OGS PAY HUGE PENALTY; CLUB LAtEst Antrim sHC FinAL Watson spot on for champs.
This was a repeat of last year's final when a late charge helped the Shamrocks over the line.
Played in greasy conditions, the game took a while to catch fire but Cushendall enjoyed most of the play although they were unable to convert three early scoring chances.
A liam Watson free put loughgiel into an early lead but Ruair Og's levelled minutes later through quite a bizarre score. A long free from Donal McNaughton appeared to hit the head of Declan McKillop and the sliothar spun up and over the bar.
This seemed to give the challengers a lease of life as two points - one a free and one '65 - from Shane McNaughton eased the 'Dall into the lead.
loughgiel replied with two points from midfielder Barney McAuley as the nip and tuck theme of the first half was set.
A McNaughton '65 helped Cushendall back into the lead but Declan laverty levelled once more after he was set up by a clever inside pass from Watson.
Cushendall nudged ahead once again when Conor Carson fired over but Watson's free cancel this out.
Cushendall hit eight first half wides but two Shane McNaughton points late in the half - one a monster score from half way - brought the Ruair Og crowd to life.
The Shamrocks replied and Benny McCarry and Watson sent the sides in locked at 0-7 each at the break.
Watson and Shane McNaughton traded scores on the restart but Cushendall were gradually getting on top with McNaughton and Paddy Mcgill pointing to give them the advantage. Shea Casey was on target with his first touch after being introduced as a substitute to keep loghgiel in touch but Paddy McNaughton took a fine score at the other in to reply.
It seemed Cushendall were on course to reclaim the trophy after losing the previous two finals when two McNaughton frees moved them four ahead with 10 to play.
However, a storming finish by Shamrocks proved their Championship credentials.
A Watson free from inside his own half made it a one score game as loughgiel went in search of the goal that would reignite their assault on back-to-back titles.
Casey had the first opportunity when he rounded Odhran Scullion but his shot was tame and easily saved.
However, minutes later Benny McCarry was put through by a deft Watson flick and was bundled to the ground for a penalty.
Watson's effort was half saved, but there was sufficient power for the ball to squirm over the line to level the game.
This proved to be the turning point as suddenly loughgiel could do no wrong. From the resulting puck out Barney McAuley gave his side the lead. Joey Scullion and James Campbell then tried their luck and both found the range as suddenly from being three in arrears loughgiel were as many to the good.
Cushendall were then forced to look for a levelling goal and when Karl McKeegan was fouled, Shane McNaughton had a chance from a 21 free but his shot was saved.
This proved to be the last real chance as loughgiel flooded their defence and held firm as the final whistle sounded amid jubilant scenes.
Cushendall: r Kearney, t mcallister, o Scullion, S Delargy, m Burke, D mcnaughton, a Graffin, K mcKeegan, a Delargy (F mcauley 41), B Delargy (J mcmanus 57), C Carson (0-1), e mcKillop (P mcnaughton (0-1) 25), P mcGill (0-1), D mcKillop (0-1), S mcnaughton (0-10, 5f).
loughgiel: DD Quinn, P Gillan, n mcGarry, r mcCloskey, James Campbell (0-1), m Scullion, Johnny Campbell, B mcauley (0-3), m mcFadden (t mcCloskey 45), L Watson (1-5, 1-0 pen, 4f), D Laverty, e mcCloskey, B mcCarry (0-1), J Scullion (0-2), D Laverty (0-1) (S Casey (0-1) 41).
?HERO Liam Watson scored the crucial goal from a penalty and, right, captain Johnny Campbell (centre), and vice captain DD Quinn are joined by the club's camogie captain Bernie McKinley after victory