Ramor United 1-8
Ramor United sent Kingscourt Stars out of the senior championship this evening after staging a late, late show at Kingspan Breffni Park to advance to the competition's semi-finals.
Played in blustery condition, the game was far from a spectacle but had both sets of supporters on the edge of their seats towards the finish and on this occasion it would be Micheál McDermott's charges that came up trumps in injury-time to dethrone the champions.
Ramor had edged a 0-5 to 0-4 lead at half-time and increased it to three early in the second-half but the Stars had matters level heading towards the finish line thanks to Barry Reilly, who would be red carded at the death.
It was in those added minutes that the victors rose to the occasion, with Kevin Mulvany's late point being backed up by sub Simon Cadden firing home the game's only goal in the third minute of injury-time, propelling the Virginia men into the last four.
Mulvany had nearly handed his side the ideal start to this hotly-anticipated quarter-final, rushing past his marker Shane Grey and forcing a splendid parry out of James Farrelly in the Kingscourt goal.
The holders were up and running once Peter Corrigan was afforded the time and space to swing over from his left corner-forward station and on six minutes Joe Dillion would restore their lead from full-forward after the in-form James Brady had opened his team's account at the other end.
Alan Clarke sailed over a brilliant score with the wind at his back to make it 0-3 to 0-1, but just as Kingscourt looked to be gaining a foothold back came their opponents, unwilling to give an inch, with Cathal Maguire and Conor Bradley (free) raising the white flags to square matters.
Chances went to waste for both teams over the ensuing minutes before Reilly's aimed pass into the Stars' full-forward line took flight and ended up over Aaron Farrelly's crossbar.
Ramor finished the half in better fashion though, with Maguire looping over his second and Bradley converting a free inside won by Mulvany, leaving them one ahead for the half.
McDermott's men regained their rhythm early in the second-half, as points from James Brady and Mulvany put the margin at three and Kingcourt failed to convert two chances that would have seen Christy McGowan's superb effort levelling by the 40th minute.
Two Reilly frees - won by Dillon and Padraig Faulkner respectively - did help the Sean Farrelly's side eventually achieve that task on 52 minutes and with everything to play for the hits went in both frequent and heavy in those closing stages.
Ramor seemed to have lost their momentum in those closing eight minutes, as Reilly had two scoring chances from frees (one a 45) come up short against the stiff breeze, letting them off the hook.
Kingscourt lost centre-back Colm Smith right on the hour mark when he was issued a black card on top of his yellow by referee Conor Dourneen and in the next attack the Virginia lads punched a whole which saw them fed Mulvany and he stay composed to swing over what looked to be the winner.
In the desperate hunt for an equaliser, Kingscourt looked like they broke through but got turned over in their own half forward line at the crucial stage and that allowed their opponents to break away and release Cadden, who sped away and applied the cool finish past James Farrelly to seal Ramor's semi-final berth.
Ramor United: Aaron Farrelly; Micheál Smart, Damien Barkey, James McEnroe; Mark Magee, Brian O'Connell, Eoin Sommerville; Stephen Monaghan, Shane Gaffney; Cathal Maguire (0-2), Conor Bradley (0-2, 2f), Jack Brady; James Brady (0-2), Adrian Cole, Kevin Mulvany (0-2). Subs: Matthew Magee for M Smart (17mins, inj), Killian Maguire for S Monaghan (47), Simon Cadden (1-0) for A Cole (55), James Bradley for C Maguire (57).
Kingscourt: James Farrelly; Rory Sheridan, Padraig Faulkner, Shane Grey; Barry Tully, Colm Smith, Cathal McKeown; Alan Clarke (0-1), Barry Reilly (0-3, 3f); Cian McArdle, Christy McGowan (0-1), Keith McCabe; Philip Tinnelly, Joe Dillon (0-1), Peter Corrigan (0-1). Subs: Noel McIntyre for C McKeown (25mins), Philly Smith for C McArdle (44), Paddy Farrelly for P Tinnelly (60).
Ref: Conor Dourneen (Ballinagh)