Killyclogher show their clinical edge to ramp up Ulster bid
Killyclogher 2-10 Cargin 1-08
Mark Bradley once again produced a superb performance as Killyclogher St Mary's took advantage of a disappointing Cargin display to book their place in the Ulster Club Championship semis, where they will face Derry champions Slaughtneil in Healy Park, Omagh.
The Tyrone champions had only eight days to prepare themselves for the Ulster campaign and repeated their customary nervous start to the game, clipping four shots wide to add to one that dropped short in the first nine minutes.
Such was the slow-burn nature of this humdrum affair that it wasn't until the 11th minute that the scoreboard was troubled, Cargin's Tomas McCann nailing a long-range free from a tight angle.
Their other free-taker, Kieran Close was able to add another from the dead ball a couple of minutes later, before a flash of genius in the next play.
A long ball in found Bradley in acres of space in front of the Town End goals with only Kevin O'Boyle for company. Bradley threw a shape and then lashed to the net across John McNabb's body to wrestle a lead that Killyclogher never surrendered.
Cargin were dealt another hammer blow four minutes later. The Antrim side were too indulgent of attack and the ball was turned over. A flowing hand-pass movement stretched the length of the pitch without a single glove being laid on a Killyclogher player.
Simon O'Neill put Conall McCann through on goal but he had the patience and coolness to edge closer and leave James Carlin with a simple palm to the net that gave them a comfortable cushion.
To their credit, Cargin clipped a couple of points back before half-time, but just on the whistle, O'Boyle and Bradley met in an innocuous challenge which left the former in a heap as he aggravated a troublesome injury and had to be withdrawn for Tony Scullion.
Their attacking game was also limited, with a series of high balls sent into Micheal Magill rendered ineffective by smart defending by captain Martin Swift.
The first 10 minutes of the second half yielded five Killyclogher points and from there they coasted home as Cargin's discipline deserted them.
Killyclogher manager Dom Corrigan said: "We'd a strong third quarter.
"We targeted that and we thought Cargin would come back at us and we certainly needed those scores because once they got that goal late on there was a glimmer of hope for them, but we closed them out fairly well.
"Some of our point-taking and score-taking has been excellent over the last number of games and thankfully it carried through as well."
A disappointed Cargin boss John Brennan stated: "Killyclogher were the much better team, they deserved their victory and I wish them good luck.
"But that was not a good Cargin performance. That was their worst performance in the two years I have been with them.
"They got one good break, young Bradley finished it off and it was a fantastic finish, you have to hand it to him. But that wasn't the one that hurt us. The second goal, we were on the attack, lost a simple ball and we didn't put in the work rate.
"We allowed them to have us caught out, two on one and tap to the net. The second goal was the killer."
So, Cargin are gone. Corrigan knows Slaughtneil are a much different proposition.
"Slaughtneil are one of the top teams in Ulster, there's no doubt about that," he said.
"We've a few casualties in there at the minute but we'll sort ourselves out and we'll dust ourselves down.
"I suppose what we've been doing all year has been just focusing on ourselves and getting the best out of ourselves and we know we face a massive challenge.
"But we're absolutely delighted to be there to face that challenge."
CARGIN: J McNabb; D McKeever, M Kane, K O'Boyle; R Devlin, J Crozier, J Laverty; G McCann, J Carron; K Close 0-2f, M McCann 0-1, P McCann 0-1; T McCann 0-4f, R McKernan 1-0, M Magill
Subs: T Scullion for O'Boyle (H-time), M Kelly for Magill (41), E McGroggan for Close (42), K McShane for Devlin (45), P McKeever for P McCann (53)
Yellow cards: Close (25), Devlin (31), Scullion (37, 56), Kane (46), G McCann (47), P McCann (50), P McKeever (59)
Black cards: Carron (56, replaced by D Johnston)
Red cards: Scullion (57)
KILLYCLOGHER: S Fox; M Swift, D Gorman, G Sludden; T McCann, E Bradley, G Wallace; S O'Neill 0-4, 2f, F Meenagh; A Kelly, C McCann 0-1, N Donnelly 0-1; M Bradley 1-3, 2f, J Carlin 1-1, E McFadden
Subs: T Flanagan for Carlin (34), C Donnelly for Bradley (42), T Cox for C McCann (52), D Leonard for Kelly (60)
Yellow cards: Bradley (17), Swift (42, 62), Meenagh (52)
Black cards: 0
Red cards: Swift (62)
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Crossmaglen)