Cushendall edge Slaughtneil after extra-time in Ulster SHC final
Cushendall edged out Slaughtneil by a point, 1-24 to 3-17, after a titanic struggle, in an Ulster SHC club final which went to extra-time in Armagh.
Slaughtneil came tantalisingly close to becoming the first Derry side to win the title but Cushendall prevailed to secure their 10th provincial crown.
Slaughtneil led 1-7 to 0-8 at the break with the help of a Brendan Rogers goal.
Gareth O'Kane and Brian Cassidy netted goals, along with Christy McNaughton, as the game had ended 3-12 to 1-18.
Playing against the breeze, it was the Antrim champions who made the better start, scoring the first two points, but Cormac O'Doherty got their opponents off the mark in the eighth minute, then Michael Kearney brought the score level.
Two points from Karl McKeegan and one from Neil McManus gave Ruairi Og some momentum again, O'Doherty replied, but two further scores from the reliable McManus saw his side establish a five-point cushion.
A couple of Chrissy McKaigue points galvanised the Derry kingpins and O'Doherty pointed to reduce the deficit to two.
Rogers scored the first goal of the game, following up to find the net after goalkeeper Eoin Gillan batted the ball into his path.
An O'Doherty free made it 1-4 without reply for Slaughtneil, many of whose players will be involved in the club's Ulster football quarter-final next Sunday.
The sides traded points after the interval, before O'Kane followed up to score his side's second goal after David Kearney could only half-clear.
McNaughton's superb goal into the corner of the net 13 minutes into the second period inched the Antrim men in front by a point but Cassidy struck soon after to make it 3-10 to 1-15.
Points from Christy McNaughton and McManus (2) looked to have seen their side over the line but O'Doherty knocked over the equalising point to take the game into 20 minutes of extra-time.
Slaughtneil led 3-15 to 1-19 after the first section of 10 minutes and while O'Doherty and Rogers scored further points in the second period, Cushendall did enough to seal victory with five points courtesy of McManus (2), Donal McNaughton, Sean McAfee and Conor Carson.