GAA Football

Killinkere ease into Ulster Junior Football Championship semi-final

Kevin Carney

Killinkere 1-15 Bright 1-10

Two injury-time points at Kingspan Breffni cemented Killinkere’s passage through to the Ulster Club JFC semi-finals in two weeks time where they will meet Monaghan champions Blackhill.

Halloween may be just around the corner but fireworks were decidedly absent from a tie which proved much more about perspiration than inspiration.

In truth, the winners won without ever hitting top gear and, backed by the wind in the second half, ran out deserved winners with a bit to spare.

The Down champions mimicked their name and the day itself with a quickfire start to the match by grabbing a goal with late call-up BJ McMenamin picking up the pieces to fire to the net after Killinkere pair Lewis Fay Cooper and ‘keeper Brian Clarke failed to deal with a high delivery plus the physical presence of Gareth George.

Defending the town end of the field, Bright looked the part in the early stages and were good value for their 1-3 to 0-3 lead by the end of the opening quarter after fine points by Declan Trainor and Freddie O’Connor.

Slowly but surely, Killinkere grew into the game and they hit the jackpot in the dregs of the first half with a Peter McCabe goal – after Bright ‘keeper Farrand had initially saved a Jamie Smith effort – helping his side into a 1-6 to 1-5 interval lead.

Killinkere still held the initiative on the restart and points from brothers Neil and Kevin McCabe plus a gem from Jamie Smith made it a four point game.

Bright kept at it and back-to-back points from Jack McLaughlin and top-scorer Gareth George cut Killinkere’s lead to just two points with ten minutes left to play.

Killinkere stepped up another gear though and they unanswered Sam Dinu’s effort (56) with a point apiece from Darren Smith (free) and Peter McCabe to seal the deal.

 

Killinkere:

Brian Clarke; Enda Traynor, Lewis Fay Cooper, Neil McCabe (0-1); Gary Denning, Liam McCabe, Breen Smith; Kevin McCabe (0-1), Jason McMahon (0-2); Darren Smith (0-2), Emmet Fitzsimons (0-5, 3f), Paul Brady; Peter McCabe (1-3), Jamie Smith (0-1), Ciaran Sexton.

Subs; Damien Sexton for C Sexton (h-t); Mark Farrelly for E Traynor (47); Ciaran Flynn for P Brady (50); Anthony Brady for E Fitzsimons (B.C, 58); Ciaran Cusack for J Smith (65).

Bright:

Michael Farrand; Barry Mageen, Mark Burke, Conor Doyle; Freddie O’Connor (0-1), Nicholas O’Connor (0-1), Jack McLoughlin (0-1); Corey Ranaghan, Caoilean Toner (0-1); Sam Dinu (0-1), Kevin Groves, Declan Trainor (0-1); Owen McEvoy, Gareth George (0-4, 1f), BJ McMenamin (1-0).

Sub; Matthew McKiernan for M Farrand (h-t); Rian Tempany for D Trainor (46); Matthew Burns for BJ McMenamin (49).

Ref: Conall Roberts (Antrim)

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