Ulster club SFC: 14-man Kilcoo stun St. Gall's
19 November 2012
St. Gall's Mark Kelly and Anto Healey with Kilcoo's Ryan Johnston at The Athletic Grounds. INPHO
Kilcoo (Down) 1-9
St. Gall's (Antrim) 0-10
Kilcoo produced the shock of the day when they defeated 2010 All-Ireland champions St. Gall's with 14 men at the Athletic Grounds to set up an AIB Ulster club SFC final showdown with Crossmaglen Rangers.
It was impossible to see anything other than a St. Gall's victory when Kilcoo midfielder Niall McEvoy was sent off on a straight red card with 10 minutes remaining. At the time, the Belfast side were leading 0-8 to 0-5, despite having played poorly by their standards, and looked set to make the most of their numerical advantage.
But in an incredible finale, the Down champions outscored their illustrious opponents by 1-4 to 0-2 with their goal coming from substitute Sean Devlin just two minutes after McEvoy's dismissal.
Darragh O'Hanlon twice edged the underdogs ahead thereafter, only for St. Gall's to equal both times through Karl Stewart and Sean Kelly. But the 14 men weren't to be denied and sealed a famous victory thanks to late points from Gerard McEvoy and Paul Devlin.
St. Gall's registered seven wides and went 27 minutes without a score in a poor-quality first half. Paul Devlin's free had Kilcoo 0-2 to 0-1 ahead after seven minutes, but a 22-minute scoring lull followed before points from Stewart (two) and Kevin Niblock gave the favourites a 0-4 to 0-3 lead at the break.
St. Gall's extended their advantage in the third quarter, but were floored by their plucky opponents' late rally.
Kilcoo - S Kane; N Branagan, N McEvoy, D Branagan; S O'Hanlon, A Branagan, Gerard McEvoy (0-1); P Greenan, D Kane; J Johnston, P Devlin (0-3), D O'Hanlon (0-3); C Laverty (0-1), A Devlin, Gary McEvoy. Subs: R Johnston (0-1) for P Devlin, S Devlin (1-0) for Gary McEvoy, A McEvoy for Kane, A Devlin for Johnston.
St. Gall's - C Kerr; P Veronica, A McClean, M Kelly; A Healey, S Kelly (0-1), T O'Neill; S Burke, A Gallagher; N O'Neill, K Niblock (0-3), Kevin McGourty; C McGourty (0-1), M Pollock (0-1), K Stewart (0-4). Subs: Kieran McGourty for Burke, D O'Hare for C McGourty, C Brady for Veronica.
Referee - M Sludden.