9 November 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Two out of three ain’t bad … Monaghan honour was well upheld on the weekend’s provincial stage. by COLM SHALVEY

Doohamlet and Drumhowan will fly the Monaghan flag in the Ulster club championship semi-finals after Ballybay’s first provincial SFC campaign in 25 years came to an early exit.
Ballybay needed everything stacked in their favour if they were to get past a handy Kilcoo outfit, who defeated St. Eunan’s of Letterkenny in their last Ulster club appearance three years ago.
It didn’t work out that way, however, as this game in Clones proved to be a bridge too far in what has been a very successful year for John Joe Gorman’s men. Shorn of the leadership and experience of the honeymooning Paul Finlay, the supply to the Ballybay attack was well below what it usually is, leaving the Pearse Brothers forwards living off scraps.
On top of that, Fergal McArdle, whose brother Mark had been unable to start, was forced off at half-time after shipping a knock in the first half, while Drew Wylie was sent off inside the final ten minutes.
Ryan Wylie did an admirable job under pressure against Kilcoo danger-man Conor Laverty, keeping him scoreless, but the Down champions had plenty of other options. None of their full-forwards scored, but seven players got in on the act. Jerome Johnston stole the show with four fine points from play, while Darragh O’Hanlon chipped in with three points and even full-back Niall Branagan got forward to kick their final score. Kilcoo looked a strong and well-balanced side last Sunday and they will be hopeful of upsetting St. Gall’s in the semi-finals.

Doohamlet will be up against another hotly-fancied team in the Ulster IFC semi-finals after they saw off …

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