Feis na nGleann 2018
Loughgiel 2-19 Ballycastle 0-13
Loughgiel booked their place in the final of Sunday’s Feis na nGleann in Ballymena when they had twelve points to spare over Ballycastle in Tuesday evening’s semi-final at Fr Healy Park. Ballycastle did quite well in the opening half and probably could have been a bit closer than the seven points that separated the teams at the break, but after the change of ends Loughgiel upped the pace and pulled away to win comfortably.
An early of exchange of points by Loughgiel’s James McNaughton and Ballycastle’s Shane Staunton was followed by two quick points by eclan Gillan and Donal McKinley to put the home side 0-3 to 0-1. TT Butler had a great goal chance for Ballycastle on eight minutes but was denied by the Shamrocks goalkeeper Chrissy O’Connell and Loughgiel went three clear when ‘Clyde’ McFadden sent one over from distance. The remainder of the half was fairly even with Maol Connolly, Dan McCloskey, James McNaughton, Duck McFadden and Betty McKee answering points by Ballycastle’s Shane McCarry, TT Butler, Shane Staunton (2) Dairmuid McShane, but a Maol Connolly goal just before the break gave Loughgiel a decisive edge at the break. 1-11 to 0-7.
Two points early in the second half by Dairmuid McShane and Conor Boyd brought Ballycastle back to within five points but two by Duck McFadden and one by Maol Connolly in a two minute spell pushed Loughgiel eight clear by the 40th minute. Ballycastle thought they were back in the game when a long ball from midfield bounced up into the Loughgiel net but the score was disallowed for a ‘square’ infringement and though Ciaran Butler did manage to pull a point back a quick barrage of scores, one of them a goal from a Maol Connolly penalty, all but sealed the outcome.
Dairmuid McShane kept the Ballycastle side of the scoreboard ticking over with three pointed frees but Loughgiel were always able to replay and late points from Shan McGrath and Betty McKee put them 12 clear at the final whistle.
The Shamrocks will play the winners of Wednesday evening’s semi-final between Cushendall and Dunloy which throws in at Pairc Mhuire, Cushendall at 7-45
Loughgiel – Chrissy O’Connell, Paul Gillan, Tony McCloskey, Ronan McCloskey, Tiernan Coyle, Damon McMullan, Odhran McFadden, Mark McFadden, Declan Gillan, Ryan McKee, James McNaughton, Donal McKinley, Daniel McCloskey, Maol Connolly, Shay Casey.
Subs – Cathal McMullan; Shan McGrath and ‘Roy’ McFadden.
Ballycastle – Ryan McGarry, Oran Kearney, John McLister, Conor Donnelly, Neal McAuley, Matthew Donnelly, Oisin McAuley, Conor Boyd, Shane McCarry, Ciaran Butler, Shane Staunton, Eamon Elliott, Dairmuid McShane, TT Butler, James McLister.
Subs – Lorcan Donnelly, Aaron Mooney and Sean Kelly.
Referee – Eamon Hassan.
Pics by John McIlwaine