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Home comforts lost by Ulster counties

By John Campbell

The Ulster senior football Championship has not only seen Tyrone retain their title but has rendered the term ‘home advantage’ redundant.

In six games in the competition, away teams triumphed thus emphasising the unpredictable nature of the series.

The trend was set in the opening game when Armagh overcame Derry in Celtic Park and was continued in the next two games when Down came away from Ballybofey with an extra-time win over Donegal while Tyrone invaded Casement Park to end Antrim’s title hopes.

In what was perhaps the biggest shock, Monaghan then blitzed Armagh at Casement Park when the Orchard County technically had home advantage.

That was followed by Fermanagh visiting Kingspan Breffni Park where they lowered Cavan’s colours.

And even though they were performing on their own soil in Clones last Sunday, Monaghan still fell victims to Tyrone in a one-sided Ulster decider.

l ANTRIM booked their place in the Bord Gais Ulster Under-21 Hurling Championship final when they overcame Down by 0-19 to 1-12 in last night’s semi-final at Casement Park, Belfast.

An eight-point haul by Darren Hamill highlighted the Saffrons’ win while Michael Armstrong contributed four and Thomas McCann, Johnny Campbell and P J O’Connell all of whom are expected to be in action in Sunday’s All Ireland senior quarter-final against Cork also got on the score sheet.

In the other semi-final Armagh continued their recent impressive run by beating Derry by 2-12 to 0-10 with an impressive performance from Nathan Curry.

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