The Derry lads looked set for a comfortable victory when they led by seven points early on. But despite having Sean Power sent off, Summerhill hit back and the Connacht champions were three points in front with normal time up.
Then Maghera won a penalty which Francis Kearney converted, before man-of-the-match Shane McGuigan took his personal haul to 1-8 with the winning point from a free deep into injury-time. Winning manager Paul Hughes was jubilant after a game that was played at a frantic pace.
“We said to the boys before the game that pride is something that is always associated with St Patrick’s and there was serious pride required to get over the finishing line there,” admitted Hughes.
“Summerhill may have had a man sent off but that actually changed the game in their favour because they upped the ante, they came at us in numbers hitting some tremendous scores and we were holding on at that stage.
“We got a couple of breaks and thankfully we just about did enough. There’s a great desire in the boys to get to a Hogan Cup final and we have made it.”
It was Maghera who made all the early running and by the 22nd minute they led 1-5 to 0-1 with McGuigan getting their goal and Paddy McCormack and Oisin McWilliams among the points.
A well-taken goal from the impressive Kyle Cawley got the Sligo lads back into contention and while Maghera had the final say of the half with points from McWilliams and McGuigan, at 1-8 to 1-4 it was all to play for in the second half.
Nathan Rooney and Kearney exchanged points on the restart before a McGuigan brace and one from McWilliams put the Derry lads further in front. In the 41st minute, Cathal Herron bagged a Summerhill goal and while they were reduced to 14 men shortly afterwards they now had the momentum.
Two minutes after the sending-off, Summerhill took the lead when Cawley converted a penalty at the second attempt after his first was saved by Sean Cassidy and the referee ordered a retake.
Maghera substitute Feargal Higgins levelled matters but Summerhill replied with points from Nathan Rooney (two) either side of one from Stephen Mulligan. Maghera were in trouble and sprung their captain Conor Glass from the bench, the midfielder unable to start due to sickness.
With a minute of normal time left to play, McGuigan was fouled for a penalty which Kearney converted and with extra time looking certain, McGuigan got the decisive score.
S McGuigan (1-8, 3f); F Kearney (1-1, 1-0 pen); O McWilliams (0-2); P McCormack, F Higgins, O McKeever (0-1 each),
K Cawley (2-2, 1-0 pen, 1 “45”); N Rooney (0-4, 3f); C Herron (1-2); P O’Connor, S Mulligan (0-1);
S Cassidy; O McKeever P Turner, C Mulholland; P McCormack, S Downey, C McAllister; P Kearney, J Doherty; D McPeake, P Quigg, O McWilliams; C Darragh, S McGuigan, F Kearney
F Higgins for Mulholland, P McLaughlin for McKeever, C Glass for McWilliams, M Mullan for Darragh
O Conway; C McGovern, A Cummins, B Cox; D O’Hara, S Power, S Mulligan; P O’Connor, K Banks; C Lally, C Herron, D Fallon; K Cawley, N Rooney, R Sweeney.
C Darcy for Sweeney, K Connell for Cummins, D Kilrehill for Cawley [BC)
N McKenna (Monaghan)