Loup beat Kilcoo by single point

Kilcoo (Down) 1-11 Loup (Derry) 1-12

Kilcoo (Down) 1-11 Loup (Derry) 1-12

A late revival saw Derry champions Loup edge out Kilcoo of Down in a hard-fought AIB Ulster Club SFC semi-final encounter at Casement Park.

Kilcoo looked to be on the brink of their first ever Ulster final appearance, having led for the guts of an hour.

However, a goal from Paul Young swung the tie back in Loup's favour and 14-man Kilcoo endured a frustrating finish when referee Padraig Hughes waved away their appeals for an injury-time free - Conor Laverty looked like he had been fouled when in a good attacking position.

With Aidan Brannigan and Phelim McGreevy back available, the Jim McCorry-managed Kilcoo showed their attacking potential early on as they moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead.

Shane McFlynn had popped over the opening point for Loup, but their Mourne opponents quickly turned possession into points and indeed, Dominic McAvoy opted for a point when he could so easily have backed himself to go for goal.

Points from Paul McFlynn, Johnny McBride and Paul McVey, who played through the pain barrier with a dislocated shoulder, saw Loup square the game up.

Kilcoo lost the services of Marty McClean when he was shown his second yellow card, seven minutes before the break.

Although going down to 14 men seemed to spur Kilcoo on and a Barry Kane score was followed by two more as they turned around with a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead.

McVey hit two quick-fire points to help close the gap back to the minimum, early in the second period, only for Kilcoo to grab the game's first goal just moments later. A long, searching ball from Donal Kane was knocked to the net by Barry Kane.

The numerical advantage did eventually help Loup get back into the game, nevertheless, and Young's terrific strike set up a grandstand finish with eight minutes to go.

Suddenly, Kilcoo were being overrun and points from McFlynn and McVey, who struck five in all, edged Loup ahead by two.

Kilcoo reduced the deficit to one through Barry Kane but luck was not on the Down champions' side as they failed to garner that late free and an effort from the sideline in deepest injury-time dropped short of the posts.

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