Carmen stem rally

Conor Bayne sees an opportunity to steal the ball from Carrickmore's Mark Donnelly. INTT3913-700DCA
Conor Bayne sees an opportunity to steal the ball from Carrickmore's Mark Donnelly. INTT3913-700DCA

Carrickmore 2-8

Coalisland 2-6

For the second year running Carrickmore knocked Coalisland out of championship at quarter-final stage after a cracking encounter at Healy Park, writes Kevin Kelly.

St.Colmcilles looked to be in complete control at the break as they held a seven point advantage with their opponents down to fourteen men.

To their credit, however, the Fianna produced a superb second half display with substitute Stephen McNally acting as a catalyst that helped them get back on level terms.

With normal time up Carrickmore struck for two late points that sent them through to the semi-finals, Coalisland finishing up with thirteen men after McNally picked up a second yellow card.

Paul McAleer and substitute Stephen Curran traded points before Carrickmore struck for the first goal of the game, McAleer playing the ball to Martin Penrose, who cut in from the right wing before blasting to the back of the net past Johnny Curran.

Three minutes later the ball was in the net again when keeper Curran’s attempted clearance was charged down and man of the match Conor Gormley finished from close range.

As the Tyrone defender came running out after scoring he was struck by Niall Kerr who was straight red carded.

The Fianna were already facing an uphill struggle with McAleer putting Carrickmore further in front with a fisted score.

In first half injury time Plunkett Kane was fouled by Plunkett McCallan for a penalty but the Carmen net minder redeemed himself with a fine save.

The hardworking Mickey McCallan made it an eight point game before the Fianna had the final say of the half from a Gerard Toner free to leave it 2-4 to 0-3.

Three minutes into the second half Coalisland were back in the game when Tiarnan O’Hagan scored from close range after a McNally shot had been blocked.

Toner added a point from a free before half back Mickey Donaghy responded with a superb effort from play for Carrickmore.

The Fianna were a different side, though, when they emerged for the second period - whatever worsds of inspiration were echoing around the dressing room.

And, after Kane pointed, they drew level in the 42nd minute when Toner clinically dispatched a penalty to the bottom left hand corner of the net after O’Hagan had been fouled.

It took another ten minutes for the next score to arrive via a fisted point from Carrickmore substitute Caolan Daly but sixty seconds later McNally had the sides level again.

It was very much up for grabs at this stage with Coalisland looking the better side despite being down to fourteen men. Gormley though was in imperious form for the winners as on a number of occasions he broke up promising Coalisland attacks.

In the final minute of normal time a patient build up from Carrickmore ended with Daly landing a brilliant score from distance.

Coalisland pushed hard for another equaliser but when they lost McNally to a second yellow card they were fighting a losing battle and when Penrose drove over the bar it confirmed Carrickmore’s place in another semi-final.

There’s no substitute for experience and class and the Carmen men have a fair share of both those qualities.