Ballela win the Ulster club hurling championship with Rasharkin victory

Ballela's successful hurling team.
Ballela's successful hurling team.

Ballela GAC were crowned Ulster Club Hurling champions recently with a superb 3.20 - 2.23 win over Rasharkin.

The two sides delivered a top class game with everything you want to see in championship hurling; great scores, game tactics, hard hitting but fair, and a fantastic crowd.

Ballela hosted the game with the Antrim champions, and what great condition their field was in.

It was end to end stuff with Ballela opening the score from Jonny McCusker, but Rasharkin soon equalised.

As both teams traded points to go 4 apiece, Malaghy Magee broke in from the wing only to see his shot hit the side netting.

Two minutes later he was through one on one with the keeper, only to see his shot go wide, a big let off for the Antrim team.

Three more points from Jonny McCusker and a fantastic point from Niall Burns put Ballela 4 up with half time approaching.

A great run from Ryan McCusker from midfield put Ballela further ahead.

Two very harsh frees awarded against Ballela put Rasharkin back in the game to leave the halftime score Ballela 0-10 Rasharkin 0-7.

The second half started with Paddy Mackin scoring a great goal.

Rasharkin started to put pressure on Ballela and got themselves back into the game with 5 points from frees as the Ballela defence were getting frustrated with the refs decisions.

Dan McCusker at full back was having a stormer, aided by Gareth and Ryan Burns.

With 7 minutes left a high ball into the Ballela box was deflected into the net to draw the teams level.

Points were exchanged to leave the full time score Ballela 1-15 Rasharkin 1~15.

Rasharkin started the first period of extra time on fire and scored 1-5 without reply from Ballela.

Kel Magee pulled back a point for Ballela. Two more points from the Antrim men left the first period of extra time Ballela 1-16 Rasharkin 2-22.

The second half started with Rasharkin going 10 points up and things did not look good for Ballela with six minutes remaining.

Danny Doran set up Malaghy Magee for a well taken goal and two minutes later the same player hit the Rasharkin net again after being played through by Kevin Close.

With ballela 4 points down and four minutes left, Jonny McCusker hit 3 points to leave the minium.

Mark Cosgrave was fouled 50 metres out and with the last buck of the ball, Jonny fired over the free to end what was a tremendous game.

Final score Ballela 3-20 Rasharkin 2-23.

Scorers: Jonny McCusker 0-17, Malaghy Magee 2-0

Patrick Mackin 1-0

Kel Magee 0-1

Ryan McCusker 0-1

Niall Burns 0-1.