Old hands lead Downings to historic double

MICHAEL MURPHY SPORTS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Old hands lead Downings to historic double

The olds hands of Downings came to their rescue as they completed the Junior double with a late four point burst in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny.

Downings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-11

Naomh Padraig, Muff . . . . 1-7

When Oisin McColgan got a touch to a Damian Diver lofted effort for a point on 47 minutes, it looked as if the Inishowen side were on their way to victory, but Downings had other ideas.

The goal put Naomh Padraig ahead by 1-7 to 0-7 and with scores at a premium, it looked a good lead.

But in the final quarter the introduction of Gary Ban McClafferty along with Finighin and Aaron McClafferty earlier in the second half made a big difference. Danny McBride had also come into the action in the first half to make a difference.

A Lorcan Connor free and a point from Colm Gallagher score from play (his third) cut the gap to the minimum by the 55th minute.

Naomh Padraig then lost county minor Aidan McLaughlin to a second yellow card and from the free, Gary Ban picked up the rebound and set up Connor for the equaliser.

That was on 58 minutes and 40 seconds into added time, Gary Ban was on hand to loft the lead and the winner for the Downings men.

CLOSE OPENING HALF

There was little between the sides in the opening half which saw Naomh Padraig, Muff ahead by just one point at the break, 0-6 to 0-5.

Lorcan Connor had Downings on the scoreboard inside 42 seconds and Bryan McGinley doubled their lead.

But then Naomh Padraig had a good period of dominance, driven on by Enda McColgan from the back.

Damian Diver had them level inside eight minutes. Diver, from another free, put them ahead on eight minutes and Stephen McLaughlin doubled that lead before Diver gave them a three point lead, 0-5 to 0-2, on 21 minutes.

Danny McBride, less than a minute in the game as a replacement for Ben McNutt, got Downings back in contention with a good score, but the Rosguill men missed a number of good chances before half-time.

Colm Gallagher left the minimum between the sides in the 24th minute while Chris O’Donnell had a point at the other end.

Deep in added time at the end of the opening half Colm Gallagher fired over again to leave just a point in it at the break.

Two Lorcan Connor points to one in reply from Damian Diver were the only scores of the third quarter, and when Naomh Padraig struck for the goal, it looked good.

But then the olds hands took over!

Danny McBride, Colm Gallagher, Finighin McClafferty, Lorcan Connor and Gary Ban McClafferty were excellent in that vital period. Gallagher had to go off injured after hitting his third point, but he had made a huge contribution, keeping his side in the contest in the opening half.

DOWNINGS: Patrick McGroddy; Max Davis, Shay Coyle, Kevin McGee; Bryan McGinley (0-1), Kevin Doherty, Ben McNutt; Sean McBride, Shane Boyce; Alan Pasoma, James Lee McBride, Oisin Boyce; Colm Gallagher (0-3,1f), Ben McBride, Lorcan Connor (0-5,3f). Subs., Danny McBride (0-1) for McNutt 21; Finighin McClafferty for S Boyce ht; Gary Ban McClafferty (0-1) for O Boyce 48; Shaun McGinley for C Gallagher 55

NAOMH PADRAIG, MUFF: Joe McCauley; Justin Gallagher, Damien Laird, Enda McColgan; James Curran, Anthony McColgan, Aidan McLaughlin; Cathal McColgan, Eunan Keaveney; Chris O’Donnell (0-1), Oisin McColgan (1-0), Stephen McLaughlin (0-1); Aidan Lynch, Damien Diver (0-5, 4f), Brian McColgan. Subs., Oisin McCool for J Curran 42; Mark Duffy for A Lynch 43; Martin Duffy for C O’Donnell 48; Rhys Davenport for J Gallagher 56

REFEREE: Kevin McGinley (Naomh Columba)