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Ruairi Og Cushendall suffer heartbreak in All-Ireland Club Hurling semi-final

By Adam McKendry

It went to the wire but Ruairi Og Cushendall fell just short in their All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship semi-final against St Thomas of Galway, losing 0-18 to 2-11 at Parnell Park in Dublin.

David Sherry's late point for St Thomas handed them the win, however Cushendall could have stolen it late on when Donal McNaughton had a shot cleared off the line with 90 seconds to go.

The Galway men were inspired by the six Burke brothers, who all played their part in the victory, and it was they who held a dominant lead at half-time by 0-13 to 1-3.

Neil McManus had scored a Dall penalty for Cushendall in the first half, but the game looked dead and buried at the midway point as the Ruairi Ogs were second best.

But a sparkling comeback in the second half saw the Ulster champions claw back to within three and Fergus McCambridge's goal with ten minutes to go levelled the tie.

However, it would end in agony for Cushendall as Sherry struck over the bar in extra time to put St Thomas back in front with a point that would, in the end, seal their place in the final.

McNaughton could have easily sent the game to extra time when he cut inside from the left and found space with just 90 seconds left, but he opted to shoot for goal instead of tapping over the bar, and Cathal Burke got back to make the block on the line to break Cushendall hearts.

"Very disappointed. I'm proud we came back in the second half, but we didn't win and that's what we came here to do. As you can probably understand it's a very quiet dressing room in there," said Ruairi Ogs trainer Kieran Kearney.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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