GAA: Weekend review : Slaughtneil set up Derry football final against Ballinascreen

Ballinascreen players celebrate on the final whistle after blocking Greenlough's frantic goal effort in the final seconds of the Derry Senior Football Championship semi-final clash at Owenbeg on Saturday Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Padraig Kelly

IT was a weekend full of returns and non-returns as the club championships continued to heat up across Ulster.

Conor Glass didn’t make that rumoured appearance for Watty Graham’s in their Derry semi-final clash with Ulster champions Slaughtneil, but Jamie Clarke was named on the Crossmaglen bench against Wolfe Tone amid whispers that he has been convinced to stay on board as the Rangers try and reclaim the Gerry Fagan Cup.

There was another notable return in Carrickmore as Connor McAliskey appeared for the first time since suffering a cruciate injury back in January as Clonoe stunned Dromore late on.

In Derry, many in attendance at Celtic Park yesterday bought the rumour that Hawthorn player Glass was set to make a sensational cameo for Glen, but at the close of play they were sold the fact that Slaughtneil were back in a county final for the fourth consecutive year after a 0-13 to 0-6 win.

Ballinascreen will be their challengers, although they had it much tougher on Saturday as they finally managed to quell Greenlough’s charge, Liam Donnelly’s men emerging with a 0-11 to 0-9 win.

It was another dramatic weekend in the Tyrone Championship and Killyclogher’s shock exit to Pomeroy on Saturday means that Carrickmore, in 2005, will remain the last side to retain the O’Neill Cup for another season yet.

The Plunkett’s, Ulster Intermediate champions in 2016, were full value for their 1-9 to 0-7 win with John Loughran grabbing their goal.

Clonoe trailed Dromore by four points last night, but a Patrick Doris goal either side of Declan McClure and Dwayne Quinn points saw them record a 1-10 to 0-12 win.

Last year’s finalists Coalisland are also safely through after a 3-11 to 1-11 win over Galbally.

Dunloy and Cushendall will meet in the Antrim senior hurling final for the first time since 2009 following contrasting semi-final wins.

On Saturday, the Cuchullain’s hammered Ballycastle 2-21 to 0-11 – Ally Dooey and Nigel Elliott with the goals.

As expected, yesterday’s clash between Cushendall and Loughgiel went right to the wire.

The Ruairi Ogs produced a strong final quarter and a 0-13 to 0-12 win brought them to their fifth consecutive final.

In the Armagh SFC, Crossmaglen had little trouble in defeating Wolfe Tone yesterday, Kyle Carragher’s goal helping them to a 1-19 to 1-7 win at the Athletic Grounds. Clarke did not appear from the bench.

l Club championships coverage p60-63

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