Kevin Smyth squeezes St Croan’s to All-Ireland final

St Croan’s (Roscommon) 0-14 Sean O’Mahony’s (Louth) 2-7: All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final: An injury-time free from Kevin Smyth proved enough to send St Croan’s into the All-Ireland Club IFC final after a thrilling encounter with Louth champions Sean O’Mahony’s at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan.

The Connacht side were a point down with five minutes left to play, but Aidan Brogan’s well-struck equaliser set up a nail-biting finish. John O’Brien had a chance to win it for Sean O’Mahony’s but his 30-metre free was blocked. From the ensuing counter-attack, the Ballintubber/Ballymoe-based side won a free, which Smyth converted. Conor Finnegan could have rescued it for the Louth men with the final kick of the game but dragged his free wide. It was a deserved win for a Croan’s side that led by 0-9 to 2-0 at the interval.

Sean O’Mahony’s came back into the contest in the closing 20 minutes, turning a three-point deficit into a one-point lead before succumbing in the dying moments.

Scorers for St Croan’s: K Smyth 0-5 (4fs), A Brogan 0-3, M Holland 0-2, M Connaughton 0-2 (1 45), K Keenan 0-1, S Smyth 0-1.

Scorers for Sean O’Mahony’s: S Kilcoyne 1-3 (2fs), C Crawley 1-0, S Fisher 0-2, G Mulligan 0-2.

ST CROAN’S: V Egan; G Mockler, G Grogan, K Keenan; D Malone, E Towey, M Connaughton; R Timothy, B Mullin; K Smyth, J Connaughton, K Muldoon; R Keenan, M Holland, A Brogan. Subs: S Smyth for Mullin (28), P Leech for Malone (40, black card), M Towey for Muldoon (45), C Connelly for Brogan (58).

SEAN O’MAHONY’S: K Brennan; P O’Brien, M Clarke, R Byrne; K Murphy, J O’Brien, K McLaughlin; P Nixon, S Brennan; L Dullaghan, C Finnegan, G Mulligan; S Fisher, C Crawley, S Kilcoyne. Subs: C Martin for O’Brien (18), J Connolly for Martin (40), C Martin for Crawley (49), D Dowling for Kilcoyne (57).

Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).

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