Antrim champions St Teresa’s had one hand on the Ulster Club Junior Football Championship title at Pairc Esler, Newry yesterday only to be foiled by a last-gasp Daniel McMahon point that gave Monaghan title-holders Emyvale the right to fight another day.
Ahead by 2-2 to 0-5 at the half-way stage, their goals coming from midfielder Patrick J McMahon and left-full-forward Robbie McHugh, Emyvale looked to have taken a firm grip on the game but the west Belfast side, inspired by man of the match Philip Maguire who was outstanding as an elegant creative force throughout at centrethreequarters, stepped up the tempo after the break.
With Joe Rainey and Eamon Doherty more prominent at in midfield and Maguire’s artistic touches helping to unleash the finishing skills of Robert Gallagher and Paul McGoldrick in particular, St Teresa’s levelled matters at 2-5 to 1-8, their goal coming courtesy of a lapse by Emyvale full-back Shane McKenna.
Both teams were reduced to fourteen players when Brendan Askin (Emyvale) and Patrick Dougan (St Teresa’s) were dismissed but in a tingling finish, the Monaghan side pressurised the Antrim champions’ defence that forced a free from which McMahon took a pass to whip over a superb equalising point to send the contest into a replay.
St Teresa’s scorers: P McGoldrick (0-3), R Gallagher (0-2), S McKenna (1-0, o.g.), J Rainey (0-2), C McGoldrick, E Doherty (0-1 each). Emyvale scorers: R McHugh (1-1), P J McKenna (1-0), M McAree, D McMahon (0-2 each), G McKernan (0-1).
Referee: Gavin Corrigan (Down).