All square in Letterkenny; St. Michael's get win

MICHAEL MURPHY SPORTS & LEISURE DONEGAL SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP, GROUP B

All square in Letterkenny; St. Michael's get win
DEMOCRAT REPORTERS sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

There was late drama at O’Donnell Park yesterday afternoon as Kilcar’s Ryan McHugh showed nerves of steel to slot over a 40 metre free deep in injury time to secure a draw for the visitors.

St. Eunan's . . . . . . . 0-13

Kilcar . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-10

Indeed, the drama could have been more plentiful had Ciaran McGinley showed more composure when getting a shot off from a tight angle on the left side as the game ticked into the fourth minute of added time. But he miscued with the right boot and the Eunan’s faithful breathed a huge sigh of relief. And when Urris referee, Sean Paul Doherty, blew full time, neither side could argue that a draw was a fair outcome to an entertaining championship opener for both teams in the co-called “group of death” which also includes St Michael’s and Killybegs.

This eagerly awaited tie brought two newly formed management teams pitting their wits against each other for the first time. The McHugh brothers, Martin and James, are now calling the shots for Kilcar, while yesterday saw former Eunan’s player, David McGinley, who has his father, John, and Barry Meehan, assisting, take charge on championship day for the first time.

The loss of St Eunan’s captain, Rory Kavanagh, after he was shown a black card for his part in an incident with Ciaran McGinley on 19 minutes, was the main talking point at the break. The pair were involved in what appeared to be nothing more than handbag stuff close to the half way line under the stand. But after consulting with linesman, Paddy McKeever, the referee showed the county man a black card. Eunan’s were forced to reshape and Oisin Carr was introduced to fill the void.

Despite a fruitful start - Conor Gibbons had the host two points to the good after four minutes - Eunan’s were rocked when Kilcar tattled up 1-3 in a six minute spell to lead 1-3 to 0-2 after eleven minutes. Points from Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Eoin McHugh set Kilcar on their way before Patrick McBrearty scored the encounter’s only goal from the penalty spot. Stephen McBrearty was hauled down by Conor Morrison and his older brother stepped up to drill low to the right corner. McBrearty and Kavanagh traded points before Kavanagh was shown a black card. John Haran and Kevin Rafferty reduced to difference to the minimum before Michael Hegarty opened the gap up to three again, 1-6 to 0-6, at the break.

St Eunan’s, with the daft at their backs, gained the upper hand in the third quarter. Adopting the long ball in approach to the wily John Haran inside - this is his 22nd senior club championship campaign - Eunan’s hit four points while conceding just one to lead by a point with 40 minutes gone.

The game then went 14 minutes without a score before substitute, Paddy McGowan found the range after a patient build-up to put the home side 0-12 to 1-7 ahead on 53 minutes. The smart money at that stage was on a black and amber win.

But Matthew McClean’s point - Kilcar’s first score for 20 minutes - gave them a timely lift and two minutes later, Ryan McHugh floated over a ‘45’ to level proceedings on 58 minutes. Conor Gibbons could have been forgiven for thinking he had won the game for Eunan’s when finding the range with almost two of the three added time minutes. But Ryan McHugh was pulled down while dashing down the left by Kevin Rafferty, who was dismissed for his second yellow card offence.

The number eleven then dusted himself down to convert with admirable coolness and save the day.

St. Eunan’s: Sean Daffan; Conor Morrison, Caolan Ward, Sean Hensey; Peter Devine, Conor O’Donnell (0-1), Eamonn Doherty; Kevin Rafferty (0-1), Rory Kavanagh (0-1); David Tyrell (0-2, 2 ‘45’), Daragh Mulgrew (0-2), Conor Gibbons (0-3); Conall Dunne, John Haran (0-1), Rory Carr (0-2). Subs: Oisin Carr for Kavanagh, 19 minutes, black card, Conor Parkes for Oisin Carr 42, Lee McMonagle for Tyrell 47, Paddy McGowan (0-1) for Rory Carr 50.

Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Andrew McClean, Mark McHugh, Eoin McHugh (0-3, 2 ‘45’ f); Ciaran McGinley, Michael Hegarty (0-2); Matthew McClean (0-1), Ryan McHugh (0-3), Stephen McBrearty; Aodhán McGinley, Patrick McBrearty (1-3, 1-0 pen, 2f), Mark Sweeney. Sub: Conor Doherty for Aodhán McGinley 46.

Referee: Shaun Paul Doherty (Urris).

A late burst in the second half saw St Michael's edge past a gritty Killybegs side in the their clash in Dunfanaghy.

St Michael's 2-13

Killybegs 0-08

In a tense affair the Killybegs defence worked hard to contain St Michael's for much of the game and stayed in contention well into the last quarter.

Ryan Langan opened from play for the home side but two frees from Hugh McFadden saw the visitors take the lead on five minutes.

Ryan Langan was on target again to level but another free in a dangerous position saw Hugh McFadden tip over for the lead once again. Colm McFadden levelled it in the ninth minute before a Michael Langan point gave St Michael the lead 0-4 to 0-3 after 11 minutes.

Chris Murrin fired over from play to keep Killybegs ahead and another Hugh McFadden free saw them go two up in the 18th minute.

An Andrew Kelly free left just one between them and a Kelly pass set up Michael Langan to point and leave even as the half came to a close.

After the restart Hugh McFadden converted another in the 36th minute for Killybegs to go one point up.

Liam Paul Ferry turned provider to Martin McElhinney as he fired over to even the game at 0-7 each after 38 minutes.

Both sides struggled to get a clear advantage as the game wore on but Killybegs edged out in front once again with an excellent Donal McGuire point from play on 49 minutes.

Colm McFadden was replaced by young Odhran McFadden, who wasted no time in getting up the speed of play.

As St Michael's upped the pressure a high Michael Langan effort rebounded off the upright into the hands of Andrew Kelly to tip over from close range to level once again in the 52nd minute.

Then the turning point came from the boot of Ryan Langan whose precision strike hit the Killybegs net to go a goal up.

Goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley converted a free to add another point to the gap and Christy Toye added another in the 58th minute to put daylight between the sides. Chris Murrin’s second yellow card saw him sent off late on and two points from Odhran McFadden and one from Michael Langan left it 1-13 to 0-08 in injury time.

A poor kick out from Killybegs resulted in an attack that saw Liam Paul Ferry hit the net in the last kick of the game.

St Michaels: Mark Anthony McGinley (0-1f), Stephen Doak, Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, Liam Paul Ferry (1-0), Michael McGinley, Michael Cannon, Martin McElhinney (0-1), Christy Toye (0-1), Ryan Langan (1-2), Colm McFadden (0-1), Keelan McGee, Michael Langan (0-3), Kieran Kelly, Andrew Kelly(0-2, 1f). Subs: Oisin Langan for K Kelly 30, Odhran McFadden (0-2) for C McFadden 45, Brian McLaughlin for O Langan.

Killybegs: Kevin Martin, Daniel O’Donnell, Niall Carbery, Ciaran Connaghan, Ciaran Cunningham, Chris Murrin(0-1), Owen Gallagher, Hugh McFadden (0-6fs), Owen ‘Ban’ Gallagher, Shane Molloy, Evan Broderick, Pauric Connaghan, Donal McGuire (0-1), Paul Cunningham, Daniel Kane.

Referee: Mark Dorrian (Fanad Gaels).

There was late drama at O’Donnell Park yesterday afternoon as Kilcar’s Ryan McHugh showed nerves of steel to slot over a 40 metre free deep in injury time to secure a draw for the visitors.

St. Eunan's . . . . . . . 0-13

Kilcar . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-10

Indeed, the drama could have been more plentiful had Ciaran McGinley showed more composure when getting a shot off from a tight angle on the left side as the game ticked into the fourth minute of added time. But he miscued with the right boot and the Eunan’s faithful breathed a huge sigh of relief. And when Urris referee, Sean Paul Doherty, blew full time, neither side could argue that a draw was a fair outcome to an entertaining championship opener for both teams in the co-called “group of death” which also includes St Michael’s and Killybegs.

This eagerly awaited tie brought two newly formed management teams pitting their wits against each other for the first time. The McHugh brothers, Martin and James, are now calling the shots for Kilcar, while yesterday saw former Eunan’s player, David McGinley, who has his father, John, and Barry Meehan, assisting, take charge on championship day for the first time.

The loss of St Eunan’s captain, Rory Kavanagh, after he was shown a black card for his part in an incident with Ciaran McGinley on 19 minutes, was the main talking point at the break. The pair were involved in what appeared to be nothing more than handbag stuff close to the half way line under the stand. But after consulting with linesman, Paddy McKeever, the referee showed the county man a black card. Eunan’s were forced to reshape and Oisin Carr was introduced to fill the void.

Despite a fruitful start - Conor Gibbons had the host two points to the good after four minutes - Eunan’s were rocked when Kilcar tattled up 1-3 in a six minute spell to lead 1-3 to 0-2 after eleven minutes. Points from Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Eoin McHugh set Kilcar on their way before Patrick McBrearty scored the encounter’s only goal from the penalty spot. Stephen McBrearty was hauled down by Conor Morrison and his older brother stepped up to drill low to the right corner. McBrearty and Kavanagh traded points before Kavanagh was shown a black card. John Haran and Kevin Rafferty reduced to difference to the minimum before Michael Hegarty opened the gap up to three again, 1-6 to 0-6, at the break.

St Eunan’s, with the daft at their backs, gained the upper hand in the third quarter. Adopting the long ball in approach to the wily John Haran inside - this is his 22nd senior club championship campaign - Eunan’s hit four points while conceding just one to lead by a point with 40 minutes gone.

The game then went 14 minutes without a score before substitute, Paddy McGowan found the range after a patient build-up to put the home side 0-12 to 1-7 ahead on 53 minutes. The smart money at that stage was on a black and amber win.

But Matthew McClean’s point - Kilcar’s first score for 20 minutes - gave them a timely lift and two minutes later, Ryan McHugh floated over a ‘45’ to level proceedings on 58 minutes. Conor Gibbons could have been forgiven for thinking he had won the game for Eunan’s when finding the range with almost two of the three added time minutes. But Ryan McHugh was pulled down while dashing down the left by Kevin Rafferty, who was dismissed for his second yellow card offence.

The number eleven then dusted himself down to convert with admirable coolness and save the day.

St. Eunan’s: Sean Daffan; Conor Morrison, Caolan Ward, Sean Hensey; Peter Devine, Conor O’Donnell (0-1), Eamonn Doherty; Kevin Rafferty (0-1), Rory Kavanagh (0-1); David Tyrell (0-2, 2 ‘45’), Daragh Mulgrew (0-2), Conor Gibbons (0-3); Conall Dunne, John Haran (0-1), Rory Carr (0-2). Subs: Oisin Carr for Kavanagh, 19 minutes, black card, Conor Parkes for Oisin Carr 42, Lee McMonagle for Tyrell 47, Paddy McGowan (0-1) for Rory Carr 50.

Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Andrew McClean, Mark McHugh, Eoin McHugh (0-3, 2 ‘45’ f); Ciaran McGinley, Michael Hegarty (0-2); Matthew McClean (0-1), Ryan McHugh (0-3), Stephen McBrearty; Aodhán McGinley, Patrick McBrearty (1-3, 1-0 pen, 2f), Mark Sweeney. Sub: Conor Doherty for Aodhán McGinley 46.

Referee: Shaun Paul Doherty (Urris).