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Watson points way as McLaughlin nets final spot


By John Campbell

Two of Ulster's top forwards underlined their explosive finishing talents in different codes at the weekend to bring their respective sides further down the road to progress

Former Antrim hurler Liam Watson certainly hit the high spots by compiling 0-11 for Warwickshire in their Lory Meagher Cup final win over Leitrim, while Geraldine McLaughlin landed 1-7 for Donegal in their stunning Ulster ladies football championship semi-final win over Armagh.

Watson's devastating accuracy from frees proved crucial in Warwickshire's 0-17 to 0-11 triumph although Leitrim's cause was not helped when they had Colm Moreton and David McGovern dismissed.

Leitrim actually led by 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time and looked capable of continuing to exert their control in the second-half but their tendency to concede frees and Watson's ability to maximise the returns from this helped to give Warwickshire the silverware.

And while Watson certainly had plenty to celebrate, McLaughlin also had cause for considerable satisfaction following Donegal's spectacular comeback against Armagh when they looked to be sagging against the ropes after failing to score in the first-half and found themselves trailing by 1-8 to 0-0 at the break.

But when McLaughlin rifled a shot to the Armagh net shortly after the resumption it was the signal for her team's revival.

She went on to produce a masterclass, landing 1-7, with Karen Guthrie and Eilish Ward each landing two points as Michael Naughton's team sealed their place in the Ulster final against Monaghan or Cavan with a 1-14 to 1-10 victory, something that had not looked possible at the break.

In a spectacular Leinster Championship hurling clash, Wexford stunned Kilkenny by winning a riveting contest by 1-20 to 3-11 with their suspended manager Davy Fitzgerald looking on from the stand.

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