Gallagher strikes late to earn Glenties hero status
Ulster Club SFC semi-final
Glenties held on in a gripping finish to qualify for their first provincial final.
Tyrone side Coalisland had four long-range frees in the dying moments, but they failed to land the point that would have sent this Brewster Park thriller into extra-time.
Instead, Dara Gallagher's 57th-minute free proved to be the winner and enough to earn hero status for the wing-forward, who had earlier grabbed a precious goal for the Donegal champions.
Glenties quickly got on top in all the vital areas and points from John O'Malley, Eoin Wade and Dermot Molloy, from a free, laid a solid foundation.
Paddy McNeice steered over a couple of Coalisland points, one from a free, but they suffered a major setback in the 19th minute when the Donegal men got in for a goal.
The move was started by substitute Seamus Corcoran, and the ball was moved swiftly between Johnny McLoone, Leon Thompson and Molloy, before Gallagher applied a clinical finish.
Coalisland had difficulty in dealing with the long ball directed towards inside pair Molloy and Thompson, and when they did break from defence, they were confronted by two walls of Glenties defenders.
They did achieve some success when shooting from distance, with Stephen Curran hitting a long-range effort and his brother, goalkeeper Johnny, drilling two '45s' between the posts.
But Glenties, with Anthony Thompson and Johnny Bonner looking solid at the back, were a more potent force and scores from McLoone and Molloy sent them in at the break with a 1-7 to 0-6 advantage.
But it was the Red Hand men who imposed themselves on the contest in the third quarter.
They drew level on 44 minutes with a brilliant goal. Curran delivered long to Tiarnan O'Hagan and he slipped the ball inside to skipper Plunkett Kane, who gave Stephen McGrath no chance with a rocket of a shot which scorched to the net.
But, despite all of their late pressure, the Tyrone men failed to score again. Instead, it was Glenties who regained their nerve, and scores from Molloy and Gallagher sealed a historic win.
scorers -- Glenties: D Gallagher 1-1, D Molloy 0-5 (0-3f), E Wade, J McLoone, L McLoone, J O'Malley 0-1 each. Coalisland: P Kane 1-0, P McNeice 0-4 (0-3f), J Curran 0-2 (0-2 '45'), B Toner, S Curran, D Thornton (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Glenties -- S McGrath; T Donoghue, J Bonner, C Boyle; M Boyle, A Thompson, E Wade; M Regan, J McLoone; B McDyre, L McLoone, D Gallagher; J O'Malley, D Molloy, L Thompson. Subs: J McKenna for C Boyle, S Corcoran for O'Malley, C McNelis for L Thompson.
Coalisland -- J Curran; L O'Neill, P Donnelly, L Wylie; S McNally, N Kerr, C Bayne; P McGahan, P Toner; P Kane, B Toner, S Curran; P McNeice, T O'Hagan, G Toner. Subs: D Thornton for G Toner, P O'Farrell for Bayne, R Thornton for Kerr
Ref -- M Higgins (Fermanagh).