Hurling Kings of Ulster

Oisin Duddy looks back at the last ten winners of the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship

2013 – Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim)

THE only Ulster club to win the All-Ireland series was back in action winning their fourth Ulster title in a-row, beating Derry’s Sleacht Néill in their own backyard in Celtic Park with Liam Watson scoring seven points and Eddie McCloskey bagging 2-2 from play. The Glensmen have had All-Ireland success in the past but they fell short on the national stage with a defeat to Carlow and Leinster champions Mount Leinster Rangers by 2-11 to 0-18 at Páirc Esler.

2014 – Portaferry (Down)

WITH Derry and Antrim traditionally dominating in Ulster, this was a shock as Portaferry became the first Down team to win it since Ballygalget prevailed in 2005. In that final they beat Cushendall 1-16 to 0-11 in Owenbeg, with an outstanding performance from Eoghan Sands. He ended up with 1-3 to his name to claim the Player of the Match award. The Down side were beaten in the All-Ireland semi-final against Limerick and Munster champions Kilmallock on a scoreline of 2-19 to 0-12 at Cusack Park.

2015 – Cushendall (Antrim)

CUSHENDALL won their first Ulster title since 2008 with a one-point victory after extra-time over Sleacht Néill, 3-17 to 1-24, down in the Athletic Grounds. The game was exciting with 13 points for Neil McManus and a goal from Christy McNaughton to seal the deal for them. The Ruairí Ógs had a great run that year but eventually lost out to a stronger Na Piarsaigh side in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park.

2016 – Sleacht Néill (Derry)

THIS was Sleacht Néill’s first Ulster title, and there were many more to come. In this instance they overcame Loughgiel Shamrocks by 1-13 to 2-14 with a Player of the Match performance from Chrissy McKaigue who scored three points in their win at the Athletic Grounds. They later lost at the same venue following a disappointing defeat to eventual All-Ireland champions Cuala.

2017 – Sleacht Néill (Derry)

THE year that got Sleacht Néill on the provincial map by winning Ulster senior titles in three codes. What a year it was for them in the hurling, beating Ballygalget In spectacular fashion with their main scorer Cormac O’Doherty weighing in with 1-10. They fell short in the race for the All-Ireland but gave Na Piarsaigh plenty to think about at Parnell Park, eventually losing out by 3-15 to 3-8.

2018 – Cushendall (Antrim)

CUSHENDALL went on to win the 2018 Ulster final in a scrappy game against Ballycran on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-10 at the Athletic Grounds. Talisman Neil McManus scored nine points for the Ruairi Ógs to help them get the win. But this success all came crumbling down in a heart-breaking defeat in the All-Ireland semi which they lost by a single point to the Galway champions St Thomas at Parnell Park.

2019 – Sleacht Néill (Derry)

SLEACHT Néill won their third Ulster title in four years beating Dunloy at Páirc Esler 1-15 to 0-10. Cormac O’Doherty was sensational and at one stage scored a 95-metre free and there was a masterclass performances from the McGuigan family. Their campaign ended in the All-Ireland series, losing in a tight game to the All-Ireland winners of that year, Ballyhale Shamrocks, with five points separating the teams at the final whistle.

2021 – Sleacht Néill (Derry)

SLEACHT Néill won their fourth Ulster title in 2021 as they beat Ballycran in a tight game in Corrigan Park with another brilliant performance from captain Cormac O’Doherty. They ended their campaign with a semi-final loss to the eventual All-Ireland champions Ballygunner in a hotly-contested tussle that ended 2-19 to 1-17 at Parnell Park.

2022 – Dunloy (Antrim)

DUNLOY beat the defending champions Sleacht Néill In a memorable game to win their eleventh title in the Athletic Grounds, sending them off to the All-Ireland series for the first t ime in 12 years. They got to the final in Croke Park, losing to Ballyhale Shamrocks who finished strongly to pick up their ninth title.

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