01 Dec 2021

Willies stunned as McCrann leaves it very, very late

Gary Plunkett challenges Niall Woods during last Sunday's clash in Cloone. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Aughawillan were stunned as a Cathal McCrann goal three minutes into added time gave Gortletteragh a dramatic Group 1 victory.

Aughawillan were stunned as a Cathal McCrann goal three minutes into added time gave Gortletteragh a dramatic Group 1 victory.

A more clinical and composed Aughawillan were in control for most of this game as Gortletteragh, who dominated possession but shot some appalling wides, had no answer to the street smarts of the Willies.

A goal in the last seconds of normal time, punched to the net by a diving Cathal Quinn, left just a point between the teams but Aughawillan looked to have weathered the storm with two further points.

But the drama wasn’t over as Gortletteragh tapped over a free and then Cathal McCrann somehow got his fist to a long Niall Duffy delivery with keeper Colin Maguire and a defender right on top of him, the ball trickling across the line to give Gortletteragh an unlikely win.

Gortletteragh, it has to be said, had enough chances to win the game but their shooting and general play was very much off for a long time.

The result leaves Aughawillan out of the playoffs and ina relegation battle while Gortletteragh’s campaign has been handed a major boost.

Gortletteragh started better but wides cost them as the sides were level at three points apiece on 15 minutes as they had five wides. But once an impressive Ryan Creamer levelled, Aughawillan moved up a gear with points from Gary Plunkett and Morgan Quinn before halftime.

Aughawillan’s one point lead was impressively increased as Gary Plunkett hit four points in the first seven minutes of the second half and his brother Mark added another.

But a silly foul on Cathal McCrann as he shot led to a penalty, expertly converted by Padraig Gallagher to revive Gortletteragh but despite a McCrann free, Aughawillan replied with points from Morgan Quinn and Plunkett.

Incredibly, Gortletteragh won another penalty when keeper Colin Maguire rashly charged off his line to clatter into Gallagher but this time, the spot kick was saved.

Gortletteragh started to increasingly dominate but hit some awful wides but with McCrann moved into full-forward, a long free broke off him and as the ball bounced up, Cathal Quinn launched himself at it to fist the ball to the net with seconds left in normal time.

Again Aughawillan responded with Ciaran Gilheaney and Mark Plunkett scoring well worked points to stretch the lead to three. Gavin Mitchell put over a free before McCrann’s late goal snatched a famous win for Gortletteragh.

Gortletteragh: Conan Clarke, Mark Mitchell, Niall Woods, Niall Duffy, Simon Egan, Ciaran Regan, Eamon Reynolds, Mark Duignan, James Campbell, Cathal McCrann (1-3), Kevin McGrath, Padraig Gallagher (1-0), Cathal Quinn (1-2), Neil Quinn. Subs: Gavin Mitchell for N. Quinn (18 mins), Colm Duffy for Duignan (36 mins), David Mulvey for M. Mitchell (43 mins), Gerard Griffin for Reynolds (45 mins).

Aughawillan: Colin Maguire, Gerard McGovern, Noel Plunkett, Sean Quinn, Rory McTague, Gary Deane, Christy Prior, Sean Flanagan, Michael Quinn, Morgan Quinn (0-2), Barry Prior (0-2), Ciaran Gilheaney (0-1), Stephen Gilheaney, Gary Plunkett (0-6), Ryan Creamer (0-1). Subs: Mark Plunkett (0-2) for S. Gilheaney (18 mins), Devin Quinn for R. McTague (51 mins), R. McTague for S. Quinn (62 mins).

Referee: Seamus Mulhern.

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