Clontibret 1-9 Kilcoo 0-11
An injury-time goal from Monaghan defender Dessie Mone snatched an unlikely victory for 14-man Clontibret in yesterday's Ulster club SFC preliminary round tie.
Favourites Kilcoo, who had two players sent off in the last five minutes, scored four points in a row in the fourth quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a two-point lead before Mone’s sucker punch.
Full back Colum Greenan surged up the field and passed to substitute Michael O'Dowd, who curled the ball across to the back post for Mone to palm it into the net in the second minute of injury time. A flurry of cards of all shades dominated a niggly, bad-tempered, defensive game.
Kilcoo picked up seven yellows and two reds while Clontibret were given two yellows, two blacks and a red by overworked Cavan referee Noel Mooney.
Three-in-a-row Down champions Kilcoo lost Niall Branagan and Niall McEvoy (straight red) in the last five minutes, McEvoy's dismissal coming after Mone's match-winning goal.
The free-taking accuracy of Monaghan All Star Conor McManus was key for Clontibret and he flighted the ball superbly both with and against the wind to convert eight frees.
They looked in trouble when they trailed by 0-4 to 0-2 and then lost Paul McGuigan after just 14 minutes, the defender picking up a yellow card quickly followed by a black.
However Clontibret raised their game, playing their best stuff after going down to 14 players. Vinny Corey was influential in an offensive role and he scored a fine point – their only point from play in the game – and also won an important free for McManus.
Laverty’s second fine score of the half helped Kilcoo lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
The free-taking of McManus helped Clontibret into a 0-9 to 0-7 lead after 42 minutes.
Four points in a row from Kilcoo's Ryan and Jerome Johnston, Darragh O'Hanlon and sub Donal Kane looked to have sealed victory before Mone had the vital final say.
CLONTIBRET: C Fadian; D Mooney, C Greenan, A Curran; D Mone (1-0), C Boyle, P McGuigan; V Corey (0-1), E Greenan; M Corey, C McManus (0-8, frees), P Boyle; C Lavelle, B Greenan, F Mone. Subs: R McGuigan for P Boyle (h-t), JP Mone for E Greenan (BC, 46 mins), M O'Dowd for F Mone (49 mins).
KILCOO: S Kane; N Branagan, A Branagan, D Branagan; D O'Hanlon (0-4, three frees), N McEvoy, Gerard McEvoy; P Greenan, F McGreevy; R Johnston (0-1), C Laverty (0-2), P Devlin (0-1, free); J Johnston (0-2), A Morgan, M Devlin. Subs: J McClean for McGreevy (h-t), D Kane (0-1) for Morgan (ht), Gary McEvoy for M Devlin (43 mins), for N Branagan (57 mins).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)