Cushendall find that little bit extra

November 20, 2023

Ruairí Óg, Cushendall's Martin Burke gives chase to Niall Fitzsimmons of Portaferry. ©INPHO/Andrew Paton.

Neil McManus scored 1-14 as Ruairí Óg, Cushendall recorded a 4-28 to 3-19 Ulster Club SHC semi-final extra-time victory over Portaferry at the Box-It Athletic Grounds.

The recently-retired Antrim star forced extra-time with a last-gasp goal from a 20-metre free before further majors from Joe McLaughlin (two) and Alex Delargy secured Cushendall’s place in the final against Slaughtneil.

Underdogs Portaferry threw down the gauntlet with a 12th minute goal from Niall Milligan. Cushendall recovered to regain parity, 0-9 to 1-6, at half-time before Milligan’s second green flag had them on the backfoot again.

A third goal from Eoghan Sands put the Down champions on the cusp of victory, but they couldn’t see it out as McManus fired low through a forest of hurls in the fifth minute of injury-time to take a thrilling contest to extra-time, where the Antrim kingpins finally gained the upper hand.

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