Two Derry senior footballers underlined their versatility in considerable style when they played key roles in guiding Eoghan Rua (Coleraine) to victory over Tyrone champions Eire Og (Carrickmore) in the Ulster Club Intermediate hurling championship semi-finals at Owenbeg yesterday.
While Sean Leo McGoldrick was outstanding at the heart of the north-west side's defence, Niall Holly capped an industrious performance in attack with a crucial second-half goal that helped seal his side's 2-10 to 0-13 win.
A goal from Ciaran Gaile projected Eoghan Rua into a 1-2 to 0-2 lead with just eight minutes gone and they remained three points in front at half-time (1-7 to 0-7).
But with Gary Fox leading the way, Eire Og levelled matters in the third quarter before Holly's opportunist goal.
A point from the enterprising Colm McGoldrick sustained Eoghan Rua in the closing stages as Eire Og tried valiantly to snatch the match out of the fire.
Eoghan Rua will now meet O'Donovan Rossa (Belfast) in the final following the latter outfit's hard-earned 1-16 to 0-15 win over Keady in the other semi-final.
Even though they shot 10 wides in the first-half and were a point in arrears at the break, the Antrim title-holders never lost their shape and Stephen Beattie set them on the path to victory for the game's only goal in the 36th minute.
Beattie complemented this score with three fine points.
Keady remained in touch right to the end when Conor McKee's last-gasp attempt on goal from a free proved abortive but he remained his side's top scorer.
In the Ulster Club Junior hurling championship semi-finals Castleblayney carved out a rather surprising 4-10 to 4-7 victory over Antrim standard-bearers Con Magees (Glenravel).
In what amounted to a first-half goal fest, the Monaghan champions built up a 3-8 to 4-2 interval lead but the scoring rate dropped in the second-half.
A late goal from Fergal Rafter cemented their victory.
And goals were very much the order of the day in the other junior semi-final too with Derry side Na Magha proving superior to their Tyrone opponents Strabane Sigersons by 5-10 to 3-11.
It was a three-goal second-half blitz from Diarmuid Shiels that underpinned this win.
Their first-half goals came from Franz Hoeritzaur and Deaglan Foley.