Ballycastle are similarly leaning on optimism.

In Cormac Donnelly, this year's Antrim Minor skipper, Neil McAuley and Ciaran Kelly they have quality players who can galvanise their side. Kelly is experienced while McAuley is one of the most promising players in the county. And in Ryan McGarry Ballycastle have a top-class goalkeeper who can thwart the Loughguile attack.

Not since 1989 have Loughguile got their hands on the county trophy and the lengthy famine they have endured has naturally heightened their desire to go the distance.

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