Drumlane just about clung on to their bid to reach an intermediate championship final for the first time on Friday night when they got out of jail against Bailieborough Shamrocks at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Ollie Fay’s charges looked set for the exit door once again at the semi-final stage of this competition, but were somewhat blessed when Dessie Reilly’s last-gasp effort sailed wide to save a second chance for the Sons of O’Connell.
Billed as favourites going into this clash, Drumlane started well and moved 0-2 to nothing clear after the opening eight minutes through the superb Barry Cunningham and a free from Barry Corrigan, while Daryl McConnell blazed a goal chance just wide after being sent through by the former.
The Shamrocks took over after that, wiping out their deficit while missing two goal chances of their own to move into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead, via scores from Paddy Bird, Niall Kelly and Andrew Coleman.
A Corrigan free closed the half, as Drumlane trailed by two, and they looked set to fall further behind after Bird lashed over his second from play.
However, a quick 1-1 from 17-year-old Gary Tubman put the west Cavan side in front, with the goal coming from a quick side-line taken by Cunningham inside to Corrigan, who in turn found Tubman on the edge of the square and he coolly dispatched to the net.
A brilliant outfield score from Corrigan stretched Drumlane’s lead to two, before the town side struck a killer blow which saw substitute Paul Sharkey slip Bird through and the full-forward slid the ball under Darren Murphy for the umpire’s green flag.
Corrigan levelled from an angle as the pressure mounted on both teams and frees from the opposing marksmen kept things even at 1-7 each, but Bailieborough could and should have booked their place in the final when Reilly was sent through on the last attack but his shot tailed just wide at the last second much to the relief of the Drumlane faithful.
The date and venue for Part Deux is set to be confirmed this Monday night by the county board’s CCC.