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Dunloy to clash with All-Ireland champions

By Damien Mellon

Dunloy will meet All-Ireland champions Loughgiel in the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship final after a surprise semi-final victory over Cushendall in Ballycastle.

Cushendall carried the favourites tag into yesterday’s clash but it was the Cuchulains who came away with a deserved 4-11 to 2-11 victory.

Goals from Nigel Elliott, Paddy Doherty, Paul Shiels and Kevin McQuillan proved the difference for Seamus McMullan’s side who will look to spring another surprise in the September 29 final.

“We know we’ll be underdogs against Loughgiel but we were underdogs going in against Cushendall,” said McMullan.

“It doesn’t get any better than playing the All-Ireland champions. They are at the top end of the scale — we know where we are but we will give 100 per cent.”

Loughgiel boss PJ O’Mullan had tipped Dunloy to upset the odds earlier in the week and was last night looking forward to a repeat of the 2007 final.

“In three championship games so far we have averaged 30 points, we came through the game with no injuries so I can’t complain about that,” O’Mullan said.

“Dunloy have had Davy Fitzgerald up training them for the past month and he was on the sideline so they will be well prepared for the final, but all we can do is work on getting ourselves right,” he added.

Loughgiel were firm favourites to see off Belfast side St John’s at Ballycastle on Saturday and it proved a routine affair for the north Antrim men who came away with a 2-23 to 0-11 win.

In Saturday’s Down SHC semi-final, Paul Braniff — who finished with 0-14 — stroked over a superb point from play in injury time to seal a 0-16 to 0-15 win for Portaferry against their Ards rivals Ballygalget at Ballycran.

Belfast Telegraph


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