Glenswilly made it through to the last four of the Donegal senior championship with a hard fought win over Kilcar and windy MacCumhaill Park
Second half substitute, Keelan McFadden, kicked the winner 11 minutes from the end after the teams had been level five times and Kilcar had snatched the lead three times over the course of the 65 minutes or so of play.
Glenswilly’s greater physical power allied with a little more fire power when it came to scoring proved the difference.
Glenswilly had six different scorers to Kilcar’s four.
Kilcar, too, will rue three missed scoring chances in the closing minutes after Glenswilly had hit the front for the final time.
Kilcar led by a point at half-time at the end of a very scrappy and tense first half played in very blustery conditions and after a false start.
Referee Jimmy White, called the game back after Colin Kelly had pointed for Glenswilly, who had started the game with 16 players.
When the game started the second time Kelly then kicked the game’s official opening point 30 seconds in. And when Kelly again split the Kilcar post two minutes later Glenswilly were two up and off to a good start.
But with scores very hard to come by Patrick McBrearty and Eoin McHugh responded to tie up the game at 0-2 after 17 minutes.
And Kilcar were in front shortly afterwards when McBrearty converted his second free, 0-3 to 0-2 by the 19 minute mark
The sides were level once more before Ryan McHugh split the posts from a 40 metre free to send Kilcar in the one up, 0-4 to 0-3 at the break.
The second half was every bit as close as the first. Colin Kelly tied up the game at 0-4 each within a minute of the restart. Kelly, in his first championship start of the year, was a real matchwinner for Glenswilly up front, where Michael Murphy was very quiet throughout.
And while Michael Hegarty, who was Kilcar’s best player by a good bit, soon had the men from the south west back in front, Ciaran Bonner with two rapid fire points had Glenswilly back in front again by the 36th minute.
Bonner, too, was one of Glenswilly’s best performers.
With Glenswilly, as they had done for most of the first half, doing most of the pressing points were exchanged with Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty notching frees and Michael Hegarty again driving forward to knock over a super point to level matters once more at 0-7 each.
That was on 49 minutes and with a draw looking ever more likely and underfoot conditions getting a little more sticky after a heavy half-time shower, Keelan McFadden landed what was the winner.
Michael Murphy was wide from 40 metres and a tight angle while Patrick McBrearty was pulled up for over carrying as he was about to pull the trigger way out wide on the left hand side.
And then Kilcar had those three late chances with Mark Sweeney, McBrearty and Ryan McHugh all just wide.
It was a game that Kilcar will feel that they left behind, especially with those late scoring chances, but Glenswilly showed the more composure.
While Michael Murphy had a very quiet game, the same could not be said of Neil Gallagher, who ran the show at midfield and when the Glen men reflect on this game they will thank their All-Star who was a colussus from start to finish. One tackle which dispossessed Eoin McHugh late in the second half set up a point, which was a piece of pure class from Gallagher.
The game was very well handled by Jimmy White adn while it wasn’t a great spectacle, it was alays interesting.
Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Pauric Carr, Conor McShane, Barry McGinley; Ciaran McGinley, Mark McHugh, Barry Shovlin; Michael Hegarty (0-2), Glen McBrearty; Eoin McHugh (0-1), Ryan McHugh (0-1,1f) David McShane; Stephen Shovlin, Patrick McBrearty (0-3,3f), Ashley Carr. Subs: Aodhan McGinley for A Carr (31); Barry Doherty for Glen McBrearty (40, inj); Mark Sweeney for E. McHugh (57).
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Aiddan McDevitt, James Pat McDaid, Brian McDaid; Eamon Ward, Ryan Hunter, Caolan Kelly; Neil Gallagher, Ciaran Bonner (0-2); Darren McGinley, Ruairi Crawford, Joe Gibbons; Colin Kelly (0-3), Gary McFadden (0-1), Michael Murphy (0-1,f). Subs: Leon Kelly for J. P. McDaid (h/t); Cathal Gallagher for L Kelly (42, inj); Keelan McFadden (0-1) for C Kelly, John McFadden for J Gibbons (59)
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).