Loughgiel Shamrocks celebrate their Ulster final win. INPHO/Presseye/John McIlwaine

Loughgiel produce comeback to win 4th Ulster title in a row

The Antrim champions faced Derry side Slaughtneil in today’s final.

Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) 3-14
Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-15

LOUGHGIEL SHAMROCKS CAME from eight points down to clinch a fourth Ulster club hurling title in a row at Celtic Park today.

Underdogs Derry champions Slaughtneil threatened to cause a massive shock when they opened up an eight point lead after just 12 minutes.

Derry dual star Chrissy McKaigue, who had played for Ireland in the International Rules second test the night before, started brilliantly and scored two points from play.

Centre-back Cormac McKenna showed a measure of their intent when he turned down the easy free on offer and buried the ball low past goalkeeper Chris O’Connell for the opening goal after ten minutes.

Whether complacency was a factor or not, raging hot favourites Loughgiel made a really poor start and were 1-6 to 0-1 behind before they knew they were in a game.

Eddie McCloskey was the man who brought Loughgiel back into the game scoring two goals in three minutes.

Slaughtneil knew they needed a big half-time lead having played with a strong wind, but McCloskey’s goals and a late point from Liam Watson reduced the Derry champions’ lead to 1-11 to 2-4 at the break.

The underdogs saw Conor McKenna’s penalty saved five minutes into the second-half and that was the turning point in the game.

They failed to score from play in the second-half as Loughgiel upped the tempo and used the wind advantage to their benefit.

Scorers for Loughgiel Shamrocks: E McCloskey 2-2, L Watson 0-7 (0-6f), S Casey 1-0, B McAuley 0-2, T McCloskey, D Laverty, B McCarry 0-1 each.

Scorers for Slaughtneil: C McKenna 1-3 (0-2f), G O’Kane 0-6 (0-6f), C McKaigue 0-4 (0-1f), G Bradley 0-2.

LOUGHGIEL SHAMROCKS: C O’Connell; P Gillan, N McGarry, R McCloskey; T Coyle, M Scullion, O McFadden; M McFadden, T McCloskey; B McAuley, D Laverty, E McCloskey; B McCarry, S Casey, L Watson.

Subs: D McCloskey for Coyle (47)

SLAUGHTNEIL: E McGuigan; K McKaigue, P Kearney, C Kearney; S Cassidy, C McKenna, J Mulholland; C O’Doherty, G O’Kane; G Bradley, D Kearney, C McKaigue; O O’Doherty, B Rodgers, S McGuigan.

Subs: B Og Corbett for C Kearney (28), E Cassidy for D Kearney (39), F Kelly for Rodgers (52).

Referee: Brendan Sweeney (Cavan)

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