LOUGHGIEL hurlers were celebrating another tremendous victory on Saturday night when they defeated Dunloy in the final of the Antrim county championship - their third successive title. The scoreline was 1-11 to 1-7.
Played under the floodlights at Casement for the first time, Loughgiel are now celebrating success in the Antrim, Ulster and All-Ireland competitions and the fact that they again turned over their most fierce rivals, was even sweeter.
Dunloy certainly put in plenty of effort and will rue missed opportunites. They had come into the game fully prepared under the guidance of manager, Seamus McMullan, and the added expertise of Clare manager, Davy Fitzgerald.
Dunloy’s commitment and determination were never in doubt, but they missed chance after chance and, in the end, paid the penalty.
Their cause wasn’t helped when Dunloy had Doherty sent off after an incident right in front of the umpire.
Loughgiel were never in the same form as won them the All-Ireland, but they did enough and now go on to meet Armagh champions, Middletown Na Fianna in the Ulster semi-final on Sunday, October 14.
It was 1-4 apiece in the first half with the goals scored by Dunloy’s Sean Dowds and Shay Casey of Loughgiel.
Dunloy managed just two points in the second half, two by full-forward Paddy Doherty who was later dismissed for striking off the ball.Liam Watson scored three points in each half for the Shamrocks.
They now proceed in the defence of their Ulster crown and also the All-Ireland title.The last time Loughgiel won three Ulster semi-final on Sunday, 14 October.county championships in a row was 1968, and this was their 18th triumph overall.
DUNLOY; N. McKeague; M. McClements, J. McKeague ()-1), P. Shivers; K. McKeague, K. Molloy, C. McKinley; S. Dowds (1-1), C. Cunning; K. McQuillan, L. Richmond (0-1), P. Shiels (0-1), N. Elliott.
Subs: C. Brogan for Cunning (55).
Loughgiel: D. D. Quinn; P. Gillan, N. McGarry, R. McCloskey, James Campbell, M. Scullion, Johnny Campbell, B. McAuley, T. McCloskey; J. Scullion (0-1), D. Laverty (0-1), E. McCloskey; B. McGarry (0-1), L. Watson (0-7), S. Casey (1-1).
Subs: S. Dobbin for S. Casey.
Referee: G. Duffy, St. Gall’s.