Connacht SFC: Clann na nGael come from behind to reach semi-finals
Roscommon champions were given a scare by Tir Chonaill Gaels but overcame it
Clann na nGael advanced to the Connacht SFC semi-final at Dr Hyde Park. Photo: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
Clann na nGael (Roscommon) 1-15 Tir Chonaill Gaels (London) 1-10
Former Connacht club aristocrats Clann na nGael used their “get of jail” card to deny London champions Tir Chonaill Gaels a famous victory at Dr Hyde Park.
When impressive corner-forward Killian Burke pointed on the turn in the 42nd minutes, the Exiles were on course for a famous victory.
But the Roscommon champions utilised all their experience, and Graham Pettit’s goal two minutes later garnered the Roscommon champions a lifeline before closing out the deal with late points from Donal Shine, who finished with 0-9 overall, Darra Pettit and Ciarán Lennon.
Fergal Shine’s charges were 0-5 to 0-1 ahead after 17 minutes, thanks to Shine and Lennon, but five points from Liam Gavaghan handed Tir Chonaill Gaels, managed by Roscommon native Paul Coggins, a lifeline.
Then, on the stroke of half time, they received a huge tonic when Gavaghan was fouled by Graham Pettit. Referee Eamonn O’Grady awarded a penalty and Eoin Murray found the net from the resultant spot kick to establish a 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead for his side.
Shine’s hat-trick of scores on the resumption hinted at Clann dominance but when Gavaghan, Brian Mullin and Butler pointed in quick succession, all bets were off.
But Clann regained their composure, helped by Pettit’s 44th minute goal, to set up a semi-final meeting against the Galway champions next weekend.
CLANN NA NGAEL: D Finneran; D Pettit (0-1), S Flynn, R Gavin; S Pettit, G Pettit (1-0), D Connaughton (0-1); U Harney (0-1), C Shine; C Callinan, D Shine (0-9, seven frees), E Kenny; D McManus, C Lennon (0-3), J Fahy.
Subs: C McManus for Kenny (h/t), J Dunning for McManus (38), M Scally for Callinan (44), R Naughton for Fahy (56), N Connaughton for D Connaughton (60), D Sumner for C Shine (60).
TIR CHONAILL GAELS: G McEvoy; M McWilliams, P Butler, S Burke; M McCoy, A McDermott, M Moynihan; B Friel, M Gottsche; E Murray (1-0, pen), A Hanlon, K Rafferty; B Mullin (0-1), L Gavaghan (0-6, four frees), Killian Butler (0-3).
Subs: L Gallagher for Rafferty (36), R Elliot for Burke (42), E McConville for McDermott (49), A Askin for Hanlon (56), E Mageean for Murray (56), A McGarvey for McWilliams (60).
Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim).