There was a mixture of heartache and rapturous delight following the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship finalwhen Ruairí Óg, Cushendall beat McQuillan’s, Ballycastle 2-16 to 1-15.
Ballycastle were aiming to end their 29 year wait for a county title, however Ruairí Óg, Cushendall had different ideas.
McQuillan’s led by nine points at the break before the defending champions mounted the mother of all comebacks in the second half to win by four points.
In a dramatic injury-time play, Ballycastle forward Shane Jennings hit the Cushendall crossbar and the ball was scrambled away to safety. A three-pointer at that stage would have put the McQuillan’s a point ahead.
Ronan Donnelly, the Ballycastle manager commented afterwards: “I’m totally and utterly gutted as you can imagine,” said Donnelly.
“I don’t know how we lost it. If there was any luck going about we got none of it. If you tried 100 times you couldn’t hit that crossbar. We’re absolutely gutted.
“I can’t believe we lost a nine-point lead. We were in a very good place at half-time. We went out fired up for the second half. I just can’t believe it. I’m absolutely gobsmacked how we lost that game.”
Donal McNaughton and Eoghan Campbell grabbed the all-important goals for Cushendall in a pulsating second half as they celebrated their 13th county title.
“We do it the hard way,” said manager John McKillop. “We don’t do easy championships. But that’s the character that’s in this team.”
There was jubilation for Loughgiel Ladies who secured back to back Antrim County Championship titles as they defeated Ballycastle 4-11 to 0-03.
In front of a huge crowd of supporters both teams gave a fine display of the way camogie should be played.
Loughgiel with a blend of youth and experience treated their faithful supporters to a sharp shooting performance.
From 1 to number 15 on the field Loughgiel shone all over the field and ran out worthy champions and brought home the title in this the centenary of Loughgiel Shamrocks GAC.
The girls now look to their Ulster campaign and await the winners of the Derry Championship.