Brilliant Glen roar back to defeat Errigal Ciaran and set up Cargin semi-final
Ulster Senior Club Championship Quarter-Final
Glen 3-10, Errigal Ciaran 1-12
There had been suggestions Glen got it too easy in the Derry championship but any questions over their suitability for a tilt at a first Ulster senior title were dispelled after a superb second half saw the Maghera men over come Errigal Ciaran in a titanic clash in Celtic Park.
Malachy O'Rourke's men set aside a disappointing opening half which saw them trail by four at half-time to roar back and outscore the Tyrone champions by 1-09 to 0-04 in the second period, Ethan Doherty 36th minute goal the catalyst for an inspired comeback.
A manger earns his corn during those precious half-time minutes and whatever O'Rourke said to his players had the desired impact. With Conor Glass and Emmet Bradley emerging to totally dominate the middle third and his defence closing off the previously dangerous inside duo of Darragh and Ruairi Canavan. Glen took over kick-outs at both ends of the pitch with primary possession allowing Glen to dictate on their terms.
The 46th minute introduction of Stevie O'Hara then proved the extra spark Glen needed. A brilliant Emmet Bradley score and and Danny Tallon free inside two minutes had edged the Derry champions ahead at 3-07 to 1-11 and when Errigan tried to respond with a free from the excellent Tommy Canavan, O'Hara found two superb scores to keep his side in the driving seat.
Yet there was still time for drama as Errigal had the ball in the back of the Glen net as the clock ticked into injury time. Ruairi Canavan's initial thunderbolt came back off the Glen crossbar before Eoin Kelly appeared to bundle the ball over the line in the chaos that followed. Tyrone joy was short lived however as referee Paul Faloon disallowed the potential lifeline for a square ball and Glen were in the last four.
Malachy O'Rourke sprung something of a surprise by starting Conor Gallagher, possibly with one eye on the threat posed by the Canavan brothers, Darragh and Ruairi highlighted their ability two points apiece in an opening half in which the Tyrone men held the upper hand.
An exciting goal laden opening 15 minutes gradually morphed into an half in which Glen were guilty of carry the ball in contact too often and paid the price for some needless turnovers. Perhaps the early goals for Conor Convery and Alex Doherty had persuaded the Maghera men that the route to Errigal's goal was an easy one but too often they passed up an opportunity to shoot in favour or trying to work the ball through a massed Errigal defence.
That played into Errigal hands and with Ruairi and Darragh Canavan waiting at the top end of the Errigal attacking spear for any quick turnovers, the Tyrone men full deserved their 1-08 to 2-0 half-time lead.
Glen responding with a second goal of their own three minutes later when Ethan Doherty sent his brother Alex away to sidestep McAnenly and fire home from close range for 2-0 to 1-01. From there though, Errigal took over as Mark Kavanagh, Peter Og McCartan (2), Tommy Canavan, Darragh Canavan (2) and Ruairi Canavan all pointed, Errigal finishing the half with five different scorers to Glen's three and leading 1-08 to 2-1.
Whatever was said by Malachy O'Rourke at half-time, it sparked a very different Glen performance in the second period. With intensity levels suitably raised, Errigal's four point lead had been wiped out inside the opening quarter, O'Hara's introduction capping a superb Glen fightback and a fully deserved victory.
Glen scorers: Alex Doherty (1-0), Ethan Doherty (1-0), Conor Convery (1-0), Danny Tallon (0-2, 1f), Emmet Bradley (0-2),Stevie O'Hara (0-2), Conleth McGuckin (0-1), Jack Doherty (0-1), Conor Glass (0-1, 1 '45'), Conor Carville (0-1),
Errigal Ciaran scorers: Tommy Canavan (1-4, 3f), Darragh Canavan (0-3), Mark Kavanagh (0-1), Peter Og McCartan (0-2), Ruairi Canavan (0-2)
Glen: Connlann Bradley, Cathal Mulholland, Ryan Dougan, Conor Carville, Alex Doherty, Michael Warnock, Eunan Mulholland, Conor Glass, Emmett Bradley, Ethan Doherty, Jack Doherty, Conor Convery, Conor Gallagher, Danny Tallon, Conleth McGuckian. (Subs) Tiarnan Flanagan for C Gallagher, HT; Stevie O'Hara for C Convery, 46mins; Adam McGonigle for A Doherty, 61mins;
Errigal Ciaran: Darragh McAnenly, Ciaran Quinn, Aidan McCrory, Dermot Morrow, Cormac Quinn, Niall Kelly, Peter Og McCartan, Ruairi Canavan, Peter Harte, Ben McDonnell, Tommy Canavan, Padraig McGirr, Mark Kavanagh, Darragh Canavan, Joe Oguz. (Subs) Cathal Corrigan for P McGirr, 43mins; Peter O'Hanlon for D Morrow, 43mins; Eoin Kelly for M Kavanagh, 48mins; Odhran Robinson for C Quinn, 60mins;
Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)