Antrim Forum

Antrim Senior Hurling Championship

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And so it is as we knew it would be!

The semi finalists of this years Antrim Senior Hurling Championship are now known. Despite valiant performances from the City Clubs, in particular St Galls and St John's it is as usual the 4 big North Antrim Clubs left to fight it out for Big Ears.

Cushendall v Loughgiel is massive in the context of recent years, a hostile undercurrent has crept in between the players of both teams and each will be equally determined to get the upper hand in this one.

On the face of it Cushendall have it all to do, despite being Champions of 2014 it is Loughgiel who most observers agree to be the best of all the Antrim sides. League form would back this up and the Shamrocks go into this game having already tied up the Feis Cup, McAuley Cup, McGarry Cup, League (virtually) and the Reserve Cup. The perfect season is on the horizon.

However Cushendall are worthy champions, injuries to key players are clearing up and the form of Shane McNaughton in the first half causes optimism for the Ruairis. Loughgiel half backs where poor against St Galls, they could not cope with the physicality and movement the Belfast brought in the first half. Neil McManus at Centre Half Forward was outstanding for Cushendall in the last 10 minutes, if he can replicate that form and Sean McAfee continues his rich vein of form then the Dall can get goals. However it is likely they will concede and with Dan McCloskey finally fulfilling his potential Loughgiel look set for another showpiece.

Dunloy v Ballycastle is equally tasty, though the winner will go into a final as big underdog. The Cuchullains have largely held all the aces in this fixture despite the much vaunted Town Attack.

Ballycastle were surprisingly comfortable against Rossa. The game will have brought on the returning Ciaran Clarke and McAfee hurled a lot of ball in the middle third.

The question which defence will cope best with the pacey attacks, can Nigel Elliott cause his usual havoc or will it be Saul McCaughan to grab the headlines. A key battle is Neal McAuleys v Kevin Molloy, this might determine which forward line gets enough quality ball.

kautostar (Antrim) - Posts: 71 - 04/09/2015 08:31:47    1781727

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its strange that a match which has passed half time and with one club totally dominating the game that when the game was abandoned for nothing that happened on the pitch the team way in front actually lose their advantage. surely the game should resume with the scores still in play and one half. that's what happens in all sports, but then again the antrim county board are do not support all teams equally.

exref (Antrim) - Posts: 59 - 20/09/2015 14:19:34    1789499

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The most important thing from last week is that Winker's da, and Neil Mc Manus's da appear to be recovering. Lots of natural human kindness and dignity on show.

Regarding today's game, surprised that Loughuile did not start more of the younger lads. A great team in demise? Cushendall's young players look to have come of age, and after a horrendous year of injuries showed enough resolve to get over the line. Ballycastle next up. Paddy Power's generosity knows no bounds. Even money Cushendall today with a 3 point start, lovely! 5/1 at the local turf accountants last week for Cushendall to win Antrim out! Good value, what ever way you look at it.

Glensboy (Antrim) - Posts: 244 - 20/09/2015 16:14:59    1789551

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All roads lead to Dunloy. Some old rivalry being renewed. May the best team win.

Glensboy (Antrim) - Posts: 244 - 27/09/2015 10:37:48    1792676

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