AIB All-Ireland Club SFC SF: Glen edge out Maigh Cuilinn
AIB All-Ireland Club SFC Semi-Final
Watty Grahams, Glen 1-11 Maigh Cuilinn 0-12
By Cian O’Connell at Croke Park
Promise has been attached to the Glen story, but this was a proud and memorable afternoon at GAA headquarters for the progressive Derry outfit.
An AIB All-Ireland Club SFC decider against Kilmacud Crokes now beckons for Glen, who edged out Maigh Cuilinn.
Ultimately in a tight and tense match Tiarnán Flanagan’s goal immediately after half-time proved to be the decisive score.
Maigh Cuilinn battled until the bitter end, but just couldn’t do enough to deny a determined Glen, who are enjoying a productive stint under the shrewd guidance of Malachy O’Rourke.
Inevitably Glen were well set up for this encounter, making another swift start quickly seizing the initiative.
In the first 10 minutes Glen struck 0-4 from six shots, while Maigh Cuilinn didn’t have a scoring attempt during that spell.
It was an early and critical statement from Glen. Maigh Cuilinn eventually scored in the 18th minute courtesy of a free from Dessie Conneely.
By the 23rd minute Peter Cooke had clipped a sweet effort from play reducing the gap to the minimum, but Glen finished the opening period strongly.
Ethan Doherty, enthusiastic and industrious, and Emmet Bradley, relevant throughout, landed points as Glen departed 0-6 to 0-4 ahead at the break.
Then in the third quarter Flanagan pounced to net a goal which injected Glen with confidence and momentum.
Seán Kelly forced turnovers for Maigh Cuilinn, who relied on Conneely’s free taking for scores as Glen remained defiant.
With seven minutes left Conneely converted a free as Maigh Cuilinn narrowed the deficit to 1-9 to 0-10.
When Glen needed inspiration in the closing stages Michael Warnock and Cathal Mulholland both ventured forward from deep to supply crucial points with the issue delicately poised.
Late on Maigh Cuilinn needed a goal to survive, but Glen were sufficiently crafty to close out the deal.
Scorers for Glen: Tiarnán Flanagan 1-0, Emmet Bradley (1f) and Danny Tallon (1f) 0-3 each, Ethan Doherty 0-2, Cathal Mulholland, Michael Warnock, and Conor Glass 0-1 each.
Scorers for Maigh Cuilinn: Dessie Conneely 0-8 (8fs), Peter Cooke 0-2, Owen Gallagher and Niall Walsh 0-1 each.
Glen: Connlan Bradley; Cathal Mulholland, Ryan Dougan, Connor Carville; Tiarnán Flanagan, Michael Warnock, Eunan Mulholland; Conor Glass, Emmet Bradley; Ethan Doherty, Jack Doherty, Conor Convery; Alex Doherty, Danny Tallon, Conleth McGuckian.
Subs: Cahir McCabe for Convery (38), Stevie O’Hara for A Doherty (53).
Maigh Cuilinn: Andrew Power; Eoghan Kelly, Neil Mulcahy, Conor Corcoran; Micheál O’Reilly, David Wynne, Aidan Claffey; Tom Clarke, Peter Cooke; Gerard Davoren, Owen Gallagher, Paul Kelly; Niall Walsh, Dessie Conneely, Seán Kelly.
Subs: Fionn McDonagh for Walsh (53), Conor Bohan for P Kelly (58), Daniel Cox for O’Reilly (60).
Referee: David Gough (Meath).