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Gaffney duo play key roles as Middletown power on in Ulster Club Championship

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Goal-den strike: Ryan Gaffney’s goal proved crucial for Middletown. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

Goal-den strike: Ryan Gaffney’s goal proved crucial for Middletown. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

©INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritcha

Goal-den strike: Ryan Gaffney’s goal proved crucial for Middletown. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

In the Ulster Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final played at the weekend, Armagh side Middletown proved too strong for Monaghan title-holders Castleblayney in winning by 2-18 to 0-18.

Middletown led by 1-9 to 0-9 at the break and although Fergal Rafter, Declan Hughes and Niall Garland did their best to keep Castleblayney in contention, a Ryan Gaffney goal supplemented by a late surge of points from Dean Gaffney, Cathal Carvill and Ben Toal brought Middletown to victory.

Castleblayney sustained their effort until the final whistle, but Middletown’s experience and resilience proved invaluable assets as they closed the game out efficiently.

Eire Og, Carrickmore also progressed to the semi-finals with a 4-9 to 1-13 win over Antrim champions, Carey Faughs.

The Tyrone side looked to have taken a firm grip on the game when they led by 3-5 to 0-9 with Dermot Begley grabbing two of their goals, one from a penalty.

Carey continued to offer defiance in the second-half and might well have discomfited their opponents had they not missed scoring chances. Eire Og, though, held their name and have bolstered their chances of perhaps claiming the provincial title.

Armagh representatives Craobh Rua marched on in the Ulster Club Junior Hurling Championship by beating Donegal title-holders St Eunan’s by 3-10 to 2-8. Two goals from county football ace Jarly Og Burns and a shoal of points from Ryan Lewis and Tiarnan O’Hare were to prove instrumental in cementing the Craobh Rua win after their opponents had battled back from a 2-8 to 0-4 interval deficit.

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And there was victory too for Antrim champions Con Magees, Glenravel who overcame Donegal outfit Naomh Colum Cille by 2-16 to 1-8.

It was an explosive second-half performance highlighted by a spectacular goal from Conleth O’Loan that helped to copper-fasten the Glenravel team’s progress into the last four with Sean McKay, Niall Donnelly and James Duffin also prominent in the scoring stakes.

Derry side Na Magha were dealt a blow when Sean Mellon, one of their oldest and most respected members, died at the beginning of last week and the team did his memory proud by coming out on top against Cootehill Celtic (1-13 to 0-10).

Na Magha led by 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time and never allowed their opponents to get into their stride after the break, a superb goal from Keelan Doherty bolstering the winners’confidence.


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