Loughinisland are edged out by Hollymount
Loughinisland 0-10 - Hollymount-C 0-15
The twin forces of Hollymount-Carramore proved too potent a cocktail for Loughinisland to imbibe at Kingspan/Breffni Park as the Mournemen exited the race to land this year's All-Ireland Club IFC crown.
The Mayo and Connacht champions belied their lack of pedigree and tradition to win most of the battles and, more importantly, the war to seal a date with St Mary's Cahirciveen (Kerry) in the final on February 6.
The history-making westerners led from gun to tape and were well worth their five point victory even if Loughinisland did help them along their way by failing to convert three gilt-edged goal chances in the second half.
The wind-aided would-be winners attacked the town end of the ground in the first half but apart from the expertise of free-taker Darren Coen didn't offer a consistent threat early on.
Indeed, when star man Rory Mason cut Hollymount-Carramore's lead to just a single point, 0-5 to 0-4, with a delicious point after 23 minutes, Loughinisland found themselves in the box seat for the first time in the match.
Loughinisland were gung-ho on the restart and needed to kick on with the elements on their side but they never managed to sufficiently eat into their opponents' 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead.
Jerome Johnston's men still trailed by 0-7 to 0-11 when Hollymount-Carramore 'keeper Niall Campbell produced two great diving saves midway through the second half to deny Loughinisland sub Stefan Mason in quick succession.
The Loughinisland think-tank used all the cards at their disposal and the introduction of Gareth Johnston in the 48th minute gave the chasing team a greater presence and threat. In the 57th minute, Rory Mason looked set to all but erase his side's 0-9 to 0-13 deficit but his goal-bound shot was deflected over the black spot by Hollymount-Carramore Darren McHugh and that was that.
LOUGHINISLAND: K Gordon; R Nixon, P Megoran, M Cochrane; P Digney, C O'Toole, R Mason (0-5, 1f); D O'Toole, D Gordon; J McCarthy (0-1), R Stranney, J Flynn; A McClements (0-1), C Megoran (0-1), S O'Hare. Subs: S Mason (0-1) for S O'Hare (h-t); P McKenny (0-1)for R Stranney (35); S Cochrane for P Digney (45); G Johnston for D O'Toole (48); D McLaughlin for J McCarthy (55); C Killen for S Cochrane (59).
HOLLYMOUNT-CARRAMORE: N Campbell; R Connolly, D McHugh, D Feerick; P Feerick, B Sheridan, R Molloy; K McNamara (0-1), S Coen (0-1); K Feerick (0-3, 3f), I Costello (0-1, 1f), K Costello; C Keane (0-1), D Coen (0-8, 5f), D Costello. Subs: C Heneghan for C Keane (42); L Macken for R Connolly (53); B Maloney for I Costello (58).
Ref: Niall Ward (Westmeath)