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Belfast Mayor Captains Antrim Club To Three Game Semi-Final Saga Win

Belfast Mayor Captains Antrim Club To Three Game Semi-Final Saga Win

At the third attempt, Lamh Dearg and Roger Casements Portglenone were finally separated in their Antrim SFC semi-final.

Lamh Dearg emerged victorious in Monday night's second replay in Ballymena on a scoreline of 2-8 to 0-9.

After the two sides had finished level in their first game on September 21st, the replay, which was played last Thursday, went to to a free-kick shootout.

With the two sides still level at nine successful kicks each, Antrim county board chairman Ciaran McAvana stepped in, calling a halt to proceedings and deciding that the encounter should go to a second replay.

"I've never been involved in something that has taken us three games to get over the line in championship," Lamh Dearg captain John Finucane told Jerome Quinn after the game.

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Along with being the team's goalkeeper and long-range free-taker, Finucane is also Mayor of Belfast and a solicitor. He is the son of Pat Finucane, the Belfast human right lawyer who was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.

Last month, he helped James McClean win £63,000 in a case taken against former UUP councillor Chris McGimpsey for defamatory comments he had made regarding the Ireland international on BBC's Nolan Show.

Finucane played senior inter-county football with Antrim. He was part of the panel which won the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2008 and was in goal when they lost to Kerry in the 2009 qualifiers.

This weekend, he will lead his side in the county final against Cargin.

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"I'll make sure the diary is cleared for this Sunday," said Finucane.

"Football hasn't been hit too hard by the [Lord Mayor] duties. The lads keep me well grounded.

"You do get plenty of stick, like any changing room around the country, as soon as you go into it, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, you are one of the team. The craic is always very good.

"That spirit has seen us over the three games; matches when we were behind and chasing, we got back in."

Video: Jerome Quinn Media

See Also: Kilkenny Double-Header, Limerick And Clare Club Finals On TV Over Next Fortnight

PJ Browne
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