Seven-up Slaughtneil drink in more glory
Slaughtneil turned in a power-packed second-half performance to claim their seventh successive Derry senior hurling championship title by beating Kevin Lynch's by 1-23 to 2-12 yesterday.
The champions certainly had to do it the hard way on this occasion as their Dungiven opponents battled incessantly and indeed looked at one stage as if they might assume control.
That was after Mark Craig and Tiarnan McHugh had rattled the Slaughtneil net but Michael McShane's men are made of stern stuff and responded robustly to the challenge.
With Cormac O'Doherty pointing the way in every sense, Slaughtneil got their noses in front and, after Brendan Rogers had cracked in their goal, they palpably grew in confidence and managed to close the game out.
Ballycran surged to the Down senior hurling title when they brushed aside the shock of conceding a goal to Portaferry in the opening 30 seconds to win by 1-20 to 1-13.
It was an opportunist strike by Brendan Coleman that looked to have sent Portaferry into overdrive in the early stages but by half-time Ballycran had edged in front.
Stuart Martin, one of the most exciting hurlers on the Down scene just now, drilled home their goal and added a brace of points for good measure with the Savage brothers Liam and Phelim and Gerard Hughes to the fore.
In the second-half, the Nicholson brothers Scott and Brett - the former was man of the match - underpinned Ballycran's advantage although the dismissal of Colm McManus was a blow to the side, while Conor O'Prey's red card was a similar setback to Portaferry, for whom Coleman scored 1-6.
In the Antrim senior camogie championship final, Loughgiel beat Ballycastle by 2-10 to 1-9. Caitrin Dobbin was the architect of Loughgiel's success, her two early goals infusing confidence into the side while Emma McMullan landed six points from frees. Loughgiel led by 2-8 to 1-4 at half-time, with Nuala Devlin having chalked up their goal.
Termon (Donegal) and St Macartan's (Tyrone) have advanced to the Ulster senior ladies football club championship semi-finals. Termon beat Armagh side Clan Eireann by 5-9 to 0-8 in yesterday's quarter-final, while St Maccartan's overcame Cavan side Crosserlough by 5-12 to 0-3.
In the Ulster ladies intermediate football championship, Fermanagh ace Joanne Doonan turned in a spectacular display for Kinawley by scoring 2-7 in their 3-8 to 2-9 win over Tyrone side Killeeshil. Doonan's 1-2 in the closing four minutes proved a crucial contribution.
Down representatives Kilcoo beat Armagh side Granemore by 1-15 to 0-3, while St Paul's (Antrim) had a whopping 9-20 to 0-14 victory over a hapless Gowna (Cavan) side.