Loughgall’s first meeting of the season with Armagh City resulted in derby disappointment at Holm Park tonight (Tuesday).
The Villagers must face Armagh across the NIFL Championship One campaign and, of greater significance, in the Bob Radcliffe Cup final.
Tuesday’s reward from the knockout test at Holm Park was a Mid-Ulster Cup final spot against top-flight Glenavon or Dungannon Swifts.
Loughgall took the lead thanks to Daniel Ryan’s header on four minutes off a Steven Ferguson free-kick.
Ferguson, the Loughgall club captain, was keen to highlight the importance of cup progress to the squad’s development in advance of the semi-final.
However, Loughgall failed to build on the early advantage and Eamon Kelly - the former Mid-Ulster Football League-based St Mary’s striker - grabbed an equaliser.
Shea Campbell, who enjoyed a successful but short-term spell on the books at Loughgall in 2010, stepped off the substitutes’ bench to send Armagh into the Mid-Ulster Cup showpiece with a last-gasp winner and 2-1 tally.
The midweek defeat arrived just three days after Loughgall enjoyed knockout glory in the Irish Cup at the expense of Larne.