Lough Oughter Gaels 1-12
Drumloman Gaels 0-15
at St Felim's Park
These two amalgamations will have to meet again after a late point from Lough Oughter Gaels’ half-forward Liam McEntee secured a draw for his side last Monday week in Drumalee.
The large crowd in attendance were treated to a pulsating match. Drumloman (Mullahoran-Ballymachugh) looked the likelier winners after they dominated for large spells, building up a five-point half-time lead which they stretched to six with 15 minutes to go.
But Lough Oughter (Butlersbridge-Cornafean) rallied well and drew level, with a fortuitous goal from Kevin McPhilips kickstarting their revival.
Fionntán O'Reilly, who was one of the outstanding players on show, opened the scoring for Lough Oughter with a point from play and quickly added a free before Conor Coyle replied for Drumloman.
McPhilips kicked a super point for Lough Oughter before great work from the excellent Shane Tynan teed the towering Matthew McGahern up to make it 0-3 to 0-2.
In the seventh minute of a game which had begun at a frenetic pace, Fionntán O'Reilly sent over a free from 40 metres to restore a two-point gap but Drumloman soon took charge around the middle of the field, where Liam Corr and in particular the high-fielding Caolán O'Reilly had the upper hand.
O'Reilly fisted over Drumloman's next point after a lay-off from McGahern and after a great run by centre-back Cormac McKeogh, Coyle booted over the next.
Drumloman had their tails up now and drove on with four successive points. Tynan showed good speed to cut through and fist over their fifth and set Caolán O'Reilly up for the next.
Lough Oughter goalkeeper Michael Sheridan then saved well before McGahern pointed after a goalmouth scramble and by the 16th minute it was 0-8 to 0-4 when Tynan curled in a stylish point with the left foot.
Fionntán O'Reilly stopped the bleeding with a free and one from play, either side of another for Coyle, but when Caolán O'Reilly – who spent some time at the edge of the square, too – hooked over his third and McGahern fielded and scored his second, Drumloman were 0-11 to 0-6 up at the break and had one hand on the cup.
Fionntán O'Reilly, brother of Cavan senior Caoímhín, again opened the scoring on the restart but this was cancelled out by one from the impressive Peter Devine before Daithí Sheils swung over a huge point from long range to make it 0-13 to 0-7.
Another free from Fionntán O'Reilly cut the gap to five but when Tynan swung in a free from the ground from all of 45 metres, it looked as if there would only be one winner entering the final quarter.
Lough Oughter, though, rolled up their sleeves and Jack Graham got them going again after a good run from McEntee. An O'Reilly free made it a four-point game and then came the match-defining moment with 10 minutes on the clock.
Tynan blazed through the Lough Oughter defence and unleashed a rocket of a shot which rebounded off the underside of the crossbar to safety. At the other end, from their next attack, a speculative punt from McPhilips sailed all the way to the net and suddenly it was game on again.
From a free which was moved up, Fionntán O'Reilly levelled the match as the tension ratcheted up.
After a superb move, Jamie Masterson had a chance to win it for Drumloman but was denied by a brilliant Sheridan save. And, at the death, more drama. Heading into injury time, Tynan stepped up to stroke over a perfectly-flighted 45 which looked like the winner, but in a final, desperate attack, McEntee thumped over a fantastic point from the right wing to secure a draw for his team.
Lough Oughter Gaels: Michael Sheridan, Conor Maguire, Cathal Leddy, Caolan Smith, Finbarr Comiskey, Jason McIntyre, Ronan Trainor, Daniel Brady, Kevin McPhilips (1-1), Peter Doyle, Liam McEntee (0-1), Pierce Kilkenny, Jack Graham (0-1), Fionntán O'Reilly (0-9, 6f), Alex Puscaueu
Subs: Enogie Ebikueluye for Kilkenny, Colin Clail for Comiskey
Drumloman Gaels: Declan Goldrick, Declan Reilly, Jack O'Reilly, Ben Tierney, Aaron Briody, Cormac McKeogh, Tom Harten, Liam Corr, Caolán O'Reilly (0-3), Daithi Sheils (0-1), Shane Tynan (0-4, 1f, 45), Peter Devine (0-1), Conor Coyle (0-3), Matthew McGahern (0-3), Jamie Masterson
Subs: Niall Briody for Tierney (BC)
Ref: James Clarke (Killinkere)