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Kilcoo's Daryl Branagan Feared He Wouldn't Be Allowed Home After Black Card

Kilcoo's Daryl Branagan Feared He Wouldn't Be Allowed Home After Black Card

Down's Kilcoo have reached a first ever All-Ireland Club Football final after a thrilling win over Ballyboden St Enda's this afternoon.

They entered the game as underdogs, with the Dublin side expected to utilise their experience at this level. Kilcoo on the other hand were playing at this stage for the first time.

You couldn't tell.

They matched the opposition right from the outset, scoring the first goal of the game in the 21st minute. It was an excellently worked team effort, with Ryan Johnston providing the finishing touch.

They continued to keep their noses in front for most of the contest, landing what would prove to be the killer blow 15 minutes from the end. They raised a second green flag, this time through Daryl Branagan.

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Kilcoo would hang on for a three point win.

Speaking to TG4 after the game, man-of-the-match Branagan summed up what reaching an All-Ireland final meant to everyone in Kilcoo:

It's unbelievable. Semi-finals are there to be won, and we knew that's what we were coming here to do, to try and win it.

You can see what it means to everybody, they're over the moon. It's just about getting over the line and the last few minutes was really tense. I don't actually know who we're playing yet, but it's good to get a day out in Croke Park!

You're getting to an All-Ireland final, there's going to be no walkovers. It's a great occasion for the parish to get a day out in Croke Park if nothing else.

With Ballyboden applying the pressure late on, Branagan was could do nothing to help his teammates.

He had received a black card a few moments earlier and was worried that he wouldn't be allowed back into the parish if the result went against them as a result:

I couldn't even do it (help the team), I'm on the sideline and it made it all the worse. I was thinking 'I'm not going to be able to go home if we're beaten here after getting a black card'...

At U14 we won the Féile and we always said it would be great to get back to an All-Ireland final at senior level again. We're here, so we'll give it our best shot in Croke Park.

SEE ALSO: Two Scores Which Showcase Why Corofin Are The Country's Classiest Team

Gary Connaughton

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