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  1. ITV Report

Cushendall celebrate record 11th Ulster club title

Cushendall's Paddy Burke raises the cup with supporter John McKillop. Credit: INPHO

Cushendall have secured their place at the pinnacle of Ulster hurling, after claiming a record 11th Ulster club title with a win over Ballycran.

The Antrim side defeated the Down champions 1-15 to 0-10 on Sunday, now standing as the most successful club in history.

Cushendall had forged ahead in the first half at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, with Sean McAfee’s goal providing them with an eight-point cushion at the break.

Arron Graffin suffered an injury and was stretchered off, but was congratulated by supporters after the game. Credit: INPHO

Ballycran went on to cut the deficit to five in the second half, but a string of missed opportunities ended their hopes of a comeback.

And, despite Arron Graffin being forced off the pitch with a serious knee injury, Cushendall pushed themselves over the line to secure the hard-fought victory – and their first Ulster title in three years.

Cushendall's Neil McManus talks to UTV after their Ulster title win. Credit: UTV

While they will now savour that result, it is only made all the sweeter by the promise of an All-Ireland semi-final on the horizon.

Speaking about the Ulster title win, Cushendall’s Neil McManus told UTV: “It’s up there with anything I’ve ever done in my career, simply because it’s a huge day for our parish and it gives us a go now at the All-Ireland series.

“We’re into the last four, anything can happen – but we were made work for it every step of the way by Ballycran.

“We prepared so, so hard for it and left nothing to chance because we knew that this was going to come down to fine margins. And it did.”