Ruairi Og, Cushendall 2-10 - 0-10 Robert Emmets, Slaughtneil
Ruairí Óg Cushendall will face St Patricks, Portaferry in the Ulster Senior Club Hurling final after they secured a 2-10 to 0-10 victory over Derry Champions Slaughtneil in Sunday’s semi-final replay at Loughguile.
The sides needed the replay after playing out a 3-17 to 0-26 draw in their initial meeting, and while the game lacked the drama and frenetic pace of the first game, the Ruairi Ógs will be satisfied with their progression. The Antrim champions were just edging a closely-fought contest in the early stages before Karl McKeegan found the net to give his side a 1-4 to 0-3 lead at half time.
Slaughtneil were perhaps left to count the cost of the involvement of several of their dual stars in Slaughtneil’s Derry Senior Football final a week earlier, as Cushendall never looked likely to surrender their lead in the second half. Captain Neil McManus added a second goal after Cushendall were awarded a penalty and despite the Derry side’s best efforts the Cushendall were able to pull away.
Two points from substitute Shane McNaughton, who was sent off in the previous game between the sides, further edged Cushendall ahead and in spite of an attempted late rally from Slaughtneil, the Antrim side were full value for the win.
The victory sets up a meeting with the Down champions Portaferry for the Four Seasons Cup next Sunday.