A last minute point from Donal Thomas proved just enough for Killygarry as they dumped Drumalee out of the senior championship tonight at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Minus the services of ace forward Martin Reilly through injury, the winners were made battle to the end after surrendering a three-point lead given to them by the sound free-taking of Shane Kelly in the third quarter.
Two sweet scores from Craig Sheridan put the fight back in Drumalee in this grim Cavan town derby, which saw both teams tally 22 wides between them over the hour, and when Cian Byrne stroked over with three minutes to go the St Felim's Park outfit were in a position to snatch a late victory.
However, as the rain poured down the unforced errors mounted higher and it was Benny Reddy's men that got the break they needed which saw Thomas steam forward and compose himself for the winning point three minutes into injury-time to send Killygarry through to the next round.
After some scrappy play early on, Mattie McKenna launched over the opening score five minutes in from his centre-forward station. Shane Downey, a late replacement at full-forward for the injured Daragh Gaffney, did likewise at the other end to tie things up by the eighth minute before some good work from Thomas put the original leaders back in front.
The Crubany men avoided disaster soon after when a long range free from Michael Brennan came off the upright, fell on the goal line and was cleared by Killygarry's scrambling defenders.
Brennan was on target from his next effort, ranging 50 metres, and he helped send Drumalee into their first lead with a quickly taken '45' which found Andy Fallon in yards of space and the corner-forward punished the lapse with a well-taken score.
Damien Donohoe's charges looked to push on from there but rued a few missed chances and it allowed Kelly to square the sides when given the chance with a superb point on the turn.
Killygarry racked up the wides too, kicking seven to Drumalee's six by the end of the half, but in Kelly they had one reliable boot at least, as the full-forward curled over a 35-metre free from the left to send his side in with the 0-4 to 0-3 advantage at the interval.
Stephen McHugh set the tone early in the second-half for Reddy's side, drilling between the posts off a dashing run, and when Kelly darted over his third score from a free Drumalee were facing an uphill battle for the last 20 minutes.
Sheridan and Kelly (free) swapped points to keep the difference at three, but a placed ball from Brennan and brilliant score from Sheridan gave them some renewed impetus for the final 10 minutes.
Brennan looked set to bring them level in the 52nd minute, but his 30-metre free drifted to the right of the posts making for Drumalee's 12th wide of the game.
Some patient build up play eventually saw the men in white get their equaliser three minutes from the end, with Enda McCormick setting up Byrne for a calmly taken point, but it proved too early as their counterparts had one last push in them which saw Thomas one-two with the galloping Ross Sheridan, who offloaded back to the midfielder for the winner before pulling up with injury.
Killygarry: Patrick Galligan; Michael McGovern, Padraig Cahill, Ross Sheridan; Brendan Murray, Daryl McKenna, Fergal Clarke; Paddy Lynch, Donal Thomas (0-2); Enda Gallen, Mattie McKenna (0-1), Conor Connolly; Cathal Keaney, Shane Kelly (0-4, 3f), Stephen McHugh (0-1). Subs: Darragh Gannon for S McHugh (48mins), Conor Bates for P Lynch (55), Andy O'Brien for C Connolly (57), Stephen McGovern for C Keaney (60), Brian Sheanon for R Sheridan (60, inj).
Drumalee: James Heffernan; Darren Sheridan, Daire Donohoe, Peter McGinnity; Timmy Looney, Enda McCormick, Philip McArdle; Kevin Donohoe, Michael Brennan (0-2, 2f); Cian Byrne (0-1), Craig Sheridan (0-2), Leigh Dunne; Jimmy Fallon, Shane Downey (0-1), Andy Fallon (0-1). Subs: Tomas O'Keeffe for S Downey (34mins), Brendan Smith for K Donohoe (46), David O'Keeffe for J Fallon (46), Michael Higgins for D Donohoe (60), Kevin Galligan for T Looney (60, inj).
Ref: Michael G Brady (Mullahoran)