All County Hurling League Division 1
Ballycastle McQuillan’s 2-14 Cushendall Ruairi Og 3-17
County champions Cushendall got their first win of the league campaign when they travelled to Ballycastle and beat McQuillan’s by six points, despite being short a few regulars. Two early goals put Cushendall in charge and despite the fact that Ballycastle had clawed their way back just before half time, a scoring barrage in first-half injury time saw Cushendall regain the initiative and a lead they would hold until the end.
Ballycastle opened with two points from Ciaran Clarke but they were hit with a Cushendall goal double from full forward Alex Delargy who hit the net in the sixth and tenth minutes to put his team in control. When Ballycastle hit four of the next five points through Clarke (2), Owen Kinney and Dairmuid McShane, in reply to one from Cushendall’s Paddy McGill, they were getting back into contention, but three in a row from Paddy Burke, Paddy McGill and Ed McQuillan saw the Ruairis ease away again.
A goal by Dairmuid McShane in the 18th minute, followed by a point a minute later from John McLister brought Ballycastle back to within a point with half time fast approaching, but Cushendall hit 1-3 in first half injury time (the goal coming from Fergus McCambride) to go in at the break with a five point cushion. (3-9 to 1-10)
The second half was a pretty even affair with Ciaran Clarke for Ballycastle and Paddy McGill cancelling each other out from a series of frees, but four without reply between the 32nd and 49th minutes eased Cushendall well clear. Ciaran Clarke raised hopes for the home side with a goal five minutes from time to cut the gap to six, but that was as close as they would get as Cushendall held out comfortably for the win.
BALLYCASTLE: Ryan McGarry, Oran Kearney, Matthew Donnelly, Sean Kelly, Thomas McIlory, Conor Boyd, Eamon Elliott, James McLister, Ronan McCarry, Ciaran Butler, Ciaran Clarke, Tiernan Butler, Owen Kinney, KB McShane, Dairmuid McShane.
CUSHENDALL: Eoin Gillan, David Kearney, Liam Gillan, Jospeh McCurry, Stephen Walsh, Paddy Burke, Aidan McNaughton, Niall McCormick, Paddy McGill, Fergus McCambridge, Ryan McCambridge, Cormac McClafferty, Alex Delargy, Ed McQuillan.
Referee – C Cunning (Dunloy)