Shauna Gallogly’s 10th point, scored deep in injury-time at the end of extra-time, lit up a grey evening in Mullabrack with home club celebrations after a pulsating Buttercrane Intermediate Championship quarter-final against Killeavy.
This ferociously-contested tie was well worth the effort for any neutral on their way home from Armagh’s match in Longford never mind being the biggest game of the season so far for both clubs.
Killeavy led early on but Mullabrack were six ahead by half-time and seemed to be coasting to victory when seven up coming into the final minute of normal time.
However visiting goals in quick succession by Sarah O’Hare and Rachel McQuaid gave Killeavy hope and a free from full forward Sarah Doran took the match into injury-time.
Fears for the fading light proved unfounded and, although Mullabrack began brightly in extra-time with three scores in succession, an unanswered four from their opponents put Killeavy in front at the break.
It looked like this might not be Mullabrack’s night, for last season’s Armagh Junior Championship winning captain Christina Crilly had a goal-bound shot punched away and another effort from the hosts hit a post.
However with the allocated time already up, Gallogly put over a pressure free to bring Mullabrack level again and her winning point in the 84th minute, as an historic free-kick competition loomed, sparked wild celebrations in the home ranks.
This was a tough defeat for Killeavy to take having come back from the dead in normal time and then had their noses in front so close to the finishing line but likewise losing from eight ahead at one stage would have haunted Mullabrack.
A good crowd were treated to a full-blooded championship match full of passion and both teams were lucky to avoid straight reds in the opening period with two players somehow escaping sanctions in spite of fighting on the ground.
For Killeavy, who will win Division Three at Granemore’s expense by drawing at home to Clan na Gael later this month, Sarah O’Hare led the way with 1-4 with Doran hitting five points and McQuaid’s goal being matched by Grainne Boylan raising three white flags.
Shauna Gallogly’s 10-point haul for Mullabrack included three frees, with Niamh Mulligan scoring 1-4, Aine Rice getting two points and Maria Gallogly one. They will now meet Mullaghbawn in the Intermediate Championship semi-finals.
On the other side of the draw, Ballyhegan secured a semi-final clash with title favourites Granemore by coming back from 10 down after as many minutes to win their rearranged game at Cullyhanna 5-12 to 5-11 in a Sunday tea-time thriller.
Blathnaid Hendron was Ballyhegan’s hero with the winning point taking her personal tally to 2-7, enough for joint top place in the Golden Boot table, while fit-again county forward Eve Lavery also netted twice with 14-year-old midfielder Caitlin McCormack scoring 1-2.