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Ballinderry wait on final opponents

By Cahair O’Kane

Ballinderry will have to wait to see who they face in the Derry senior football championship after two contrasting semi-finals at the weekend.

The three-in-a-row chasing holders progressed on Saturday evening by virtue of a victory over Lavey that was expected, but the matter of which came as a surprise.

After a bright start from the underdogs which saw them race into a 0-4 to 0-0, Ballinderry slipped into gear and ended up cruising to a 2-20 to 0-11 victory in front of a crowd of 2,400 at Owenbeg.

Lavey protested that they should have had a free out in the build-up to the first Ballinderry goal but Conleith Gilligan didn't stand on ceremony. He lashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-3 to 0-4.

By half-time, the game was gone from Lavey.

They couldn't win anything in midfield and Ballinderry had pulled clear to go in front by 1-9 to 0-5.

Lavey made a fist of a recovery at the start of the second half and headed into the final 20 minutes still within six points, but Ballinderry kicked on again and Conleith Gilligan's second goal, a tap in after Fintan Bell's effort had been saved, put the seal on it in injury-time.

The second semi final on Sunday night was a tight, defensive affair. Coleraine and Ballinascreen eeked out a 0-6 apiece draw which neither side really deserved to win.

The one clear cut goal chance of the game was created and missed by Ciaran McGoldrick, but he flashed wide of Danny Devlin's post in the first half.

The first period ended with 'Screen 0-4 to 0-3 ahead but Coleraine, led by inspirational Barry McGoldrick after the break, dug out a draw.

McGoldrick kicked a superb score to make it 0-5 apiece and frees from Benny Heron and Ciaran McGoldrick were the only scores in the final 10 minutes.

The sides must do it for a third time in the championship on Thursday night.

Belfast Telegraph

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