Clonoe O’ Raghallaigh’s (Tyrone) 1-12 Kilcar (Donegal) 2-07
CLONOE O’ Raghallaigh’s defied a slow start and a strong Kilcar outfit to come strong in the second period to claim a place in the semi finals of the Ulster under-21 football tournament at Creggan.
The Red Hand champs looked unsure and quite tentative in the opening phase of the quarter-final test on the splendid sod of the Antrim based Kickham’s Creggan the hosts of the competition and the concession of two goals by the 10th minute ensured they faced a tough path to recovery.
Their counterparts from Donegal, the Patrick McBrearty-led Kilcar were confident from the off and they certainly held the whip hand in the opening quarter. McBrearty who was a lead player in the Donegal side which claimed All-Ireland glory in 2012 grabbed a 9th minute goal after setting Ryan McGinley a course for a similar score a few minute earlier with a subtle defence splitting delivery.
Clonoe were doing their best to hang tough despite the odds against and indeed a splendidly contrived, and just as well delivered Dwayne Quinn 12 minute goal gave hint that they were not about to bend the knee.
Kilcar continued to hold sway for the remainder of the opening period however and late points despatched by Michael Cunningham, and the most elegant Ryan Mc Hugh ensured the Tir Conaill representatives led by double figures, 2-06 to 1-03 at the end of the opening thirty minutes.
Kilcar had impressed in the first period and they looked destined for the semi finals but in the event those who may well have dismissed the chances of the O’ Raghallaigh’s were to prove most premature in their judgement and in the concluding half a quite different tale was to be told.
The start of the second half was to be in stark contrast to the first and a splendid point from the most impressive Declan McClure was to be the spark which would ignite the Clonoe challenge.
The big midfielder, who was destined to deservedly collect the man Bank of Ireland man of the match award, split the posts from all of 50 metres in the 32nd minute.
Kieran O’Neill raced forward from wing half back to add another a couple of minutes later and when centre forward Daryl Magee sent a 30 metre free on the same direction only three points separated the protagonists and Clonoe had grabbed the initiative.
Kilcar had lost the swagger carried forth in the opening period as clone grew in stature, dominating all over the place, but most importantly in the viatal central zone where the excellent McClure and his partner Conor Hughes held sway.
It was backs to the wall for Kilcar as the clone bandwagon rolled forward and they were on terms by the end of the third quarter as, Dwyane Quinn, and McClure (2) raised respective whites.
Clone had the bit firmly between their proverbial teeth and they were ahead for the first time when a superb second Ciaran O’Neill point made it 1-10 to 2-06.
Kilcar did add a reply via the now mostly restrained McBrearty, but there was to be noo stopping the McClure led Clonoe and they controlled the remainder.
Daryl Magee’s 54th minute pointed free saw the O’ Raghallaigh’s regain the lead and when he followed with another after another McClure delivery on the 59th minute they were on their way to the semifinals.
Clonoe: Thomas Martin, Paul O’Neill, Cormac Convery, Shane Donnelly, Ciaran O’ Neill (0-2), Dwyane Quinn (1-3), Ryhs Quinn, Conor Hughes, Declan McClure (0-3), Ryan Mc Court, Daryl Magee (0-3), Eamon Duffin, Brian Morgan, James O’Neill, Aaron Elliot. Subs: Sean Kelly for P O’Neill, Pauric Donnelly for J O’ Neill, Sean Campbell for Rhys Quinn (black card).
Kilcar: Kevin Boyle, Chris Cunningham, Pauric Carr, James Shovlin, Cormac Carron, Ryan McHugh (0-1), Dermot McGinley, Aodhan McGinley (0-1), Conal Gilmore, Eoin Mc Hugh, Patrick Mc Breaty (1-4), Darragh O’Donnell, Ryan McGinley (1-0), Michael Cunningham (0-1), Andrew McClean. Subs: Chris Doogan for M Cunningham
Referee: Gavin Corrigan (Down)