Loughgiel find another gear late in the game to beat Dunloy

Sen Reserve Hurling Championship  

Loughgiel 4-20 Dunloy 1-22

Loughgiel booked their place in the semi-finals of the Senior Reserve Hurling Championship when the beat old rivals Dunloy in a brilliant quarter final at Fr Healy Park, Loughgiel. Dominant throughout the first half, at the end of which they led by four points Loughgiel appeared to have let it all slip when Dunloy took control in the second half and went three clear through a Chrissy McMahon goal on 51 minutes. During those opening 21 minutes of the new half Loughgiel had only scored three points and looked to be in danger of going out of the competition. However they mustered up a fightback in the last ten minutes of the game to regain control, and late goals from Shay Casey and Shane O’Boyle saw them through by seven points.

Shay Casey fires in Loughgiel’s first goal

Loughgiel’s forwards flew from the traps and were three ahead in as many minutes through Shay Casey, Michael McGarry and Damien Quinn. Nicky McKeague pulled a couple back from placed balls but three more from Odhran McFadden, Damien Quinn and Declan Gillan had the Shamrocks ahead by 0-6 to 0-2 after just ten minutes.

A point from play by Oisin McMahon and two more from frees by Nicky McKeague cut the gap back to a single point but Loughgiel hit a purple patch and two goals in quick succession from Shay Casey and Michael McGarry had them four clear by half time.

Dunloy’s Kevin McKeague in action against Loughgiel’s Michael McGarry

 Loughgiel stretched the lead out to five early in the second half, but Dunloy were beginning to get on top and two points from Barry Scott and one from Nicky McKeague cut the gap back to two. Caolan Blair pulled a point back on 44 minutes through points from Dairi McMullan, Chrissy McMahon and Nigel Elliott, and when McMahon fired to the net the Cuchullins were three clear.

Loughgiel appeared to be out on their feet at this stage, but they dug deep and produced an extraordinary finish, that yet again turned the game on it’s head. Points from Ruairi McCormick, Shay Casey and ‘Betty’ McKee brought them level. Nicky McKeague put Dunloy back in the lead, but Loughgiel had found another gear and finished with a flurry as Ruairi McCormick fired a penalty to the net and Ciaran McKay sent over points before a late Shay Casey goal wrapped it all up.  

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