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Cushendall and Slaughtneil eyeing title joy

By John Campbell

Cushendall and Slaughtneil share a zest for a liberal helping of hurling success this weekend.

Today, Cushendall are out to take another step towards retaining their Antrim and Ulster titles when they face O'Donovan Rossa in the County Championship semi-final at Corrigan Park, Belfast (5pm) while tomorrow, Slaughtneil aim to make it back-to-back Derry crowns when they take on Banagher in the Oak Leaf decider at Owenbeg (3.45pm).

The unexpected return of the vastly experienced Neil McManus from his global travels has helped to sharpen Cushendall's competitive edge while the impressive current form of Conor Carson, Shane McNaughton, Alex Delargy and Sean McAfee further helps to underpin confidence.

For O'Donovan Rossa, this will be a huge task. They may have triumphed over St John's at the quarter-final stage but Cushendall will pose a much more formidable challenge.

In tomorrow's second semi-final at Glenravel (4pm), McQuillans Ballycastle and Loughgiel Shamrocks will be in opposition.

Meanwhile, Slaughtneil will look to dual stars such as Chrissy McKaigue, Cormac O'Doherty and Brendan Rogers to fire up their challenge against Banagher in tomorrow's Derry decider.

Slaughtneil are keen to retain the title they won last year and go on to mount a strong bid to land the Ulster club crown.

Banagher, however, have the scent of glory in their nostrils. Shane Farren, Oisin McCloskey, Darragh Cartin and skipper Stefan McCloskey are in fine fettle.

Belfast Telegraph

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