Showing the greater urgency throughout this Senior Football Championship Round 3 clash at the Monaduff grounds, Drumlish on Sunday last, Dromard scored a deserved win over Killoe.
Just when it appeared that the game was going to end in a draw, Francis McGee found the space to fire over the winning point in the second minute of stoppage time. And this surprise result means that the title holders Emmet Og must now meet Ballymahon in a play-off for the last remaining place in the quarter-finals.
It was a second successive defeat for Killoe in causing some concern for their manager Declan Rowley, who watched his side struggle in the first half against a fired up Dromard outfit powered by the physical presence of Diarmuid Masterson and who proved to be a key figure throughout this intriguing contest.
Dromard were a very well organised unit in defence with Jamsie Martin, selected to start in the attack, operating instead in a most effective sweeping role in front of the full-back-line in which Paul McGee was most prominent and it all became very frustrating for Killoe in their search for the vital scores.
Ross McNerney got the crucial only goal in the 21st minute of the first half when he chipped the ball over the head of the advancing opposing keeper Cillian Burns and Dromard, with the aid of the wind, led by 1-7 to 0-5 at the break.
Three of the points (two frees) came from Francis McGee (back in action after injury) while also on target were Cian Mimnagh, Jamsie Martin (a very good score), Diarmuid Masterson and Ross McNerney (free).
Mark Hughes registered Killoe’s opening score in the 8th minute while Sean McCormack (two frees), Paddy Thompson and substitute Daniel Mimnagh got the other points in the first half.
While Emmet Og were guilty of some poor finishing (including a few frees that would normally be converted), Dromard kicked no less than eight wides in the second half in keeping Killoe in contention for the result they required to make it through to the last eight.
Ross McNerney did manage to convert a free in the 36th minute, after Denis McGoldrick done likewise early on the changeover, and Emmet Og gradually got their act together to close the gap.
After another substitute Ronan McGoldrick got his name on the scoresheet in the 41st minute, a brace of frees were fired over by Sean McCormack before Michael Quinn landed a fine long range effort in the 55th minute.
That left just the minimum of margins separating the sides (1-8 to 0-10) and after Sean McCormack kicked a cracking equalising point from play in the 60th minute, the same player fired a difficult free wide in stoppage time.
Dromard then launched an immediate counter-attack and the influential Ronan McEntire surged forward to pick out substitute Gary Maguire, who released the ball to Francis McGee, and he made no mistake in landing a late, late winner for Enda Macken’s well drilled side.
Several hundred spectators converged on the Fr Manning Gaels club grounds for the biggest attendance so far in the 2015 senior championship and which led to traffic congestion with the game starting ten minutes late to ease the pressure on the parking.
DROMARD: Gavin McNerney; Kevin Donohoe, David Pettit, Paul McGee; Emmet Masterson, Ross McNerney (1-2, points from frees), Niall Vance; Diarmuid Masterson (0-1), Ronan McEntire; Francis McGee (0-4, two frees), Declan Mimnagh, Bernard Sheridan; Jamsie Martin (0-1), Cian Mimnagh (0-1), Peter Reynolds.
Subs:- Damien Sheridan for G McNerney (half-time); Gary Maguire for D Mimnagh (49 mins); Enda Kiernan for D Pettit (58 mins).
KILLOE EMMET OG: Cillian Burns; Liam Hughes, Daniel Keogh, Cian Farrelly; Shane Clarke, Padraig McCormack, Shane Dowd; Paddy Thompson (0-1), Simon Kiernan; Paddy Kiernan, Denis McGoldrick (0-1, free), Mark Hughes (0-1); Larry Moran, Sean McCormack (0-5, four frees), Michael Quinn (0-1).
Subs:- Daniel Mimnagh (0-1) for S Clarke (26 mins); Ronan McGoldrick (0-1) for S Kiernan (30 mins); Joe McCormack for P Kiernan (42 mins).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (St Mary’s Granard).