Naomh Columba are Donegal Junior Gaeltacht champions following a 16 point victory over Na Rossa, in Monday’s final.
Naomh Columba 2-15
Na Rossa 0-5
There was no great argument about the outcome of this tie which was marred by a nasty melee at half-time involving a number of players from both sides after Na Rossa’s Christian Bonner was knocked to the ground as the teams ran off - the result of which both teams were reduced to 14 men in the second half after referee Liam McConigley red carded Naomh Columba’s Pauric Ward and Donal Trimble, Na Rossa. Ironically, Naomh Columba wanted to substitute Ward for the second period but the referee refused to accept the substitution and insisted that Ward resume and then gave him his marching orders.
Naomh Columba, who had defeated a strong Gaoth Dobhair in Sunday’s semi-final, had one hand on the cup when they led 0-8 to 0-1 at half-time, having played with the wind in the first half.
Paddy J McGinley’s men had dominated the first period, thanks in no small way to the dominance around midfield of Andrew O’Gara and Paddy Byrne and the penetrating runs of Gavin McGinley, Ryan McNern and Declan McGuire in the half-forward line; the incision of Padraig Cunningham and Philip McNern and ball winning ability of Oisin McGinley in the full-forward line.
Paddy Byrne kicked three 45s, Andrew O’Gara landed a massive point from a free from his own half when it hopped over the bar. That was Naomh Columba’s opening point and it cancelled out John Paul McCready’s strike - the game’s opening score.
Ryan Gillespie (2), Kevin McNern and Padraig Cunningam were the other Naomh Columba first half scorers.
Early in the second half points from McCready and Christian Bonner either side of a Kevin McNern super point hinted of a Na Rossa revival.
But that was as close as Declan Bonner’s men got as the champions went up a gear and despite playing into a very strong wind they hit 2-7 to Na Rossa’s two points in the closing 20 minutes.
Kevin McNern, on 52 minutes and Ryan Gillespie on 56 minutes drove home the goals while Padraig Cunningham (2), Gavin McGinley (3) and Noel McGinley posted the points for the rampant Glen men.
Conor McCready and Odhran Molloy scored late points for Na Rossa, who had nine minors in their starting line-up and who had defeated Naomh Muire in the all Rosses semi-final, the day before.
Naomh Columba: Shane O’Gara; Barry Carr, Kevin Cunningham, Conor Kennedy; Kevin McNern (1-2), Michael Maguire, Pauric Ward; Andrew O’Gara (0-1,1f), Paddy Byrne (0-3, 3 ‘45s’); Ryan McNern, Declan McGuire, Gavin McGinley (0-3); Ryan Gillespie (1-2,1f), Padraig Cunningham (0-3), Oisin McGinley. Subs: Martin Cunningham for M Maguire (h/t); Noel McGinley (0-1) for A O’Gara; Philip McNern for R McNern (both 50); Philip Doherty for P Cunningham (54).
Na Rossa: James Bonner; John McDyre, Daniel Melly, Jamie McCready; Cormac McHugh, Daryl Devenney, Conor Melly; John Paul Breslin, Donal Trimble; Adam McHugh, Christian Bonner (0-1), Sean McMonagle; Odhran Molloy (0-1), John Paul McCready (0-2), Conor Bonner. Subs: Conor McCready (0-1) for Conor Bonner (38); Raymond McMonagle for Christian Bonner (Black card, 50); Gerard Breslin for C McHugh, (49); Daniel Elliot for C Melly (55).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings).