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McGarrity stars as Rock have that little bit extra to lift cup for a third time

Rock 1-12 Blackhill 0-14

By Kevin Kelly

Published 28/11/2016

Tyrone champions Rock were pushed all the way but they dug deep and collected their third Ulster Junior title when they won 1-12 to 0-14 in an extra-time thriller against Blackhill at Pairc Esler in Newry yesterday afternoon.

Blackhill, the Monaghan champions, led 0-5 to 0-4 at the end of a fairly poor first period.

Rock midfielder Diarmuid Carroll opened the scoring with only 20 seconds on the clock but after James Daly, Dermot Daly and Aidan McGarrity all scored, there was just the minimum separating the two sides.

Blackhill ace Colin Woods turned sharply to open the second half scoring and leave two points between the sides but a Conor McCreesh brace brought Rock level once again before the same player knocked over a free as the Tyrone men got their noses in front at the end of the third quarter.

McCreesh scored again before Blackhill were reduced to 14 men when Hugh Byrne picked up a second yellow card.

Corner back Aaron Kenny reduced the deficit before midfielder Dermot Daly showed nerves of steel to land a challenging free with the last kick of regulation time to leave the scores 0-9 each and send the game into extra-time.

In the first minute of extra-time, McGarrity put Rock in front and just 60 seconds later he received a pass from McCreesh and drilled the ball low to the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Woods and Andrew Burns were quick to respond for the Monaghan men before influential Rock midfielder Carroll capped a surging run forward with a well-taken score.

McCreesh had the final say of the opening period from a free to give Tyrone champions Rock a 1-12 to 0-11 advantage.

Blackhill, however, weren't finished yet as Woods and wing half back Tommy Geehan closed the gap before midfielder Anthony Courtney made it a one-point game.

Rock were holding on and it took an outstanding block from former Tyrone star Ciaran Gourley to prevent Blackhill from forcing a replay.

Blackhill's Woods was handed a straight red in injury time and Rock held on to clinch their third title at this level.

Rock scorers: A McGarrity 1-5, C McCreesh 0-5, D Carroll 0-2

Blackhill scorers: C Woods 0-5, J Daly 0-2, D Daly 0-2, A Kenny 0-1, T Geehan 0-1, A Courtney 0-1, H Byrne 0-1, A Burns 0-1

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