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Branagan's goal decisive as Kilcoo move to within touching distance of long-sought Ulster title

The Down champions saw off their Fermanagh foes in today’s semi.

Conor Laverty in action for Kilcoo (file pic).
Conor Laverty in action for Kilcoo (file pic).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Kilcoo (Down) 1-8

Derrygonnelly Harps(Fermanagh) 0-9

Declan Bogue reports from the Athletic Grounds

KILCOO’S LONG QUEST for a Seamus McFerran Cup is within touching distance of completion after they overcame a Derrygonnelly challenge that lacked absolutely nothing in effort and heart, but a sliver of quality that could have made the difference.

With the benefit of the wind in the first half Kilcoo made use of the advantage, but the gap between the sides at the break was narrow, 0-4 to 0-2 in favour of the Down champions.

Derrygonnelly had a real chance of goal in the seventh minute when Lee Jones and Stephen McGullion knitted handpasses together to put Shane McGullion in. His shot was strong but from distance and Kilcoo netminder Martin McCourt watched it coming and acrobatically tipped it round the post with a strong right hand.

Kilcoo set up with a strong defence, 14 men behind the ball when without the ball and when it turned over, had the pace of Eugene Branagan and Ryan Johnston in their half-forward line to get it forward. When that happened, Jerome Johnston’s trickery had Harps full-back Tiernan Daly in difficulties.

The second half can be boiled down to two things; Derrygonnelly hit six wides to Kilcoo’s zero.

And after the Fermanagh men hit three consecutive points to go level on 37 minutes, Daly fouled Ryan Johnston. The free was going to be moved in and while Derrygonnelly defenders conducted an inquest, Kilcoo captain Conor Laverty picked the ball up and took a quick free to Anthony Morgan.

He dished off to Aaron Branagan who found the net.

Scorers for Kilcoo: Aaron Branagan 1-1, P Devlin, R McEvoy 0-2f, E Branagan, R Johnston, J Johnston 0-1 each

Scorers for Derrygonnelly: G Jones 0-3, 2f, J Love, G McGinley, Stephen McGullion, D Cassidy, K Cassidy 0-1 each, C Jones 0-1f

KILCOO

1. Martin McCourt

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

5. Anthony Morgan
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 (C)

Subs

30. Justin Clarke for Anthony Morgan (47)
31. James McClean for Aaron Morgan (56)
24. Shealan Johnston for N McEvoy (57)

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DERRYGONNELLY

1. Jack Kelly

2. Jack Love
3. Tiernan Daly
4. Michael Jones

5. Eamonn McHugh
6. Shane McGullion
7. Garvan McGinley

8. Ryan Jones (C)
9. Conall Jones

10. Lee Jones
11. Stephen McGullion
12. Declan Cassidy

13. Garvan Jones
14. Kevin Cassidy
15. Gavin McGovern

Subs

21. Gary McKenna for G McGovern (42)
17. Ronan McHugh for K Cassidy (47)
18. Neil Gallagher for G McGinley (56)
22. Aidan McKenna for E McHugh (54)

Referee: Paudie Hughes (Armagh)

About the author:

Declan Bogue

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