Loughgiel cruised to victory as they retained the McAuley Cup on Sunday in Armoy.
The game was played in appalling conditions with driving rain and gale force wind throughout.
Both teams must be praised for dealing with the conditions, especially Loughgiel who put together some lovely passages of play.
Loughgiel played with the breeze in the first half which forced Dunloy to work the ball short but a mistake from a short puck out by full-back McClements, after five minutes, allowed Eddie McCloskey to nip in and fire to the net.
From here on in Loughgiel never looked back and resisted the temptation to shoot aimlessly from distance, instead looking to keep possession and utilise their inside forwards. The experience of Loughgiel shone through, with Barney McAuley, Eddie McCloskey and ‘Skinner’ Laverty prominent, but there were also significant contributions from impressive youngsters Damon McMullan and James McNaughton.
A rare foray into the Loughgiel half resulted in Nicky McKeague finally opening Dunloy’s account after 25 minutes.
To their credit Dunloy continued to battle throughout the second half and never let their heads drop but by this stage Loughgiel had already built up and insurmountable lead and cantered to another impressive victory. Dunloy will be extremely disappointed with their performance but without county stars Paul Shiels and Conor McKinley it was always going to be an uphill task, while Loughgiel will head into Saturday’s league opener against St. John’s full of confidence.
Expect the next time these rivals meet to be an all-together tighter affair.
Final score: Loughgiel 1-18 Dunloy 0-04
Loughgiel: D.Quinn, T.Coyle, N.McGarry, R.McCloskey, P.Gillan, T.McCloskey, D.McMullan, M.McFadden, B.McAuley (0-04, 2f), E.McCloskey (1-2), D.Laverty (0-03), S.Dobbin (0-02), D.McCloskey, J.Scullion (0-02), J.McNaughton (0-05, 3f)
Dunloy: G.McTaggart, K.O’Kane, M.McClements, O.Quinn, P.Duffin, J.McKeague, C.Kearns, P.McKeague, K.McKeague, N.McKeague (0-01f), K.Molloy, M.Murphy (0-02), P.Doherty, C.Brogan, A.Dooey (0-01)