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GAA: Lavey lose out in epic battle; Cushendall 2-21 Lavey 2-18.

ANTRIM champions Cushendall booked their place in the Ulster club hurling championship decider at Casement Park on Saturday with an epic victory over Lavey.

Following last weekend's drawn game few could have predicted the tense nature of the replay.

The sides were level at half-time and level at full-time before the Antrim men's greater fitness saw them through in a very nervous finale in front of nearly 3,000 spectators.

Indeed, had the Derry champions not been reduced to 14 men with the dismissal of veteran of Johnny McGurk for a second yellow card offence in the first period of extra time, then they may well have progressed.

Lavey got off to a perfect start, scoring within two minutes, after keeper McNaughton dropped the sliothar invitingly for Michael McCormick to thump home.

However, poetic justice was served moments later when Lavey keeper Brendan Prenter also fumbled for Brian McNaughton to score in a similar fashion.

After turning round 1-5 apiece, never more than a point separated the sides with Derry star Olly Collins scoring frequently to keep Lavey in touch.

It was no surprise that extra time was required when it finished 1-12 each.

Cushendall opened the brighter in the first period of extra time and McGurk's dismissal gave the Antrim men the initiative to win the game.

When Conor McCambridge scored their second goal in the final period the writing was well and truly on the wall.

The Derry champions though fought back gallantly, but despite a Collins goal in the final moments, it was Cushendall who held on for a deserved victory.

CUSHENDALL: C McNaughton, C McAllister, A McAteer, Ciaran McCambridge, M McCambridge, R McNaughton, F McAllister, D McKillop 0-2, J Carson 0- 3, Michael McCambridge 0-4, Conor McCambridge 1-6, J McKillop, A Delargy 0-4, B McNaughton 1-2.

LAVEY: B Prenter, A McMullan, C McGurk, Ciaran McGurk, B Ward, P McCloy 0-1, J Young, A McChrystal 0-1, J McGurk, M McCormick 1-0, O Collins 1- 12, M Collins 0-1, S Downey 0-3, H Downey.

REFEREE: G Devlin (Armagh).
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 27, 1999
Words:340
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