Late Donnelly point leaves honours even in pulsating final
Coalisland1-13 Killyclogher 0-16 Tyrone SFC Final
Published 10/10/2016 | 02:30
This combustible county final was level 11 times - but ultimately had to finish as a draw as neither team deserved to lose.
Coalisland took advantage of Gary Wallace's black card and subsequent red 10 minutes into the second half to finish strongly, but a late raid upfield in the fifth minute of injury-time ended with Nathan Donnelly punching over to earn Killyclogher a replay.
It was nothing more than they deserved and they might have even captured the O'Neill Cup had Conall McCann's final effort not drifted wide.
Next Sunday will be Coalisland's fourth week out on the trot as they took two attempts to see off Clonoe in the semi-final, but they will have to do it without Philip Toner, who left the pitch with a suspected broken leg.
The schedule does not bother Na Fianna manager John McKeever. "Like last week, it doesn't matter to me," the Portglenone man said.
"Killyclogher will say the same, when momentum is going, we want to be out seven days later. We are going to have to work without Philly Toner again next week, but we have a strong bench."
Killyclogher manager Dominic Corrigan rued their own loss of Niall McFadden, who injured himself in taking possession of a kick-out in the second minute. "Niall has been a massive player for us all season, probably the player of the season, and to lose him was a big blow, but the boys responded to that," he said.
Killyclogher started the brighter, but their shooting was rash, with eight first-half wides. Scores had to be on the money, one as impressive as the next as Mark Bradley and Conall McCann of Killyclogher hit superb points, while a Niall Kerr effort brought gasps from the crowd.
In a tense opener, Padraig Hampsey bust through the middle to score a solo point and Brian Toner added a free to give the half-time lead to the men from east Tyrone by 0-8 to 0-7.
The Killyclogher revival at the start of the second half yielded three points, but was wiped out by a Coalisland goal. Niall Kerr had the presence of mind to deliver a free fast to the isolated Dermot Thornton. He flicked down to the onrushing Cathaoir Quinn who made sure of his goal.
From then on, Killyclogher produced another three consecutive points but were hampered when wing-back Wallace was black-carded after dragging down a celebrating Coalisland player. Having already received a yellow card, Wallace incurred a red.
As the game went down the stretch, Coalisland were making the extra man tell and one flowing movement between the outstanding Plunkett Kane, Eoghan Hampsey and Brian Toner ended with substitute Peter McGahan's second point of the evening to draw level with normal time up. McGahan then caught the resulting kick-out and set up Kane for the point that could have been the winner, before Killyclogher's late, late push. Tune in next week for more helter-skelter stuff.
Scorers - Killyclogher: M Bradley 0-6 (5f), S O'Neill 0-3 (2f); C McCann 0-2 (1 '45), N Donnelly, J Carlin, A Kelly, T Flanagan, L Meenan 0-1 each. Coalisland: B Toner 0-3 (1f), C Quinn 1-0, D Thornton 0-2 (1f, 1'45), P Hampsey 0-2, P Kane 0-2, P McGahan 0-2; S McNally, N Kerr 0-1, each.
K'CLOGHER - S Fox; M Swift, D Gorman, G Sludden; T McCann, J Carlin, G Wallace; N McFadden, F Meenagh; A Kelly, C McCann, N Donnelly; M Bradley, L Meenan, E McFadden Subs: S O'Neill for McFadden (2), T Flanagan for J Carlin (44), E Bradley for S O'Neill (59), D Carlin for N Donnelly (63).
COALISLAND - J Curran; S Hughes, L O'Neill, M McKernan; J Carberry, N Kerr, D Fee; P Hampsey, P Kane; P Toner, C Quinn, S McNally; B Toner, P Donnelly, D Thornton. Subs: E Hampsey for Donnelly (19 blood), P McGahan for P Toner (29), Donnelly for Fee (37), C Bayne for Carberry (54).
Ref - S Hurson (Galbally)