ULSTER CLUB SFC FINAL
Glen 1-12 Kilcoo 1-6
By Michael McMullan
GLEN made history with a first ever Ulster senior football title with Sunday’s win over All-Ireland champions Kilcoo in a pulsating encounter in Armagh.
A fifth goal of the season for Alex Doherty sealed the deal in a game Glen held all the aces in after a rampant start.
— Michael McMullan (@malmcmullan) December 11, 2022
The Watties become the eighth Derry club to get their name on the Ulster roll of honour and now face Galway champions Moycullen in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
It puts the ice on a development plan that yielded four Ulster minor and three u-21 titles on top of a plethora of Derry underage championships.
Glen had the ball over the bar in their first attack, with Danny Tallon tapping over a free after man of the match Conleth McGuckian set Conor Glass on his way. There was a goal for the taking. but Glass overcooked his pass to the overlapping Jack Doherty.
The Derry men closed down any Kilcoo short kick-out and turned up the heat. It set the tone and a turnover led to an Emmett Bradley free before their purple patch.
Conor Glass, Conleth McGuckian and Jack Doherty thumped over three majestic scores from play to make the score 0-5 to 0-0 before Kilcoo had their first attack.
The champions then bounced back with an Aaron Branagan goal, a palmed effort made by Dylan Ward after Paul Devlin’s sideline ball.
Darryl Branagan hit a gem of a score to cut the margin to a point, but Glen were always able to keep their noses in front.
With time up, Ryan Johnston placed a ball to brother Jerome for an attacking make to make the score 0-7 to 1-3.
The five minutes of extra time had elapsed when Kilcoo won a Glen kick-out with Shealan Johnston picking Jerome inside who was fouled by Ryan Dougan. Up stepped Paul Devlin with the resultant penalty, but it came off the post.
McGuckin won the breaking ball from the throw-in at the start of the second half with Glen keeping the ball for three minutes until a foul on attacking full back Dougan and Tallon tapped the Watties into a two-point lead.
It summed up how Glen were always able to play the game on their own terms on a playing surface that was in excellent condition despite the frost and dropping temperature overnight.
The third quarter was nip and tuck with Glen struggling to play into the sun. Lack of visibility, combined with intense Kilcoo pressure, led to turnovers and the Magpies kept their foot down.
Glen had ‘keeper Connlan Bradley to thank for making a save from Ceilum Doherty at a crucial stage with Kilcoo trailing by a point.
McGuckin’s influence continued with a pass to Ethan Doherty who shot Glen two points ahead before a Tallon free gave his side some deserved breathing space.
There was still time for Alex Doherty to finish to the Kilcoo net to seal victory and Glen were left to bask in a first ever Ulster title.
Glen: Connlan Bradley; Ryan Dougan (0-1), Connor Carville; Michael Warnock; Tiarnán Flanagan, Cathal Mulholland, Ethan Doherty (0-1); Conor Glass (0-1), Emmett Bradley (0-2f); Eunan Mulholland, Jack Doherty (0-1), Conor Convery; Conleth McGuckian (0-1); Alex Doherty (1-0), Danny Tallon (0-5f)
Sub: Cahir McCabe for C Convery (57)
Kilcoo: Niall Kane; Niall Branagan, Ryan McEvoy (0-1f), Aaron Branagan (1-1); Eugene Branagan, Darryl Branagan (0-1), Micéal Rooney; Aaron Morgan, Dylan Ward; Ceilum Doherty, Ryan Johnston, Shealan Johnston; Paul Devlin (0-2f); Conor Laverty, Jerome Johnston (0-1m)
Subs: Anthony Morgan for D Ward (HT), Sean Óg McCusker for E Branagan (56)
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)