Unconvincing Cushendall advance to Ulster hurling final

Antrim champions fail to impress in hard-fought victory over Derry’s Slaughtneil

Cushendall were far from convincing but scored a goal in each half to book their place in this year's Ulster senior club hurling final.

The Antrim holders held firm against the wind, with Neil McManus’s 39th minute penalty crucial in yesterday’s semi-final replay in Loughgiel.

They led Slaughtneil by 1-4 to 0-3 at half-time, Karl McKeegan pouncing for the opening goal after 26 minutes, but considering the strength of the wind, it did not look like a big enough cushion to take into the second half.

Derry champions Slaughtneil took advantage of seven first-half wides by Cushendall, and trailed by just a point at 0-4 to 0-3 when McKeegan ghosted through and goaled.


Slaughtneil cut the deficit to two points after the interval with scores from Se McGuigan, Gareth O’Kane and a monster free from Cormac McKenna. However, Cushendall won a penalty when McKeegan was hauled down and McManus converted.

This was a poor performance by Cushendall, who play Portaferry (Down) next week in their first Ulster final appearance since 2008.

McKeegan was the only starting player to score from play, although Paddy McGill and Shane McNaughton both contributed 0-2 from the bench.