DR. KERLIN CUP: Dungiven defeat Foreglen to make last four

Dungiven's Ryan McElhinney was in ex cellent form against Foreglen.
Dungiven's Ryan McElhinney was in ex cellent form against Foreglen.

Dr. Kerlin Cup Quarter-finals

Dungiven 2-14, Foreglen 2-09

This game was in doubt right up until throw-in last Friday evening as torrential rain of monsoon ferocity a couple of hours previously swamped O’Cahan Park.

However the rain stopped and the pitch was deemed just playable with play starting 15 minutes after the scheduled throw in time of 6.45pm.

Within seven minutes of the start, the visitors had posted four unanswered points from the accurate boot of Kevin O’Connor, all from placed balls as Dungiven conceded a succession of frees inside their own ‘45’ metre line.

Indeed, in the opening 20 minutes Foreglen dominated the midfield exchanges through Gavan McCormick and Eoghan Duffy, with Keelan O’Connor and Ruairi McFeely having the pace up front to unhinge Dungiven’s last line of defence.

However in the eigth minute Dungiven centre-back Liam Óg Hinphey launched a high kick from the half way line near the right side-line and the ball hit the ground and bounced over the advancing keeper to the far corner of the net.

The O’Brien’s reacted superbly with another pointed free in the 10th minute and then opened up the centre of the Dungiven defence as Ciaran McFeely played in Gavan McCormick to blast the ball to the roof of the net for 1-05 to 1-00.

Dungiven came back with a Ryan McElhinney point from an acute angle, Seamus Higgins then converting frees in the 13th and 15th minutes, either side of a Kevin O’Connor point.

Eight minutes from half time John Mullan put McElhinney through and he tied the score with a blistering shot to the roof of the net. Moments later Seamus Higgins put Dungiven in front for the first time, 2-04 to 1-06, O’Connor, Higgins and Mullan splitting the posts before Gavan McCormick netted a last minute penalty for 2-07 to 2-06 when Ruairi McFeely was fouled in the goalmouth.

Early in the second half, points from Sean O’Neill and Liam Óg Hinphey put Dungiven back in front, McElhinney extending the lead to 2-09 to 2-07 in the 38th minute.

Four minutes later O’Connor made it a one point game from a free but the momentum was with Dungiven as Higgins pointed a free and McElhinney added two more, the second from a free when Seamus Higgins was fouled 10 minutes from time.

Dungiven had to play the last 10 minutes with 14 players when Ciaran Mackle was forced to leave off injured and they had already used all six substitutes.

Still, after O’Connor landed a free substitute Fergal Irwin and Ryan McElhinney, from a free, pointed to close out the game.

Dungiven will now face Coleraine in the semi-final, Owen Roes having twice beaten already this season in the Ulster League (most recently in the final of that competition!).

Dungiven scorers: Ryan McElhinney 1-05 (1f), Liam Óg Hinphey 1-01, Seamus Higgins 0-05 (3f), Sean O’Neill, John Mullan and Fergal Irwin 0-01 each

Foreglen scorers; Kevin O’Connor 0-09 (6f) and Gavan McCormick 2-00, (1 pen).

Dungiven: Sean McNicholl; Ciaran Mackle, Paddy Kelly, Davie McLaughlin; Frank Dillon, Liam Óg Hinphey, Odhran McKeever; Sean O’Kane, Tomas Brady; Seamus Higgins, John Mullan, Conor Kelly; Mark Craig, Ryan McElhinney, Sean O’Neill

Aaron McCloskey for Frank Dillon; Fergal Higgins for Sean O’Kane; Fergal Irwin for Conor Kelly; Niall O’Neill for Sean O’Neill; Conor McElhinney for John Mullan; Pauric McNicholl for Liam Hinphey

Foreglen: Ryan Downey; Ruairi Duffy, Sean O’Connor, Conrad Sheerin; Liam O’Hara, James O’Kane, Cathal O’Hara; Eoghan Duffy, Gavan McCormick; Ciaran McFeely, Johnny O’Dwyer, Martin Farrell;

Ruairi McFeely, Kevin O’Connor, Keelan O’Connor

Adrian Armstrong for Ruairi McFeely; Pauric Sheerin for Conrad Sheerin; J Niall McConomy for John O’Dwyer; Sean Morahan for Gavan McCormick 55 mins

Referee: Peter O’Connor (Desertmartin).