TWO GOALS IN the first half of extra-time helped Kilcoo defeat reigning champions Crossmaglen Rangers in the AIB Ulster SFC club quarter-final replay in the Athletic Grounds today.
Down champions Kilcoo finished off the job at the second attempt after last Sunday’s draw and dumped out Crossmaglen Rangers, who had won the last three Ulster senior crowns.
Indeed the defeat was the first that Crossmaglen had suffered in Ulster since 2005 after winning the title in each of the six Ulster campaigns they have competed in since then.
Crossmaglen were seven points down with 20 minutes of normal time remaining but hit an unanswered 1-4 after Kilcoo had Daryl Branagan red-carded.
The sides finished 1-7 apiece after the hour’s play, but goals from Ryan Johnston and Paul Devlin within the first eight minutes of extra-time finally swung the game decisively in favour of the Down champions.
Crossmaglen, chasing a fourth Ulster club title in a row, had two players red-carded in the second-half of extra-time.
Stephen Kernan received a straight red for retaliation against Conor Laverty and Paul McKeown was dismissed for a second booking.
In front of a crowd of 9,670, Kilcoo led 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time and looked to have won the game when Paul Devlin slotted home a penalty in the 38th minute.
They led by 1-7 to 0-3 before Cross had their best spell of the game, Tony Kernan grabbing a vital goal to ignite the fightback in the 52nd minute.
Kyle Carragher put Crossmaglen ahead for the only time in the game in the first minute of extra-time, but Kilcoo were rampant in the extra 20 minutes, scoring 2-3 without reply to set up a semi-final clash against Ballinderry next Sunday.
Crossmaglen’s Johnny Hanratty with Kilcoo’s Paul Greenan
Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Jonathan Porter
CROSSMAGLEN: P Hearty; P Hughes, P McKeown, S Finnegan; M Aherne (0-1), G Carragher, D O’Callaghan; J Hanratty, T Kernan (1-3, 3f); M McNamee, S Kernan, C Cumiskey (0-2); K Brennan, K Carragher (0-1), C O’Neill
Subs: P Og Grant for McNamee (35), M Boyce for O’Neill (35), A Cunningham (0-1) for K Brennan (47)
KILCOO: S Kane; N Branagan, N McEvoy (0-1), D Branagan; D O’Hanlon (0-4, 3f), S O’Hanlon, Gerard McEvoy (0-1); P Greenan, A Branagan; P Devlin (2-2, pen), J McClean (0-1), R Johnston (1-1); N Morgan, C Laverty, Gary McEvoy
Subs: S Devlin for Gary McEvoy (54), J Johnston for Morgan (54)
Extra-time subs: N Morgan
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)