Scotstown survived a black card for Kieran Hughes, 13 first-half wides and a penalty shout at the death to eventually squeeze past Burren, but if luck was a finite resource, they can expect little of it in the upcoming semi-final against Eoghan Ruadh Coleraine.
With the sun blinding Burren goalkeeper Cathal Murdock, Scotstown employed a zonal system for the Down champions’ restarts and gobbled everything up in the middle with Darren Hughes and Frank Caulfield utterly dominant, so much so that Burren boss Paddy O’Rourke replaced Murdock at half-time for Cillian Burns.
By that stage Scotstown were 0-6 to 0-3 in front despite the 13 wides and two spurned goal chances, the first arriving on three minutes when Francis Maguire fired over while in front of goal, the second coming when Conor McCarthy threaded a lovely ball through to Oran Heaphey, but he could not make use of it.
All this, and a point from play for newly-crowned All-Star goalkeeper Rory Beggan, who played a quick give and go with Frank Caulfield and lofted over to huge cheers in the Páirc Esler stands.
So dominant were Kieran Donnelly’s men that when they scored the first four points of the second half it threatened to turn ugly for Burren.
But the introduction of the dynamic Ryan Treanor meant they began to punch holes in their defensive lines. A black card for Kieran Hughes also robbed Scotstown of attacking threat while Burren compiled six consecutive points, most of them from Donal O’Hare placed balls.
In the final minute of normal time Burren’s aggressive press led to O’Hare turning over Ryan O’Toole high up the field and when Ryan Treanor reached the penalty area he was upended by a thicket of Scotstown man.
“If it had been outside the square it would have been a free in,” was O’Rourke’s assessment afterwards on Sean Hurson’s judgment that it was no penalty. “But because it was in the box, he didn’t make the call.”
Counting their blessings, Scotstown broke a 20-minute spell without a score and added a final point after a long run from Donal Morgan to just about edge home.
Ulster is now wide open, and many will fancy the Monaghan men for it, should they locate the shooting boots in the next fortnight.
Scorers for Burren: D O’Hare (0-5, frees), C Foy (0-2), E Toner, S Murdock (0-1 each), R Treanor (0-1f).
Scorers for Scotstown: S Carey (0-5, 2 frees), K Hughes, F Maguire (0-2 each), R Beggan (0-2, 1f), D Morgan (0-1), C McCarthy (1f).
BURREN: C Murdock; A McAvoy, K McKernan, S Fegan; C McGovern, S McArdle, C Cox; C Toner, D Rooney; C Foy, P Poland, R McGrath; L Kerr, E Toner, D O’Hare.
Subs: C Burns for Murdoch, D McEntee for Cox (h-time), R Treanor for Poland (49), S Murdock for McGrath (45), P Fegan for C Toner (62).
SCOTSTOWN: R Beggan; B Boylan, R O’Toole, D McArdle; J McDevitt, D Morgan, E Caulfield; F Caulfied, K Hughes; F Maguire, C McCarthy, J McCarey; S Carey, D Hughes, O Heaphey.
Subs: R McKenna for Heaphey (h-time), D McCrudden for Maguire (56), M McCarville for Boylan (62).
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)