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Derry Football Championship: Thrilling finish sets up tasty decider

Ballinderry overcame the odds to snatch two late goals to overcome a five-point deficit to set up a Derry senior football final showdown with Coleraine.

In front of a huge crowd at Greenlough, they overcame Lavey 3-10 to 1-15 with substitutes Gavan McGeehan and James Conway grabbing the late major added time scores.

For Coleraine, who beat Ballinascreen 1-9 to 1-7 yesterday, it will be a first appearance in the showpiece final after only three years in the senior division.

The Shamrocks had the early advantage when midway through the first half Raymond Wilkinson got a hand to a fisted cross from Conleith Gilligan and deflected it past the advancing Lavey keeper Ciaran O’Boyle to give the Shamrocks a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.

Three minutes into the second half Paul Hearty, who finished with 1-7, 0-6 frees, tied the scores at 1-6 each with a rasping shot to the net.

From that to the 60th minute Lavey dominated the second half, a dust up in the 47th minute resulting in straight red cards for Ballinderry’s Enda Muldoon and Lavey’s Kevin McCloy.

With five minutes of additional time announced McGeehan came on a substitute in the final minutes and fired home a goal a minute later.

Conway took a pass from Ryan Scott two minutes later to drive the ball to the net for the winning score.

In the other semi-final, Coleraine keeper Ryan McGeough was booked for tackle on Ciaran McElroy in the goalmouth and Dermot McBride tucked the ball from the penalty just inside the post for 1-1 to 0-1.

In the 25th minute Ciaran McGoldrick palmed the ball to the net from a Declan Mullan cross to put the Bannsiders 1-4 to 1-2 ahead, their lead extended to 1-7 to 1-3 by half time.

Ten minutes into the second half Niall Holly stretched the lead to five points, Gavin Kelly, who spurned a goal chance in the first half, widing from a second goal chance twelve minutes from time. Ballinascreen closed to within two points of Coleraine but Ciaran McGoldrick’s 55th minute point gave them breathing space in a nail-biting finish.

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