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Big names pushed all the way in race for Antrim decider berths

 

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Ciaran Barker struck the winner for Dungannon

Ciaran Barker struck the winner for Dungannon

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ciaran Barker struck the winner for Dungannon

The Antrim hurling final will be contested this coming weekend by two of the familiar names, Dunloy and Loughgiel, but both teams were given serious examinations by west Belfast teams in the semi-finals in a breath of fresh air for the competition this season.

St John's pushed 2012 All-Ireland champions Loughgiel hard in their last-four encounter, the final score being 2-31 to 5-18.

Played at the county training ground of Dunsilly, substitute Benny McCarry came off the bench to rifle home a goal from a narrow angle.

O'Donovan Rossa, who have been the story of both Championships with their stirring displays, mounted an incredible comeback against reigning champions Dunloy with Michael Armstong's goal sparking it.

In the end, though, Gregory O'Kane's men held on for a 1-22 to 2-18 victory.

The Antrim football final will be a Cargin v Creggan south western affair. Cargin met Lamh Dhearg in a repeat of last year's decider for the semi-final, and came out on top narrowly, 3-9 to 1-13; Pat Shivers with the decisive third goal.

It wasn't such a close run thing in the other semi-final battle, however, where Creggan got the better of Portglenone 2-10 to 1-8.

For the first time since 1986, the Tyrone town of Dungannon will be in the senior county final. In an extra-time thriller, they took down last year's finalists Errigal Ciaran on Saturday night. The winner came in the last play of the game, corner-back Ciaran Barker coming forward to clip a '45' in off the post.

They will meet Trillick, defending their crown, who got the better of a dogged Coalisland outfit.

St Macartan's claimed their fifth consecutive ladies' title in Tyrone, beating Errigal Ciaran 2-13 to 1-7.

In the last 16 round of the Derry senior football Championship, there was a win for Coleraine over Claudy, while Ballinderry got past Newbridge 2018 to 1-15.

Glen made a serious statement of intent with a 3-20 to 1-10 routing of Kilrea. Bellagy went out at the hands of Ballinascreen, 1-12 to 0-9.

Slaughtneil showed their mettle to set up a next round game against neighbours Glen when they blitzed Foreglen 3-22 to 0-8, the Loup dismissed Dungiven 0-21 to 1-11.

Swatragh, who beat Banagher, will face champions Magherafelt after they beat Lavey.

Belfast Telegraph