Ulster club SFC: Gall's edge past Cavan Gaels

October 19, 2009
St Gall's (Antrim) 1-12 Cavan Gaels (Cavan) 1-10 St Gall's edged past Cavan Gaels and into the quarter-finals of the Ulster club senior football championship yesterday when they finished two points clear and three men the better after extra-time at Kingspan Breffni Park. In a fiery encounter, it was a penalty from CJ McGourty 12 minutes from full-time that turned this game in the Antrim champions' favour, as it levelled the visitors at a crucial stage. After being on top of their opponents for most of the game, Cavan Gaels became their own worst enemies from the 48th minute onwards. Centre-back Eamon Reilly received his marching orders for an infringement spotted by referee Martin Higgins while McGourty was lining-up his spot-kick, and in extra-time Nicholas Walsh, Anthony Forde and Karl Crotty all received second yellow cards that reduced their team down to 12 men, with Paul O'Donnell replacing Reilly as a substitute before the extra-time throw-in. The hosts made the better start here and took advantage of some sloppy St Gall's play throughout the first-half to move into a 1-3 to 0-2 lead at half-time, with Walsh netting in their goal four minutes from the break. Sean Johnston did his best to maintain that difference for the leaders through the third quarter, but when Gaels 'keeper Eoghan Elliot was adjudged to have over carried possession in his own square, after strong pressure from St Gall's attack, Higgins gave horizontal arms. Strong protests arrived from the Gaels contingent before Reilly was issued a straight red card, and McGourty tied the game up on 1-5 apiece. The same player fired Gall's in front from a free four minutes later, but a minute shy of the hour Johnston levelled after slipping his man in typical fashion and firing over the bar. Substitutes Mark Kelly and Pauric Smith traded points afterwards, which put the game into extra-time. Lenny Harbinson's team edged the battle and took in a one-point lead at half-time, which McGourty extended to two, as three more Cavan Gaels players were shown the line, while their team were shown the exit door from Ulster for another year. St Gall's now face newly crowned Armagh champions Pearse Og in the last eight of the Ulster club SFC. St Gall's - R Gallagher; P Veronica, A McClean, C Brady; T O'Neill (0-1) , A Healy, S Kelly (0-2) ; A Gallagher, S Burke; Kevin McGourty, R Gallagher (0-2) , Kieran McGourty; C J McGourty (1-4, two frees), K Stewart (0-3) , C Gallagher. Subs ; M Kelly for C Gallagher; D O'Hare for K McGourty; S Burns for R Gallagher; M McGowan for S Burke; Kieran McGourty for CJ McGourty. Cavan Gaels - E Elliott; K Crotty, D Rabbitte, J Gurhy; G Duffy, E Reilly, D Graham (0-1); C Collins (0-1) , A Forde; D Reilly (0-1) , M Lyng, S Johnston (0-3) ; M Dunne, C Nelligan, N Walsh (1-1). Subs; N Murray (0-1) for M Dunne, P Smith (0-1) for G Duffy, P O'Donnell (0-1), R Maloney-Derham for D Reilly; K Meehan for J Gurhy; D Reilly for C Nelligan; C McClarey for Maloney-Derham. Ref: M Higgins (Fermanagh)

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