Donie Shine kicked 0-9 as Clann na nGael survive major fright against London's Tir Chonaill Gaels at the Hyde
Connacht SFC quarter-final: Clann na nGael 1-15 Tir Chonaill Gaels 1-10
Donie Shine spared Clann na nGael’s blushes as the former Connacht club kingpins survived a major fright against Tir Chonaill Gaels at Dr Hyde Park.
The London champions, appearing on the provincial stage for the first time, were leading after 42 minutes when Man of the Match Killian Butler landed a superb point on the turn. But the Exiles appeared to run out of steam and Clann, helped by Graham Pettit’s 44th minute goal, regained their composure to dominate the final quarter.
The Roscommon champions’ challenge was spearheaded by Shine and full-forward Ciarán Lennon as Fergal Shine’s charges raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage after 17 minutes.
But Tir Chonaill Gaels, managed by West Roscommon native Paul Coggins, visibly grew in confidence, with Butler, Liam Gavaghan and Adrian Hanlon causing the Clann full-back line all sorts of problems.
Gavagan’s accuracy from play and frees furrowed a path back into proceedings, and on the stroke of half time they were handed a major boost when Pettit’s rash challenge on Gavaghan procured a penalty. Wing-forward Eoin Murray placed the ball calmly beyond David Finneran from the resultant spot kick to give his side a shock 1-6 to 0-8 advantage at the interval.
A hat-trick of scores from Shine shortly after the resumption eased Clann nerves but they were stung again by three points in as many minutes from Gavaghan (a free), Butler and Mullin as Tir Chonaill Gaels hit the front once more, 1-9 to 0-11.
To Clann’s credit, they didn’t press the panic button and Pettit was on hand to lash the ball beyond Gavin McEvoy two minutes later.
Ultan Harney and Butler swapped points but the last there scores belonged to Clann as Shine (a free), Darra Pettit and Lennon tagged on points to seal the deal and set up a semi-final meeting against the Galway champions in the Hyde on Sunday next.
SCORERS – Clann na nGael: D Shine 0-9 (7fs), C Lennon 0-3, G Pettit 1-0, D Connaughton, U Harney, D Pettit 0-1 each. Tir Chonaill Gaels: L Gavaghan 0-6 (4fs), K Butler 0-3, E Murray 1-0 (pen), B Mullin 0-1.
CLANN NA NGAEL - D Finneran; D Pettit, S Flynn, R Gavin; S Pettit, G Pettit, D Connaughton; U Harney, C Shine; C Callinan, D Shine, E Kenny; D McManus, C Lennon, J Fahy.
Subs: C McManus for Kenny (h/t), J Dunning for McManus (38), M Scally for Callinan (44), R Naughton for Fahy (56), N Connaughton for D Connaughton (60), D Sumner for C Shine (60).
TIR CHONAILL GAELS – G McEvoy; M McWilliams, P Butler, S Burke; M McCoy, A McDermott, M Moynihan; B Friel, M Gottsche; E Murray, A Hanlon, K Rafferty; B Mullin, L Gavaghan, Killian Butler.
Subs used: L Gallagher for Rafferty (36), R Elliot for Burke (42), E McConville for McDermott (49), A Askin for Hanlon (56), E Mageean for Murray (56), A McGarvey for McWilliams (60).
Referee: Eamonn O’Grady (Leitrim).