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Erne County sees a semi deadlock

 

John Campbell

By John Campbell

It's not often that both semi-finals in any county championship title race finish all-square but this was precisely the scenario that unfolded in Fermanagh at the weekend.

When Roslea, for whom Sean Quigley scored 0-7, and Tempo finished level (0-9 to 1-6) in the first semi-final it was expected that reigning champions Derrygonnelly Harps would maintain their drive for five consecutive county crowns by beating Belnaleck in the other tie.

But Colm Bradley's side had other ideas and indeed might well have snatched the most dramatic of victories had teenager Darragh McBrien been on target with a last-gasp free that was just off-target. In the event, the sides finished level at 0-8 each.

The Down championship provided two nail-biting contests with Ciaran McKeever's Mayobridge just squeezing past Loughinisland (2-16 to 1-18) while Bryansford also won by the minimum margin against RGU Downwpatrick (1-13 to 2-9).

Lamh Dhearg strolled to a 3-13 to 1-6 win over Ahoghill while St Mary's, Aghagallon beat St Teresa's by 2-15 to 0-13 in Antrim.

Roger Casements, Portglenone also looked sharp in overcoming St Brigid's by 1-10 to 0-8.

In Armagh, Crossmaglen Rangers, inspired by the O'Neill brothers Rian and Oisin, overcame Sarsfields by 3-11 to 2-18 with Caolan Skelton grabbing two goals for the losers while Pearse Og beat St Patrick's by 3-13 0-14 and Dromintee surprised Madden by winning by 1-14 to 0-11.

Armagh 2002 All-Ireland winner Ronan Clarke has also his eyes on a title but in a different county. The Cavan Gaels side which he currently manages overcame Cootehill yesterday (3-20 to 1-11) while Lavey overcame Mullahoran.

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