Tullylish reach Championship semis with win over Clann

Tullylish reached the last four of the Intermediate Championship for the second year in a row following a six-point victory over Clann na Banna in Newry on Friday night.

On top for most of the game Tullylish got off to a good start with points from Shannon Drainey and Peter Quinn in the first minute. Liam Devlin opened Bann’s account with a third minute point but this was quickly cancelled out by a John McAreavey free.

Tullylish scored the first goal of the game when Chris McGovern collected a superb 50-yard pass from Joe McDermott before hitting an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the net to put his team into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead with just five minutes gone.

Gary Quinn reduced the deficit with a point for Bann in the 10th minute following a strong run from Liam Devlin but Tulylish were still looking the hungrier team and continued to dominate possession. The game had to be delayed for 15 minutes mid-way through the first half due to an accidental collision which resulted in Tullylish half-back Joe McDermott leaving the field in an ambulance.

Although Liam Devlin pointed for Bann when play resumed Tullylish continued to boss proceedings and two Peter Quinn points either side of a well worked Shannon Drainey goal left them firmly in the driving seat at half time .

A point from Drainey in the fifth minute and two from McGovern stretched Tullylish’s lead to 11 points early in the second half. With 20 minutes remaining Bann now found themselves needing two or possibly three goals to save their season; a huge ask against a team that had only conceded one goal in their previous 13 matches.

To their credit Clann na Banna did manage to grab a goal when Johnny Burns volleyed home after John Paul Garland’s magnificent effort came back off the post. Points from Steven McArdle and Conor Leneghan reduced Tullylish’s lead to six points with eight minutes remaining and had it not been for a superb goal-line clearance from Conor McManus the winners could have had a very uncomfortable last few minutes.

However, the Tullylish goal was rarely threatened after that as Shannon Drainey and Paddy Feeney traded points in the last few minutes.

The club would like to wish Joe McDermott a speedy recovery and also thank the gaels of the district for their good wishes and support.