Senior Feis Cup final
Loughgiel 2-16 Cushendall 1-15
By Darach O’Mullan
Cushendun had been enveloped by a thick fog, but it did not stop the long-time rivals of Loughgiel and Cushendall facing each other on Sunday evening in the final of the Senior Feis Cup. In a game dominated for long periods by the Shamrocks, Cushendall made a gallant late attempt to salvage the game, but he young Shamrocks held firm to take the title.
The match began with a strong start in Loughgiel’s favour as Christy McGarry scored the first point of the match. He was subsequently followed by Rian McMullan, who is emerging into one of the stars of this Loughgiel team. The first segment of the match was dominated by the Shamrocks, with a goal by Rian McMullan and points by Michael McGarry pushed Loughgiel well ahead by the first water break.
Cushendall was carried on the shoulders of Christy McNaughton, who scored three points in that first fifteen minutes, but it was his team’s only scores and by the first water break they trailed this young Shamrocks side by 1-07 to 0-3. On the resumption Rian McMullan burst through for another goal and was backed by the skill of Donal McKinley, Rory McCloskey and Eddie McCloskey, Loughgiel took a real grip on the game.
Despite this, Alex Delargy made great strides to narrow the score, and a goal by Andrew Delargy brought the Ruairi Og back into contention. Scott Walsh and Alex Delargy further countered Loughgiel’s gains and they helped bring their team back to within six at the half time whistle. (Loughgiel 2-10 to Cushendall 1-07)
After coming on as a substitute, Paul Boyle made his mark on the game with two excellent points, however pointed frees by Christy McNaughton diminished hopes of a strong and unchallenged victory. Throughout the match, Shan McGrath and Donal McKinley played with great skill, and they were matched by Fergus McCambridge who equally paced down the field and offered much opposition to the red and white players. However Rian McMullan’s scores had edged Loughgiel seven clear by the second water break in which Loughgiel lead by 2-14 to 1-10.
Alex Delargy reignited Cushendall’s hopes with a point and this was followed by one from Scott Walsh. Christy McNaughton continued to score from frees, and his goal brought the Ruairis back to within a point. However despite the desperate efforts of Cushendall’s forwards Loughgiel held firm with Chrissy O’Connell once again safe and secure in goals. With Seamus Dobbin and Tiernan Coyle also starring at the back a red and white victory was ultimately secured with a final point by the Loughgiel captain, Donal McKinley who received the trophy from North Antrim vice chairman Sean McKendry after the game.
- Chrissy O’Connell 2. Tiernan Coyle 3. Rory McCloskey 4. Ronan McCloskey 5. Ciaran McKay 6. Seamus Dobbin 7. Daniel McPeake 8. Eddie McCloskey 9. Shan McGrath 10. Donal McKinley 11. Callum McKendry 12. Christy McGarry 13. Rian McMullan 14. John Francis Connolly 15. Michael McGarry 17. OD Laverty 18. Enda Óg McGarry 19. Aodhan McFadden 20. Cormac McFadden 21. Paul Boyle
- Eoin Gillan 2. Shane McKenna 3. Martin Burke 4. Liam Gillan 5. Terry McAlister 6. Arron Graffin 7. Ruairi McCollam 8. Alex Delargy 9. Francis McCurry 10. Scott Walsh 11. Christy McNaughton 12. Fergus McCambridge 13. Paddy McGill 14. Sean McAfee 15. Andrew Delargy 16. Conor McAlister 17. Joseph McCurry 18. Mark Emerson 19. Conor McCollam 20. Senan Black 21. Eoin Laverty 22. Patrick Sharpe 23. Colm McKeegan