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Dougan surges to the four as Kickhams clinch semi place

 

By John Campbell

The Antrim senior football championship is certainly building up to an exciting climax now that just four teams - Kickhams Creggan, Lamh Dhearg, Cargin and St John's - are left standing in the title race.

Martin Dougan certainly hit the high spots when he fulfilled an exciting cameo role as substitute with Kickhams Creggan by scoring four points to cement their 0-13 to 1-7 quarter-final victory over Ahoghill.

Kickhams, who will now meet Lamh Dhearg in the semi-finals, were sluggish on occasions and Ahoghill looked to be on their way to causing a surprise when they landed a goal from an early penalty.

But in the second half Kickhams Creggan fitness and Dougan's slick opportunism were to stand them in good stead.

Their semi-final opponents Lamh Dhearg had earlier stunned St Gall's by winning 3-14 to 2-13 in a titanic tussle. Former Antrim captain Paddy Cunningham hit eight points for the winners with seven coming from frees while Conor Murray scored 2-1.

CJ McGourty did his best to keep St Gall's in contention by landing 1-5 but the Hannahstown side deployed their experience to good effect in the closing stages.

St John's, meanwhile, cruised to a comfortable 2-15 to 0-9 win over Glenavy with their county aces Matthew Fitzpatrick and Patrick McBride very much to the fore and will now meet Cargin in the other 'semi'.

In the Down senior football championship quarter-finals Castlewellan held out to fend off a stiff challenge from Loughinisland and won by 1-14 to 0-13.

Castlewellan led by 1-7 to 0-8 at half-way and were pushed all the way after the break before managing to come out on top.

But Downpatrick and Ballyholland will have to meet again on Wednesday to resolve their differences after finishing all-square at 1-9 each on Saturday.

Tonight Down champions Kilcoo will meet Bryansford at Pairc Esler Newry (8.15) as they bid to continue their quest for a fifth consecutive title.

Meanwhile, Chris O'Brien was in fine form for Devenish in their Fermanagh quarter-final against Teemore. It was two goals from O'Brien that gave the winners the cushion they required to close the game out.

In the replay of the All-Ireland Under 16 camogie 'B' final Antrim were pipped 3-6 to 1-10 by Laois.

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