Busy day of action in club championships

Cushendall were crowned the first provincial club champions of 2008 thanks to a 1-14 to 1-13 victory over Down champions Ballygalget in the Ulster club SHC final at Casement Park, on a day which saw 13 county finals around the country, and also action in the Ulster and Connacht provincial club championships.

Ahead by 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval thanks to a 16th-minute Conor McCambridge goal, the Antrim champions were tested strongly in the second half with the efforts of top scorer Martin Coulter and goal scorer Paddy Coulter keeping Ballygalget in contention.

Cushendall just held a slight edge over their Down counterparts throughout this contest and managed to prevail by the minimum at the full-time whistle with Aidan Delargy accepting the cup after the game.

Elsewhere in provincial action, Antrim champions St. Gall's snuffed out Down side Mayobridge from the Ulster SFC following a 0-12 to 2-5 preliminary round victory.

Despite Mayobridge getting off to a wonder start following a Ronan Sexton goal after 22 seconds, six points without reply helped propel Gall's to a 0-7 to 1-1 interval lead.

Benny Coulter edged Mayobridge into a 2-3 to 0-7 advantage on the restart with a well-taken goal, but Gall's stood firm and good work from brothers CJ and Kevin McGourty helped the Belfast outfit to victory.

Elsewhere in provincial club action, the Connacht SFC got underway with Sligo champions Eastern Harps securing a semi-final spot thanks to a 1-15 to 1-5 win over Leitrim's Glencar-Manorhamilton.

2007 All-Ireland club SFC champions Crossmaglen Rangers recorded their 13th Armagh victory in succession thanks to a 0-13 to 0-8 win over Pearse Óg at Armagh's Athletic Grounds.

Cavan Gaels captured the senior-minor double at Kingspan Breffni Park, with the senior team, powered by an in-form Seanie Johnston, recording a 0-15 to 0-7 win over Denn.

Ballaghadereen were crowned Mayo SFC champions for the first time since the 1970s following a 0-13 to 1-6 win over Charlestown. They held a comfortable nine-point lead at the interval.

In Leinster, replays will be required to decide the destination of the Kildare and Carlow SFC titles, following two entertaining draws this afternoon.

In Newbridge, the Barney Rock-managed Celbridge side will have to face Sarsfields on the October Bank Holiday Monday after the Kildare decider finished level at 0-7 apiece.

In Carlow a last-gasp point from defender Alan Curran for Eire Óg ensured a replay will be required next Sunday after their 1-10 to 1-10 draw with Palatine at Dr. Cullen Park.

Portlaoise captured their 25th Laois senior football title thanks to a

2-14 to 1-7 victory over Timahoe at O'Moore Park. Six Portlaoise players were on target and Peter McNulty registered 1-3 for the eventual winners.

Kilmurry-Ibrickane captured their first Clare SFC title since 2004 after a 0-11 to 0-5 win over Liscannor at Cusack Park in Ennis. The win extended their unbeaten run in championship and league action to

24 games.

In hurling, Toomevara were pushed to the pin of their collar at Semple Stadium before eventually emerging 2-14 to 0-17 winners over Thurles Sarsfields. Goals in either half from Willie Ryan and Eoin Brislane secured a 22nd title for Toomevara.

Inspirational performances from captain Donnacha Sheehan, Conor Fitzgerald and man-of-the-match Wayne McNamara earned Adare back-to-back Limerick SHC titles thanks to a 0-13 to 0-8 win over Ahane at Limerick's Gaelic Grounds.

In Kerry, Shane Brick scored 1-9 as the Anthony Daly-managed Kilmoyley grabbed a 2-18 to 0-8 win over Causeway in the Kerry SHC decider at a wet Austin Stack Park in Tralee.

Kilmessan and Kildalkey will have to meet again next weekend to decide the destination of the Meath SHC title, following their 1-7 to 1-7 draw at Pairc Tailteann in Navan.

In Roscommon, Four Roads could only manage one point in the second half, yet this 59th-minute point from Ray Mulry was enough to secure silverware following a 0-6 to 0-5 win over Padraig Pearses at Athleague.

Keith Raymond, fresh from his exploits for the Ireland Under-21 team in Saturday's Hurling/Shinty International, was again in starring form, as he top-scored with 1-7 in Calry/St. Joseph's 4-11 to 1-8 Sligo SHC final victory over Western Gaels at Tourlestrane.


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