Connolly Cup Quarter Final
Kilcoo 1-11 Aughlisnafin 0-8
Aughlisnafin met Kilcoo Thirds met on a balmy Monday evening in Ballykinlar.
The Fin were first off the mark with Niall Lennon slotting over the opening point after four minutes. Kilcoo equalised five minutes later from a free kick. The Fin edged ahead again with Niall Duffy receiving a quickly taken free to race through to split the uprights. In the eighteenth minute Breannain McComiskey bounced his effort of the top of the crossbar to put the Fin two points ahead writes Geároid Ó Lionnacháin.
Kilcoo pulled level again with ten minutes of the half remaining through another placed ball and then Dominic McEvoy sending over with the outside of his left boot. The Fin edged ahead again after a superb period of play which saw Lennon get his second point of the game and Donagh Steele sending over a superb score.
McEvoy scored a second point identical to the one previous to leave it a one point game with a minute of the half to go. With seconds left to the short whistle Donal Kane stole a yard on Fin right half back Martin Malone to place a right footed effort past the Fin keeper Maurice McClean into the net to give the Magpies a two point lead. The half time score was Kilcoo 1-4 Aughlisnafin 0-5.
Straight from the throw in at the start of the second half the Fin upped the ante and Chris Doran smacked his effort of the black spot on the crossbar which was gratefully cleared by the Kilcoo defence. Moments later another goal chance went begging after Sean Willoughby drilled his effort inches to the wrong side of the upright. This seemed to then energise Kilcoo and in particular the midfield pairing of McEvoy and Kane.
Kane sent over three frees in succession in a ten minute spell and McEvoy got his third point of the game. In the same period the Fin managed a point from Chris Doran after good work by Duffy. This left the Fin five points adrift with a quarter of the game remaining.
Kilcoo grabbed another three points with the influential Kane getting two of them including a fourth free kick. Two points from James Brannigan reduced the gap two six points but Kilcoo provided stern resistance to the Fin making any further inroads. Peter Brannigan blew the final whistle and it was Kilcoo who progressed to the semi finals to play the winners of Ballykinlar or Carryduff Thirds.
Final score Kilcoo 1-11 Aughlisnafin 0-8. Donal Kane and Dominic McEvoy tallied 1-8 between them and they clearly made the difference on the night. Noel Travers and Francis Boden were the pick of defence for the Fin with Niall Lennon and Donagh Steele showing well in the forward line. In midfield Breannain McComiskey took four clean catches and worked hard throughout against the experienced McEvoy.
This was the first time the Fin manager Emmett Devlin has faced his home club in a competitive fixture and it was one his clubmates were especially keen not to afford him any bragging rights. It was a decent game of football from both teams in hot conditions.
Aughlisnafin: M McClean, F Boden, N Travers, P Flanagan, S Fitzsimmons, J Brannigan 0-2, M Malone, C Doran 0-1, B McComiskey 0-1, N Duffy 0-1, C Rice, R Murphy, N Lennon 0-2, S Willoughby, D Steele 0-1 Subs : S Hazard, B Quinn, C McCabe, E McGlue, B McDonald Geároid Ó Lionnacháin