Anthony Thompson uses all his experience as Naomh Conaill deny Gowna at the death
Kevin McGettigan's last-gasp goal sent Naomh Conaill through to the Ulster club football semi-finals.
Trailing Gowna by two points with three minutes of injury-time having elapsed, the Donegal champions had time for one last roll of the dice when they won a free just outside the 21.
Cavan champions Gowna had almost all of their players back in a defensive position but they still couldn't keep the goal out, with Naomh Conaill's veteran centre half back Anthony Thompson using all of his experience in the build-up.
By playing the free short, rather than kicking it straight into the square, Thompson ensured that, in line with the rules of the game, the Naomh Conaill players could enter the square as soon as the ball was kicked.
Had he kicked it straight in from the free, then they could only have entered the square after the ball and may well have been penalised. Cleverly, Thompson played a quick one-two before lobbing it in on top of a danger-zone full of bodies.
The ball broke to McGettigan, who squeezed the ball through at the goalie's near post. The Gowna players dropped to their knees as the Naomh Conaill men jumped for joy.
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) November 12, 2023
Naomh Conaill had started the brighter of the two sides with Leo McCloone's goal giving them a four point, 1-5 to 0-4 lead at the break. Fresh from a 17 point victory over Kingscourt Stars in the Cavan final, Gowna took over in the second half with Conor Brady and Cian Madden to the fore.
But it's often said that a two point lead is the most dangerous lead in football and so it proved once more.
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