Antrim Hurling Final: Dunloy beat Cushendall to win first title in eight years

Nigel Elliott (right) helped Dunloy surprise Cushendall in the Antrim Hurling Final at Ballycastle
Nigel Elliott (right) scored Dunloy's second goal in their Antrim Final win over Cushendall

Dunloy won their first Antrim Hurling title in eight years as they beat Cushendall 2-15 to 2-9 at Ballycastle.

Cushendall led 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time but Dunloy outscored Dall 2-8 to 0-1 in a 14-minute period after half-time.

Dunloy's goals both came in the 44th minute as Conal Cunning and Nigel Elliott netted, with Cushendall's key man Neil McManus then sent off.

Cushendall replied with two late goals as Conor Carson's strike was followed by a scrambled effort.

But the goals were scant consolation for the favourites as Dunloy clinched their 12th Antrim title.

Cushendall finish with 13 men

Cushendall, who had beaten holders Loughgiel 0-13 to 0-12 in the semi-finals, ended the game with 13 players after Eoin McKillop received a late straight red card for a dangerous pull.

Antrim captain McManus had been given his marching orders following an apparent off-the-ball incident immediately after Dunloy's two goals.

McManus' Antrim team-mate Paul Shiels hit three of Dunloy's four first-half points as Cushendall fought back from an early two-point deficit to lead by three at the interval.

However, there were already signs that Dunloy were capable of unlocking the Dall defence as Eoin Gillan had to make a magnificent save before the break to prevent a three-pointer.

Gillan made another brilliant stop just after the restart but there was nothing he could do as Dunloy hit five unanswered points for starters with Shiels on target for three of them.

A Conor Carson point cut Dunloy's lead to 0-9 to 0-8 but that only provoked a further Cuchullainns scoring run of 2-3 over the next seven minutes, highlighted by the quickfire goals from Cunning and Elliott.

As McManus lost his composure, his departure ended any slim hopes of a Cushendall fightback.

Dunloy pushed on their lead to 2-14 to 0-9 before the two late Cushendall goals gave the scoreboard a somewhat flattering look for the losers.

Ballygalget retain Down Hurling title

Ballygalget's Gareth Johnston
Gareth Johnston helped Ballygalget retain the Down hurling title

Meanwhile, holders Ballygalget won the Down Hurling title as they edged out Portaferry 2-13 to 2-12 at Ballycran.

The victory gave Ballygalget a 21st Down title as they retained the title for the first time since they completed a three in a row in 2005.

The sides were level at 1-6 to 1-6 at half-time before Daithi Sands netted to put Portaferry into a 2-8 to 1-9 lead.

However, Ballygalget quickly drew level before Cormac Coulter's 50th-minute goal ended them into a 2-11 to 2-8 lead.

Ballygalget failed to score in the closing six minutes of play but despite reducing the deficit to the minimum, Portaferry were unable to get on terms as the holders held on.



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