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Cushendall win hurling final nail-biter

Cushendall 1-14 Ballygalget 1-13

Cushendall soaked up tremendous late pressure from gutsy Ballygalget in yesterday's windy AIB Ulster Club SHC final at Casement Park to take home the silverware on a 1-14 to 1-13 scoreline.

It was a superb last 25 minutes display of guts from Ballygalget that left the decider a nail-biting finish with the losers hitting 1-4 to Cushendall's three points in the closing period of what was a tight game of competitive hurling.

Ballygalget's Martin Coulter got crumbs of comfort in defeat as his 10 points earned him the Man-of-the-Match award and his seven against the storm in the first half kept his team in the game as the Ards attackers didn't seem to have the necessary penetration to crack a solid 'Dall defence in which Oran Scullion was a tower of strength at full-back.

It was Conor McCambridge's 16th minute goal that separated the sides at the interval with Cushendall going in 1-8 to 0-8 ahead.

For the 10 minutes after half-time the winners stayed on top and when Paddy McGill elected to point a penalty award in the 40th minute the Antrim champions led by 1-11 to 0-9.

However, the Mourne men buckled down to the big task on hand and with the wind in their tails launched a series of attacks. They had the sliothar in the 'Dall net from a goalmouth shot but the 'goal' was ruled out on 54 minutes. Anyhow, over the closing 25 minutes the John Michell's hit 1-4 to just three points in reply.

When Paddy Coulter netted for the now dominant losers in the 61st minute it was 1-14 to 1-12 and five minutes into injury time Steven Clarke made it a one point game but, in a fighting finish, Cushendall held out for the narrowest of victories.

Brian Delargy (Cushendall) and Stephen Johnston (Ballygalget) were sent off a minute from time for second yellow cards.

CUSHENDALL: F McAuley; A Graffin, O Scullion, S Delargy (0-1); M McCambridge, K McKeegan, K Elliott; D McKillop, D McNaughton; B Delargy, P McGill (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 pen), A Delargy (0-1); S McNaughton (0-3), N McManus (0-1), C McCambridge (1-1). Subs: C Carson for McKillop (48), B McNaughton (0-1) for A Delargy (57).

BALLYGALGET: Graham Clarke; L Clarke, A Dynes, C Braniff; S Roddy, Gabriel Clarke, S Johnston; P Monan (0-1, sideline cut), D Flynn; E Clarke, G Flynn, S Clarke (0-2); M Og Coulter (0-10, 0-8 frees), B Coulter, S Bailie. Subs: H Savage for Braniff (19), G Johnston for Bailie (37), P Coulter (1-0) for G Flynn (43), Referee: M Mulholland (Derry).

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