Brian McCormick Cup Semi-Final: Letterkenny Rovers 1-0 Kildrum Tigers(AET)

Letterkenny Rovers defeat Kildrum Tigers 1-0 on 19th May 2024 to advance to the final of the Brian McCormick Cup

Ballyare, Sunday 19th May

In a fiercely contested Brian McCormick Cup semi-final, Letterkenny Rovers edged out Kildrum Tigers 1-0 after extra time to secure a spot in the final against Keadue next weekend.


On a sunny afternoon, the match kicked off at 12pm, with both teams showing early intent. Within the first five minutes, Joel Gorman found Lee McMonagle with a precise ball behind the defense, but McMonagle's shot went left of the post. The game quickly turned physical, as Dean McCarry suffered a knock in a clash in the Rovers' box, setting the tone for a combative encounter.


Kildrum Tigers nearly took the lead in the ninth minute with a glancing header that went wide. Rovers responded immediately, with McCarry narrowly missing the target from a corner. Brett McGinley kept the pressure on for Kildrum, but his effort from the edge of the box also drifted wide.


Kildrums best chance of the first half came at the half-hour mark when Brian Breslin broke through the defense, only for Chris Malseed to clear his shot off the line. Minutes later, Rovers thought they had scored, but the assistant referee flagged for offside. Christy Conaghan's long-range drive for Rovers just before halftime summed up a half of near misses and tense moments.


The second half saw both sides battling hard but unable to break the deadlock. Daryl Browne forced a full-stretch save from Rovers' keeper Mark Anthony McGinley in the 73rd minute. Moments later, Nathan Plumb's clever play set up Ryan Lonergan, whose shot was brilliantly saved by Kildrums Chris O’Donnell.


As the match neared its conclusion, Kildrums Breslin had a golden opportunity to win it but headed wide and then hopes took a hit when Frank McBrearty was sent off for a second yellow card just before the end of regular time, leaving them to face extra time with ten men.


Extra time began with Rovers capitalising on their numerical advantage. Adam Murphy had a one-on-one chance early on but couldn't convert. Nathan Plumb's header and Gareth Doherty's curling shot both tested O'Donnell but to no avail. Kildrum, sitting deep, struggled to contain the relentless Rovers attacks.


In the dying moments of the second half of extra time, Kildrum's Kealan Gillen had a chance on the counter but failed to find the target. Just as penalties loomed, Rovers found the breakthrough. Tim Callaghan weaved his way through players from edge to get to the byline and managed to get a touch while on the ground to get it to Lee McMonagle who instinctly poked the ball home, much to the delight of the Rovers support.


The match ended 1-0, with Letterkenny Rovers advancing to face Keadue in the Cup Final on Sunday, 26th May.