Pearse’s GAC Kilrea 0-09 St Colm’s Ballinascreen 2-14
Ballinascreen took charge of this O'Neill's Derry SFC encounter to eventually ease their way into a Quarter-Final meeting with Magherafelt after a late first half scoring blitz paved the way for a dominating second-half performance against Kilrea.
With 22 minutes played in Owenbeg the scores were locked at 0-04 apiece and Pearse's were repelling the 'Screen attacks well. Three times referee Richie Donoghue blew the St Colm's forwards for overcarrying as they attempted to pierce the Kilrea rearguard.
A four-minute scoring-spree followed for Ballinascreen, with two excellent Shane Mulgrew points either side of a Benny Heron goal seeing them take control of the tie.
Kilrea had goal chances of their own with the game still in the melting pot. Charlie Kielt's squared handpass for Daithí McLaughlin was begging to be fisted home but dribbled wide, while a Phillip McGlade intervention stopped a raiding McLaughlin bearing down on goal.
Shane Mulgrew's 2nd minute free saw St Colm's take an early lead before Paddy Quigg hit back with a dipping left-footed effort, before the same two players traded scores in the 11th and 12th minute.
Quigg's effort was palmed over from point blank range as he met a crossed ball at the end of a move in which the net could have rippled and when Conor Gillen became the latest Pearse's man to trade scores with Mulgrew, it looked like a tense evening was in prospect.
Emmet Duggan's point preceded another Gillen equaliser and with both 'keepers kicking long into the space between the 45m lines, the game was open and enjoyable if not high-scoring.
Benny Heron's 28th minute goal was somewhat fortuitous. A high, hanging shot from Emmet Duggan dropped on the edge of t he square and Heron fielded it well, stepping inside Brian Óg McAlary and tucking the ball past Paul Morgan for the major.
Trailing by five at half-time Kilrea set about the 'Screen defence early in the second half, carving out a 32nd minute chance as Enda McAleese sent Daithí McLaughlin through on goal, but the corner forward dragged his shot wide of the goal as Ryan Scullion advanced.
James Kielt, often the talisman for Kilrea, landed a 34th minute free and two minutes later found himself back making a block in his defence on Emmet Duggan, but the ball fell kindly for Mulgrew to restore the five-point lead.
Kielt again hit back with a free but a Ryan Doyle point was followed by the score that killed the game. A loose Paul Morgan kick out fell into Ballinascreen hands in midfield and they worked it at speed into the penalty area, where three forwards queued to apply the finish, Mulgrew getting the nod to roll the ball home.
The Man of the Match added a further point on 44 minutes before Benny Heron tied his marker in knots to slot his first point of the game.
Again Kielt replied, but 'Screen's response was immediate and emphatic, Martin Bradley selling dummies as he cut his way along the end-line to squeeze over a fisted point. Substitute Barry Grant and Niall Doyle hit a quickfire brace of points before Kielt reduced the gap to eleven with a pointed free.
As the game entered stoppage time Kilrea were awarded a penalty as Daithí McLaughlin was dragged down in the area, but Paddy Quigg could only lift the spot-kick over the crossbar and Heron polished off an impressive St Colm's victory with a drilled free in the dying seconds.
Ballinascreen will go on to face Magherafelt in the Quarter-Finals as they set their sights on a Semi-Final place once again.
Pearse’s Kilrea: Paul Morgan, Ruairí McCamphill, Emmet Donaghy, Gearóid McLaughlin, Brian Óg McAlary, John Darragh, Peadar McLaughlin, James Kielt (0-05f), Ruairidh Donaghy, Conor Gillen (0-01, 0-01f), Charlie Kielt, Eamon Darragh, Daithí McLaughlin, Enda McAleese, Paddy Quigg (0-02).
Subs: Daniel Cassidy for Ruairí McCamphill 34', Rory Maguire for Enda McAleese 41', Eoghan Rogers 50'.
St Colm’s Ballinascreen: Ryan Scullion, Michael McShane, Ronan Murphy, Ryan Doyle (0-01), Martin Bradley (0-01), Phillip McGlade, Carlus McWilliams, Paul Burns, Phillip Bradley, Gary Conway, Shane Mulgrew (1-03, 0-04f), Noel Rafferty, Emmet Duggan (0-01), Benny Heron (1-01, 0-01f), Conor McGovern.
Subs: Niall Doyle (0-01) for Gary Conway HT, Barry Grant (0-01) for Paul Burns 42'.
Referee: Richie Donoghue (Emmet's GAC Slaughtneil)
Man of the Match: Shane Mulgrew (St Colm's)