Pádraig Pearses 1-8 Mountbellew-Moylough 1-7
Substitute Tom Butler hit the winning point deep into injury time as Pádraig Pearses reached the Connacht Club Senior Football Championship final for the second time in the club's history following a dramatic and controversial semi-final win over Mountbellew-Moylough at Dr Hyde Park.
Extra-time loomed large before Butler split the posts from 40 metres to decide a high-octane encounter that featured five black cards and a red card.
Mountbellow-Moylough were incensed with a number of late decisions that went against them, and their frustration boiled over at the end of the contest when players and mentors surrounded referee Jerome Henry, which necessitated the Mayo official being escorted off the field by stewards.
The opening half was predictably cagey, with both sides placing a high degree of prominence on their solid defensive structures.
There were plenty of talking points though, not least two black cards for Mountbellew-Moylough corner-forward Barry McHugh and Pádraig Pearses defender Mark Richardson.
Hubert Darcy got the Roscommon champions, who were against the breeze, off the mark in the fourth minute but the visitors were soon rewarded for their patience.
Leo Donnellan, a late replacement for Gerard Donohue, landed a fine score to restore parity before Mountbellew-Moylough struck a decisive blow.
Colin Ryan's booming delivery found McHugh in behind Richardson, and the number 15 flicked the ball past Pádraig Pearses goalkeeper Paul Whelan for the game’s opening goal. However, McHugh was subsequently black carded for an altercation with Whelan as he celebrated his score.
Pearses enjoyed plenty of possession after that, but they struggled to break down a watertight Mountbellew-Moylough rearguard.
However, in the 21st minute, they finally made headway when Niall Carty found some space along the endline before squaring possession for Paul Carey to find the net.
Darcy soon fisted another score to edge his side back in front but two sublime scores from Eoin Finnerty and Colin Ryan left Mountbellew-Moylough 1-03 to 1-02 ahead at the break, with Pearses down to 14 players following the dismissal of Richardson on a black card.
McHugh and Ronan Daly swapped points at the beginning of the new half before scores from Michael Daly and McHugh (free) pushed Mountbellew-Moylough three points in front.
In such a tight game, it looked like a defining advantage, although at this stage Mountbellew-Moylough's Shane Moran became the third player to receive a black card.
But Pearses responded to the challenge with points from Paul Carey and a double from the excellent Ronan Daly to leave the sides deadlocked at 1-06 apiece at the water break.
Mountbellew-Moylough defender Gary Sweeney ambled forward to push his side back in front, but Emmett Kelly marked his introduction with a superb point to bring the sides level once more.
Mountbellew-Moylough midfielder Matthew Barrett picked up a second yellow card before John Daly and Niall Carty added their names to the list of black cards in what was a messy ending where the Galway side felt that they didn’t get the rub of the green.
To rub further salt into their wounds, up popped Butler, in his first game for Pearses this season, to send his side into the provincial final against Knockmore in January, and leave Mountbellew-Moylough to rue what might have been.
Pádraig Pearses: Paul Whelan; Gavin Downey, Mark Richardson, Anthony Butler; Conor Lohan, Ronan Daly (0-03), David Murray; Niall Daly, Conor Daly; Shane Carty, Niall Carty, Lorcan Daly; Conor Payne, Hubert Darcy (0-02, 0-01f), Paul Carey (1-01).
Subs used: Caelim Keogh for Downey (ht), Tom Butler (0-01) for Payne (40), Emmett Kelly (0-01) for Shane Carty (51), Jack Tumulty for Lorcan Daly (54), Seán Ryan for Paul Carey (60).
Mountbellew-Moylough: Damien Boyle; Gary Sweeney (0-01), Billy Mannion, Colin Murray; Colin Ryan (0-01), John Daly, James Foley; Michael Daly (0-01), Matthew Barrett; Shane Moran, Paul Donnellan, Leo Donnellan (0-01); Patrick Kelly, Barry McHugh (1-02, 0-01f), Eoin Finnerty (0-01).
Sub used: Gerard Donohue for Paul Donnellan (51).
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).