Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 2 March 2021

Kilcoo crowned Ulster champions for first time after thrilling win over Naomh Conaill

The Down club were beaten in their previous two trips to the provincial decider.

Kilcoo's joint captains Conor Laverty and Aidan Branagan lift the cup.
Kilcoo's joint captains Conor Laverty and Aidan Branagan lift the cup.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Kilcoo (Down) 2-11
Naomh Conaill (Donegal) 2-9

KILCOO EOGHAN RUA will drink in these days and nights forever and a day after they finally landed an Ulster club title at the eighth time of asking in eleven seasons.

Credit will go to their manager Mickey Moran, naturally, after he took them to the promised land at the first time of asking, bringing his record over the last five years to four Ulster clubs, following on from his three won with Slaughtneil.

Even though they built up a seven-point lead twice either side of the half-time break, they maintained there was never a sense of panic.

They were rocked with two goals from Naomh Conaill at the mouth of half-time, Charles McGuinness and Jeaic McKelvey storming home after long balls caught out a smallish full-back line.

But even so, that only brought the Donegal men to within a point. From Kilcoo compiling five consecutive points from the start of the third quarter they looked the more composed side and while the energy levels looked shot at the end, they deserved this win.

Their two goals franked everything that they do. Swift counter-attacks, Conor Laverty involved, giving passes that changed the angles and emphatic yet cool finishing. Their second goal put them six points up but was immediately followed by five points in a row from Naomh Conaill, who eventually had to abandon their surprisingly one-dimensional tactic of high ball in towards Charles McGuinness.

Up popped the brilliant Darryl Branagan to nail the insurance point for Kilcoo deep in injury time, and spark wild celebrations.

Scorers for Kilcoo: Daryl Branagan 1-2, Aidan Branagan 1-0, E Branagan, R Johnston, P Devlin (0-1f) 0-2 each, R McEvoy (0-1f), J Johnston, C Laverty 0-1 each.

Scorers for Naomh Conaill: Charles McGuinness 1-1, Jeaic McKelvey 1-0, Ethan O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson (0-2f) 0-2 each, Anthony Thompson, Brendan McDyer, E Doherty 0-1 each


1. Martin McCourt

2. Niall Branagan
3. Aidan Branagan
4. Niall McEvoy

24. Shealan Johnston
6. Aaron Branagan
7. Darryl Branagan

8. Aaron Morgan
9. Dylan Ward

10. Eugene Branagan
11. Paul Devlin
12. Ryan Johnston

13. Ryan McEvoy
14. Jerome Johnston
15. Conor Laverty


30. Justin Clarke for E Branagan (57)
22. Felim McGreevy for R McEvoy (black card) (64)

Naomh Conaill

1. Stephen McGrath

2. Ultan Doherty
3. AJ Gallagher
4. Kevin McGettigan

5. Ethan O’Donnell
6. Anthony Thompson
7. Eoin Waide

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

8. Ciaran Thompson
9. Leo McLoone

10. Brendan McDyer
11. Eoghan McGettigan
12. Eunan Doherty

13. Jeaic McKelvey
14. Charles McGuinness
15. Kieran Gallagher


17. Marty Boyle for AJ Gallagher (half-time)
23. Dermot Molloy for K Gallagher (51)
20. Nathan Byrne for C McGuinness (57)
15. Kieran Gallagher for E Doherty (61)
No replacement for A Thompson (black card) (67)

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

About the author:

Declan Bogue

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel