Home sides triumph in Ulster club championship

The race to replace Crossmaglen as AIB Ulster Club Senior Football champions heated up this afternoon, with the four rescheduled quarter-finals taking place.

The race to replace Crossmaglen as AIB Ulster Club Senior Football champions heated up this afternoon, with the four rescheduled quarter-finals taking place.

Tyrone champions Dromore, who had their captain Colm McCullagh red carded late on, lost out to Monaghan side Clontibret, for whom Conor McManus played a central role in a gutsy 0-10 to 0-8 win in Clones.

McCullagh's dismissal was apparently for back chat to the referee, as he was shown his second yellow card as he lined up a late free.

McManus, who was doubtful before the throw-in, claimed two early points as Clontibret broke into a four-point lead.

Dromore battled back and made it a one-point game late in the second half, mainly thanks to the free-taking accuracy of McCullagh and McCusker.

However, the home side prevailed to set up a semi-final trip to St. Gall's of Antrim next Sunday.

Gall's had two points to spare over Armagh champions Pearse Og this afternoon at Casement Park, with Kevin Niblock and Ciaran McGourty getting the deciding scores.

Settling points from Rory Gallagher, CJ McGourty, Sean Kelly and Karl Stewart had Gall's, the 2005 Ulster champions, in dominant form.

They were two points clear at the break but Pearse Og fought back brilliantly to tie it up at 0-8 each, with Conor and Ronan Clarke amongst the scorers.

Gall's showed their undoubted class, though, in edging the closing stages with Niblock and Ciaran McGourty raising those two late white flags.

The other Ulster semi-final will be a Derry versus Down affair after Loup and Kilcoo came through their provincial tests today.

Derry champions Loup had an impressive contribution from county player Paul McFlynn as they accounted for Fermanagh's Derrygonnelly at Celtic Park.

In a well-contested first half, the sides were level on four occasions before two McFlynn points edged the home side towards a 0-7 to 0-6 interval lead.

Ryan Jones was the top marksman for Derrygonnelly in the opening half-hour with four points.

But two more points from McFlynn and a well-taken 46th minute goal from Aidan McAlynn had the Harps under serious pressure.

Loup had done enough to book their place in the next round, and Peter Gallagher's injury-time goal for a wasteful Derrygonnelly was meaningless in the end.

Meanwhile, Paul Devlin helped himself to six points as Mourne aces Kilcoo were victorious against St. Eunan's in their first ever outing in the Ulster Championship.

Having recently ended their 72-year wait for the Down title, Jim McCorry's side carried that momentum into this game and led by 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

Martin McClean, Devlin, Dominic Kane and Paul McEvoy were all on target as the underdogs shot five points in-a-row towards the end of the first half.

Kilcoo were without influential defender Aidan Brannigan, who was suspended for the game, but despite the best efforts of Eunan's top scorer Conal Dunne, the Down champions held on for a famous win.

AIB ULSTER SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINALS:

St. Gall’s (Antrim) 0-10 Pearse Og (Armagh) 0-8, Casement Park

Clontibret (Monaghan) 0-10 Dromore (Tyrone) 0-8, Clones

Loup (Derry) 1-10 Derrygonnelly Harps (Fermanagh) 1-6, Celtic Park

Kilcoo (Down) 0-13 St. Eunan’s (Donegal) 0-9, Pairc Esler

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