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Ballyboden end Clonmel dream

By John Campbell

If the tantalising prospect of a major Ulster presence in the All-Ireland club football final disappeared with the defeat of Crossmaglen Rangers, then the carrot of a rather more tenuous provincial interest was clinically shredded when Clonmel Commercials lost to Ballyboden St Enda's in the other semi-final.

Donegal-born Charlie McGeever has taken the Clonmel a considerable distance since taking over the reins but a fired-up Ballyboden side that took its inspiration from Dublin All-Ireland winner Michael Daragh Macauley proved a bridge too far for them, even though they took them to extra-time.

McGeever's side led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the half-way stage and they looked as if they might get over the line when they held a two-point advantage entering the end of normal time.

But points from Andrew Kieran and Darragh Nelson saw the sides finish deadlocked at 0-10 each.

Extra-time got off to a bad start for Clonmel when they lost sharpshooter Michael Quinlivan to a black card and Ballyboden hit five unanswered points to compound the Tipperary outfit's woes - and leave McGeever devastated.

Meanwhile, St John's and Watty Grahams will meet in the final of the Bank of Ireland Ulster U-21 club tournament at the Kickhams Creggan club next Sunday following their semi-final wins yesterday.

St John's staged a dramatic recovery to overcome St Patrick's Cullyhanna by 3-7 to 1-9 having been three points in arrears in the closing phase of the game.

But goals from Matt Fitzpatrick and Daragh McCallion were to prove crucial as the Belfast side spurted past their opponents in a dramatic finish.

Watty Grahams had a much more straightforward passage against Monaghan champions Magheracloone winning by 5-10 to 1-5.

Belfast Telegraph

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