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St Gall's have to fight all the way for place in final

By John Campbell

Two of Ulster's big guns have already flashed out the message that they intend to hold onto their county titles.

But while St Gall's, winners of the Antrim title on 11 occasions in the past 12 years, only managed to secure their place in this year's final against Cargin when they squeezed past a gallant St Paul's side by 0-9 to 2-2 in the semi-finals at the weekend, Derry kingpins Ballinderry showed more composure in seeing off Kilrea by 1-15 to 0-11 in a lively quarter-final confrontation to set up a semi-final meeting with Lavey.

St Gall's never quite got into their stride and just about deserved their 0-5 to 1-1 interval advantage. St Paul's contributed to their own downfall by shooting 11 wides after the break.

Sean Kelly, C J McGourty, Rory Wilson, Karl Stewart and Terry O'Neill worked hard for a disappointing St Gall's side.

Cargin beat Creggan Kickhams by 0-5 to 0-2 in the other semi-final, a contest that was dominated by the respective defences.

In the Derry championship, the vastly-experienced Enda Muldoon sampled action for the first time and Daniel McKinless emerged as man of the match in Ballinderry's 1-15 to 0-11 win over Kilrea.

McKinless fired home the only goal and shared in a points-scoring bonanza with Conleith Gilligan. In a much more fiercely-contested quarter-final, Lavey just managed to edge past Glenullin by 2-14 to 2-12.

The winners enjoyed a tremendous send-off when Cailean O'Boyle registered 1-1 but Eoin Bradley ensured that Glenullin, who actually led by 1-8 to 1-7 at the break, stayed in touch.

Bradley helped himself to 1-9 with his brother Paddy grabbing Glenullin's other goal but a second Lavey goal from Paul Hearty and some polished finishing from McKinless and O'Boyle helped to take the game for the reigning champions.

Coleraine Eoghan Rua, champions three years ago, easily disposed of a lacklustre Loup side by 2-11 to 0-8 to set up a semi-final meeting with Ballinascreen who surprised a fancied Dungiven outfit by recording a handsome 3-11 to 0-8 victory.

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