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James Doherty claims decider to kill off Keady hopes in hurling semi-final

Cloughmills 1-14 Keady 0-11

By John McIlwaine

A somewhat fortuitous goal from midfielder James Doherty nine minutes from the end of Sunday's AIB Ulster Intermediate Hurling Club Championship semi-final gave Antrim champions St Brigid's Cloughmills a massive lift which ultimately saw them over the line against Keady at Owenbeg.

After appearing to be in a very strong position at half-time, when they went in 0-9 to 0-4 to the good, the Antrim men had saw a five-point lead dwindle away as Keady found their form.

Three unanswered points from substitute Paul McCormick, midfielder Stephen Renaghan and centre forward Paul Breen had brought Keady back to within two points, and the confidence Cloughmills had displayed was suddenly starting to ebb away.

They were level at 0-4 apiece on the 20-minute mark before Cloughmills suddenly found their touch, and five unanswered points from Mickey Devlin, Liam Kearns, Conor Lavery, Liam Cassley and Geoffrey Og Laverty sent them in at the break with a five-point lead (0-9 to 0-4).

On the restart Keady moved danger man Conor Corvan from midfield to the edge of the Cloughmills square and it paid early dividends as Corvan's pace brought two early frees which saw them back in contention.

All seemed set for a real battle until Doherty's goal ended the Keady hopes and secured that final place.

Cloughmills scorers: M Devlin 0-7; J Doherty 1-1; L Cassley 0-3; C Laverty 0-1; G Laverty 0-1; L Kearns 0-1

Keady scorers: P Breen 0-5; C Corvan 0-3, R Conway 0-1; S Renaghan 0-1; P McCormack 0-1.

Belfast Telegraph

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