Derry champions Kilrea make light work of Naomh Conaill

 Kilrea’s Shea Madden is challenged by Jeaic Kelvey of Glenties in yesterday’s Ulster minor club football quarterfinal at St Paul’s, Belfast Picture: Seamus Loughran
John Martin at St Paul's, Belfast

CM Precision Components Ulster Club MF quarter-final: Kilrea (Derry) 2-20 Naomh Conaill (Donegal) 2-7

KILREA produced a second half of champagne football in yesterday’s CM Precision Components Ulster minor club football tournament quarter-final against Naomh Conaill at St Paul’s, Belfast.

The Derry men simply blew away the Donegal champions who finished the game with 12 men. Powered by Larry Kielt at midfield, Kilrea had too many options up front with Paddy Quigg and Niall Johnston in particular in devastating form in front of the posts.

Kilrea trailed by three at the break, 1-7 to 0-7, but 1-9 without reply in the opening 20 minutes of the second half effectively secured the Derry champions’ place in the last four.

Naomh Conaill did pull a goal back through substitute Nathan Byrne but it was mere consolation on a day when the Donegal men ended the game with 12 men after frustration got the better of Eoghan McGettigan, Odhran Doherty and Kieran Gallagher throughout the final quarter hour.

Kilrea started the game brighter and led by 0-6 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, with Paddy Quigg the tormentor-in-chief of a well-organised Naomh Conaill defence. Then Naomh Conaill hit a purple patch, kick-started by Jack Flannery’s goal on 21 minutes.

JD Boyle was the provider for Flannery who finished past the Kilrea goalkeeper Aiden Gillen. The impressive Quigg responded for Kilrea but a McGettigan free and a Paul McGuinness score from play had the sides level at 1-4 to 0-7 on 26 minutes.

Flannery then put Naomh Conaill ahead for the first time with a fine score from play with Odhran Doherty and McGettigan ensuring a 1-7 to 0-7 half-time lead for John O’Malley’s side. That was as good as it got for Naomh Conaill however.

Kilrea, now playing with a slight breeze, narrowed the gap within seconds of the restart through Quigg. By the 36th minute, they had restored parity, with Kielt landing a longrange free and Johnston slotting over a placed ball from closer to the posts.

Kilrea were dominating and the inevitable goal came on 43 minutes when Johnston’s slick hand-pass put Tiarnan Quigg through on goal, and the half-back made no mistake, firing to James Boyle’s net for a 1-13 to 1-7 lead.

Naomh Conaill’s discipline started to unravel at this point and within two minutes, they were down to 13 men – both for off-theball incidents. McGettigan was the first to go, followed a minute later by Doherty.

Not surprisingly the Kilrea onslaught kept coming.

Johnston added another point before Kevin Quinn’s effort cannoned off the Glenties crossbar, to be scrambled away for a 45 which was converted by Kielt.

Daithi McLaughlin completed a 1-9 tally without reply for the Derry men before substitute Byrne landed Naomh Conaill’s only score of the second half.

Byrne’s long range free dipped under Gillen’s crossbar to make the score 1-16 to 2-7 after 51 minutes. It provided only momentary respite for Naomh Conaill.

Two points from Kielt, and a Conor Gillen effort, wiped out the goal in the space of five minutes to restore the nine-point advantage as the 60th minute approached.

Gallagher then received his marching orders and a dismal day for Naomh Conaill was complete when Paddy Quigg fired to the after being unselfishly set up by substitute Eoin McGuigan. 

A Gillen; D Rocks, M Doherty, S Madden; T Quigg (1-0), R McCamphill, S Convery; L Kielt (0-6, 0-2 frees, 0-1 45), M Quinn; K Quinn (0-1), C Gillen (0-2), D McLaughlin (0-1); O McAteer, N Johnston (0-5, 0-2 frees), P Quigg (1-5, 0-2 frees) Subs: G McLaughlin, R Maguire, R Doherty, P Convery, E McGuigan
Naomh Conaill: J Boyle; O McDevitt, C McDonnell, O Doherty (0-1); C Doherty, L Quinn, K McGill; K Gallagher, T Byrne; P McGuinness (0-1), J Flannery (1-1), JD Boyle (0-1); J McKelvey (0-1), E McGettigan (0-2, 0-1 free), D Gallagher Subs: K McMonagle, N Byrne (1-0 free), L Dunphy
Referee: B Toland (Antrim)

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