Carryduff stand between Kilcoo and another Down SFC title
Defending champions remain on course for eighth title in nine years after semi-final win
Jerome Johnston and Kilcoo are into the Down SFC final. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
In this ever changing year of unknowns, the Down Senior football final will have a novel pairing in 2020. Carryduff, the surprise package this season overcame Ballyholland Harps 2-13 to 1-15 after extra-time. While champions Kilcoo overcame St Peter’s Warrenpoint 1-18 to 2-6, in a one sided repeat of last year’s showpiece.
As stated, we may live in unprecedented times but Kilcoo remain a constant source of stability on the playing fields of Down. The reigning Ulster club champions overcame an early Ross McGarry penalty to advance and remain on course for their eighth title in nine years.
Jerome Johnston soon had the magpies level before goalkeeper Niall Kane nudged them ahead on the stroke of half time 0-8 to 1-3 with two superb long range placed efforts. McGarry kept Kilcoo honest but when Johnston found the net 10 minutes into the second half Mickey Moran’s side pulled away with ease. Alan Davidson with a consolation goal for the ‘Point.
Bolstered by three Under-21 titles in the last three seasons, Carryduff started the earlier semi-final in dominant fashion, opening up a 1-8 to 0-3 lead at half time. Joe Tunney with the goal after stellar build-up play by county star Daniel Guinness.
Ballyholland showed grit and none more so than the introduction of veteran Ronan Murtagh to stem the tide. The former county star found the net and Harps looked set for their first ever final. However, Owen McCabe countered with a gut wrenching goal against the run of play and Seamus Loughran brought the game to extra time.
Founded in 1971, Carryduff started the extra-time in similar fashion as the opening regulation half, Ronan Lawlor’s point turned out to be the winner as they hung on for the most historic date in the club’s short history.