Cushendall ease past Loughgiel
Cushendall 0-15 Loughiel 0-6
Some wonder second half points took Cushendall to a well-deserved victory over Loughgiel in yesterday's disappointing Antrim SHC final, at Casement Park.
Loughgiel failed to find the form that took them to a replay victory over defending champions Dunloy and never seriously challenged Cushendall, apart from a few moves during the opening quarter.
Even then, they failed to put points on the board as the winners were more economical in their approach work with Shane McNaughton in good shooting form.
The winners led by 0-4 to 0-1 before Joey Scullion tossed over Loughgiel's second point and the losers got a major boost. Liam Watson who got a jaw injury in the semi-final replay didn't start the final but joined the Loughgiel attack after 18 minutes.
His arrival caused a huge roar from the Shamrock supporters but his first action on the field quickly quelled the celebrations.
Watson ran in and immediately shaped up to a penalty award but his drive from the mark was well saved and Loughgiel's chance of going 1-2 to 0-4 ahead was lost.
Watson did strike over a free puck in the 25th minute but Cushendall ended a dry scoring spell of 16 minutes when Shane McNaughton sent over this third point of the afternoon to leave the his side ahead by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.
Both sides hit two points apiece over the opening nine minutes of the second half but Loughgiel could manage only one further point — in the 57th minute — as the winners completely dominated play.
They struck some simply glorious long range points with Karl McKeegan's side-line cut from 55 metres the pick of the bunch.
Cushendall: S McNaughton (0-5), K Elliott (0-2), B Delargy (0-2), P McGill (0-2, 1f), C McCambridge (0-2, 1f), K McKeegan (0-1, side-line cut), A Delargy (0-1).
Loughgiel: J Scullion (0-4, 2f), L Watson (0-1, 1f), B McAuley (0-1).
CUSHENDALL: F McAuley; A Graffin, O Scullion, S Delargy; M McCambridge, K McKeegan, K Elliott; D McKilop, D McNaughton; B Delargy, P McGill, A Delargy; S McNaughton, N McManus, C McCambridge. Subs: J Carson for D McKillop (45), C Curran for A Delargy (52). LOUGHGIEL: D Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, M McFadden; B McAuley, J Campbell, D Laverty; E McCloskey, B Dillon; J Scullion, T McCloskey; S Casey, M Scullion, S McMullan. Subs: L Watson for M Scullion (18), D Laverty for T McCloskey (25), C Coyle for Dillon (40).
Referee: G Duffy (St Gall's).