Both Aughnasheelin and Drumkeerin had already secured their place in the last eight but neither side were resting on their laurels.
A red card, bizarre goals and some excellent points were just some of the features of a game that ebbed and flowed before Drumkeerin gained the upper hand in the closing stages and held on for an impressive victory.
Edward McTiernan, Cathal McCauley, Feilim McHugh and Jamie Langan played well for Drumkeerin while Wayne Gilgunn, Damien Gilheaney and Gavin Sammon were among those who caught the eye for Aughnasheelin.
The game was only four minutes old when Drumkeerin struck an early blow with Declan Daly getting a crucial touch to the ball to send Cathal McCauley’s dangerous delivery to the Aughnasheelin goal.
Aughnasheelin responded immediately, although in unconventional style. The wind took hold of Gavin Sammon’s long ball and it deceived Conor Woods before bouncing into the Drumkeerin goal.
With just a point between the sides Drumkeerin struck for their second goal when Colm McGirl lost possession to the alert Edward McTiernan who goaled from close range.
Drumkeerin finished the half strongly with points from Cathal McCauley and a stunning James Gallagher effort giving them a 2-5 to 1-3 lead at the break.
Aughnasheelin started the second half brightly and five unanswered points saw the sides level with 20 minutes left on the clock. However, Drumkeerin hit back with two points and then Jamie Langan struck for his side’s third goal.
With a little over five minutes remaining Aughnasheelin were reduced to 14 men when Joe Earley was given his marching orders but despite that moments later Cathal Egan was on the end of Gavin Sammon’s pass to score Aughnasheelin’s second goal.
That score reduced the deficit to just two points but Drumkeerin finished strongly with three unanswered points to claim victory.
Conor Woods, Keith Gallagher (0-1), Jerome Maguire, Patrick McHugh, John Gallagher, Colm Clarke, Jason Byrne, Declan Daly (1-0), Feilim McHugh (0-1), Cathal McCauley (0-2), James Gallagher (0-1), Ciaran White, Jamie Langan (1-1), Francis Devitt, Edward McTiernan (1-4).
Colm McGirl, Philip Dolan, Michael Domican, Paul Earley, Wayne Gilgunn (0-1), Barry McWeeney, Joe Earley, Sean McWeeney (0-1), Keith Boyle, Christopher McNulty, Fergal Earley, Keith Sammon (0-3), Cathal Egan (1-2), Damien Gilheaney (0-1), Gavin Sammon (1-0). Subs: Niall Mulvanerty, Fergal Earley.
Referee: James McCaffrey