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Creggan bridge 41-year gap by reaching Antrim final at long last

By John Campbell

If it's sporting romance you're after, then the Antrim senior football championship can seemingly offer it in spades.

Two enthralling weekend semi-finals not only provided top-drawer entertainment but threw up the ultimate in local derbies with parish neighbours Erin's Own Cargin and Kickhams Creggan now due to meet in the final.

While Damian Cassidy's Cargin outfit will be on familiar ground, it's 41 years since the Creggan side have graced the final. And that's why ecstatic scenes unfolded after their 2-9 to 1-10 semi-final win over St John's. Creggan got there in the end, Conor Small and, would you believe, Sam Maguire grabbing their goals.

If Kickhams Creggan are living the dream just now, then Erin's Own are thanking their lucky stars that Tomas McCann continues to wield his scoring magic. Seemingly in danger of being counted out when they trailed St Gall's by 4-5 to 0-12, they staged a miraculous recovery to nose to a 2-17 to 4-10 victory, when McCann thundered home their second goal in added time.

Meanwhile, Crossmaglen Rangers have their sights on the Armagh title again following their 0-19 to 1-11 semi-final win over St Patrick's yesterday.

Rangers led by 0-13 to 1-3 at half-time by which stage Rian O'Neill, Michael McNamee and Oisin O'Neill had underlined their scoring prowess while Aidan Nugent had snapped up the St Patrick's goal.

Ballymacnab stepped up their bid to add the championship crown to the All-County League title when they overcame Maghery in the first semi-final by 1-9 to 0-9.

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