Ramor United 1-12
Ramor United saw off 14-man Castlerahan at the second attempt on Wednesday night to book their slot into Round 3A of the senior championship.
Played under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, Gary Farrelly's team made another blistering start against their rivals in this replay, racing into an early lead and goaled in the 24th minute through James McEnroe before Castlerhan ignited themselves ahead of half-time with a brilliant Enda Flanagan goal that left them trailing by two at the break.
By the 44th minute the Ballyjamesduff men were level and looked set to push on after their opponents lost Damien Barkey to a black card on top of conceding the lead, but Ramor grinded out the next three scores in the space of three minutes to regain the upper hand.
Castlerahan couldn't come up with a response until it was too late, with midfielder Barry Cusack scoring a goal with the last kick of the game, but the win had already been sealed by Ramor substitute Aodhgan Cahill.
Ramor's start mirrored that of last Sunday, grabbing the first three scores in the opening four minutes through Stephen Monaghan, Adrian Cole and Jack Brady.
Castlerahan could have goaled in the opening minute after an early lapse at the back from their opponents, but Oisin O'Connell's soccer-style shot rose and rebounded off the crossbar for the Ramor defenders to clear to safety. Instead the Virginia men took the initiative to create an early gap which Monaghan (free) pushed to four by the 8th minute.
After losing midfielder Paul Brady to a black card, which saw an early introduction for Sean Brady, Kevin McDonnell's men eventually got off the mark a minute later when Paul Smith raced through to fist over and they halved the deficit by the 10th minute with a Padraig McGahern free.
McGahern doubled his personal tally with a similar effort soon after and when Cian McEnroe fired over a fourth unanswered point the sides were level by the 20th minute.
Barry Fitzsimons set-up Brady to edge Ramor's noses back in front and the Cavan forward would turn provider in the 24th minute when he did well to hold up possession in the full-forward line and send a through a racing McEnroe, who blasted over the head of Jamie Leahy to the net.
Stunned by the blow, Castlerahan were caught flatfooted for their opponents' next two scores via Paul Quealy and the lively Brady.
However, just as the game looked to be creeping away from them Castlerahan exploded to life with a goal from Enda Flanagan which saw the Cavan U21 star rocket the ball to the top corner of Aaron Farrelly's net as the Ramor goalkeeper stood stranded. His brother Ronan would back up the major with a point from the resultant kick out and the Ballyjamesduff outfit could have been in the lead when Caolan McBreen crept through and blasted his goal chance wide of the post.
In fact, the maroon and whites should have been in front by half-time when Ronan Flanagan found McGahern unmarked on the edge of the square but the centre-forward's goal bound effort was turned around the post brilliantly by Farrelly, leaving Ramor with the 1-7 to 1-5 advantage for the interval.
A Monaghan free opened the half in good fashion for the leaders but an immediate reply from Fergal Flanagan at the other end had the wind in Castlerahan's sails as Sean Brady won a free inside in the next attack for Enda Flanagan to convert and narrow it down to the minimum.
Barkey's night would end soon after when he was issued a black card by referee Joe McQuillan for a blatant foul on McEnroe while he was through on goal. The resultant free was stroked wide by the aforementioned Flanagan but they'd be level by the final quarter mark anyway when McGahern's placed ball sailed between the posts.
From there, Castlerahan looked the more likely side but they were soon deflated when Farrelly's charges struck for the next three scores with Cole, Brady and Adam O'Connell all finding their range and leaving the trailers with an uphill battle for the last 10 minutes.
In that time, Castlerahan couldn't muster a score until injury-time, a Barry Cusack goal that winded up being in vain, as substitute Cahill had already landed the insurance point for Ramor moments after Fergal Flanagan had been issued a red card by McQuillan.
Cusack's goal, which came off the back of a brilliant catch after substitute Cian Mackey had delivered the ball in high to the square, left a nervy finish for Ramor but Cahill's point proved all the difference in the end, as Castlerahan must now conquer Mullahoran to keep their championship hopes alive.
Ramor United: Aaron Farrelly; Damien Barkey, Stefan Connolly, Mark Magee; Simon Cadden, James McEnroe (1-0), Adam O'Connell (0-1); Anton O'Reilly, Stephen Monaghan (0-3, 3f); Paul Quealy (0-1), Shane Cole, Cathal Maguire; Jack Brady (0-4, 1f), Adrian Cole (0-2), Barry Fitzsimons. Subs: Daire Sheridan for B Fitzsimons (33mins), Jack Doyle for D Barkey (39mins, b/c), Aodhgan Cahill (0-1) for S Cole (54), Brian O'Connell for C Maguire (58).
Castlerahan: Jamie Leahy; Stephen Cooney, Cormac Daly, Fergal Reilly; Paul Smith (0-1), Enda O'Connell, Caolan McBreen; Barry Cusack (1-0), Paul Brady; Enda Flanagan (1-1, 1f), Padraig McGahern (0-3, 3f), Ronan Flanagan (0-1); Oisin O'Connell, Fergal Flanagan (0-1), Cian McEnroe (0-1). Subs: Sean Brady for P Brady (9mins, b/c), Cian Mackey for C McEnroe (49), Daniel Lynch for R Flanagan (56, b/c).
Ref: Joe McQuillan (Kill Shamrocks)