Naomh Conaill survive late Castlerahan fight back to reach Ulster semis

Cavan champions can’t quite reel in Donegal counterparts in Breffni Park thriller

Castlerahan 0-11 Naomh Conaill 1-11

Castlerahan’s brave effort to upset the odds came unstuck in a gripping Ulster Club SFC last eight clash at Kingspan Breffni.

The Cavan champions looked dead and buried when trailing by 0-6 to 1-10 with 42 minutes on the clock but, instead, put in a storming finish which just fell short.

Both sides were profligate in the first half and spurned two gilt-edged goal chances apiece.


It was a case of third time lucky for the Glenties men in the 25th minute when Charlie McGuinness and Ciaran Thompson combined sweetly in a tight space for the latter to slide the ball under the advancing Leahy which saw Naomh Conaill lead by 0-5 to 1-5 at the interval.

The Donegal champions appeared to be cruising when sub Dermot Molloy made it 1-10 to 0-6 after 42 minutes, but their hosts came storming back to make a real fight of it.

Despite having sub Gavin Daly red carded (60 min), Castlerahan continued to reel in their opponents and a brace of points from Cormac Daly made it a two point game.

In a helter-skelter climax, the Naomh Conaill sealed a date with Clontibret in the semi-finals with a gem from county star Anthony Thompson.

Castlerahan: J Leahy; S Cooney (0-1), K McEnroe, E O'Connell; S O'Reilly, O Kiernan, F Reilly; Pauric Smith, C Daly (0-4); K Cosgrave (0-3, one free), B Ennis (0-1), Paul Smith; O O'Connell, R Flanagan, E Flanagan (0-1). Subs: C Mackey for S O'Reilly (32 min); G Daly for K McEnroe (41); S Brady (0-1) for B Ennis (43); F Flanagan for Pauric Smith (52).

Naomh Conaill: S McGrath; U Doherty, AJ Gallagher, K McGettigan; E O'Donnell, A Thompson (0-3), E Waide; C Thompson (1-2, one '45, one free), L McLoone (0-1); B McDyer (0-1), M Boyle, E Doherty; J McKelvey (0-1), C McGuinness (0-2, one free), K Gallagher. Subs: D Molloy (0-1) for C McGuinness (36 min); S Molloy for M Boyle (42); N Byrne for E O'Donnell (48); J O'Malley for B McDyer (51); H Gallagher for E Waide (55); M Boyle for C Gallagher (60).

Referee: C Branagan (Down)