Errigal Ciaran 2-12
DUNGANNON have qualified for the Tyrone Senior Championship final for the first time since 1986 with an astonishing extra-time victory over Errigal Ciaran at Healy Park tonight.
Ciaran Barker converted a 45 with the last kick of the game to send the Dungannon fans into raptures – while Errigal Ciaran were left scratching their heads at how exactly they conspired to relinquish a three-point lead in the second period of extra-time.
Both teams started cagily, but Errigal Ciaran made their first serious move early in the second-half as Odhran Robinson scored a coolly taken goal to leave it 1-6 to 0-7.
The Clarkes kept hanging in there, however, with points from Patrick Molloy and Paul Donaghy, but Errigal, who were bidding for their third final appearance in four years, kept them at arm’s length with points of their own.
A physically powerful Dungannon dominated proceedings in the final quarter, however, and only for some poor shooting probably should have won the game in normal time.
Still though, they managed to strike the final three points (through Donaghy and impressive substitutes Patrick Quinn and Kiefer Morgan) to send the game into extra-time.
Dungannon had a goal ruled out for square ball early in extra-time, and both teams went score-for-score in a match that was broadcast live on RTE 2.
The Clarkes edged into the lead on a couple of occasions, but sublime efforts from Peter Harte and Ronan McRory kept Errigal right in it, and what looked like the killer blow came at the end of the opening period of extra-time when Ciaran McGinley blasted the ball to the net.
That gave Errigal a 2-12 to 0-15 lead with only ten minutes to play, but Dungannon refused to give up and fought back with points from that man Donaghy and Kevin Barker, leaving it level with just a handful of minutes to play.
Dungannon got their chance with a late 45, and Ciaran Barker’s effort clipped the right side of the bar for a stunning winner in what was one of the most memorable games of football imaginable.
Buy Monday’s Tyrone Herald for an extensive match report and reaction from the Dungannon camp