A five-star display from Michael Murphy saw Glenswilly win their first ever county title in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.
St. Michael’s 0-9
Murphy hit 1-7 of their total, the goal coming twelve minutes into the second half, a classic finish from the big full-forward, who fielded and turned in one movement and fired to the net
Christy Toye dragged St. Michael’s back on terms but three further Murphy points in the final ten minutes ensured the Dr. Maguire Cup was heading for the Glen for the first time.
The first time finalists, St. Michael’s showed all the nerves as Glenswilly were quick from the traps. Michael Murphy, back in his customary role of full-forward, won and pointed free inside three minutes.
The big full-forward repeated the trick on seven minutes with St. Michael’s having their first shot on 11 minutes, and finally made the breakthrough through a patient build-up finished by Christy Toye.
A brace of points inside a minute from James Pat McDaid and a magnificent effort from play from Murphy pushed Glenswilly three clear on 18 minutes.
But once St. Michael’s shrugged off their early nerves, they were much the better side in the final 12 minutes. Ciaran Gallagher had a bad miss but Colm McFadden pointed a free and Daniel McLaughlin followed on 25 minutes.
The best point of the opening half came two minutes from the break as St. Michael’s showed their true potential, breaking from the full-back line before releasing Christy Toye on the burst and he found Colm McFadden with a slide rule pass to leave it all square at the break, 0-4 each.
St. Michael’s were ahead for the only time in the game early in the second half when McFadden and Martin McElhinney cancelled out a Murphy free.
But then came the Murphy goal, fielding a high centre from Joe Gibbons and turning to give Ciaran Gallagher no chance in the St. Michael’s goal.
Picking the man of the match award was one of the easiest tasks ever for the assembled press. Murphy had struggled for much of the championship, but like good wine, he ame good on the big day.
Murphy was typicall modest mood afterwards regarding the goal. “It was a good ball in from Joe Gibbons and it was one of those days. I was in the right place at the right. I turned and shot and some times they go in and sometimes they don’t,” said Michael.
After the final whistle the old Bridie Gallagher songs, ‘The Hills of Glenswilly’ were ringing out from the team on the podium. They had come through the tough side of the draw and were battle hardened for victory after losing their only other final in 2007.
The club are only around 30 years in existence but with Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher driving them forward, they were worthy winners.
St Michael’s: Ciaran Gallagher; Brendan Rodden, Stephen Doak, Stephen Black; Peter Witherow, Michael McGinley, Michael Gallagher; Ciaran Gallagher, Martin McElhinney (0-1); Daniel McLaughlin (0-1), Antoin McFadden, Christy Toye (0-3); Colm A McFadden (0-3,1f), Brian McLaughlin, Raymond McLaughlin. Subs.: Andrew Kelly for Black 41; Stephen Coyle (0-1,F)for C Gallagher 56
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Rory McDaid, Eamon Ward, Ruairi Crawford; Joe Gibbons, J P McDaid (0-1), Brian McDaid; Gary McFadden, Neil Gallagher; Kealan McFadden, Ciaran Bonner, Caolan Kelly; Darren McGinley, Michael Murphy (1-7,3f,45), Leon Kelly. Subs.: Brian Farrelly for C Bonner ht; Martin McGinley for D McGinley 42; Ciaran Bonner for C Kelly 46; John McFadden for L Kelly 46; Gerard McGrenra for K McFadden 56
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)