AS DARKNESS fell on Edendork on Sunday evening, the lights went out on Kildress’s time in senior football, as the home side overcame the challengers after extra time, writes Seamus Donnelly.
In what has a hard-fought and evenly matched contest, Darren McCurry proved the difference between the sides with ten points over the 80 minutes to set up a match with Augher for the place in Division One next season.
Not for the first time this season, a game in Edendork ended in near darkness as a late Martin Grimes point sent the match to extra time just seconds after Brian McGuckin received a straight red card following a melee.
Edendork restored to the full complement for extra time, dominated the 20 minutes displaying a greater level of fitness and precision to run out convincing winners.
McCurry really came into his own in extra time, kicking five points, including a couple of sublime efforts from play in either half.
Kildress just had no answer to McCurry who along with Niall Morgan and David Toner put in a massive shift for their side.
Edendork got off to a fantastic start with midfielder Niall Morgan landing a long range free from the left wing to opening the scoring with three minutes played.
The Wolfe Tones struck right back with a Frank McGurk free from in front of the posts tying the scores up a couple of minutes later.
The game was surprisingly open in the first half with both sides wasting chances before McGurk was on target again, this time from play, a point cancelled out seconds later by a McCurry free.
Edendork took the lead again shortly afterwards with a point from David Toner scoring almost directly from the kickout with a neatly taken point from play.
Sixteen minutes in and Edendork could have doubled their lead when Darren McCurry took a pass from Morgan and closed down on goal.
McCurry was in two minds about whether to go for point or goal and in the end kicked wide from 14 metres out.
Kildress punished this mistake with a point at the other end as Gavin Treacy made no mistake kicking into the clubhouse goals.
The St Malachys hit back immediately as the tit for tat nature of the game continued, with Harry Og Conlon found McCurry who finished neatly from play.
Twenty minutes in, and the Wolfe Tones got the decisive score of the half as a long ball towards the Edendork square breaking kindly for Eoin Brannigan who booted the ball into the gaping goal.
A minute later Kildress extended their lead with Frank McGurk again on target with a free and the momentum appeared to be all with them.
With Edendork looking like they were in trouble they were able to point twice before the break with Brian McGuckin, who spent most of the game acting as a sweeper, getting forward to point after good build up from Conor Mallon, McCurry and Morgan.
A minute later the gap was reduced to just a point when Niall Morgan boomed over a point from all of 55 metres from a free.
The second half took on a similar shape to the first half with both teams trading scores.
Goal scorer Eoin Brannigan and McCurry were on target for their respective sides in the opening three minutes, Brannigan from play and McCurry from a free.
Kildress opened up a three point lead through a Des Treacy point from 40 metres before Marty Grimes got on the end of a breaking ball to point for his side.
Edendork refused to lie down and came roaring back with Niall Morgan scoring with the outside of his right foot from the left wing before a foul on John McGuckin allowed McCurry to point again from a free.
With 10 minutes remaining the scores were levelled up with McCurry kicking his fifth point of the game from a free after he had been fouled.
Kildress hadn’t scored in a while but responded through Grimes but his point was cancelled out by a fisted Stephen Gervin effort.
Edendork thought they had won the game with Sean Donnelly setting up substitute Brian Og O’Rourke for what looked like the game winning point.
Kildress had other ideas however and levelled it up a minute later with Des Treacy scoring the equaliser.
Niall Morgan won the next kickout, however, and sent Stephen Gervin clear to point for his side a minute into injury time.
Kildress however responded with Marty Grimes finding the room to score an equaliser and send the game to extra time.
Extra time was Edendork’s however as McCurry turned on the style to put his side into a play off decider with Augher next weekend.