Carrickmore are through to their first senior championship final since 2014 after coming through a tough battled with Clonoe at Plunkett Park in Pomeroy on Sunday afternoon.
The St.Colmcilles were full value for their win but as expected they were made to work hard for it against a dogged Rahillys side. The winners kicked ten wides over the course of the sixty odd minutes and no doubt that is an area that they will be keen to address ahead of the decider. Man of the match was Lorcan McGarrity who kicked half a dozen points for the winners in a good all round team display with team Captain Rory Donnelly to the fore as well.
It was Clonoe though who were quickest out of the traps with Connor McAliskey opening the scoring from a 40 m free before Shea Coney doubled their advantage with an excellent effort in the 8th minute. A Martin Penrose free got Carrickmore up and running before McGarrity levelled matters in the 10th minute from a mark after am outstanding diagonal pass from midfielder Jonny Munroe. McGarrity then converted a free before Donnelly got forward to take a good score from play.
McGarrity was causing the Clonoe defence plenty of problems and he split the posts again in the 23rd minute. The rest of the first half though belonged to Clonoe as they played their way back into contention. Stephen McNulty punished a foul on McAliskey by converting the resulting free before midfielder Declan McClure kicked an outstanding point with his weaker left foot. With the last kick of the half Clonoe levelled matters with a brilliant effort from distance from Paul Coney to leave it 0-5 apiece at the short whistle.
McGarrity opened the second half scoring from a free before that was followed by another superb score from distance from Captain Donnelly. The St.Colmcilles now had the bit between their teeth and Danny Fullerton hit a point with his first touch since coming on. Clonoe looked to be in troubled but they rallied again with McAliskey knocking over a quality “45” before substitute Danny McNulty laid the ball out for his brother Stephen to hit an outstanding score to reduce the deficit to the minimum at the end of the third quarter.
McGarrity scored another free before Carrickmore lost defender Seamus Sweeney to a black card. Substitute Aidan Fullerton then left three between the sides again but another McAliskey “45” kept it still in the melting pot. Carrickmore though weren’t to be denied their place in the decider and deep into injury time a long ball forward from Donnelly picked out McGarrity who cut in from the left wing to confidently split the posts to bring the scoring to an end.