Naomh Conaill took the points away to rivals Ardara on Saturday night with a commanding enough four-point win in Pearse Park.
Naomh Conaill . . . . . . . . . . 3-9
Ardara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-14
By Frank Craig, PRO
Without the services of Leo McLoone, Anthony Thompson, Brendan McDyre and Eoghan McGettigan from the off, Naomh Conaill still had too much over the hour for an Ardara side also minus some influential regulars like Gareth Concarr, Declan Gavigan, Brendan Boyle and Jimmy O'Connell.
Seamus Gallagher's men opened sprightly enough as Paddy McGrath and Johnny Herron kicked them into an early two-point lead. However, on ten minutes the hosts' defensive frailties were completely laid bare when Seamus Corcoran was allowed to ghost in and onto a Marty Boyle pass before burying to the back of the net.
Naomh Conaill doubled their advantage when Dermot Molloy sauntered in to post. Soon after, Corcoran did likewise with Ardara's brittleness at the back again evident.
Ardara did manage to reduce arrears back to two when Brendan McNelis sailed over a fine free after Paul Watters had battled well to win the opportunity. Good showing inside from the same player forged the opening for McNelis, off his weaker right, to then arrow over a fourth for Ardara and the gap was cut to one.
Nine minutes from the break and the sides were level as Paddy McGrath cut in along the endline to fist over the bar. However, Ardara continued to leak space in their own defensive third and it was punished once again when Charlie McGuinness slapped home at the back post after Leon Thompson had served the opportunity on a plate.
Ardara, again through a McNelis free, kept themselves within two of Naomh Conaill. A booming '45m free from McNelis – at this stage Ardara's premier player – then managed to cut the difference back to a single over.
But with Molloy shimmying inside Nicolas Maguire and punting off the laces, Naomh Conaill's reply was as good as instant. A fine link-up between Watters, Malley and CJ Molloy almost forged a goal in the final seconds of the first period but Molloy's drive cannoned off Cathal Ellis' feet and away to safety.
Half-time: Naomh Conaill 2-3, Ardara 0-7.
The second-half action got under way with Jack Brennan inches away from goaling when he almost latched onto a Simon Breslin square along the line. Dermot Molloy, with the outside of the left peg, hammered over a brilliant point but, it has to be said, he was given far too much room to size up the home posts.
Eight minutes into the second-half and Ardara were off the mark as Watters was sent on his way by Conor Classon. A Charles McGuinness free was the last action he seen as Naomh Conaill called on the heavy artillery of Leo McLoone.
Moments later, another experienced head, Brendan McDyre, also came into the mix. With Aaron Bennett not tuned in for a close range free disaster struck and John O'Malley took full advantage to lob over the advanced Ardara netminder and into the goal.
Now six behind on a score of 3-5 to 0-8, and heading into the last quarter, Ardara pulled one back through Kenneth Doherty. Corcoran took his tally to 1-2 for the night as the game approached the 53rd minute.
Substitute Stefan Boyle and Nicolas Breslin both hit the target for Ardara to trim the gap back to four. Ardara, chipping away, had it back to three with as many minutes left on the clock thanks to Jack Brennan.
But Naomh Conaill eased their slight concerns with a timely Molloy point. And with Brendan McDyre took full advantage of a stray Ardara kickout, Naomh Conaill were soon back to five to the good, with the contest ticking into the red.
McNelis did have the final say for the hosts just prior to the whistle but it was Naomh Conaill that still exited with the bragging rights when Robbie O'Donnell eventually signaled time.
Ardara: Aaron Bennett; Nicolas Maguire, Kenneth Doherty (0-1), Kevin Breslin; Johnny Herron (0-1), Paddy McGrath (0-2), Ryan Malley; Conor Classon, Nicolas Breslin (0-1); Lorcan O'Donnell, CJ Molloy, Jack Brennan (0-1); Paul Watters (0-1), Simon Breslin, Brendan McNelis (0-6,4f).Subs: Stefan Boyle (0-1) for S Breslin 50, Kevin Herron for J Herron 55..
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Aaron Thompson, Cathal Ellis, Stephen Molloy; Marty Boyle, Eunan Doherty, Kevin McGettigan; Ethan O'Donnell, Ciaran Thompson; Logan Quinn (0-1), Dermot Molloy (0-4), Seamus Corcoran (1-2); John O'Malley (1-0), Charlie McGuinness (1-1,1f), Leon Thompson. Subs: Leo McLoone for C McGuinness 39; Brendan McDyre (0-1) for L Thompson 46. .
Referee: Robbie O'Donnell (Naomh Muire).
Kilcar go top with Burn Road win
Kilcar are sitting on top of the Donegal league following Saturday night’s victory over a game Termon at the Burn Road.
Termon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-9
Kilcar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-18
Their four point victory over Termon coupled with Gaoth Dobhair’s six point defeat by St Michael’s, mean that Kilcar have leapfrogged Gaoth Dobhair and are now occupy the top spot.
But not before they were given a stern examination by struggling Termon on their home sod, who were not helped by picking up three black cards.
The locals got off to a dream start and Daire McDaid and Austin Marron scored first half goals as Termon gave Kilcar an early fright.
It was all square at half-time with McDaid and Johnny McCafferty scored the points for Termon while Ciaran McGinley and Michael Hegarty scored the bulk of the Kilcar points. Dara O’Donnell pounced for the Kilcar goal when the ball was spilled in the Termon goalmouth.
The half-time score was Termon 2-4, Kilcar 1-7.
Kilcar upped their game after the break and with Matthew McClean, Stephen McBrearty, Aodhan McGinley all finding the range Martin McHugh’s side pulled five clear.
Austin Marron had a point waved by the umpire but was disallowed by the referee Shaun McLaughlin.
In fairness to the experienced Termon umpire a low blinding sun shining over Matt’s Brae may have caused the confusion.
Dermot and Aodhan McGinley and Stephen McBrearty added to the Kilcar tally before Termon rallied late on.
Dara McDaid posted four late points and Kevin McDaid scored a super individual goal before Stephen McBrearty brought down the curtain on the scoring with an injury time point.
Michael Hegarty turned in a man of the match performance for Kilcar who also had standout performers in Stephen McBrearty, Ciaran McGinley and Matthew McClean.
John McCafferty was outstanding for Termon until he was black carded while Paul McDaid, Shane Callaghan and Fintan O’Flynn also played well for Termon.
Termon: Connor Tinney; Paul McDaid, Nathan McElwaine, Kevin Mc EIlwaine; Shane Callaghan, Kevin McDaid (1-0), Fintan O’Flynn; Brendan Friel, Keelan Mellet; Anthony McGrenra, James McSharry, Daniel Conaghan; Austin Marron (1-0) Johnny McCafferty (0-2),Daire McDaid (1-7,5f), Subs: Steven McElwaine for K McElwaine (black); Joe O Donnell for S McElwaine (Black); James McElwaine for C Mellett; Jamie Gallagher for B Friel; Caolan Mellett for J McCafferty (black).
Kilcar: Eamonn McGinley; Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Pauric McShane; Cormac Cannon, Barry Shovlin, Dermot McGinley (0-1); Michael Hegarty (0-1), Ciaran McGinley (0-1); Aodhan McGinley (0-3,2f), Stephen McBrearty (0-7,4f), Matthew McClean (0-3); Glen Mc Brearty (0-1), Dara O’Donnell (1-1), Declan Gallagher.
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin).
St. Eunan's too strong
After the previous weekend’s scare and late win in Bundoran, St Eunan’s were in no mood for a repeat performance against Dungloe,on Saturday evening in O’Donnell Park.
St Eunan's . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-17
Dungloe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0-10
It was all pretty easy in the end for St Eunan’s and they were full value for their ten point victory over the struggling Rosses men who are propping up the Division One table. They have just one win - their opening game of the season against St Michael’s - the same as fellow strugglers, Ardara and Glenswilly, but find themselves in the bottom position on score difference.
A John Haran goal two minutes before half-time kick started St Eunan’s, who lined out without their county men Rory Kavanagh and Eamonn Doherty.
Dungloe, who hit all their scores from frees, were competitive early on. Adam Neely kicked the game’s first three points into the Swilly End as the got off to the proverbial
flyer. Lee McMonagle and Conor Gibbons responded for the locals who were slowly getting into the game.
But Dungloe were two up again when Danny Rodgers converted from long range for a 0-4 to 0-2 advantage for Dungloe.
The lead was short lived as Conor Gibbons with a super point and another from Haran tied up the game for the first time.
With the momentum with the locals and McMonagle and Brendan Maguire landed points for a 0-6 to 0-4 lead for David McGinley’s men. Rodgers again made it a one point game before St Eunan’s rounded off the half with a Peter Devine point on the run Haran’s goal and another McMonagle point for a 1-8 to 0-5 halftime lead.
Haran first timed to the net after his flick on to a Michael Miller cross was parried.
The goal really took the fizz out of a young Dungloe side and all they could muster in the second period was three pointed frees from veteran Adrian Sweeney and one each from Rodgers and Neely.
Donnacha Gallagher, McMonagle, Paddy McGowan, Gibbons and Darragh Mulgrew all raised white flags as St Eunan’s cruised to an easy victory.
St Eunan's: Aidan Simmons; Conor Morrison, Darragh McWalters, Michael Miller; Brendan Maguire (0-1), Conor O'Donnell, Peter Devine (0-1); Oisin Carr, Darragh Mulgrew (0-1); Conor Gibbons (0-3, 2f), Conall Dunne, Donnacha Gallagher (0-3); Patrick McGowan (0-1, 1f), Lee McMonagle (0-6, 1f, 45), John Haran (1-1). Subs: Gavin Maguire for C O'Donnell; Oisin O'Boyle for P McGowan; Oisin Toal for D Gallagher.
Dungloe: Danny Rodgers (0-3, 3f); Jack Scally, Gavin Ward, Doalty Boyle; James McCole, Matthew Ward, Darren Curran; Shaun Sharkey, Raymond Sweeney; Barry Curran, Noel McBride, Hugh Moy; Adam Neely (0-4, 4f), Mark Sweeney, Ryan Greene. Subs: Adrian Sweeney (0-3, 3f) for N McBride, Paul McGarvey for R Greene (36), Eoin Scally for J McCole .
Referee: Aidan Mc Aleer (N Padraig, Muff)