By Colm O’Connor
A remarkable comeback from seven points down saw Ballyea crowned Clare SHC champions for the second time in the club’s history.
With Niall Deasy hitting 13 points form placed balls, Ballyea outscored Cratloe by 1-11 to 0-1 over the final 28 minutes to come out on top by 1-20 to 1-14 at Cusack Park.
The teams may have been level 10 times but Clonoulty-Rossmore were most deserved winners of their first Dan Breen Cup in 21 years with a 0-23 to 2-13 win over Nenagh Éire Óg in Thurles.
A crowd of 7,406 in Semple Stadium witnessed an exciting affair where John and Joey O’Keeffe and Dillon Quirke gave fine displays in guiding the men from the west to a fourth title.
Clonoulty scored the last five points of the game to cap a splendid victory for John Devane’s side, although a lot of their good work looked to be undone by a second Nenagh goal in the 52nd minute when Paddy Murphy making the most of a high ball lost by the Clonoulty defence.
Dingle have the chance of a first Kerry SFC title in 70 years next Sunday after easing past East Kerry in Sunday’s Kerry SFC semi-final replay in Tralee. A hat-trick of goals from Kerry ace Paul Geaney, and a fourth from his cousin Mikey Geaney gave the West Kerry men a 4-13 to 0-12 win over the divisional side. David Clifford was sent off in the second half. Dingle face three in a row chasing Dr Crokes in next Sunday’s decider at Austin Stack Park.
Crossmaglen surged back from a three-point deficit at the three quarter point to secure their 46th Armagh SFC title on Sunday with a 0-24 to 1-15 win over Ballymacnab.
In Tyrone, Coalisland are football champions for the tenth time, and the first since 2010 after their 2-11 to 1-7 win Sunday over Killyclogher. A Tiernan McCann goal had Killyclogher 1-4 to 0-5 ahead at the break but a strong second half from Na Fianna gave them the title in impressive fashion.
Charlie McCarthy’s injury- time goal helped Adare retain their Limerick SFC title. McCarthy’s strike edged them to a 1-13 to 0-12 win over a Ballylanders outfit which led 0-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
Moorefield collected their 10th Kildare SFC title with a 2-12 to 2-9 win over Athy at St Conleth’s Park. Victory secures theme a Leinster Club championship date with Mullingar Shamrocks on Sunday.
Corofin’s bid for six Galway SFC titles in a row is on target as the dominant champions easily accounted for Damien Comer’s Annaghdown by 0-12 to 0-8 to reach another county final. The champions will face Mountbellew/Moylough in the final for the third time since 2015.
Castlerahan 2-11 - Crosserlough 1-13
Having lost the last three deciders, Castlerahan finally got over the line in a magnificent Cavan SFC final before a bumper attendance of 8,469 at Kingspan Breffni.
And the Ballyjamesduff men, managed by former Cavan boss Donal Keogan, did it the hard way, too, coming from six points with 15 minutes to go to win by 2-11 to 1-13 in a high-quality clash.
In Louth, Newtown Blues produced a stunning comeback to retain their SFC crown in Drogheda. The reigning champs were six points down at half-time and still trailed by five with eight minutes of normal-time on the clock, but 1-2 without reply, including a poacher’s goal from Ross Nally, set up a dramatic finale. First-time finalists Naomh Mairtin managed to get their noses back in front through Sam Mulroy, but a Ciaran Downey free and a brilliant winner from man-of-the-match Conor Branigan secured a 1-11 to 1-10 win
In Cork, Fermoy will play senior football next season for the first time since 1964 after they prevailed against St Michael’s in Sunday’s Cork Premier IFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Having lost the 2016 decider, the North Cork side were up against the team beaten in the finals 2015 and ’17, as well as 2012, and they never trailed at any stage, establishing a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with the wind behind them, Ruairí O’Hagan the main score-getter.
Charleville and Courcey Rovers will have to go again to determine who is promoted from Premier intermediate to senior hurling in Cork in 2019. They drew Sunday’s PIHC decider 1-9 to 0-12.
For only the second time in the club's history, Eoghan Rua Coleraine were crowned Derry senior football champions after seeing off the challenge of Lavey in Celtic Park on Sunday by 1-12 to 0-12.
Barry Daly's 11th minute goal was the game's critical score with Lavey were left to rue a decision to leave Cailean O'Boyle on the bench for the opening half as the former Derry player emerged to hit 0-7 after the break. For Lavey manager John Brennan it was his first defeat in a county final in what was his 11th appearance with clubs across three counties.
A goal in each half from full-forward Ciaran Brennan inspired Coolera-Strandhill to their first ever Sligo SHC title when they outclassed a plucky Naomh Eoin by 12 points, 2-25 to 3-10, at a windswept Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence.
Glenealy hurlers have secured another crack at the Leinster club championship as a result of beating Carnew by 4-10 to 1-12 to retain Wicklow’s senior crown at Joule Park Aughrim yesterday.