MacCumhaill’s, powerful and skilful, were just too strong for a gallant Killybegs side in the U-13 final in Glenties on Saturday morning.
The conditions were good - much better than the afternoon - and the physically stronger Twin Towns side had the game in the bag before ten minutes had elapsed.
With just eight minutes and 30 seconds on the clock, full-forward Oisean Gallen had rattled the Killybegs net three times, while the midfield pairing of Luke Gavigan and Chad McSorley were completely dominant.
There could only be one outcome, although the first goal, from the penalty spot, seemed a harsh call. It came in the first minute when Jamie Keegan followed in after a high ball and collided with the Killybegs ‘keeper. From the spot Gallen made no mistake with a powerful finish.
The impressively built Chad McSorley punched a point and Joe Bradley/Walsh added another before Gallen struck for two goals inside a minute.
Killybegs were just shellshocked. They should have had a goal in the 14th minute when Ryan Cunningham burst through but referee Myles Sweeney pulled play back and awarded a free just as he was firing to the net. Cunningham, the most impressive Killybegs player, pointed the free, but the incident just underlined that it was not going to be Killybegs’ day.
The Twin Towns boys, with the breeze behind them, tagged on points with Gallen landing a magnificent effort, and he was on hand to fire home the fourth goal as well on 19 minutes.
McSorley, Keegan and Bradley/Walsh also got in on the scoring but before half-time Killybegs hit back with Charlie Breslin denied a goal as Ciaran Foy tipped over in the MacCumhaill’s goal and Ryan Cunningham pointed to leave the half-time score, MacCumhaill’s 4-7, Killybegs 0-3.
The wind died for the second half, but fair play to Killybegs, they began to take the game to MacCumhaill’s. Ryan Cunningham, who has a sweet left foot, fired two points, but MacCumhaill’s replied with McSorley, Ciaran Barnes and Gallen pointing.
Killybegs got the goal they deserved on 48 minutes when a slip by the MacCumhaill’s ‘keeper was pounced on by Jack O’Donnell to finish and Ryan Cunningham added a free with six minutes left.
But just as he started, Oisean Gallen had the final say with his and his side’s fifth goal on 56 minutes. Ryan Cunningham had the final point, a free, which meant that Killybegs had actually won the second half by a point.
Apart from Gallen and McSorley, Luke Gavigan, son of former Ardara and Donegal star, Luke, was immense in the middle of the field. Austin Duignan, Joe Bradley/Walsh, Shane Griffin, Ciaran Barnes and Alex McGeehin all played their part.
Ryan Cunningham was class for Killybegs, as were their half-back line of Eoin McGing, Seamus Og Byrne and Niall Campbell. Michael Gallagher also deserves mention for two clearances off the line.
MacCumhaill’s: Ciaran Foy; Adam Dunnion, Ciaran Barnes (0-1), Shane Griffin; Aaron Gallooley, Joe Boyle, Alex McGeehin; Luke Gavigan, Chad McSorley (0-3); Austin Duignan, Jamie Keegan (0-1), Anthony Bruton; Joe Bradley/Walsh (0-3), Oisean Gallen (5-2), Anthony Gallagher. Subs., Shaun O’Donnell for A Gallagher 43; Shaun Doherty for Bruton; Shaun Rowan for Dunnion, both 59.
Killybegs: Corey Byrne; Michael Statham, Jack Breslin, Michael Gallagher; Eoin McGing, Seamus Og Byrne, Niall Campbell; Jimmy Gorrell, Odhran McGuinness; Ryan Cunningham (0-6,3f), Ryan Carr, Jack O’Donnell (1-0); Charlie Breslin (0-1), Karl Gallagher, Conor Cunningham. Subs., Cillian Gildea for C Cunningham 38; Luke McCarthy for Breslin 44; Ross Connolly for K Gallagher; Rory O’Shea for M Gallagher, both 59.
Referee: Myles Sweeney (Dungloe)