All County Hurling League Division One
Dunloy 3-15 Ballycastle 1-8
Dunloy laid down a marker for their championship meeting later in the season when they emphatically beat Ballycastle in Sunday evening’s league game in Dunloy.
With just one win in the campaign so far Dunloy may have been regarded by many as being past their sell-by date, but on Sunday they displayed a sharpness and hunger which was particularly impressive.
Ballycastle contained nine players who just twenty-four hours earlier had won the Under 21 championship against Cushendall and they may have been a few still suffering the after-effects of the celebrations, but when they started with two quick-fire points from Saul McCaughan and Malachy Dallas things looked good.
However in the remaining twenty-seven minutes they added just one more point while Dunloy hit back hard with some excellent scores, the bulk of them coming from the impressive Paul Shiels who was back at his very best.
They also grabbed a goal just before half-time through Paddy Doherty following a brilliant pin-point pass from Colm Cunning to lead by 1-8 to 0-3 at half time.
When Ciaran Clarke pulled a goal back from a twenty-metre free in the opening minute of the second-half to reduce the arrears to just five it appeared that Ballycastle were right back in the game but Dunloy were undaunted and were soon back in full control.
They struck some impressive scores with Shiels again orchestrating things and finished a fine all around display with two further goals from Nigel Elliott and Paddy Richmond to end up winners by a thirteen point margin.