Bell sounds clinching note for battling Ballinderry
Ballinderry 1-8 Scotstown 0-10
ULSTER CLUB SFC QUARTER-FINAL
RYAN BELL struck for a dramatic match-winning point in the final minute of this cliffhanger in Clones.
Bell had been effectively shackled all through by Scotstown's Kieran Hughes but he popped up late to break the Monaghan side's hearts and send Ballinderry through to the semi-final, where they will meet either Crossmaglen or Kilcoo.
Scotstown led at half-time by 0-5 to 0-4, having been ahead by two points twice in the opening quarter, with Ballinderry fighting back to parity before Scotstown had the last say of the half through Hughes.
The introduction of substitute Kevin McGuckin at the start of the second half helped Ballinderry take an increasing grip in midfield, although it wasn't until the final quarter that they turned it around as Scotstown had earlier shaded the percentages from broken play.
By the 12th minute of the second half, Scotstown looked to be in a position to strike for victory when they led by four points thanks to efforts by Brian McGinnity, Darren Hughes and Shane Carey, but Ballinderry fought back bravely.
They reduced the deficit to the minimum after 17 minutes with points by Colin Devlin, two frees, and Conleith Gilligan, also a free, before striking for the only goal of the game when substitute Darren Conway flashed to the Scotstown net after excellent work by Gareth McKinless.
Scotstown re-doubled their efforts and fought back to parity with points by Kieran Hughes from a free and James Turley, but Bell had the last say to put the Derry champions through to the semi-final.
Scotstown did have one final effort in stoppage-time to force extra-time when they were awarded a free for a foul on Nicholas Corrigan, who had been replaced but was reintroduced, but Kieran Hughes failed to find the target and time simply ran out.
Scorers – Ballinderry: D Conway 1-0, C Gilligan (2fs), C Devlin (f) 0-2 each, M McIver, A Devlin, D McGuckin, R Bell 0-1 each. Scotstown: K Hughes (f), C McCarthy (2fs) 0-2 each, R Beggan (f), J Turley, S Carey, D Hughes, N Corrigan, B McGinnity 0-1 each.
Ballinderry – M Conlan; R Scott, C Nevin, M McIver; R Wilson, G McKinless, D Lawn; K McGuckin, J Conway; D McKinless, A Devlin, D McGuckin; C Devlin, R Bell, C Gilligan. Subs: K McGuckin for R Wilson, E Muldoon for A Devlin, D Conway for D McKinless, J Bateson for M McIver.
Scotstown – R Beggan; D McArdle, D Morgan, M Duffy; P Keenan, W Carroll, E Caulfield; F Caulfield, J Turley; K Hughes, S Carey, D Hughes; P O'Hara, N Corrigan, C McCarthy. Subs: B McGinnity for E Caulfield, O Heaphey for N Corrigan, Fergal McPhillips for P Keenan, D McCague for F Caulfield, N Corrigan for S carey.
Ref – N Mooney (Cavan)