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Antrim semi abandoned after fan suffers heart attack - The Irish News
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Hurling and camogie

Antrim semi abandoned after fan suffers heart attack

Ruairí Óg's Eoin Campbell  gets away  from Loughgiel's Oisín McFadden during Sunday's Antrim SHC semi-final at Dunloy
Picture: Séamus Loughran
Jim Smyth and Sean O'Neill

Antrim Senior Hurling Championship semi-finals: MacQuillan’s, Ballycastle 2-19 Cuchullain’s, Dunloy 2-15; Ruairi Og Cushendall 0-8 Loughgiel Shamrocks 0-3 (match abandoned after 32 minutes)

CUSHENDALL and Loughgiel will replay their Antrim SHC semi-final next Sunday in Dunloy at 1pm after yesterday’s match was abandoned due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

A spectator suffered a suspected heart attack and the match was stopped two minutes into the second half. The man was transferred from the scene by ambulance from Dunloy to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A decision has yet to been made on whether there will be an admission charge for the replay but Antrim PRO Sean Fleming said last night if there is one it would be at a reduced rate with the proceeds going to charity.

Cushendall were leading yesterday’s encounter 0-8 to 0-3 when it was stopped. Neil McManus had recorded 0-4, while Shane McNaughton and Paddy McGill chipped in with 0-2 apiece. Liam Watson, Mark McFadden and Odhran McFadden shared Loughgiel’s points.

Ballycastle await in the final after a rousing comeback against Dunloy in Loughgiel on Saturday night sent the MacQuillan’s into their first county decider since 2001.

Five points in the opening four minutes of the second half put Ballycastle ahead for the first time and they never looked back. Ballycastle haven’t lifted the Volunteer Cup since 1986 and have only featured in the final three times in the past two decades but they shook favourites Dunloy to the core.

When Cuchullain’s began at a blistering pace and led 1-4 to 0-1 their favouritism looked well justified, but from the 11th minute onwards there was much more bite from ‘the Town’.

Alastair Dooey’s 10th minute goal looked to be the score that would dampen the Ballycastle enthusiasm but when Shane Jennings fired low to the net eight minutes from the break it was clear this was a battle to the end.

Five minutes later Kevin Molloy, set up by Nigel Elliott, made it 2-8 to 1-6 when he fired home a second Dunloy goal but when Matthew Donnelly and Ciaran Clarke slotted over points Ballycastle were only four back, 1-8 to 2-9 at the half-way point.

Points from Saul McCaughan, Clarke, Jennings, Caolan McCaughan and another Clarke effort in a four-minute spell after the resumption were the scores which set the McQuillan up and they went from strength to strength as the game progressed.

They managed to keep their noses in front, thanks mainly to a bundle of points from McCaughan and Clarke. Indeed, it was a Saul McCaughan goal eight minutes from time which clinched it. At this stage they held a six point advantage, 2-18 to 2-12 and looked unstoppable but they did have moments of anxiety before it was over.

Paul Shiels hit two further points and Kevin Molloy added a third as Dunloy tried to salvage something but an injury-time point from replacement PT Butler gave them their well-earned four-point victory.
While 34 points were recorded in the space of the hour, at times it became a shoot out between Clarke and Shiels. 

Both converted four frees in their respective totals of nine and 11 but the man of the match performance came from Ballycastle’s full-forward Saul McCaughan who was close on their tails with 1-5.

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