Holders Naomh Conaill overcome Ardara in U-21 championship

Holders Naomh Conaill overcome Ardara in U-21 championship
The county U-21 championship trophy has almost earned squatter’s rights in Glenties by now and the contemporaries are off and running again.

The county U-21 championship trophy has almost earned squatter’s rights in Glenties by now and the contemporaries are off and running again.

The county U-21 championship trophy has almost earned squatter’s rights in Glenties by now and the contemporaries are off and running again.

Naomh Conaill 0-13

Ardara 0-7

On Tuesday evening at a drizzly Davy Brennan Memorial Park, the blue and white procession continued with a six-point win over neighbours Ardara.

The hosts were in front for almost the whole match and only about halfway through the second half did they seem any way susceptible.

Ardara had closed the gap to three points, 0-9 to 0-6, as their hosts had only mustered one effort on goal - a Charles McGuinness point almost 15 minutes beforehand - in the entire second half.

But with Naomh Conaill participating in every final at the age bracket since 2006, winning all but one of the seven, they know their way around the competition.

However, Connie Doherty and Leo McLoone’s team steadied themselves with the introduction of Ciaran Thompson, who had been an absentee for over a month with a dislocated shoulder, and kicked onto win.

Thompson posted two late frees to remove all reasonable doubt.

John O’Malley scored three points to set Naomh Conaill on their way and he was ably assited inside by Mark Gallagher.

By the interval, O’Malley had four points and the centre-field pairing of James Gallagher and Donnach O’Callaghan had also scored to facilitate a 0-8 to 0-4 lead.

By that stage, all of Ardara’s points had been from free-kicks, three alone from Tomás Boyle.

With a crossfield wind that was more awkward than anything, Ardara clawed a little closer with Brendan McNelis and substitute Anthony Slowey pointing.

However, Naomh Conaill finished well to give themselves a spot in the quarter-finals. They’re off and running on a familiar gallop.

Naomh Conaill: Ronan O’Donnell; Michéal Doherty, Jason Campbell, James Doherty; Kevin McGettigan, Ciaran Brennan, Philip Gallagher; James Gallagher (0-1), Donnach O’Callaghan (0-1); Charles McGuinness (0-1), Eunan Doherty, Seamus Ellis; Owen Boyle, Mark Gallagher (0-3), John O’Malley (0-4, 1f). Subs: Ciaran Thompson (0-2, 2f) for P Gallagher (48), Dawid Stanislawczyk for Boyle (57), Anthony Molloy for Brennan (58).

Ardara: Patrick Gavigan; Kelvin Slowey, Nicholas Brennan, Neil Campbell; Sean McLaughlin, Patrick White, Kyle Gallagher; Ryan Sweeney, Brendan McNelis (0-1); Lorcan O’Donnell, Shane O’Donnell, Sean McGuinness; Joe McLaughlin, Aaron Bennett (0-2, 2f), Tomás Boyle (0-3, 3f). Subs: Anthony Slowey (0-1) for Gallagher (40), Cathal Gallagher for McLaughlin (52), Daniel Breslin for Campbell (53).

Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)