Bundoran showed remarkable resilience to overcome Clann Eireann in the quarter-final of the Ulster Intermediate Club Championship after extra-time in Ballyshannon.
CLANN EIREANN 1-9
James Keaney was inspirational in extra-time after Bundoran had let a three point lead slip in the closing minutes of normal time.
The Seasiders were ragged in that period and they lost midfielder Peter McGonigle to a red card (yellow and black) and were on the verge of being knocked out.
But they regrouped well in extra-time with Christy Keaney hitting two great points in the first period while his older brother, James, was magnificent at the back, blocking and breaking out.
Christy Keaney’s two points; he also won a free for Gary Clancy to point and those along with another great effort from substitute Fergal McKiernan had Brian Gavigan’s side back in control, 0-13 to 1-7 at the end of the first period of extra time.
They only managed a Darragh Hoey point in the second period and were holding on again as Clann Eireann came back at them. The experienced Shane McGowan lost possession twice and Gary Clancy made a goalline save to deny a certain goal. Indeed, Clancy was one of many Bundoran heroes with the McCaughey brothers immense, Paul Brennan and Tommy Hourihane playing a captain’s role.
POOR OPENING HALF
The first half was very stop-start with referee Sean Laverty whistling for 35 frees in the 32 minutes played. Indeed his tally overall was 82 for the 80+ plus minutes played, a staggering statistic in what was not a dirty game.
Bundoran played without a sweeper and at times looked vulnerable at the back. Scores were few and far between with Clann Eireann, in particular, stopping Bundoran before the crossed the half-way line.
Christy Keaney had a goal chance after just 55 seconds when he cut in around the full-back. The ball broke free but Keaney got to it and his effort was almost in, but ‘keeper Kieran McKerr, made a fantastic save to push it around the post for a ‘45’.
Bundoran did get the lead after eight minutes but there was some luck attacked. They were given a free as a Clann Eireann player was blown for overcarrying, but he had been fouled. The Armagh played showed dissent and the ball was moved on and Gary Clancy availed of the help of the 13m to find the range.
The Bundoran defence was caught out badly on 11 minutes when a quick sideline found Ryan Henderson inside his man. He fumbled initially but then found James McDaid powering through off his shoulder and he fired past Johnny Keenan.
It could have got worse on 15 minutes as Johnny Boyle gave the ball away and it looked as if Clann Eireann were in but James Keaney, somehow, got back to slide it out for a ‘45’.
There were no further scores until the 24th minute when Tommy Hourihane pointed a free. The margin was back to the minimum on 29 minutes when Shane McGowan found Darragh Hoey, who hit a great point.
Barry Seeley replied, pointing a free after Peter McGonigle was yellow carded for a foul, but with the last kick of the half on 32 minutes, Tommy Hourihane won and pointed a free to leave it Bundoran 0-4, Clann Eireann 1-1.
Two Christy Keaney points as well as Tommy Hourihane free and a good finish from Diarmuid Spratt to a solitary Barry Seeley free, had Bundoran ahead by 0-8 to 1-2 by the 50th minute.
Seeley, the only Clann Eireann point scorer, kept his side in touch but it seemed as if Bundoran were home when Hourihane put them three clear again with just five minutes left.
But they imploded a little with Peter McGonigle hauling down James McDaid and he was shown black after getting yellow earlier. Seeley pointed the free and in the final minutes of normal time it was all Clann Eireann as Seeley converted another free and in added time, the same player punished after Barry McGowan was harshly turned over when he seemed to be fouled.
But in the sunshine, Bundoran somehow found a way in added time and can look forward to an Ulster semi-final in two weeks’ time against Glenavy of Antrim.
BUNDORAN: Johnny Keenan; Diarmuid McCaughey, James Keaney, Pauric Rooney; Paul Brennan, Shane McGowan, Johnny Boyle; Ciaran McCaughey, Peter McGonigle; Diarmuid Spratt (0-1), Gary Clancy (0-3,2f), Alan Russell; Tommy Hourihane (0-3,3f), Christy Keaney (0-4), Darragh Hoey (0-2). Subs., Niall Dunne for Russell 40; Barry McGowan for Spratt 57; Fergal McKiernan (0-1) for McGonigle extra-time; Gavin Croghan for C Keaney 78; Diarmuid Spratt for S Carr 80
CLANN EIREANN: Kieran McKerr; Barry McCambridge, Brendan McCarron, David McKiernan; Adam Kelly, Shea Heffron, Chris McCafferty; Mark Beattie, John Magee; James McDaid (1-0), Barry Seeley (0-9,8f), Paul McKenna; Ryan Henderson, Conor Bell, Declan Leathem. Subs., Daniel France for A Kelly 37; Johnny Torode for Magee 47; Michael Moore for McKiernan 50; Dan Brandley for McCarron 69; Jack Wilson for Torode 71; David McKiernan for S Heffron 80.
Frees: Bundoran 45 (17, 17, 9, 2) Clann Eireann 37 (18, 10, 7, 2)
Wides: Bundoran 10 (5, 3, 1, 1) Clann Eireann 9 (4, 4, 1, 0)
Yellows: Bundoran C McCaughey, P McGonigle, P Rooney, S Carr
Clannn Eireann: Shea Heffron, Brendan McCarron
Black: Bundoran Peter McGonigle. Red Bundoran Pete rMcGonigle
Referee: Sean Laverty (Antrim)
MAN OF THE MATCH
This was a straight fight between the Keaney brothers with veteran James outstanding in extra time and he gets the nod