A devastating display of fast open hurling saw Loughgiel book their place in the Antrim Minor Hurling Championship final at the expense of Cushendall on Sunday in Armoy. Ahead from the start when corner forward Christy McGarry hit two early goals the Shamrocks ran away with the game and were seventeen to the good at half time. Cushendall fared a bit better in the second half but Loughgiel still had the upper hand and by the end they had twenty two points to spare.
McGarry’s early goals were followed by a point on nine minutes from midfielder Cathal Hargan in the ninth minute and one minute later full forward Odhran McGrath struck for his team’s third goal. McGrath added a point in the twelfth minute before Cushendall full forward Pierce McKeegan got his team’s opening score on fifteen minutes but it was provide brief respite as Loughgiel continued their barrage and by half time they had five goals on the scoreboard with McGarry completing his hat-trick and Odhran McGrath getting his second to push their team 5-5 to 0-3 clear at the break.
The start of the second half was Cushendall’s best spell of the game when they scored three of the first four scores through FiontanMcQuillan (2) and Aidan Ritson but Loughgiel then took over again hitting points through Damian Quinn, Ryan Hill, Michael McGarry (2), Declan McCloskey and Shane O’Boyle. Pierce McKeegan interrupted the run with a Cushendall point on 52 minutes, and he added two more before the end, but Loughgiel were home and dry and they will go into the final as firm favourties.
LOUGHGIEL: Kevin McAuley, Conor Henry, Ruairi McCloskey, Christy Dickson, Enda Og McGarry, Declan McCloskey, Tiernan McAlonan, Shane O’Boyle, Cathal Hargan, Ryan Hill, Michael McGarry, Frank Boyle, Ryan McMullan, Odhran McGrath, Christy McGarry.