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Triple goal blast takes Cushendall into decider

Ronan Costello
Ronan Costello
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Ruairi Og, Cushendall have finally booked their place in the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship final following a nail-biting 3-13 to 2-12 win over St John's in yesterday's replayed quarter-final tie at Dunloy.

It had been thought that Cushendall would occupy the driving seat in this game but nothing could be further from the truth.

Instead, it was St John's who led by 2-6 to 1-5 at half-time, their goals having come from Patrick Nugent and Conor Johnston with Alex Delargy hitting the net for Cushendall.

St John's resilience and character had proven invaluable assets up until then but two further Cushendall goals from the superb Delargy and Fergus McCambridge helped to hoist Cushendall into a 3-6 to 2-7 lead and they were able to close out the game from there with Neil McManus contributing his customary ration of points.

Ruairi Og will now meet Dunloy in what should prove a hugely attractive showpiece final.

In yesterday's Antrim Senior Football Championship semi-final, Erin's Own, Cargin overcame St Gall's by 2-10 to 1-8.

At the end of a low-scoring first-half Cargin led by 0-5 to 0-4 before they stepped up a gear after the break.

The other semi-final between Roger Casements, Portglenone and St John's finished all square with Conall Delargy securing a draw for the Casements by lashing a last-gasp penalty into the net to give his side a 3-10 total while St John's landed 1-16.

The Down Intermediate Hurling Championship final ended in a draw with Carryduff scoring 2-13 and Bredagh amassing 1-16.

Goals from Ronan Beatty and Daniel McCartan helped Carryduff to recover from a poor start with Ronan Costello and Donal Hughes superb for Bredagh.

In the Down Junior Hurling Championship final, a late goal from Jordan Murphy helped to cement Newry Shamrocks' fine 1-17 to 1-7 win over a plucky Ballela outfit.

Elsewhere, Crossmaglen Rangers booked their semi-final slot in the Armagh Senior Football Championship without undue difficulty, overcoming Silverbridge 1-15 to 0-7 at Cullyhanna.

It had been expected that this would prove tough, tight game but it did not turn out that way.

Rangers led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break, their goal having come from Colin O'Connor, but when the O'Neill brothers Oisin and Rian along with Johnny McKeever and Aaron Kernan shared in a points blitz in the second-half, the issue was never in doubt.

Granemore and Ballymacnab are also through to the Armagh semi-finals, the draw for which will be made tonight.

Granemore just managed to scrape past Madden (0-11 to 0-10), while Ballymacnab had a more straightforward passage in winning by 2-12 to 0-10 against Pearse Og with the outstanding Jack Grugan and James Gray snapping up their goals.

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