Loughgiel completed an impressive double in hurling yesterday when they clinched the Ulster Club league title by defeating their arch north Antrim rivals Dunloy by 1-14 to 0-14 in the decider.
This was the ultimate game of two halves — Loughgiel were totally dominant in the first period and led by 1-12 to 0-0 at the break; Eddie McCluskey’s goal and the accurate free-taking of Benny McCarry cementing their authority before Dunloy exploded into action in the second-half.
They had found playing against the win a major disadvantage in the first-half and were further handicapped when James McKeague was red-carded with just over 20 minutes gone.
Yet Dunloy, deriving inspiration from the marksmanship of Sean Dowds and two majestic long-range points from old war-horse Gregory O’Kane, restricted their opponents to just two points after the break.
Johnny Campbell, Martin Scullion and Barney McAuley deployed their experience to good effect for the winners while Kevin Molloy, Conor McKinley and Michael McClements along with Dowds and O’Kane spearheaded Dunloy’s spirited surge.