Kilcoo and Naomh Conaill into Ulster Club SFC final after tight encounters

Kilcoo's Jerome Johnston and Derrygonnelly's Tiernan Daly in action during Sunday's Ulster Club Senior Football Championship semi-final at the Athletic Grounds
Picture by Philip Walsh 

Ulster Club SFC semi-finals: Kilcoo (Down) 1-8 Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) 0-9; Naomh Conaill (Donegal) 0-12 Clontibret (Monaghan) 0-9

CONOR Laverty provided the telling moment in the Athletic Grounds yesterday as he sent Kilcoo into their third Ulster final since 2012.

Just after half-time, Laverty popped the ball straight into the run of Anthony Morgan, who cut down the middle and fed Aaron Branagan. He left hearts in mouths as he cut back into the traffic on his left foot rather than palming it home, but he managed to squeeze the shot through the bodies on the line.

Kilcoo were far from at their best, but the knack of exercising the umpire on the green flag when they need to has been a welcome, and winning, habit. The Fermanagh champions were largely the better side. Their physical advantage was one that they honed in on to great effect, dominating the kickouts from both ends and putting the Down men under sustained periods of pressure.

They owned a lot of the ball, especially in the second-half, but they were left to regret their lack of success in front of goal. Nine scores from 24 shots tells nothing of their endeavours, but it tells why they didn’t win.

On Saturday night, Glenties – a side packed with athletic, talented footballers all on the same page of the tactical playbook – put in a mightily impressive performance against a misfiring Clontibret. The Monaghan champions battled hard, but they could have no complaints with losing to a Naomh Conall side that was backboned by the composed mastery of Leo McLoone and Ciarán Thompson in midfield and the ruthless finishing of young Donegal hopeful Eoghan McGettigan up front.

McGettigan top-scored with six points for the winners and, although Conor McManus registered half-a-dozen himself for Clontibret, he was double-marked and frozen out from play by Jeaic McKelvey and Ultán Doherty, who both impressed in the well-drilled Glenties defence.



Ulster Club SFC semi-finals: Kilcoo (Down) 1-8 Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) 0-9; Naomh Conaill (Donegal) 0-12 Clontibret (Monaghan) 0-9

Leinster Club SHC semi-finals: Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) 5-18 St Martin’s (Wexford) 1-16; St Mullin’s (Carlow) 2-17 Rathdowney-Errill (Laois) 1-19

Munster SFC club semi-finals: Clonmel Commericials (Tipperary) 0-9 Miltown-Malbay (Clare) 0-7; Nemo Rangers (Cork) 2-17 Austin Stack’s (Kerry) 0-5

Ulster Club IHC final: Naomh Éanna (Antrim) 2-20 Eoghan Ruadh, Dungannon (Tyrone) 2-20 (Naomh Éanna win 1-0 on penalties)

Ulster club JHC final: Eoghan Rua (Derry) 1-16 Newry Shamrocks (Down) 0-11

Ulster club JFC final: Blackhill (Monaghan) 1-11 Buncrana (Donegal) 0-9

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