An impressive Killygary side sprung an upset in the senior championship last night by ousting one of its traditional giants Mullahoran at Kingspan Breffni Park.
A late 1-2 contribution from young substitute Conor Smith went a long way to snatching victory for the Crubany men in the end, but there could be no arguments over whether or not they were the better side here.
After dominating the proceedings early on, Killygarry were sucker-punched by two back-to-back goals from handball champion Paul Brady just before half-time which saw all their good work undone.
Mullahoran held their lead for the first 10 minutes of the second-half but they'd never see it again once Brendan Murray's sensational goal hit their net in the 42nd minute. From there, Ciaran O'Reilly's men turned the screw, with frees from Brian Sheanon pushing the Dreadnoughts further adrift before Smith's late contribution sealed a semi-final date with Kingscourt Stars.
The winners enjoyed a decent start to this quarter-final clash through county minor Darragh Gannon opening the scoring ahead of a brace from Martin Reilly which had them three to good inside the first 10 minutes.
Enda O'Reilly sent over Mullahoran's first after 12 minutes in a bid to stem the tide but their fired up opponents were in no mood to let up just yet, as Sheanon, Donal Thomas and Reilly all found their range to push the advantage to five for the underdogs.
O'Reilly's point was the only single the 2012 champions would register during the first 30 minutes, as they'd settle for two quick goals from Paul Brady, the first after a superb assist from his brother Philip, to take in the 2-1 to 0-6 half-time lead.
Sheanon (free) and Sean McKeogh traded the early scores in the restart but it was Killygarry whom were regaining their momentum. Wing back Ross Sheridan clipped over Dominic Crudden's crossbar with the chance of a goal on ahead of Paul Brady and Chris Prior raising white flags at the other end.
Despite not playing anything near their best, Mullahoran looked to have the game under control with the final quarter approaching. That was until Murray smashed in arguably the best goal seen in Kingspan Breffni Park this year.
On a rush from his station at centre-field, Killygarry's number nine turned on his burners to cut through the Killydoon men's centre and send a rocket to the top corner of the net to do away with his side's two-point deficit.
Sheanon added a quick point before O'Reilly (free) and McKeogh, in effort of a goal, drew the game level.
That was as good as it for Mullahoran though, with their opponents now starting to smell blood in the water.
After hitting the post with an easy free, Sheanon reasserted himself to notch two more placed balls and punish his counterparts' indiscipline at the back. Then came 1-1 from sub Smith to really devastate the Dreadnoughts' cause, which could only manage 0-2 in the final stages, as Gannon and Smith closed out a memorable victory for Killygarry.
Killygarry: Paddy Galligan; Conor Connolly, Padraig Cahill, Michael McGovern; Conor Bates, Eoin Smith, Ross Sheridan (0-1); Ryan Brady, Brendan Murray (1-0); Darragh Gannon (0-2), Andy McGovern, Donal Thomas (0-1); Martin Reilly (0-3), Mattie McKenna, Brian Sheanon (0-5, 3f). Subs: Conor Smith (1-2) for D Thomas (40), Daniel Talbot for C Bates (44), Fergal Clarke for R Sheridan (50), Thomas Leonard for R Brady (58).
Mullahoran: Dominic Crudden; Matthew Hynes, Seanie Smith, James Reilly; Sean McKeogh (0-2), Chris Prior (0-1), Michael Brady; Killian Brady, Kevin Fitzsimons; Jason Donohoe, Paddy Brady, Tomas Nannery; Enda O'Reilly (0-3, 1f), Philip Brady, Paul Brady (2-2). Subs: Raymond Lynch for Paddy Brady (33mins), Daniel Smith for C Prior (43), Damien McArdle for K Fitzsimons (50), Tadgh McGahern for J Donohoe (54), Peter Paul Galligan for T Nannery (58).
Ref: Kieran McCarville (Cootehill Celtic)