Loughgiel pushed hard by Cushendall

Under 19 Hurling Championship

Cushendall 3-11 Loughgiel 2-20

Competition favourites Loughgiel had to work hard to get over the challenge of Cushendall in the quarter final of the Under 19 Hurling Championship at Pairc Mhuire Cushendall on Wednesday evening. The Shamrocks trailed by a point after great first half’s hurling but a great three minutes spell between the 40th and 43rd minutes which saw them hit 1-4 without reply, swung the game in their favour, and though Cushendall closed to within a goal with just minutes left to play, three late points by full forward Jack McCloskey saw them seal a semi-final spot.

A McCloskey point in the opening minute game Loughgiel the lead but a goal from Thomas McLaughlin three minutes later gave the Ruairis the edge. Danny McAuley came back with a point for the Shamrocks but Niall McGarel cancelled that out a minute later and before Loughgiel gained the upper hand when corner forward Roan McGarry got in for his team’s first goal.

Back came Cushendall and Joseph McLaughlin had the umpire reaching for the green flag less than a minute later and Austin Birt added a point, but Loughiel responded really well as Jack McNaughton sent over two more points, one from a free and the other from play.

Stephen McAuley came back with a point for the Ruairis but Roan McGarry and Jack McCloskey showed how dangerous they can be as they popped over points at the other end but late points fromAustin Birt and Thomas McLauglin gave Cushendall a one point lead at the break.

Niall McGarry got the first score of the second half for Cushendall but a Danny McAuley point was followed by three in a row from Jack McCloskey as the Sharmrocks got their noses in front.

Niall McGarel and Joseph McLaughlin responded for the home team but a great spell of point taking in which Conor Dickson, Roan McGarry, Eoan McGarry and Jack McCloskey (2) gave Loughgiel control of the game.

McLaughlin pulled one back from a free for the ‘Dall, but Loughgiel were gaining control and two in a row from McCloskey increased their lead to six. A goal and a point from the ever dangerous Joseph McLaughlin cut the gap back to four, but three from Jack McCloksey in reply to just one from Cushendall’s Callagh Mooney put Loughiel six clear at the end.

In the other game played in the competition on Wednesday evening Ballycastle travelled to St Enda’s and beat the Hightown side by five points. (1-20 to 4-6)

The next round of the competition sees Dunloy host St Paul’s and Glenariffe/Glenravel host Sarsfields in two week’s time, which will decide the last four places.

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