Limavady Wolfhounds into Ulster Junior Final

Derry champions Limavady Wolfhounds are through to the Ulster Junior final after defeating Aghadrumsee of Fermanagh.
Derry champions Limavady Wolfhounds are through to the Ulster Junior final after defeating Aghadrumsee of Fermanagh.

Ulster Junior Football Championship Semi-Final

Limavady Wolfhounds 1-13, Aghadrumsee 1-09

Brandon O'Brien was the goal scoring hero as Limavady Wolfhounds hit an unanswered 1-05 in the final 15 minutes of Sunday's semi-final to set up an Ulster Junior Championship final meeting with Red Hughs of Donegal.

The Derry champions were forced to dig deep after falling behind early in the game to Dale Crudden's fisted goal and only regained the lead in the final minute through Richard King before O'Brien's brilliant insurance goal.

Gathering a pass from Ruairi Hassan in injury time the young forward looked to have ice in his veins as advanced and finished superbly, low under Peter Phair to send the Limavady fans in the Healy Park stands into euphoria.

O'Brien had cut an frustrated figure after failing to get on the pitch in the in the Derry county final but his attitude typifies the camaraderie running through this Wolfhounds team. He was named a substitute for the Ulster Quarter-final but emerged to score a superb second half goal against Teconnaught at Owenbeg and was at it again in Healy Park.

The celebrations illustrated perfectly what the victory meant to Dominic Woods, his players and the supporters but they will go into the final as underdogs against a Red Hughs side that accounted for Emyvale with some style.

Limavady started well, Ruairi Hassan dispelling the notion of any nerves with a point inside 20 seconds but while the Wolfhounds enjoyed plenty of first half possession, six wides told the tale of a wasteful opening 30 minutes.

Contrast to that was an efficient Agahadrumsee outfit who hit 1-06 off 11 shots, one dropping short and only one wide during the same period.

Despite wearing No. 14 on his back, Darren Kearns was positioned at midfield and helped give the Fermanagh champions a grip of that area during a first half in which Limavady couldn't get Callum Brown into areas where he could hurt the opposition.

He was obviously the man Agahdrumsee had ear marked for special attention but too often the Derry under 20 star was a deep lying spectator to Wolfhound attacks in which Cormac Quigley took time to grow into the game but looked capable of opening the Fermanagh back line.

At the other end of the pitch, that 'danger man' tag sat comfortably on the shoulder of former county player Eddie Courtney who grabbed two first half points and knitted together his side's attacking play.

Courtney got his side's first point and within 30 seconds Fergal Sherry's long ball had tempted Oran Hartin to leave his line and Crudden nipped in ahead to punch Aghadrumsee into a lead they would lose until King's free on 59 minutes.

Oisin Hassan and Shaun McManus swapped points before Courtney and Ruairi Hassan did likewise, the Fermanagh side always able to respond in a first half during which they were the better team.

A 24th minute black card for Stephen Flynn disrupted Agahdrumsee's rhythm somewhat but they fully deserved their 1-06 to 0-07 half-time lead.

The second half was a different matter.

King got Limavady motoring within seconds of the restart but Agahadrumsee showed they would not be going lightly with a couple of Courtney scores. Indeed the former Fermanagh county man hit three second half wides during a period in which Aghadrumsee could have got away from Limavady.

They didn't and Thomas O'Hara's 45th minute free would be their last score as Limavady threw off the shackles and started showing Ulster exactly what Junior teams in Derry have been seeing all season.

Eugene O'Kane and King from a '45' brought Limavady back to 0-10 to 1-09 as Aghadrumsee suffered a second black card with Aidan Bannon, who had only came on the the first half, this time the recipient.

Ruairi Hassan grabbed a brilliant score before Conor Boyd nearly took the roof off Healy Park with the equaliser at 0-12 to 1-09.

The momentum was all Limavady's and there would be no stopping the Wolfhounds. King, who was excellent throughout, edged them in front and before a tiring Aghadrumsee side could gather themselves, O'Brien had extinguished their hopes completely to ensure the the Wolfhounds dream season keeps running.

Limavady Wolfhounds scorers: Brandon O'Brien (1-0), Ruairi Hassan (0-3, 1f), Oisin Hassan (0-1), Richard King (0-5, 2f, 1 forty-five), Cormac Quigley (0-3, 1f), Eugene O'Kane (0-1)

Aghadrumsee scorers: Dale Crudden (1-0), Eddie Courtney (0-4, 1f), Shaun McManus (0-1), Darren Kearns (0-1), Stephen Flynn (0-1, 1f), Dale Crudden (0-1), Thomas O'Hara (0-1)

Limavady Wolfhounds: Oran Hartin; Jamie McLaughlin, Manus Quigley, Harry McLaughlin; Kieran McGlinchey, Conor Boyd, Aaron McGregor; Sheagh McLaughlin, Callum Brown; Eugene O'Kane, Richard King, Ruairi O'Kane; Oisin Hassan, Cormac Quigley, Ruairi Hassan.

(Subs) Jack Deery for A McGregor (inj), HT; Brandon O'Brien for R O'Kane, 42mins; Harry Butcher for O Hassan, 51mins; Conor Forrest for O Hassan, 57mins; Eoighan Rogers for E O'Kane, 60mins.

Yellow Cards; Aaron McGregor, 28mins;

Black Cards: Eugene O'Kane, 60mins

Aghadrumsee: Peter Phair, Martin Flanagan, Noel Beggan, Domhnall Boyle; Mark Leonard, Eugene Kearns, Paul Boyle; Shaun McManus, Fergal Sherry; Thomas O'Hara, Eddie Courtney, Stephen Flynn; Dale Crudden, Darren Kearns, Aidan Flanagan.

(Substitutes) Aidan Bannon for S Flynn (Black card) 24mins; Ciaran Flynn for A Flanagan, 42mins; Aidan Little for A Bannon (Black Card), 50mins; Thomas Crudden for E Keanrs (Black Card), 60mins.

Black Cards: S Flynn, 24mins; A Bannon, 50mins; Eugene Kearns, 60mins

Referee: Kevin Faloon (Armagh)