Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship, quarter-final
Ballycastle 1-17 O'Donovan Rossa 1-16

EOIN McAlonan thumped over from deep to send Ballycastle into the semi-final of the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship with the last poc of the ball in a dramatic finish at Corrigan Park on Sunday.

The North Antrim men had recovered from a slow start to gradually put the squeeze on a Rossa side that lost its shape and its way in the second period, yet thought they had secured extra-time when Stephen Beatty kicked home deep in stoppage time.

But there was time for more and McAlonan found himself with space and time to grab the winner against the 14 men who lost Gerard Walsh to a straight red late on and on balance, it was merited.

It's been a while since Ballycastle have reached the last four of Antrim's premier competition but back they are and will have a semi-final against Cushendall to look ahead to.

It didn't seem that would be the way early as Rossa couldn't have got off to a better start despite the heavy conditions as Dominic McEnhill set them on their way after a mere 14 seconds and this sparked a run of five scores from their opening five attacks.

Those points were spread evenly with Thomas Morgan, Dara Rocks, Eoin Trainor and Gerard Walsh on target before Ballycastle got off the mark five minutes in through Seamus McAuley.

But Rossa maintained the early momentum with Aodhán O'Brien landing to ensure all six starting forwards were on the board within just six minutes and Walsh then added another.

However, they began to lose their way with the wide beginning to stack up as the shooting radar faltered and Ballycastle dropped a little deeper to flood the space.

This steadied the McQuillan's who then enjoyed a good spell of their own with four of the next five points, the first and last from James McShane, while Tiernan Smyth and Ciaran Butler struck either side of one for Aidan Orchin at the other end.

Rossa seemed to get back on track with Morgan and Walsh helping the lead move out to five approaching the break but then Ballycastle grabbed a goal and it is one the city side will not have been happy with as from a route-one delivery, goalkeeper Matt Devlin swept the ball out but it was Butler quickest to reach as he pulled and the ball just about crossed the line, bringing the Rossa lead back at 0-11 to 1-6 at the half.

Rossa continued to lead the way early in the second period as they twice pushed the gap to three only for Ballycastle to reply and then, they began to assert themselves around the middle.

Smyth was dead-eyed from placed ball, while Conor Boyd and Reuben McClean also chipped in as 'The Town' seized the initiative.

Stephen Beatty celebrates his late equalising goal, but Ballycastle would find a winner in the dying seconds

Stephen Beatty celebrates his late equalising goal, but Ballycastle would find a winner in the dying seconds

Gerard Walsh frees brought Rossa level twice, but then Ballycastle broke for home late on with Smyth thumping over from play and substitute Feargal McKiernan hitting back-to-back points to leave a goal in it.

Walsh was then flashed red in stoppage time for appearing to last out at Ryan McGarry, but there was still hope for Rossa who went route-one and Stephen Beatty kicked home in the scramble to level four minutes into time added on.

But just as extra-time loomed, Ballycastle grabbed the winner as a Rossa clearance fell to McAlonan who launched from deep and watched as the sliotar sailed between the uprights to settle the game and seal Ballycastle's spot in the last four.

BALLYCASTLE: R McGarry; O Kearney, C Colgan, R McClean (0-1); J McLister, C Boyd (0-1), J McGowan; E McAlonan (0-2), R McCook; R McCarry, J McShane (0-2), S McAuley (0-1); C Butler (1-1), M Donnelly (0-1), T Smyth (0-6, 5 frees).
Subs: C Waldron for R McClean (44), F McKiernan (0-2) for M Donnelly (51), L Donnelly for R McCarry (56)

ROSSA: M Devlin; C Orchin, C McGuinness, C Shannon; A Orchin (0-1), S Shannon, P Short; S Beatty (1-0), D McCartney; D Rocks (0-1), E Trainor (0-1), G Walsh (0-7, 4 frees); T Morgan (0-3), D McEnhill (0-1), A O'Brien (0-2).

Subs: C McGettigan for A Orchin (37), D Rogan for D Rocks (44)

REFEREE: Kevin Parke (Naomh Éanna)