Clonoe 3-9, Carrickmore 1-13
Fabled for their championship exploits, Carrickmore bowed the knee to Clonoe’s battle hardened centurions in a full blooded Tyrone Senior Championship quarter final clash at Edendork on Saturday.
The opening period proved to be a disjointed affair laced with mistakes but the second half more than made amends as two giants of Tyrone football collided for a place in the last four.
Heroic defending, majestic scoring, glaring goal misses and a succession of bone crunching tackles kept the sizable attendance engrossed until Daniel McNulty’s late, late goal steered Damian Cassidy’s charges narrowly to victory.
Clonoe made a stunning start with a third minute goal as P.J. Lavery latched onto Connor McAliskey’s deft chip forward to fire to the back of Jack McCallan’s net. However, any notions they had of easing clear quickly evaporated as Carmen registered the next six scores through Jonathan Munroe, Caolan Daly, Martin Penrose, Conor Gormley and a brace from late replacement Ruairi Loughran to move 0-6 to 1-0 ahead after 15 minutes.
Gormley was rolling back the years with his defensive positioning repelling several promising Clonoe forays and, with Loughran, Daly and Niall Loughran to the fore, Carmen defied their underdogs tag to make a game of it.
McNulty landed a free before Paul Coney raised Clonoe’s first white flag from play on 22 minutes, but Carrickmore remained the better team. Penrose converted three further frees in response to conversions from McNulty and Darryl Magee as Carrickmore enjoyed a 1-4 to 0-9 halftime cushion.
The loss of the industrious Daly to injury was a blow to Carmen prior to the break. Clonoe supplied the opening two points of the third quarter via McAliskey and a glorious long range McNulty free to level proceedings on 38 minutes.
By now the intensity had visibly ratcheted up as Munroe punished a poor defensive clearance with a quality goal. Oisin McElroy blazed a goal chance over for a 1-10 to 1-6 lead but Clonoe were up for the challenge as they retorted with a major of their own on 41 minutes.
Magee’s long free delivery was knocked down into the path of Lavery, who rounded goalkeeper McCallan to hammer home and, when Ciaran Lynch levelled the issue it was game on.
Mark Donnelly and Michael Slane nudged Carmen two clear again only for a stunning McAliskey strike from distance to keep the outcome on a knife edge.
Munroe and Magee exchanged points and after Carrickmore spurned a glorious goal chance they were made to pay on 59 minutes, when Clonoe kicked the decisive match winning goal.
Lavery, having cleared a goal chance, launched the attack before trading passes with Doris. Lavery then floated a long ball towards McNulty, who gathered cleanly and muscled through to tap home. Clonoe withstood a barrage of late pressure as they advanced to a mouth-watering semi-final derby against Coalisland.
SCORERS: Clonoe – PJ Lavery 2-0, Daniel McNulty 1-3, Connor McAliskey 0-2, Darryl Magee 0-2, Paul Coney 0-1, Ciaran Lynch 0-1
Carrickmore: Jonathan Munroe 1-2, Martin Penrose 0-4, Ruairi Loughran 0-2, Caolan Daly 0-1, Conor Gormley 0-1, Oisin McElroy 0-1, Mark Donnelly 0-1, Michael Slane 0-1
Referee: Sean Hurson (Galbally).