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'I Won't Bring The Hurley The Next Time. I'm A Footballer'

'I Won't Bring The Hurley The Next Time. I'm A Footballer'

O'Donovan Rossa caused a huge upset in the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship on Saturday, defeating 2018 champions Ruairí Óg Cushendall in the quarter-finals.

Belfast club Rossa won the game 2-11 to 0-16.

Both goals were scored by Stephen Beatty. Earlier this month, Beatty scored a magnificent equalising point for the O'Donovan Rossa footballers as they drew with St John's. He dedicated the score to his father who died recently.

Beatty said Saturday's goals - both scored with the boot from close range - were even more special than that point.

"I wasn't even in the game in the first half," he told BBC Northern Ireland.

Colly put me inside. Two balls came in. I caught the first one, kicked it in; I broke on the second one and kicked it in. I won't bring the hurley the next time. I'm a footballer, that's the way it looks like!

I would never strike a ball if it's that close. Whenever I couldn't get my hurl anywhere near, it was just like, 'I'm kicking this'. Close my eyes and kick it.

I know I spoke the last time about the situation with my daddy. To put us in a position to go through, it's unbelievable - class. I hate talking about myself. It was a team performance. The boys worked hard everywhere and thank God we're in the semi-finals.

O'Donovan Rossa are aiming to win their first title since 2004. They face 2019 champions Dunloy in the semi-final.

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Before that, they will play a football quarter-final against Cargin.

"We've been working hard to put performances in," said Beatty.

"We get to the quarter-final stage, we're expected to get beat by a north Antrim team. Finally, we've got by Cushendall, one of the big three.

"The compact season probably suited us. Everybody is buying in and we're all here. I'm just taking each day as it comes. I'm hardly able to walk. Every day I wake up, I'm in agony because I don't get a chance to take a rest."

Watch: David Clifford Is Hero And Villain As East Kerry Dig Out Victory

PJ Browne
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