Warnock wins it for Glen against Ballinderry

Michael Warnock was the Glen match winner against Ballinderry Shamrocks at Owenbeg on Saturday evening.
Michael Warnock was the Glen match winner against Ballinderry Shamrocks at Owenbeg on Saturday evening.

O'Neill's Derry Senior Football Championship

Glen 1-15, Ballinderry 0-17

It might have been low key at times but Michael Warnock's injury time point provided the dramatic finale that carried Glen to the O'Neill's Derry Senior Football Championship semi-final at the expense of Ballinderry Shamrocks.

The victory comes at the end of a difficult week for everyone associated with the Glen club after the tragic death of Daniel Bradley on Thursday and the somewhat muted atmosphere in Owenbeg - despite a crowd of 3,400 - was totally understandable.

It was a game that never really got going until the final quarter, Danny Tallon's wonderful solo goal paving the way for Glen to first secure the ascendancy before relinquishing it and having to win it all over again with Warnock's late effort in the TEN minutes of injury time.

But if that final match defining momentum switch had a defining moment it was provided in the build up to Warnock's winner as Ryan Dougan rose above a crowd to players to pluck a Ballinderry kick-out from the sky and send his team mate away to win the game.

Emmett Bradley was the Glen driving force in those closing minutes but Ballinderry still had time to force a replay. Stephen O'Hara was forced to haul down Dillon Fitzpatrick as Glen clung on desperately to their one point lead. The black card that followed wasn't the worry for Glen but Conleth Gilligan stepping up for the free was.

Almost 50m out, it was a big ask, even for such a brilliant free taker as Gilligan. He couldn't manage it, dropping his effort just short and Glen scrambled the ball away to secure the victory.

Nasty injuries to Cathal Mulholland (shoulder) and Daniel McKinless (ankle) necessitated the added time but it wasn't until Tallon's 43rd minute goal that there was any hint of one side taking control.

Indeed Tallon seemed to be looking to off load possession as he weaved his way forward up the right side, under the main stand, but with no one offering themselves, Tallon kept weaving and found himself in on goal, finishing with a lovely low shot inside the keeper's near post.

The goal formed part of a 1-02 burst inside 90 seconds that took the Maghera men from a point down to four up but Ballinderry were far from finished.

A tit-for-tat first half had seen them go into the interval two points ahead after late scores from Gilligan and a sublime outside of the right boot effort from Ryan Bell. It was the only time more than one point had separated the sides.

Suddenly trailing by four in such a tight game may have unsettled less experienced sides but not the Shamrocks.

Gilligan and Oran McGill traded points before a run of unanswered scores from Dermot McGuckin, two from Bell (one a ridiculous effort from the right hand touchline!) and two from Gilligan put them back in the driving seat. At that point it looked like Glen had run out of steam.

They hadn't and when they needed inspiration, Emmett Bradley provided it.

The Derry player consistently drove at the heart of the Ballinderry backline, one run setting up Conor Convery for the equalising point, another setting up Jack Doherty for a goal chance his should have taken rather than striking the upright.

He needn't have worried though. Dougan's majestic catch supplied the platform and unsung hero Warnock provided the finish to ensure victory at the end of an difficult week.

Balinderry scorers: Conleith Gilligan (0-7, 4f), Aaron Mullan (0-1), Darren Lawn (0-1), Ryan Bell (0-4), Raymond Wilkinson (0-1); C Mallaghan (0-1), Daniel McKinless (0-1), Dermot McGuckin (0-1)

Glen scorers: Danny Tallon (1-2), Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Michael Warnock (0-4), Emmett Bradley (0-6, 4f), Oran McGill (0-1), Conor Convery (0-1)

Ballinderry Shamrocks: Ben McKinless; Daniel Bateson, Kevin McGuckin, Declan Bell; Darren Lawn, Dillon Fitzpatrick, Raymond Wilson; Conor Nevin, Ryan Bell; Oisin Duffin, Daniel McKinless, Matt Quinn; Conleith Gilligan, Raymond Wilkinson, Aaron Mullan.

(Subs) Caolan Mallaghan for R Wilkinson, 36mins; Dermot McGuckin for A Mullan, 37mins; Eoin Devlin for M Quinn, 43mins; Eamonn Wilson for R Wilson, 49mins; James Conway for D McKinless (inj), 54mins; Michael McIver for D Bateson, 62mins;

Wides: First Half -4; Second Half - 3

Yellow cards: Raymond Wilson, 48mins;

Glen: Callum Mullan-Young; Oran McGill, Ryan Dougan, Oisin Hegarty; Cathal Mulholland, Connor Carville, Philip O'Connell; Conor McDevitt, Ciaran McFaul; Cahir McCabe, Emmett Bradley; Michael Warnock, Danny Scallon, Stephen O'Hara, Jack Doherty.

(Subs) Tiarnan Flanagan for C Mulholland (inj), 7mins; Conor Convery for J Crozier, 37mins; Declan McCusker for P O'Connell, 57mins; Ryan Winton for T Flanagan, 61mins; Connlan Bradley for S O'Hara, 67mins;

Wides: 3/2

Yellow cards: Tiarnan Flanagan (30 mins).

Black Cards: Stephen O'Hara,67mins (replaced by Connlan Bradley).

Referee: Dan Mullan (Glenullin)