Seosamh Mac Ceallabhuí’s Men Shock Emyvale to set up Showdown with Limavady!!!
Healy Park in Omagh was the setting for what was the only real shock of a jam packed Ulster Club Championship weekend, as Red Hugh’s produced a rousing second half-comeback to dispose of heavy favourites Emyvale in the first of two Ulster Junior Football Championship semi-finals to be played at the Omagh venue, yesterday afternoon.
The East Donegal side, who have made a habit of tearing up the form book on numerous occasions already this season, trailed by two points at the break, despite a first-half goal from Calvin Bradley.
The Monaghan men, chasing their third Ulster Junior crown in nine years, forged further clear after the turn-around. Early second-half scores from David McAllister, passed fit to play after being a pre-match doubt during the week, and Karl and Gareth McQuaid, pushed Declan Loughman’s side into a six point lead.
But the Donegal champions quickly grabbed the ascendancy in a physical second-half, that would eventually see four late red cards, and would run riot over the shell shocked Emyvale, scoring ten of the game’s final eleven points to run out winners on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-12.
And on a day of telling comebacks, Red Hugh’s final opponents, Limavady Wolfhounds, produced one of their own to eventually grind down Fermanagh representatives, Aghadrumsee St. McCartan’s, in yesterday’s second encounter.
In what was a day of heartbreak for the Erne County side, they led for virtually the entire game, before Richard King’s fifty-ninth minute free, and an injury time goal from Brandon O’Brien, condemned Colm Monaghan’s charges to a four point defeat.
Ruairi Hasson had given the Wolfhounds the lead straight from the throw-in but St. McCartan’s would respond in kind inside the next sixty seconds, as Fermanagh forward Eddie Courtney pointed, before Dale Crudden got his fist to a Fergal Sherry pass to beat Oisin Hartin in the Limavady goal.
The men from Roe Valley, who were two in arrears, at the sounding of the half-time whistle started the second-half in the same fashion they did the first, with a point inside the opening seconds to reduce the deficit to the minimum.
But Thomas O’Hara’s free, that put Aghadrumsee four points to the good with fifteen minutes remaining, proved to be the last time they’d trouble the scoreboard, as Na Cunna wrestled their tiring opponents into submission in the last quarter.
Points from Eugene O’Kane, King, Hassan and captain Conor Boyd pulled Dominic Woods side level. King swung over his fifth and final point as the clock ticked toward the sixty, before O’Brien sealed victory with a low drive in time added on.
An interesting showpiece, then, come November 18th, that will pit Red Hugh’s against a Limavady side who remain unbeaten this year in league and championship, and interestingly, have only failed to raise a green flag on a single occasion this season.
In Callum Brown, the Wolfhounds have a shimmering talent, no doubt destined for big things in Australia, after confirming that he will link up with Australian Rules side Greater Western Sydney Giants once the Ulster Championship series is complete.
Aodh Rua will have threats of their own, in the shape of captain Gerard Melaugh, Damien Browne and the ravenous Bradley, who took his Ulster Championship tally to 3-08 in two games, with his magnificent 1-05 from play yesterday. Seosamh Mac Ceallabhuí’s side revel in the underdogs role, and will most likely bear it again, come Sunday week. But having put pay to a Ryan McAnespie inspired Emyvale from what seemed a hopeless situation mid-way through the second-half, they must surely feel that anything can happen, in what has already been a magical season for the Killygordon side.