Johnston’s goal helps Kilcoo to step up Ulster glory bid
Kilcoo 1-08 Scotstown 0-09
A sharper, more focused Kilcoo advanced to the quarter-finals at the expense of a wasteful Scotstown in this tough, hard-hitting encounter played in very difficult, wet and windy conditions in Clones yesterday.
Scotstown started well and registered the first two scores but once Kilcoo came to grips with the main Scotstown danger man up front, Darren Hughes, they took an increasing grip on proceedings with their astute support play and more accurate passing.
They also capitalised much better on broken play out around the middle of the field and with the prevailing conditions there was ample opportunities in that regard.
Kilcoo’s greater economy in their use of possession and the patient manner in which they carved out their scoring chances was in sharp contrast to Scotstown who fared well in the possession stakes but they committed too many errors and registered 13 wides over the sixty odd minutes, even in the first half as opposed to two in total by the Down champions.
Kilcoo led at half time by 0-5 to 0-4 having trailed by two after seven minutes but they then reeled off five points without reply to open a three points lead.
Scotstown ended a barren 21-minute spell with a point from a free by Shane Carey and Rory Beggan converted another free in stoppage time to leave the minimum in it at the break.
Scotstown levelled within a minute of the resumption through Shane Carey and the sides were level again five minutes later after an exchange of points but that was as good as it was to get for Scotstown.
Ultimately the game changer came in the seventh minute when Kilcoo substitute Ryan Johnston won possession, turned sharply and crashed to the Scotstown net for a lead they never subsequently relinquished.
They had the ball in the Scotstown net again in the 12th minute but the effort was ruled out for a square infringement.
Scotstown to their credit did everything they could to retrieve the situation but they just could not engineer the vital breakthrough with missed chances again their undoing although the Kilcoo defence was solid and stood the test.
In the end it finished badly for the Monaghan champions when they were reduced to 13 players in stoppage time.Francis Caulfield was dismissed on a second yellow card and sub Brian McGinnity on a straight red.
Kilcoo: N Kane, N McEvoy, D O’Hanlon, N Brannagan, D Brannagan, Aidan Brannagan, Aaron Brannagan 0-1, J McClean, JJ McLoughlin, C Doherty, A Morgan 0-1, D Kane 0-1 (f), M Devlin 0-2, P Devlin 0-3 (2f), C Laverty. Subs: R Johnston 1-0 for Aidan Brannagan (HT), D McEvoy for D Kane (57), F McGreevy for J McClean (57), C Laverty for C Doherty (59), G McEvoy for M Devlin (59).
Scotstown: R Beggan 0-1 (f), P Sherlock, M Duffy, D McArdle, F McPhillips, K Hughes, E Caulfield, F Caulfield, J Turley, R McKenna, D Morgan 0-1, S Mohan, O Heaphey, D Hughes 0-1, S Carey 0-6 (4f). Subs: P Keenan for F McPhillips (51),B McGinnity for O Heaphey (55), B Boylan for S Mohan (56).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).