St Ergnatt's Moneyglass 1-08 Tír na nÓg Randalstown 0-07
With the scores locked at 0-02 apiece at the end of the first period, and facing into a strong second-half wind, Moneyglass would have been forgiven had they been despondent about their chances, but a stirring second half performance into the Loughshore breeze saw them through to the next round of the LOCC Solicitors Antrim IFC at the expense of neighbours Tír na nÓg.
On a pitch that played home to no fewer than eight Duffins, it was Tiernan who was first to impress, his block on Kevin Sheerin as the full-forward shaped to shoot proved the highlight of a frantic opening few minutes, as both sides battled each other and the swirling wind in an effort to get the ball into their hands and play.
Both defences were on top in the early stages as attacking moves floundered, the final pass proving as indecisive as the Creggan micro-climate as the weather flickered between bright sunshine and driving rain.
It took eight minutes for either side to raise a white flag, Moneyglass' Seanchann Duffin measuring up the wind and letting fly from 40 yards out on the left flank, his effort hanging in the breeze before descending the right side of the post for the opening score.
As the rain began to pelt down and the crowd scrambled for the cover of their umbrellas, Darragh Fagan got Tír na nÓg back on level terms, pointing from a wide position on the right hand side, before Seanchann Duffin immediately restored the St Ergnatt's lead from a free.
As so often before, it was Kevin Sheerin who took things by the proverbial scruff of the neck, racing out to win possession before guiding the ball between the Moneyglass posts to level the scores with four minutes to play until the break.
With the game poised at 0-02 apiece, Randalstown would have seemed the more confident of the two as they contemplated a second half with a strong wind advantage, and when Christy Sheerin landed a huge score at the beginning of the second period, things looked ominous for Moneyglass.
Having shown sparkling form before the break in the league before taking a dip, there were fears St Ergnatt's missed opportunity in the first half could come back to haunt them, but Conaill Prenter provided the perfect response to settle any lingering doubts, squeezing over from an acute angle to level proceedings.
Colum Duffin then regained the lead for Moneyglass, firing over an excellent score with the outside of his left boot to split the posts to a rousing reception from the gathered St Ergnatt's support.
Duffin's Tír na nÓg namesake then made way to be replaced by Ronan O'Neill, with Moneyglass also making a key change, introducing Kevin 'Kindo' Marron for Niall Boyd.
Marron's influence told almost immediately as he fed the ball to Seannchan Duffin who hit over a huge score, swerving wildly in the wind on its journey between the uprights as St Ergnatt's opened up a two-point lead.
Aaron McNeilly swung the ball over up the other end to notch a further score for Tír na nÓg, but momentum was firmly with the Moneyglass side, as a second point for Conaill Prenter and a fisted Kevin Marron score opened the gap to three points.
The Moneyglass workrate was relentless all over the field and they continually forced turnovers, swarming the Tír na nÓg attacker as he carried the ball into contact. This constant pressure paid dividends when Sean Kelly got on the end of a neat counter-attacking move to hit a score that put four points and daylight between the sides.
Randalstown then had a glorious chance to get themselves back in the game as the ball fell nicely for Kevin Sheerin in the Moneyglass penalty area. Sheerin's goalbound effort was magnificently saved by Mark Carey, his outstretched fingertips turning the ball over the bar leaving Sheerin in disbelief.
With two minutes left on the clock, Darren McCormick closed the gap to two, but as the game entered the four minutes of additional time allocated by referee Brendan Toland, Kevin Marron pounced to kill the game.
Marron embarked on a surging run from the right flank, bearing down on goal with a fisted insurance point seeming the most likely option. A last-ditch tackle from a Tír na nÓg defender dislodged the ball, only for Marron to coolly slot it past the onrushing SP McAtamney.
Darren McCormick grabbed a late consolation point for Randalstown from a free, but the St Ergnatt's men had done enough to seal their place in the next round.
St Ergnatt's Moneyglass: Mark Carey, Miran Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Sean Kelly (0-01), Padraig Mackle, Conor Boyd, Patrick McCormick, Colum Duffin (0-01), Niall Boyd, Seanchann Duffin (0-02, 0-01f), Gavin Murray, Fearghal Duffin, Dermot McErlain, Liam Brady, Conaill Prenter (0-02).
Scoring Substitutes: Kevin Marron (1-01)
Tír na nÓg Randalstown: SP McAtamney, Barry Magee, Colm Duffin, Sean Redmond, Barry McCormick, Caoimhinn Duffin, Darren McCormick (0-01, 0-01f), Malachy Duffin, Christy Sheerin (0-01), Ciaran Dobbin, Ciaran McKeown, Aaron McNeilly (0-01), Sean Duffin, Kevin Sheerin (0-02), Darragh Fagan (0-01).
Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)