Down Senior Hurling final
Ballycran 2-13 Portaferry 1-14
While his old club Ruairi Og were battling for their lives against St John’s in the semi-final of the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship at the weekend in Dunloy Cormac McAllister was winning silverware with his new club Ballycran in the Down final against Portaferry.
CMac hurled for the Ruairi Og for a number of years but when he met and fell in love with a woman from the Ards Peninsula he upped sticks and headed for the county Down, where he was persuaded to don the black and amber shirt of Ballycran. He played for them during their league campaign in Division 1A of the Antrim leagues and on Sunday he lined out against neighbours Portaferry in the Down final at Ballygalget. His new side played second fiddle for long periods of the game, but a goal from a twenty metre free by Conor Woods deep into injury time saw Ballycran grab a dramatic victory.
Ballycran had started the game well and boosted by a CMac goal in the 11th minute they took a 1-2 to 0-2 lead. However that was to be their last score of the opening half as Portaferry took control and boosted by Ronan Blair goal they went on to lead by 1-9 to 1-2 at half time.
There was little in the early stages of the second half to suggest that Ballycran would get back into the game, but slowly they began to gain a foothold and with Conor Woods pulling the strings they got back to within a point. CMac had the chance to put them ahead with time almost up but his shot for goal was brilliantly saved by Portaferry netminder Karol Keating. They thought the chance was gone but seconds later the men in black and amber were awarded a close range free which Woods duly dispatched to seal the win and set up an Ulster semi-final place against reigning champions Slaughtneil.
The odds are probably against it. Cushendall have a mighty struggle on their hands to overcome St John’s in the semi-final replay with Loughgiel lying in wait in the final. Ballycran will start as rank outsiders against 3-in-row chasing Slauthtneil but there is still a chance that CMac could be facing his old team-mates in an Ulster final