Declan Reilly on the ball for Colmcille ahead of Granard opponent Aaron Smyth. Action from the SFC quarter-final on Sunday Photo: Syl Healy
Colmcille almost let victory slip from their grasp and were hanging on in the end as gutsy Granard staged a late comeback in the Senior Football Championship quarter-final clash at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.
Colmcille . . . 0-13 St Mary’s Granard . . . 0-12
When Barry McKeon fired over a free in the 52nd minute, St Mary’s were trailing by five points (0-13 to 0-8) and were apparently a beaten team but they then enjoyed a new lease of life in producing a storming finish inspired by powerful midfielder Darren Gallagher.
Darren converted a free and a further couple of points followed from defender James Kiernan and Charlie Martin (fisting the ball over the bar in a goal attempt) before Gallagher landed a cracking score from play in the second minute of stoppage time.
The gap was now closed to the minimum of margins and there was still time for Granard to engineer the equalising score.
A difficult long range free from Gallagher dropped short and Colmcille were very relieved to hear the sound of the final whistle to claim a place in the semi-finals.
COLMCILLE: Colm Kilbride; Alan McKeon (0-2, one free), Enda Macken, Gerard Mulligan; Dylan McCabe (0-1), Martin Mulligan, Ciaran McKeon; Fergal Sheridan (0-1), Vinny Hourican (0-1); Declan Reilly, Barry McKeon (0-2, frees), Jack Macken; Rory Hawkins (0-4, one free), Paul McKeon (0-1), Seanie McKeon.
Subs:- Conor Grant for C McKeon (injured, 5 mins); Cathal Reilly (0-1) for P McKeon (half-time); Ruairi Harkin for C Grant (36 mins); Noel Farrell for A McKeon (54 mins); Darren Mulligan for S McKeon (stoppage time).
ST MARY’S GRANARD: Dessie Kiernan; Patrick McGivney, Thomas Gallagher, Edward Smyth; Mark Tully (0-1), James Kiernan (0-1), Eoin Higgins; Declan Murphy (0-1), Darren Gallagher (0-6, four frees); Jordan Shiels, Paul Smyth (0-1), Dylan Corcoran; Jordan Martin, Charlie Martin (0-1), Derek Sheridan.
Subs:- Micheal Hynes (0-1) for D Sheridan (half-time); Aaron Smyth for D Murphy (40 mins); Mark O’Neill for P McGivney (46 mins); Ruairi Corcoran for J Martin (52 mins).
Referee: Aidan Dowler (Ardagh Moydow).
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