Kilcoo cruise ends Maghery's odyssey

Kilcoo (Down) 4-13 Maghery (Armagh) 0-12: It was far easier than they expected, and Kilcoo impressive enough yesterday to suggest they’re going to take a lot of stopping in the Ulster Club SFC final.

Kilcoo cruise ends Maghery's odyssey

The five-in-a-row Down champions made short work of first-time Armagh champions Maghery in Páirc Esler to breeze into a first provincial decider since 2012.

Armagh captain Aidan Forker picked up a straight red card towards the end of the first-half, but his team had already been exposed as out of their depth.

Kilcoo had way too much craft and once Ryan Johnston’s stylish opening goal put them 1-8 to 0-3 up after 28 minutes, it was game over.

Kilcoo manager Paul McIver admitted he expected more from Maghery, but wasn’t concerned by the lack of a good test heading into the final against Slaughtneil on November 27.

“I think if you beat Scotstown, Glenswilly, Burren and the Armagh champions, then we’ve a lot of wars underneath our belt at this stage. So no, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

“Any team that comes out of Armagh you’d expect a big battle but we’ve been down that road five years in a row now. These players are on a mission and no matter what is thrown in front of them they’re going to give it one hell of a go.”

Kilcoo’s superiority was evident from early on and they scored five points in a row in the first quarter to open up a significant gap.

The damage could have been greater had Maghery ‘keeper Johnny Montgomery not rushed out to smother Ceilum Doherty’s goalbound shot. Ryan Johnston was the first to find the net, dropping the shoulder and turning his man before drilling the ball across goal into the roof of the net.

Then Maghery shot themselves in the foot with Aidan Forker’s red card with Maghery already trailing by 1-8 to 0-4.

His team won a free close to goal, but he pushed his marker in the back which sparked a scuffle, and when the dust settled, he got his marching orders.

“Yes he was foolish and it is something he will have to live with, but make sure Aidan Forker does not get the blame here,” said Maghery manager Shane McConville.

“The game was already tough with 15 players. Maghery were outplayed and probably out-classed.”

Ceilum Doherty palmed home a second goal three minutes after the restart. Stefan Forker tried to kick Maghery back into it in the second-half but the damage was already done. Two goals inside a minute from sub JJ McLoughlin and another from Doherty gave Kilcoo a 13-point win that didn’t flatter them.

Scorers for Kilcoo:

C Doherty (2-1); R Johnston (1-3); P Devlin (0-4, 3 frees); JJ McLoughlin (1-0), E Branagan, M Devlin, A Morgan, D Kane (f), Gerard McEvoy (f) (0-1 each)

Scorers for Maghery:

S Forker (0-4, 2 frees); C Mackle, A Forker (0-2 frees); N Forker, R Lappin, Seamus Forker (f), B Crealey (0-1 each)


N Kane; N McEvoy, D O’Hanlon, N Branagan; D Branagan, E Branagan, Aaron Branagan; J McClean, F McGreevy; C Doherty, A Morgan, R Johnston; M Devlin, Paul Devlin, C Laverty


D Kane for E Branagan (HT), Gary McEvoy for M Devlin (45), JJ McLoughlin for N McEvoy (45), Gerard McEvoy for D Branagan (53), N Morgan for McGreevy (53), Patrick Devlin for Paul Devlin (56)


J Montgomery; K Nugent, O Lappin, G Campbell; D Lavery, C Higgins, N Forker; J Lavery, B Crealey; E Scullion, C Mackle, Stefan Forker; R Lappin, A Forker, S Cusack Subs: S Fox for Scullion (25), Seamus Forker for Mackle (40), P Forker for Campbell (40), S Tennyson for Laverty (51), J Lavery for Lappin (53)


Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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