GAA Football

Killyclogher defeat Dromore to reach Tyrone SFC final

Killyclogher’s James Carlin loses control of the ball from the pressure of Dromore’s Kevin Donnelly during last night’s Donnelly Vauxhall Tyrone SFC semi-final at Healy Park
Francis Mooney

Tyrone SFC semi-final: Killyclogher 1-9 Dromore 0-11

Killyclogher reached their second successive Tyrone Senior Football Championship final with a gritty win over Dromore in a tense battle last night
 
They went in level at half-time after playing with the assistance of a strong wind at Healy Park, but an Emmet McFadden goal stunned the title favourites, and they held on for a heroic win.
 
In front of a 7,000-strong crowd, the teams slugged it out in a scrappy affair that was at times indisciplined, but compelling right to the finish
 
Dromore received a pre-match boost with the news that attacker Eoin McCusker had made a successful appeal against a red card he received in the previous round
 
But it was wind-assisted Killyclogher who eased into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead with three long range Mark Bradley frees.
 
Niall Sludden kicked a delightful point, and along with younger brother Rauiri, tormented the Killyclogher defence during the second quarter.
 
It was only after Bradley’s fourth conversion, and a Feargal Meenagh score had made it 0-6 to 0-3 in favour of the St Mary’s, that Dromore began to make inroads.
 
Ronan McNabb used his experience to engineer attacking forays from deep, and they moved the ball with purpose as they chipped away at the deficit.
 
McCusker and Ruairi Sludden knocked over frees, and the latter curled over a wonderful score despite the pressure of two defenders to bring the sides level.
 
The game was disrupted by a series of skirmishes early in the second half, prompting referee Simon Brady to flash a handful of yellow cards.
 
And it was Killcylogher who recovered their composure to hit a goal against the run of play, with Emmet McFadden finishing to the net from substitute Leo Meenan’s assist.
 
Meenagh extended the lead from a point, and sent an effort crashing into the side netting as wind-assisted Dromore struggled to find any momentum.
 
They didn’t get their first score of the half until the 47th minute, but Killyclogher held possession with discipline and broke at pace at pace for Nathan Donnelly to restore the four points cushion.

Killyclogher led by three when nine minutes of added time was signalled, and despite Dromore’s desperate efforts to save their season, the St Mary’s held out to set up a meeting in the final against either Clonoe or Coalisland, who meet tomorrow at Edendork.

MATCH STATS

Dromore: D McGale, T McCarron, C McCarron, C O’Hara, E O’Neill, Ronn McNabb, K Donnelly, C McCoy, S O’Neill (0-1), S McDonnell (0-1), N Sludden (0-1), S McNabb, E McCusker (0-2, 1f), R Sludden (0-6, 5f), Ronan McNabb jnr..Subs: C McCullagh for R McNabb jnr, B Collins for McCoy, A O’Donnell for Donnelly, C O’Neill for McDonnell, R McManamin for E O’Neill
Killyclogher: S Fox, M Swift, D Gorman, G Sludden, T McCann, G Wallace, A Kelly, N McFadden, F Meenagh (0-2), J Carlin, C McCann (0-1), N Donnelly (0-1), M Bradley (0-5, 5f), S O’Neill, E McFadden (1-0). Subs: L Meenan for Carlin, E Bradley for Kelly, T Cox for O’Neill, C Meenan for Donnelly
Referee: S Brady (Moy)

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