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Cushendall leave it late to book place in Antrim final

By John Campbell

It may not have been the most memorable of seasons for Antrim at inter-county level but if the current domestic senior hurling championship is to be taken as a barometer then the sport is surely flourishing at club level.

Yesterday in front of a huge gallery at Ballycastle Ruairi Og Cushendall just managed to fend off the robust challenge of a battling St John's side by 2-16 to 3-11 in a superb semi-final replay.

Cushendall will now go on to meet Loughgiel in the final but they will be considerably chastened by the manner in which they just managed to survive against the lion-hearted Johnnies.

Ruairi Og led by 0-9 to 0-7 at half-time with Neil McManus and Ryan McCambridge providing the impetus for their scoring efforts while Conor Johnston and Michael Dudley did most to keep St John's in touch.

But when Conor Carson complemented an earlier second half goal from Neil McManus, the Cushendall side looked to have stamped their authority on the contest.

However, when Conor Johnston fired home a third St John's goal to supplement similar scores from Barry McFall and Peter McCallin, the Corrigan Park side appeared capable of snatching the game out of the fire.

However, Cushendall just managed to hold on, their two points win helping to keep alive their hopes of recapturing the title.

Keady and St Galls advanced in the provincial intermediate club hurling championship by beating Eoghan Rua, Dungannon and Lisbellaw respectively. Keady were pushed hard by the Dungannon side before coming out on top by 0-15 to 1-10 while St Galls had a more comfortable 2-19 to 1-16 win over Lisbellaw.

In the Ulster Junior Club Hurling Championship quarter-final Down side Clonduff carried too much forward power for Tyrone outfit Naomh Colm Cille and eventually won by 2-14 to 0-6.

The Cavan senior football championship replays saw Castlerahan get the better of Lavey by 1-19 to 1-16 while Crosserlough edged out Gowna by 0-11 to 0-6.

Emyvale turned in an emphatic performance in the Ulster Junior Club Football championship to beat Cavan side Drumlane by 5-11 to 3-7.

Daniel McMahon and Gareth McQuaid along with Robbie McAllister were to the fore in a stunning Emyvale second half scoring blitz that paved the way for a fine win.

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