Grieve is spot on to complete Dungiven comeback triumph
Dungiven staged a sensational comeback from 0-07 to 0-01 down after twenty minutes to win an absorbing game by the tightest margin — 1-08 to 0-10.
They trailed 0-07 to 0-03 at half-time, but should have been level at least at this stage. Having spurned a number of chances, they took control in the second period, with Paul Murphy dominant at midfield.
Cathal Grieve pointed a free after three minutes, but Glenullin then reeled off seven unanswered points, Dermot O’Kane starting the onslaught with the equaliser after four minutes.
Gerard O’Kane put the Mitchel’s ahead, Paddy Bradley with a superb fifty-metre free, Ruairi Boylan, Eoin Bradley and Boylan with a terrific point from distance with 0-02 putting them in control after sixteen minutes.
Dungiven did rally in the last ten minutes of the half, but a missed goal chance by Mark Craig in the 23rd minute meant that the Mitchel’s led 0-07 to 0-03 at the break.
By the 39th minute Dungiven had levelled at 0-09 each through a Grieve free, Eoin Bradley edging Glenullin back in front.
Then came the turning point of the game, Grieve blasting a penalty into the net after he’d been hauled down in the goalmouth in the 43rd minute.
The Dungiven defence held firm in the final quarter, Eoin Bradley coming close in the closing stages with two rasping ground shots that skimmed the base of the post.
Points in added time from Johnny McBride and Paul McFlynn from a free gave Loup a dramatic two-point win in a game that ended in an unseemly fracas after the final whistle.
The opening quarter of the game saw the sides trade points for 0-03 each, Eoghan Brown with a ‘45’ opening the scoring in the first minute.
Paul McVey put Loup 0-04 to 0-03 ahead, but Ciaran Glackin then landed two frees for 0-05 to 0-04 as the game headed towards the nine minutes of added time.
Then Shane McFlynn kept the ball in play on the end line, palming it back to Benny McVey who flicked it to the net.
At half-time Loup had a 1-07 to 0-07 lead, Conor Doherty converting a late free for the Tones.
On the restart Paul McVey and Paul McFlynn extended the lead from frees, but Bellaghy fought back and a Francis Glackin point midway through the half cut the lead to 1-09 to 0-11.
Eoghan Brown then tied the scores, but the Tones were unable to take the lead and needed a Conor Doherty free in the last minute of normal time to tie the scores.
However McBride and then McFlynn, after Gareth Doherty was red carded, pointed to give Loup a place in the final, the serious incidents after the final whistle marring what had been a closely contested game.