Loughgiel 2-25 0-12 Portaferry

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Manager P J O'Mullan praises his Loughgiel team as they retain the Ulster club hurling championship

All-Ireland club champions Loughgiel retained their Ulster hurling title by trouncing Portaferry in Sunday's provincial decider at Casement Park.

The Down side kept in touch with their opponents for much of the first half but Shay Casey's goal helped Loughgiel to a 1-12 to 0-7 half-time lead.

Loughgiel took control in the second half and Liam Watson tapped in from close range for their second goal.

The 19-point winning margin was just reward for the Antrim team's dominance.

Portaferry led early on and the two sides traded points for much of the first period, but Loughgiel's greater ability to score from open play proved crucial as they pulled away.

Casey reacted quickly to find the net just before the interval after goalkeeper Karl Keating had failed to control Watson's tame shot.

Casey provided the assist for Watson to score his side's second.

Loughgiel had gone into the game as favourites but will be happy to have won by a convincing scoreline after struggling to overcome Dunloy in the Antrim final.

They will now take on the Connacht champions in the semi-finals of the All-Ireland series in February.