Tallon stars as Glen edge out Cargin to set up Kilcoo Ulster final
Ulster Senior Football Club Championship semi-final
Glen 1-10, Cargin 0-08.
Semi-finals are for winning and classic or not, Glen are in their first Ulster Senior Football Club Championship final.
Danny Tallon's penalty with the last kick of the game, three minutes into injury time, finally put pay to a Cargin team that were supposed to be cannon fodder but as Eamonn Coleman famously told journalists, 'Youse boys know nothing about football!'
The Antrim champions matched Glen for most of a game but the Derry champions greater cutting edge eventually took the Watty's over the line and into a rematch with reigning all Ireland champions Kilcoo who defeated the Derry club after extra-time in last season's Ulster semi-final.
Malachy O'Rourke's men were never at their best in a game that failed to fully catch fire but when the game was in the melting pot, Glen had the class and Tallon's 1-04 was definitive.
Trailing 0-10 to 0-08 as the match moved into injury time, the Antrim men were throwing the kitchen sink at Glen when Conor Glass broke down the right and released Conleth McGuckian whose pace completely opened up an understaff Cargin rear guard. McGuckian's pass released substitute Stevie O'Hara but before he could think about getting his shot away he was met full-on by the considerable force of Cargin keeper John McNabb.
A penalty was the only outcome and up stepped Tallon. A point would probably have done it but Tallon made double sure by firing low to the keeper's right and Glen could finally breathe easily.
Turning around 0-5 to 0-4 up, Glen never quite managed to put sufficient daylight between the teams, Emmett Bradley showing brilliant character to shrug off three wides and hit two crucial frees at critical stages of the game. Cargin were always in the game but without ever looking to have enough to overhaul Glen but they did make a mockery of pre-match predictions which had written them off.
Glen named one change from the side that started against Errigal Ciaran, Tiarnan Flanagan coming in to start with Conor Gallagher dropping to the bench. There was a further enforced change for the Derry champions only 10 minutes in when Eunan Mulholland was forced off by injury to be replaced by Adam McGonigle.
And that early injury wasn't the only thing that failed to go to plan for Watty Grahams in the opening half as Cargin bossed possession and frustrated Glen in the opening half hour. Whether or not it was the added fuel of those derogatory pre-match predictions, the Antrim champions were determined to show they were not in Healy Park to make up the numbers and would have been delighted to turn around at only 0-5 to 0-4 behind having won the toss and opted to play against the breeze in the first half.
Even when Glen forced Cargin to kick long, the likes of John McCarron and Gerard and Michael McCann were winning plenty of primary ball which allowed the Saffrons to dictate the pace of a first half which suited Cargin more than Glen.
Despite not scoring from play in the first half, Glen contained Glen whose build up play was often too slow to put Cargin on the back foot. Ryan Dougan did have one gilt edged 23rd minute goal chance when sent clear by a exquisite Jack Doherty pass. Dougan advance in off the right touchline but found Cargin keeper John McNabb too big an obstacle to pass.
Danny Tallon and Conor Glass shared two points apiece and with Michael Warnock chipped in with one lovely effort but Glen will have been disappointed with a half in which they hit six wides and failed to unsettle Cargin. Six wide In contrast, despite only scoring frees from Tomas McCann (2), Pat Shivers and keeper McNabb, Cargin would have been much the happier going into the break.
Glen looked sharper second half and should have hit the net three minutes in when Ethan and Jack Doherty combined to released brother Alex but he pulled his right footed shot wide at the near post.
Three times Cargin got the game back to one point but each time they did, Glen calmed the pace and found a response with Tallon's late clincher just about deserved. It wasn't pretty but people don't remember pretty semi-finals. They remember victories.
Glen scorers: Danny Tallon (1-4, 1pen, 2f), Conor Glass (0-2), Michael Warnock (0-1), Alex Doherty (0-1), Emmet Bradley (0-2, 2f),
Cargin scorers: Tomas McCann (0-2, 2f), John McNabb (0-1, 1f), Pat Shivers (0-2, 1f, 1m), Ciaran Bradley (0-1), Paul McCann (0-1),
Glen: Conlann Bradley, Catahl Mulholland, Ryan Dougan, Conor Carville, Tiarnan Flanagan, Michael Warnock, Eunan Mulholland, Conor Glass, Emmet Bradley, Ethan Doherty, Jack Doherty, Conor Convery, Alex Doherty, Danny Tallon, Conleth McGuckian. (Subs) Adam McGonigle for E Mulholland (inj), 10mins; Stevie O'Hara for C Convery (inj), 33mins; Cathair McCabe for A McGonigle, 49mins;
Cargin: John McNabb, Kevin O'Boyle, Kevin McShane, Cahir Donnelly, Justin Crozier, James Laverty, Sean O'Neill, John Carron, Gerard McCann, Mark Kelly, Jamie Gribbin, Paul McCann, Michael McCann, Pat Shivers, Tomas McCann. (Subs) Ciaran Bradley for G McCann, 46mins; Ronan Gribbin for J Crozier, 55mins; Kieran Close for J Gribbin, 55mins; Eunan Quinn for P McCann, 60mins;
Yellow Cards: P McCann, 3mins; M McCann, 60mins;
Referee: Kieran Eannetta (Tyrone)