Dunloy and Slaughtneil advance in AIB Ulster SHC
AIB Ulster Club Hurling Semi-Finals
DUNLOY (ANTRIM) 2-23 BALLYCRAN (DOWN) 0-11
SLAUGHTNEIL (DERRY) 1-17 MIDDLETOWN (ARMAGH) 0-8
By Orla Bannon at the Athletic Grounds
Antrim champions Dunloy are through to their first AIB Ulster club hurling championship final in 10 years.
They had a comfortable 2-23 to 0-11 win over last year's runners-up Ballycran, the Down champions, in the semi-finals in the Athletic Grounds.
In the decider in two weeks time they will face Derry seven-in-a-row champions Slaughtneil, who are chasing a third AIB provincial club crown in four years, who had an easy win over Armagh champions Middletown.
Ballycran finished with 14 players after defender Gerard Hughes received a straight red card in the second half, but Dunloy were already coasting at that stage, leading 1-11 to 0-7 at the break.
Dunloy goalkeeper Ryan Elliott pulled off two superb saves from Conor Woods and Stuart Martin.
Conor Cunning scored the goal for Dunloy with Liam Savage scoring 0-3 from play for Ballycran.
Anton McGrath scored a second goal in the second half with Nigel Elliott, Cunning and Keelan Molloy all landing points from play.
Meanwhile Slaugntneil cruised past Armagh winners Middletown 1-17 to 0-8 in the first part of the semi-final double bill.
The dual club led eight points to one after 15 minutes with Cormac O'Doherty the pivotal figure landing 0-7.
Se McGuigan scored the only goal of the game after 25 minutes to help Slaughtneil lead 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Middletown struggled and it took them half an hour to score from play through David Carvill, who later was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
Brian Cassidy, Brendan Rogers and Gerald Bradley were all on target in the second half for the Derry side, who lost last year's Ulster semi-final to Ballycran.