27 May 2022

Dungiven progress after victory in Bellaghy

St Canice's will meet St Eunan's in the Ulster U21 Semi-Final

Dungiven progress after victory in Bellaghy

Dungiven celebrate their Derry U21 final win over Kilrea. (Pic: Mary K Burke)

St Canice's (Derry) 0-10

Enniskillen Gaels (Fermanagh) 2-02

Dungiven are making a habit of late interventions and another brace of stoppage time points from Feargal Higgins and Conor Kelly saw them defeat Enniskillen Gaels in a rain-soaked Bellaghy to reach the semi final of the Ulster U21 Paddy McLarnon Cup on Monday night.

Two early Cahir Higgins frees saw the Derry champions open up an early lead, but they were dealt a blow on 16 minutes when Conor Love reacted quickest to a breaking ball and fired low past Cahir Hasson to give Enniskillen the lead.

Dungiven then suffered a double whammy. First they lost midfielder Daire McKeever to a red card for his part unsavoury post-goal exchanges, and then Cahir Higgins saw his penalty superbly turned around the post by Gaels' goalkeeper Cian Newman.

Points from Richie Mullan and Fintan Murphy edged Dungiven in front before the break and Feargal Higgins opened it to two points at the beginning of the second half, but Enniskillen replied strongly.

Fermanagh senior panellist Johnny Cassidy swung over a beauty in response and a 35th minute Eoin Beacom point levelled matters before Enniskillen took the lead.

John Rehill burrowed his way along the touchline and squared for Paddy Cassidy to fist home in front of Cahir Hasson and open a three-point gap.

Dungiven though were nonplussed and a brace of Richie Mullan frees either side of Cahir Higgins' 39th minute free saw the deficit eradicated and with extra time looming, St Canice's found a winner.

Feargal Higgins collected the ball in the full-forward line, held off his marker and squeezed over a right-footed effort on 60 minutes almost from the end line.

Conor Kelly then fired over the insurance point on the stroke of the final whistle and ensured Dungiven’s progress to an intriguing semi-final meeting with St Eunan’s of Letterkenny.

ST CANICE’S: Cahir Hasson, Eoin McKeever, Thomas McClarey, Niall McNicholl, Darragh McGilligan, Sean McKeever, Conor McKelvey, Feargal Higgins (0-02), Daire McKeever, Pauric McNicholl, Richie Mullan (0-03f), John Mullan, Fintan Murphy (0-01), Conor Kelly (0-01), Cahir Higgins (0-03f).

SUBS: Odhran McKeever for Darragh McGiilgan (53), Seamus Higgins for Cahir Higgins (54)

RED CARDS: Daire McKeever (18)

ENNISKILLEN GAELS: Cian Newman, Josh Horan, Aaron Nolan, Paddy Cassidy (1-00), Ryan McDonnell, Johnny Cassidy (0-01), Ronan Beattie, Eoin Beacom (0-01), Brandon Horan, Timmy Boyd, Conal Quinn, John Rehill, Conor Love (1-00), Conor Murphy, Matthew Dixon.

SUBS: Matthew McAleer for Matthew Dixon (45), James O’Donnell for Timmy Boyd (51).

YELLOW CARDS: Aaron Nolan (23), Matthew Dixon (33), Eoin Beacom (61)

REFEREE: Eamonn McAuley (Antrim)

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